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Plenary proceedings of the House of Representatives for Wednesday, December 4th, 2019. The Speaker of the House, Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila presiding.

Plenary proceedings of the House of Representatives for Wednesday, December 4th, 2019. The Speaker of the House, Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila presiding.

After leading the opening prayer, the Speaker went on to examine and approve the votes and proceedings for Tuesday, December 3rd, 2019

_______________________________ ANNOUNCEMENT The Speaker of the House, Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila announced that the Committee on Aids and Loans should submit the report of the two matters referred to it for consideration by the House.

_______________________________ PETITION

1. Rep. Isiaka Adekunle presented a petition from a complainant for the release of the final payment as the balance of a contract he undertook for the construction of a road awarded by the federal government. The contract has been completed since 2014 and the balance of the payment still hasn't been paid, he craved the intervention of the House to resolve the issue.

2. Rep. Emeka Azubogu also presented a petition from the Corporate Affairs Commission on the inaccurate representation of the votes and proceedings of the House through a matter of urgent public importance on Thursday, 14th November 2019 to suspend a member of the Commission. The petitions were referred to the Committee on Public Petitions

_______________________________ MATTERS F URGENT PUBLIC IMPORTANCE

1. Rep. Ndudi Elumelu moved a motion on the need for the House to check the rising case of the influx of fake and substandard drugs into the country from the ports and borders and it was seconded by Rep. Unyime Idem. Rep. Elumelu lamented that many Nigerians are dying from kidney and heart-related disease as a result of the use of such substandard drugs. He pointed out that the relevant agencies such as National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) and the Standards Organization of Nigeria (SON), who should effect the duties of checking the inflow of such drugs had been expelled from ports and borders since 2011 by the then minister of finance.

Rep. Elumelu noted that the reasons for expelling NAFDAC and SON no longer exists as goods are now cleared electronically, he wondered why the agencies have not been cleared to resume duties at the ports and borders as no other agency has the mandate, capacity and know-how to effectively check the influx and circulation of substandard drugs. He called on the relevant committees of the House to interphase with the minister of finance to rescind the decision and allow both agencies to resume their duties.

Rep. Nasir Ahmed stressed the importance and timeliness of the motion as the battle against fake drugs has come nearer home than previous years. He called for the same seriousness as the fight against the importation of illegal weapons to be attached to the importation of fake drugs as they are equally as lethal.

Rep. James Faleke stated that the filling of form M is critical before the admission into the country of imported products, and the provision of the product certificate clarified before the form M is then approved for products to be admitted into the country from the ports is also mandatory, these he said are already laid down measures aimed at ensuring products' quality. He stated that if every product at the port has to be individually certified; then the goods would be stranded at the ports indefinitely to the detriment of the importers, the consumers, the economy of the nation and the drive towards the federal government's aim towards the ease of doing business. He called for a reorientation and re-certification of the agents worldwide so that they may be more effective from the source of production.

The same view was reiterated by Rep. Leke Abejide, who stated that NAFDAC and SON are still represented at the ports and have a single Internet window for analysis of data shared. Rep. Abejide called on the CBN to correct the list of 41 items for importation and ensure the form M be enforced instead of some products coming through import permits which do not ensure product quality.

Rep. Nkeiruka Onyejeocha called for the same zeal on behalf of the relevant agencies as was obtainable when the late Prof. Dora Akunyili was at the helm of NAFDAC. Rep. Ossai Nicholas Ossai stated that since the instrument of the Law authorizes NAFDAC and SON to be present and functioning at borders and ports, the executive order should not be used to truncate provisions of the Law in this respect. He called on the House to ensure the provision of the Law is respected.

Rep. Toby Okechukwu stated that the SON has on several occasions been hindered from accessing the ports contradicting the legal backing they have.

Speaker of the House, Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila stated that the section of the law cited by Rep. Okechukwu gives SON the right to access the ports to function, and not to reside permanently at the ports. Rep. Okechukwu called for the investigation to cover even where the substandard drugs are imported from as some foreign countries have been found to be culpable. He called for all relevant committees of the House to investigate the working operations as it is now. The motion was voted on and adopted.

2. Rep. Tolulope Tiwalola Akande-Sadipe moved a motion on the need to correct the increasing rate of attacks on Nigerian traders in Ghana and it was seconded by Rep. Ahmed Jaha. Rep. Akande-Sadipe stated that over 600 shops belonging to Nigerians have recently been locked up in Ghana. She stated that the president of the association of Nigerian traders in Ghana attested to her personally via a telephone call that Nigerian traders were physically assaulted by their Ghanian counterparts with the aid of some security forces. She called on the Diaspora Commission, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the relevant Committees of the House to ensure another xenophobic attack doesn't spring up against Nigerians in neighbouring Ghana.

Rep. Toby Okechukwu called for the quick resolution of what seems to become a negative trend against Nigerians in other African counties. He wondered why the brotherly love of Africans for one another is rapidly dwindling, this he stated is worse considering the accommodating nature of Nigeria towards other countries. He called on the Deputy Speaker, Rep. Ahmed Idris Wase to express the discomfort and dismay of the House to the participants of the ECOWAS parliament on the issue.

Rep. Ahmed Jaha stated that these cases of violence may be an attempt to transfer aggression on Nigerians living in the diaspora for Nigeria closing her borders to neighbouring countries. He bemoaned the ways countries take advantage of the leniency of Nigeria and called for strong condemnation from the country.

Rep. Henry Nwawuba stated that it is insanity to do things the same way and expect different results. He called on Nigeria to be more responsive to issues that affect the lives of Nigerians worldwide. He called for the setting up of a pan-African organization to look at insecurity facing Nigerians in the continent. The motion was voted on and adopted.

_______________________________ PRESENTATION OF REPORT

A Bill for an Act to authorize the issue from the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Federation the total sum of N10,594,362,364,830 (Ten Trillion, Five Hundred and Ninety-Four Billion, Three Hundred and Sixty - Two Million, Three Hundred and Sixty - Four Thousand, Eight Hundred and Thirty Naira)only, of which N 560,470,827,235 (Five Hundred and Sixty Billion, Four Hundred and Seventy Million, Eight Hundred and Twenty-Seven Thousand, Two Hundred and Thirty - Five Naira) only, is for Statutory Transfers, N 2,725,498,930,000 (Two Trillion, Seven Hundred and Twenty - Five Billion, Four Hundred and Ninety-Eight Million, Nine Hundred and Thirty Thousand, Naira) only, is for Debt Service, N 4,842,974,600,640 (Four Trillion, Eight Hundred and Forty - Two Billion, Nine Hundred and Seventy-Four Million, Six Hundred Thousand, Six Hundred and Forty Naira) only, is for Recurrent (Non-Debt) Expenditure while the sum of N 2,465,418,006,955 (Two Trillion, Four Hundred and Six - Five Billion, Four Hundred and Eighteen Million, Six Thousand, Nine Hundred and Fifty - Five Naira) only, is for contribution to the Development Fund for Capital Expenditure for the year ending on 31 day of December, 2020 (Referred: 10/10/2019).

_______________________________ PRESENTATION OF BILLS

1. Companies and Allied Matters Bill, 2019 (HB. 544) (Executive) – First Reading. 2. South East Development Commission (Establishment, Etc.) Bill, 2019 (HB. 545) (Rep. Uzoma Nkem Abonta) – First Reading. 3. Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (Alteration) Bill, 2019 (HB. 546) (Rep. Kolawole Lawal) – First Reading. 4. Kidnapping and Hostage Taking (Prohibition) Bill, 2019 (HB. 547) (Rep. Francis Charles Uduyok) – First Reading. 5. Federal University of Agriculture and Entrepreneurship, Saki, Oyo State (Establishment) Bill, 2019 (HB. 548) (Rep. Olajide Olatubosun) – First Reading. 6. Electoral Offences Tribunal (Establishment) Bill, 2019 (HB. 549) (Rep. Francis C Uduyok) – First Reading. 7. Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria Act (Amendment) Bill, 2019 (HB. 550) (Rep. Jude Ise-Idehen) – First Reading. 8. National Universities Commission Act (Amendment) Bill, 2019 (HB. 551) (Hon. Ugonna Ozurigbo) – First Reading. 9. Compulsory, Free Universal Basic Education Act (Amendment) Bill, 2019 (HB. 552) (Rep. Mansur Manu Soro) – First Reading. 10. Dental Council of Nigeria Act (Amendment) Bill, 2019 (HB. 553) (Rep. Joseph E. Edionwele) – First Reading. 11. Compulsory, Free Universal Basic Education Act (Amendment) Bill, 2019 (HB. 554) (Rep. Paschal C. Obi) – First Reading. 12. Child Rights Act (Amendment) Bill, 2019 (HB. 555) (Rep. Paschal C. Obi) – First Reading. 13. Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (Alteration) Bill, 2019 (HB. 556) (Rep. Paschal C. Obi) – First Reading. 14. Federal College of Fisheries and Aquaculture, Tuomo, Delta State (Establishment) Bill, (HB. 557)) 2019 (Rep. Julius G. Pondi) – First Reading. 15. Service Compact Management Agency Bill, 2019 (HB. 558) (Rep. Chris Emeka Azubogu) – First Reading. 16. Public Procurement Act (Amendment) Bill, 2019 (HB. 559) (Rep. Oluwole Oke) – First Reading. 17. Employees’ Compensation Act (Amendment) Bill, 2019 (HB. 560) (Rep. Oluwole Oke) – First Reading. 18. Defence Industries Corporation of Nigeria Bill, 2019 (HB. 561) (Rep. Oluwole Oke) – First Reading. 19. Pension Reform Act (Amendment) Bill, 2019 (HB. 562) (Rep. Oluwole Oke) – First Reading.

______________________________ ORDERS OF THE DAY BILLS

1. A Bill for an Act to Provide for Establishment of Federal College of Agriculture, Kirikasamma, Jigawa State to Provide full-time Courses, Teaching, Instructions and Training in Agriculture and carry out its due Administration and Management; and for Related Matters (HB. 382) (Rep. Abubakar Hassan Fulata) – Second Reading. Debate Rep. Fulata moved for the second reading of the Bill and it was seconded by Rep. Usman Ibrahim Auyo. Rep. Fulata stated that the Bill seeks to establish the institution to bridge the gap of agricultural practice and production using the application of science. He expressed the hope that when the college is established, it would provide the needed scientific tools to bridge the gaps, as well as ensure the principle and mode of conduct of practitioners. As an establishment Bill, it was voted on, passed for second reading and referred to the Committee on Tertiary Education.

2. A Bill for an Act to Establish Federal college of Education, Keana, Nassarawa State, to Provide full-Time Courses, Teaching, Instruction and Training in Technology, Applied Science, Arts, Social Sciences, Humanities and Management, and to Provide for Appointment of the Provost and other Officers of the College to carry out the Administration and Disciplining of Students of the College; and for Related Matters (HB. 439) (Rep. Abubakar Hassan Nalaraba) – Second Reading. Debate

Rep. Nalaraba moved for the second reading of the Bill and it was seconded by Rep. Jimoh Olaifa. Rep. Nalaraba stated that Bill seeks to address the current imbalance of the distribution of federal educational institutions in Nassarawa state and its environs. He stated that the college would help meet the educational needs, yearning and aspirations of people in the North Central region of the country and beyond. As an establishment Bill it was voted on, passed for second reading and referred to the Committee on Tertiary Education.

_____________________________ MOTIONS

3. Rehabilitation and Dualization of Ita-Oshin-Ilaro-Owode Yewa-Ikoga Road in Ogun West and Central Senatorial Districts of Ogun State: Rep. Kolawole Lawal. The House: Notes that the 101km Ita-Oshin (Abeokuta), Joga orile, Imasayi/lboro,lbese, Ilaro, Owode, Ado-Ode and Ikoga federal road connects towns in Ogun West senatorial district to the capital city, Abeokuta and then links to Lagos State from where its connect to the Republic of Benin through Badagry; Also notes that the road is invaluable in the transportation of goods and services across Nigeria, thereby boosting revenue generation; Aware that the leading cement manufacturing factory in Africa, Dangote Cement, Ibese is located along the same road which is a single carriageway with no separation between vehicles in opposite directions; Cognizant that roads are considered key prerequisites for social and economic development of any country as they are the arteries through which the economy pulsates, by linking producers to markets, workers to jobs, students to schools and the sick to hospitals; Concerned that considering the economic activities that are carried on along its stretch, the road is too narrow and thus slows down activities, leaving commuters frustrated over their inability to get to their destinations on time and also poses great risks as accidents frequently occur on the road; Observes that since the construction of the road, palliative maintenance has scarcely been carried out on the road, thus leaving it in a deplorable state, hindering both human and vehicular movements and declining revenue generation; Cognizant that rehabilitation and dualization of the road will greatly improve the nation's economy as well as enhancing the lives of the people living in the area;

Resolves to: (i) Urge the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA) to, as a matter of urgency, commence rehabilitation of the Ita-Oshin-Ilaro-Owode Yewa-Ikoga Road in Ogun West and Central Senatorial Districts of Ogun State;

(ii) Also urge the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing to make provision in the 2020 budget estimates for the dualization of the Ita-Oshin-Ilaro-Owode Yewa-Ikoga Road in Ogun West and Central Senatorial Districts of Ogun State;

(iii) Mandate the Committees on Works and Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA) to ensure compliance. Debate Rep. Kolawole moved the motion on the need to rehabilitate and dualize the Ita-Oshin-Ilaro-Owode Yewa-Ikoga road in Ogun west and central Senatorial districts of Ogun State and it was seconded by Rep. Christopher Ezenwankwo. As an infrastructure-related motion, it was voted on and adopted.

4. Need to Expedite the Construction of Gulka Dam in Giade Local Government Area of Bauchi State: Rep. Kani Abubakar Faggo: The House: Notes that water is an important component of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), and is also a vital developmental tool for any nation; Also notes that meeting the basic need of water has been a long-standing challenge in sub-Saharan African countries as, according to reports, water is the second most sought after item after education, on the developmental agenda of the citizenry; Aware that the idea for the construction of Gulka Dam was conceived in 1978 to harness the water resources of Bauchi State in order to improve agricultural production through the use of irrigation and also provide potable water for the people, but the project has since been abandoned; Also aware that the dam was projected to irrigate several hectares of arable land to support the agricultural production across Bauchi State and the neighbouring Jigawa State as Gulka River lies at a boundary between the two States; Appreciates that the project has huge revenue generation potentials as it would provide direct employment for at least 10,000 youths in farming and make provisions for the development of at least 2,000 tonnes of fisheries annually, provide recreation as well as attracting tourism to Bauchi State; Cognizant that with a proposed storage capacity of 56 million cubic metres, Gulka Dam will conveniently serve multiple purposes as it will enhance the developmental potentials of North East region in terms of increased agricultural output and improvement in water supply;

Resolves to: (i) Urge the Federal Ministries of Water Resources and Works and Housing to expedite action on the construction of Gulka Dam;

(ii) Mandate the Committees on Water Resources and Works to ensure implementation. Debate Rep. Faggo moved the motion on the need to expedite the construction of Gulka dam in Giade local government area of Bauchi state and it was seconded by Rep. Mukhtar Chawai.

As an infrastructure-related motion, it was voted on and adopted. 5. Need to Commence the long Overdue National Population Census in Nigeria: Rep. Ademorin Kuye.

The House: Notes that the holding of a population census is an important national assignment because its figures are critical for national planning and it is for this reason, among others, that most countries of the world carry out this exercise once every ten years; Also notes that without a census, and an accurate data of the number of people in a given country, no government can provide adequately for its citizens as Government requires data to know the number of children being born, the number of schools and hospitals that will be needed, how many workers are in a given town and how many foreigners are in the country, for proper provision of infrastructural facilities; Further notes that most times, Nigeria’s population is predicated on projected figures provided by foreign organizations like the United Nations, thus making planning extremely difficult in the absence of a population census which the National Population Commission (NPC) would have been ready to conduct every ten (10) years, as is obtainable in other countries, but it is now left to the whims and caprices of the government; Recalls that since the first census which was held in Lagos in 1866, there had been a trend towards a better planned and more reliable census exercises as subsequent census exercises took place in 1869, 1871, 1881, 1891 and 1911, but were limited to Lagos and its environs and some parts of the Southern Protectorate; Aware that the 1952/1953 census was the first modern, national and carefully planned census, however, its outcome was not generally accepted as it was not conducted simultaneously throughout the country; Also aware that other population censuses that took place at various times between 1953, 1962/1963 and 1973 were well planned; Concerned that the last national census was conducted in 2006 and until it becomes mandatory to conduct a census at given intervals like elections, Nigeria will continue to have delays in organizing national census;

Further aware of the extreme importance of conducting another census to ascertain the country's actual population in order to do away with projected figures, a development that will enable the Government to plan better for the citizens; Worried that if adequate measures are not put in place where population census is conducted periodically at least once every 1 0 years, Nigeria will be lacking in the statistical data of its citizenry either politically or economically; Again notes that in 2016, the World Bank estimated Nigeria's population at 186 million and the United Nations, also in 2017, put Nigeria's population at 180 million with a growth rate of 2.7 percent and prior to that in 2016, the former Director-General of the National Population Commission (NPC) Alhaji Ghali Bello had estimated Nigeria's population to be 182 million with a growth rate of 3.5 per cent; Also recalls that the National Assembly had, in 2018, called for the postponement of the proposed 2018 population census on the ground that such an exercise, coming on the eve of the 2019 general elections, could end in chaos; Acknowledges that Nigeria has a dynamic economy and a large population which is expected to double in the next two decades and census is a pivotal and necessary tool for the growth of any emerging society, which in turn informs decision-making at all facets of public and private sectors; Cognizant that lack of accurate data on the population of Nigeria has been affecting national planning and development at all levels;

Resolves to: (i) Urge the National Population Commission (NPC) to come up with a feasible time table for the conduct a National Census not later than year 2020;

(ii) Also urge the Federal Government to provide necessary logistics for the conduct of a national census in 2020 as a way of ending the uncertainties surrounding Nigeria's actual population;

(iii) Set up an Ad-hoc Committee to liaise with the National Population Commission (NPC), the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and Planning and the National Bureau of Statistics to work out modalities on how to conduct a census in 2020 and also to liaise with other foreign donors such as UNFPA, EU, USAID, UNESCO, AU, etc. for necessary support for the exercise. Debate Rep. Kuye moved a motion calling on the federal government on the need to commence the long-overdue national population census in Nigeria and it was seconded by Rep. Adekunle Alabi. Rep. Shina Peller in contributing to the debate stated that a comprehensive census provides the much-needed data for proper planning of government policies and infrastructure provision and should be supported by all means.

The motion was voted on and adopted. 6. Extension of Agricultural Support Service to Mallam Madori/Kaugama Federal Constituency of Jigawa State: Rep. Abubakar Makki Yalleman. The House: Notes that the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development is saddled with the responsibility of growing Nigeria’s agricultural sector, and integrating rural development for the transformation of the economy and accelerating food production; Also notes that the Ministry equally has the mandate to promote agricultural businesses, encourage rural development, support private sector institutions and stakeholders to assure food security, provide raw materials for agro-based industries, diversify employment opportunities and agricultural products along commodity value chains and generate foreign exchange for the nation; Concerned that Mallam Madori/Kaugama Federal Constituency, as a purely agriculture-based enclave has consistently been denied the benefits of supply of agricultural materials like improved quality seedlings, fertilizer, pesticides, periodic and consistent education and enlightenment; Worried that the planting season is underway and so many constituencies have benefited immensely and severally from the Ministry except Mallam Madori/Kaugama Federal Constituency, as evidence in this year’s flag-off of the commencement of distribution of high yielding cotton seeds and other farm inputs like fertilizer and pesticides to over 100,000 cotton farmers in Katsina State which was reported in the Ministry's website on May 6, 2019;

Resolves to: (i) Urge the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to provide periodic training programs and also supply materials that can meet the agricultural needs of farmers in Mallam Madori/Kaugama Federal Constituency, Jigawa State;

(ii) Mandate the Committee on Agricultural Production and Services to ensure implementation. Debate Rep. Yalleman moved the motion on the urgent call for the ministry of agriculture to extend the agricultural support service to Mallam Madori/Kaugama federal constituency of Jigawa state and it was seconded by Rep. Abubakar Lado. As an infrastructure-related motion, it was voted on and adopted.

7. Need to Establish more Roadside Clinics and Improve Facilities in the existing Roadside Clinics: Rep. Akinola Adekunle Alabi. The House: Notes that road transportation is the most common mode of transportation in Nigeria, and statistics by the World Health Organization (WHO) shows that nearly 3,500 people die every day as a result of road traffic accidents worldwide, with the most affected victims listed as young people within the ages of 5 and 29 years; ` Also notes that the National Bureau of Statistics recorded 1,538 deaths from road accidents in the fourth quarter of 2018 alone which always results in huge economic costs to the Nation and weighs a great deal on the health system, not to mention the negative emotional and social implications the affected families go through;

Cognizant that the government is constitutionally bound to protect lives and properties of its citizens by providing for their security and welfare and Section 10 (3) (q) of the Federal Road Safety Commission (Establishment) Act empowers the Federal Road Safety Commission to provide roadside and mobile clinics for the treatment of accident victims free of charge; Also cognizant that there are only forty-seven (47) roadside and mobile clinics across Nigeria, out of which 18 are furnished and functional, fifteen (15) are furnished but non-functional, while the remaining fourteen (14) are neither furnished nor functional; Concerned about the prediction by the World Bank that without a sustained action to stem the rate of accidents on the nation’s highways, road crashes would become the seventh leading cause of death by 2030;

Also concerned that while most efforts have been geared towards providing enlightenment on safety tips including the use of seat belts, speed reduction, non-consumption of alcohol construction and rehabilitation of roads, there is still a need to broaden efforts and explore all options in approaching this vexed issue. Regrets that the available roadside clinics are grossly insufficient to cater for the medical needs of accident victims, and the functional ones are poorly managed hence, people continue to die on the high ways for want of immediate medical attention;

Resolves to: (i) Urge the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing to intensify efforts towards the provision of safely engineered roads;

(ii) Mandate the Committee on Federal Road Safety Commission to interface with the Federal Road Safety Commission to ascertain the current infrastructural, equipment and manpower status of roadside and mobile clinics and recommend measures to be taken to make them functional to cater for victims of road accidents and report back within eight (8) weeks for further legislative action. Debate Rep. Alabi moved the motion on the need to establish more roadside and mobile clinics in Nigeria and improve the facilities in existing roadside clinics and it was seconded by Rep. Ifeanyi Momah.

The motion was voted on and adopted. 8. Holistic Review of all Agreements between Oil Companies in Nigeria and Host Communities: Rep. Ossai Nicholas Ossai The House: Notes that the execution of Agreements between Oil Companies in Nigeria and their host Communities is a form of Corporate Social Responsibility; Also notes that such strategic business management and corporate governance initiative is designed to balance the responsibility of stakeholders at all levels and produce a greater impact on a wide number of people; Observes that most of the agreements are either partially implemented or completely not implemented by the Oil companies, resulting in untold hardships on the host communities in Nigeria; Worried that the continued breach of such agreements and underperformance by Oil Companies has built up dis-affection, restiveness and tension in the oil-producing communities in Nigeria; Cognizant that a holistic review of all agreements executed and entered into by Oil Companies with their host Communities will resolve all problems and provide a lasting solution to the poor implementation of Agreements by Oil Companies;

Resolves to: Mandate the Committees on Treaties, Protocols and Agreements, and Petroleum Resources (Upstream) to review all the Agreements and Memoranda of Understanding between the Oil Companies and the host communities in order to protect the interest of host communities and report back within eight (8) weeks for further legislative action. Debate Rep. Ossai moved the motion on the need for a holistic review of all existing agreements between oil companies and their host communities in Nigeria and it was seconded by Rep. Ademorin Kuye.

The motion was voted on, adopted and referred to the House Committees on Treaties, Protocols and Agreements, as well as Petroleum Resources (Upstream). 9. Need for Commercial Banks to Stop Casualization of Staff: Rep. Amobi Yinusa Akintola. The House: Notes that prior to the emergence of new generation banks in Nigeria, staff of banks were usually full time workers and entitled to series of benefits from the banks they worked for, including promotions, health packages, productivity, life insurance policies, housing allowances, wardrobe allowances, feeding allowances etc. which made banking jobs enviable work for all and sundry in the country;

Also notes that with the advent of new generation banks in the country, so many things changed in the banking industry but despite all the challenges being faced by the new generation banks, the financial sector still remains one of the most viable sectors of the Nigerian economy with each of the banks having a minimum of twenty-five billion naira only (N25, 000,000,000) as its capital base; Aware that in 2017, Guaranty Trust Bank declared a profit before tax of one hundred and eighty-six billion naira only (N186,000,000,000) followed by Zenith Bank plc which in the same financial year declared a profit before tax of one hundred and seventy-three billion naira only (N173,000,000,000) while Access Bank Plc came third with a profit of eighty billion naira (N80,000,000,000) and by the end of that year, all the banks in Nigeria had declared jumbo profits, a situation that was repeated in 2018 when the banks made huge profits;

Also aware that commissions and charges that banks had raked in as at September 30, 2019, were over seven hundred billion naira (N700,000,000,000), without considering money generated from loans, advances and other portfolio investments of the banks, evidencing the lucrative nature of banking business; Concerned that despite the huge profits being made by commercial banks, they still casualize most of their core operational staff, as (90) percent of bank workers are casual staff, a development that is an act of exploitation of the unemployed youths; Also concerned that core operations of banks like tellering customer service, relationship management, marketing, business development, internal controls etc are being handled by contract staff who are not entitled to promotion, health care services, utility allowances, productivity etc, thus making them be virtual slaves within the banking sector as six months ago, Eco Bank laid off over a thousand casual staff;

Cognizant that the practice of casualization of staff is causing a rise in fraud rate perpetrated by staff and also psychological trauma among those set of staff to the extent that a contract staff committed suicide in 2010 when he was retrenched by WEMA Bank without any compensation and in another incidence few days ago, during a robbery attack in Ekiti State on Thursday November 21, 2019, the Police explained how a CCTV footage exposed a bank staff involved in the robbery operation; Convinced that if the casual staff handling core operations of banks are converted to permanent staff, better service would be derived by customers and the rate of fraud in the banking industry will reduce drastically;

Resolves to: (i) Call on commercial banks to convert their casual staff who are handling core operations to permanent staff without further delay and also urge the Central Bank of Nigeria to sanction any bank that fails to comply;

(ii) Mandate the Committee on Banking and Currency to interface with commercial banks on the need to stop casualization of their core operational staff;

(iii) Also mandate the Committee on Legislative Compliance to ensure compliance. Debate Rep. Akintola moved the motion on the need for commercial banks to stop the casualization of staff and it was seconded by Rep. Ephraim Nwuzi. In leading the debate Rep. Akintola stated that since the concept of casualization began, employees under the cadre stopped enjoying the benefits of staff and the banks have continued to take advantage of this means to shortchange Nigerians which should be discouraged. He called for the support of the House to ensure the plight of the Nigerian workers is secured.

Rep. Richard Gbande stated that ensuring good working conditions for Nigerians would reduce poverty, ensure food security in Nigerian homes and help to stem the tide of insecurity as gainfully employed youth would not allow themselves to be used as pawns for perpetrating acts of insecurity. Rep. Ndudi Elumelu proposed an amendment to ensure the House Committees on Labour and Productivity, as well as that on Banking and Currency, investigate the issue and report back instead of directing the central bank to ask banks to outrightly stop casualization, as this could lead to the outright sack of the staff. It was seconded by Rep. Dozie Nwankwo. The motion was voted on and adopted as amended.

______________________________ CONSIDERATION OF REPORTS (HOUSE IN THE COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE) Rep. Ahmed Idris Wase presiding 10. A Bill for an Act to Establish the Vigilante Group of Nigeria (VGN) charged with Responsibilities to, among others, Provide Community Policing, Maintenance of Law and Order and Community Service for Nigerians; and for Related Matters (HB.437) (Rep. Abbas Tajudeen) (Committee of the Whole: 21/11/2019). Synopsis of the Report: Rep. Abbas Tajudeen stated that the Bill seeks to correct the high rate of insecurity by bridging the gap of the low ratio of police officers to high numbers of citizens in Nigeria. The vigilante group he stated is a low financial means to achieving security upgrade for the nation. Clauses voted on and adopted: 1,4 Clauses amended and adopted: 2,3 Further consideration of the report was again deferred and referred to a Committee comprising the chairmen of the Committees on Rules and Business, Judiciary and Justice, alongside Rep. Ndudi Elumelu, Rep. Mohammed Ibrahim, Rep. Abbas Tajudeen who sponsored the Bill, Rep. Olufemi Fakeye and it will be chaired by the Chief Whip of the House, Rep. Mohammed Tahir Monguno. The Committee set up is to report back to the House in four weeks.

______________________________ HOUSE IN PLENARY

The House reverted to plenary and adopted its decision in the Committee of the whole

______________________________ Adjournment: The House at 15:13 P.M adjourned plenary to Thursday, 5th December 2019 by 11:00 A.M following a motion for adjournment moved by the deputy leader of the House, Rep. Peter Akpatason and seconded by the chief whip, Rep. Mohammed Tahir Monguno

Courtesy: Media Unit,

Office of the Speaker, House of Representatives

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