Noting the observations of President Muhammadu Buhari on his decision to decline Assent to two very crucial legislation, the Senate on Wednesday, May 8, 2019 reconsidered and passed into law the “Nigerian Correctional Service Bill, 2019” and “Proceed of Crimes Bill, 2019”.
The passage of the Bills were as a result of the Reports of the Senate Technical Committee on the Bills presented before the Chamber by the Senate Leader, Ahmad Lawan (Yobe North) for reconsideration having examined and redrafted clauses 17(5) and 44(b) of the first Bill and clause 5(2) of the second Bill as observed by Mr. President which informed the rational for the withhold of assent.
The Senate recommitted the legislation into the Committee of the Whole where recommendations on the above mentioned clauses were considered and approved. Thereafter, the two Bills were read the third time and passed.
Meanwhile, the Red Chamber has also deliberated upon and passed four Motions that include:
1) Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) and Local Government Finances, sponsored by Sen. Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi (Niger North).
The Motion scaled through with four resolutions below:
i) Urge all Financials Institutions to support the implementation of the new guidelines with diligence.
ii) Urge the Federal Government to urgently fund the operations of the new Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) so that it can work to earn the confidence and trust of Nigerians and its International Partners.
iii) Urge the 36 States and the Federal Capital Territory to fully support the implementation of the new NFIU guidelines to promote good governance at the Local Government Areas and restore governance at the grassroots levels.
iv) Urge the Senate to further support Constitutional Amendment that will deepen democracy at the Local Government Levels as envisaged in the Nigerian Constitution.
2) The Existential Threat to the People of Uzo-Uwani Local Government Area of Enugu State, sponsored by Sen. Chukwuka Utazi (Enugu North). The Motion sailed through with four prayers below:
i) Urge the Security Agencies to as matter of urgency, fish out the killers of Dr. Nnamdi Ugueche and bring the perpetrators to justice.
ii) Request the Security Agencies to tackle as a matter of urgency, the increasingly audacious nefarious and criminal activities of some herdsmen who have forcibly taken over the farmlands of Uzo-Uwani Local Government Area.
iii) Urge the Federal Government to ensure that cattle movement and criminal behaviours of the herdsmen are curtailed to restore a sense of safety to the hardworking people of this community.
iv) Urge the people of Uzo-Uwani LGA and Adaba Community to maintain the peace while more effective strategies are devised by the Federal and Enugu State Governments to deal with heinous activities of herdsmen on their land.
3) Urgent need to increase the number of Coaches to the Abuja – Kaduna Railway line, sponsored by Sen. Ali Ndume (Borno South). The Motion was passed with three resolutions below:
i) Urge the Federal Government to deploy more Coaches to the Abuja – Kaduna Railway Line to ameliorate the plight of passengers.
ii) Urge the Nigerian Railway Corporation to study and review the cost fares in relation to operational cost of the Corporation.
iii) Urge the Federal Government to increase the number of locomotive machines in the Abuja – Kaduna Railway Line.
4) Alarming Report on Poor Quality of Services in Nigerian Teaching Hospitals, sponsored by Sen. David Umaru (Niger East). The Motion scaled through with four prayers below:
i) Mandate the Senate Committee on Health to conduct an emergency investigative hearing on the state of healthcare services in our Teaching Hospitals and report back to the Chamber in one week.
ii) Summon the Hon. Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole to brief the Senate on the current state of facilities and healthcare services in Nigerian Teaching Hospitals.
iii) Urge the Federal Government to adopt a policy of subsidizing the medical expenses of patients with terminal ailment such as cancer and kidney failure.
iv) Urge the Federal Government to immediately adopt short and long term measures that will holistically address the challenges confronting the nation’s Teaching Hospitals and retool them for excellent tertiary healthcare services in the country.
Similarly, the Upper Legislative Chamber has debated and passed for Second Reading the following Bills:
a) A Bill for an Act to establish the Office of the Auditor - General for the Federation, provide for additional powers and functions to the Office: establish the Federal Audit Service Commission: Repeal the Audit Act 1956, the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) Act CAP P35 LFN 2004 and enact the Federal Audit Commission and for other matters thereto, 2019 (S.B. 7420), sponsored by Sen. Mathew A. Urhoghide (Edo South). The Bill has been referred to the Senate Committee on Public Accounts to report in the next legislative date.
b) A Bill for an Act to amend the Industrial Development (Income Tax Relief) Act CAP 17, LFN 2004 and for related matters 2019 (S.B. 734), sponsored by Sen. Sabo Mohammed (Jigawa South-West). The legislation has been referred to the Senate Committee on Trade and Investment to report back in the next legislative date.
c) A Bill for an Act to Repeal the provisions of Export (Prohibition) Act CAP E22 LFN 2004 to allow for the exportation of certain foodstuff from Nigeria and for other related matters, 2019 (S.B. 576), sponsored by Sen. Abdullahi Adamu (Nasarawa West). The Bill has been referred to the Senate Committee on Trade and Investment to report back in one week.
d) A Bill for an Act Repeal the provisions of Export (Prohibition) Act CAP E22, LFN 2004 to allow for the exportation of certain foodstuff from Nigeria and for related matters, 2019 (S.B. 575), sponsored by Sen. Sabo Mohammed (Jigawa South-West). The Legislation has been referred to the Senate Committee on Trade and Investment to report back in one week.
Also, the Senate has considered and confirmed the nominations of Eight Persons for appointment as Chairman, Managing Director and Governing Board Members of the Federal Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA). The Nominees screened and confirmed include: Mr. Tunde Lemo – Chairman, Engr. Nurudeen Abdurahaman Rafindadi – Managing Director, Buba Silas Abdullahi - Member, Babagana Mohammed Aji – Member, Engr. Shehu Usman Abdullahi – Member, Loretta Ngozichukwu Aniagolu – Member, Mujaidu Stanley Dako – Member and Vincent Oladapo Kolawale – Member.
Nevertheless, Red Chamber has equally screened and confirmed 30 Persons for appointment as Chairman and Commissioners of the Revenue Mobilization, Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC). Among those confirmed include: Elias Mba – Chairman, Chris Anozie – Commissioner, Isa Muhammed – Commissioner, Chima Okafor – Commissioner, Samuel Ada – Commissioner, Andrew Abaka – Commissioner, Muhammed Kabir Usman – Commissioner, Mariam Chinyere – Commissioner, Kabir Mashi – Commissioner, Barr. Kabir Abdullahi – Commissioner, Aliyu Abdulkadir – Commissioner, Fari Adebayo –Commissioner, Kolade Daniel – Commissioner, Abubakar Sadik – Commissioner, Tokunbo Ajasin – Commissioner and a host of others.