House of Representatives Plenary Proceedings for Wednesday 14 March, 2018

House of Representatives Plenary Proceedings for Wednesday 14 March, 2018

Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Yakubu Dogara presided.

He said opening prayers and approved votes and proceedings.

There were no petitions.

Motions of Urgent Public Importance

The House adopted a motion by Hon. Diri Duoye on the urgent need to investigate the alleged disappearance of $150,000 to the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) instead of $15,000, which is it annual grant to member federations for the year 2017. The House resolved to mandate the committee on sports to carry out a forensic audit on the alleged looting of the excess grant payment and determine the steps being taken to refund the money to IAAF to prevent Nigeria being banned, and measures being put in place to prevent further infractions in future. The House also resolved to invite the Minister of Youths and Sports, AFN and CBN and any other connected parties to explain their roles in the matter.

The House adopted a motion by Hon. Tony Nwoye on the urgent need to deploy security personnel to stem the recurring crisis between Ibaji/Odeke (Kogi state) and Eziaguluotu/Enuguotu Aguleri (Anambra state) communities. The House called on the National Security Adviser, the Chief of Defense Staff, the Chief of Army Staff and the Inspector General of Police to deploy security personnel to the communities in order to restore peace and avoid further escalation of the crisis, and mandated the Committees on Defence, Army and Police Affairs to ensure implementation.

PRESENTATION OF BILLS

The first business of the day was the presentation of five bills, namely;

Harmful Waste (Special Criminal Provisions Etc.) Act (Amendment) Bill, 2018 (HB. 1363) (Hon. Segun A. Adekola)

Federal Polytechnics Act (Amendment) Bill, 2018(HB. 1364)(Hon. Ali Isa J. C.)

Dangerous Weapons Bill, 2018(HB. 1365) (Hon. Ossai N. Ossai)

National Agency for Technology Management Bill, 2018 (HB. 1366)(Hon. Uzoma Nkem Abonta)

Nigerian Textile Industry Trust Fund Bill, 2018 (HB. 1367) (Hon. Uzoma Nkem Abonta and Hon. Jerry Alagbaoso)

PRESENTATION OF REPORT

House Leader, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila presented the Report of the Ad-hoc Committee to Investigate the Production and Distribution of Drinks Manufactured by the Nigeria Bottling Company Limited and other Drinks Produced or Marketed in Nigeria (Referred:22/03/2017).

ORDERS OF THE DAY

BILLS

The following bills were consolidated:

(a) A Bill for an Act to Amend the Fiscal Responsibility Act, 2007 to Provide an Expanded Scope of Borrowing Power to the Government, Repeal and Enact the Fiscal Responsibility Bill to Provide for Prudent Management of the Nation’s Resources, Ensure Long Term Macro-Economic Stability of the National Economy, Secure Greater Accountability and Transparency in Fiscal Operations within the Medium Term Fiscal Policy Framework and the Establishment of the Fiscal Responsibility Commission to Ensure the Promotion and Enforcement of the Nation’s Economic Objectives; and for Related Matters (HBs. 1166 and 1093 (Leader, Hon. Ibrahim Babangida and Hon. Emeka Azubogu).

(b) A Bill for an Act to Amend the Fiscal Responsibility Act, 2007 to Enhance the Powers of the Commission in the Performance of its Functions under the Act in the Enforcement of Remittance of Revenues into the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Federation and to Provide Penalties for Violation of the Provisions of the Act; and for Related Matters (HB. 1225)(Hon. Ismaila Muazu Hassan); and

(c) A Bill for an Act to Repeal the Fiscal Responsibility Act, 2007 and Enact Fiscal Responsibility Bill to Provide for the Establishment of the Fiscal Expansionary Commission and to Promote Long Term Economic Growth through greater Transparency and Accountability in Fiscal Operations of Government, increased Government spending on Infrastructure, Budget Process Reform; and for Related Matters (HB. 1348) (Hon. Abubakar Yunusa Ahmad).

The following bills were stepped down;

A Bill for an Act to Establish Chartered Institute of Directors of Nigeria to serve as a Regulatory body for Persons serving as Directors in both Public and Private Sectors, to determine the Standards of Knowledge and Skills to be attained by Persons seeking to become Directors, to make Provision for continuous Training and Development of the Directors, to ensure Professionalism and Promote Corporate Governance Values by the Directors; and for Related Matters (HB. 1352) (Hon. Ossai Nicholas Ossai and Hon. Garba Ibrahim Mohammed)

A Bill for an Act to make the Assets Declared by Public Officers Accessible to the Public in Order to give effect to the Provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999; and for Related Matters (HB. 1068) (Hon. Hazeez Babajide Akinloye)

MOTIONS

The following motions were adopted;

Need for Construction of Road to Link Communities in Jigawa, Bauchi and Kano States:

Hon. Salisu Zakari Ningi:

The House:

Notes that the need to construct a road to link several communities of Gwaram in Jigawa State with Warji, Dallaji – Tudun Wada, Nasaru, Balma Masussuka, Kafin Lemo of Bauchi State to Sumaila Road in Kano State has become paramount;

Informed that the road has for a long time remained untarred and therefore unmotorable which causes transit fatigue, hardship, danger and also exposes communters to accidents due to the bad state of the road;

Aware of the Economic Importance of the road to local traders and farmers who ply the road to make ends meet;

Also informed that the deplorable condition of the road makes it very easy for kidnappers and armed robbers to carry out their operations freely and then run into their hideouts in the bush along its stretch;

Cognizant that the construction of the road will greatly ease the transportation difficulties currently being experienced by the people and reduce incidents of kidnapping and armed robbery that thrive as a result of the bad state of the road;

Resolves to:

(i) Urge the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing to embark upon construction of the Road from Gwaram in Jigawa State to Warji, Dallaji-Tudun Wada, Nasaru, Balma Masussuka, Kafin Lemo of Bauchi State to Sumaila in Kano State;

(ii) Mandate the Committees on Works, Appropriations and Legislative Compliance to ensure the construction of the road is included in the 2018 budget proposal.

Need to Investigate the Untoward activities going on in various Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) Camps in Nigeria:

Hon. Hassan Saleh.

The House:

Notes with concern the publication in the Nation Newspaper of December 17, 2017 on how the Internally Displaced Persons Camps in Nigeria are poorly managed;

Further notes that there are several IDP Camps all over the country due to the continuous invasion by Boko Haram which has led to displacement of many innocent citizens from their Communities;

Worried that there are a lot of stories in our national dailies, including the New York Times, of the harrowing experiences of rape committed against women and girls by men in the Camps especially those who are supposed to protect them;

Further worried that the stories are the same in all the Camps across the country namely: rape, sex for food and materials, rampant pregnancy and abandonment of young mothers and their children. There are also cases of pilfering of relief materials and extortion ravaging the camps;

Aware that Human Rights Watch had reportedly written to various government agencies requesting comments on the various allegations emanating from all the camps, but has not received any response;

Further aware that the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) is mandated under the National Emergency Management Agency Act to provide emergency reliefs to victims of “natural or other disasters” and to assist in their rehabilitation, but NEMA and the Refugee Commission which have expanded mandate for IDPs are unable to cope with the level of displacement;

Concerned that the efforts of government concerning the care and protection of the IDPs is not enough, hence the need for government to do more to protect them;

Resolves to:

Mandate the Committee on IDPs, Refugees and Initiatives on North East to investigate the rampant cases of rape, teenage pregnancy, extortion and stealing of relief materials in Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) Camps across Nigeria and report back within 8 weeks.

Urgent Need to Conduct a Comprehensive Audit of all Revenues Accruable to the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) through the Abuja Investment Company Limited, its Subsidiaries and Affiliates and also the Alleged Abuse of Due Process in the Last 10 Years (2007-2017):

Hon. Prestige Ossy:

The House:

Notes that the Abuja Investment Company limited (AICL) was incorporated in 1994 as Abuja Investment and Property Development Company (AIPIDC);

Also notes that AICL is wholly owned by the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) with a vision to build capacity in Public Private Partnership Administration and Asset Management for sustainable development;

Further notes that the Abuja Investment Company limited oversees the Abuja Markets Management Limited, Abuja Urban Mass Transport Company Limited, Abuja Property and Development Limited, Abuja Technology Village, and Abuja Film Village International;

Aware that FCTA controls varying stakes in various affiliates of the Abuja Investment Company Limited which include the Abuja Leasing Company limited, Abuja Connect limited, Power North AICL Equipment Leasing Limited, Abuja Power Company limited, Aso Properties and Investment Management Limited, Aso Savings and Loans limited, among others;

Informed that as a result of the abuse of due process by the Abuja Markets Limited and other subsidiaries, the AICL signed a Facility Management Agreement which has been consistently disregarded to the detriment of the Federal Government;

Also informed that one of the Subsidiary of the Abuja Urban Mass Transport Company Limited receives Forty Million Naira (N40, 000, 000) monthly as subsidy to augment its operations which, according to findings, is unnecessary if the organization is efficiently managed;

Concerned that about NI Billion (One Billion Naira), which is expended annually on diesel and appropriated for, is a source of embezzlement being perpetrated by a few individuals at the expense of the country;

Also concerned that in spite of the capital invested by the Federal Government to establish the Abuja Investment Company Limited, its Subsidiaries and affiliates have become a source of revenue leakages and fraud running into billions of naira;

Worried that efforts by the new management of AICL to sanitize the activities of its Subsidiaries are being frustrated as laid down agreements are blatantly disregarded;

Resolves to:

Mandate the Committee on Federal Capital Territory to:

(i) carry out an extensive audit of all contract agreements entered into between the Abuja Investment Company Limited (AICL) and its Subsidiaries/affiliates and revenues accruable from the contracts as well as remittances made to date and losses, if any;

(ii) investigate the immediate and remote causes of breach of due process and report back within four (4) weeks for further legislative action.

Need for the National Directorate of Employment (NDE) to Commence Work on the Proposed Skills Acquisition Centre in Ajeromi/Ifelodun Federal Constituency of Lagos State:

Hon. Rita Orji:

The. House:

Notes that Ajeromi/lfelodun Federal Constituency is densely populated with an adult population of 2.6 million as captured in the 2006 Census exercise;

Also notes that the entire South West Geopolitical Zone does not have a modern skills acquisition center like other zones to train people to be self-reliant and independent;

Further notes that the Hon. Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige had mandated the National Directorate of Employment (NDE) to undertake the construction of the skills acquisition centers in the South West Zone;

Informed that in a bid to ensure the construction of a skills acquisition center in Ajeromi/Ifelodun Federal constituency, a parcel of land measuring about 3.4 hectares was provided for the National Directorate of Employment (NDE) and approval was given for same by the Hon Minister since year 2017 but the NDE has not complied due to bureaucratic bottle necks;

Aware that providing a skills acquisition center in the Constituency will reduce the menace of jobless youths commonly referred to as Area Boys, harness their enormous potentials and enable them become self-reliant with a view to generating a pool of indigenous and trained manpower sufficient to meet the needs of the private and public sectors of the entire Constituency and beyond;

Resolves to:

(i) Mandate the Committee on Labour, Employment and Productivity to interface with the Hon. Minister of Labour and Employment and the Director-General of the National Directorate of Employment (NDE) to ascertain the reasons for the delay of the project in Ajeromi/Ifelodun Federal Constituency with a view to ensuring its early commencement;

(ii) Also mandate the Committees on Appropriations and Legislative Compliance to ensure that the project is included in the 2018 Budget proposal.

Need for the River Basin Development Authorities to Focus on their Statutory Mandate to reduce Nigeria’s Dependency on Rain-Fed Agriculture:

Hon. Emmanuel Ukoete.

The House:

Notes that Nigeria has eleven River Basin Development Authorities (RBDA’s) which were established in 1976 to harness the country’s water resources and optimize Nigeria’s agricultural resources for food self-sufficiency;

Also notes that the River Basin Development Authorities are also expected to bridge the gap between rural and urban centres by taking development to the grass roots and discourage rural – urban migration;

Aware that the River Basin Development Authorities include the Sokoto – Rima Basin, the Hadejia–Jema’are Basin; the Lake Chad Basin, the Upper Benue Basin, the Lower Benue Basin, the Cross River Basin, the Anambra – Imo Basin, the Niger Basin, the Niger Delta Basin, the Benin-Owena Basin and the Osun-Ogun Basin;

Also aware that the River Basin Authorities have over the years, embarked on construction of many Dams which include; Nkari,Qua Falls, Obudu, Bakolori, Ede-Erinle, Zobe, Zauro, Tiga, Oyan, Kiri, Kafin Zaki, Ikere, Goronyo, Challawa, Dadin Kuwa, Asijere and so many others;

Concerned that the eleven River Basin Development Authorities and their numerous Dams have largely failed to lift Nigeria from rain-fed agriculture since the one seasonal farming period cannot satisfy the country’s food needs despite its vast arable land;

Also concerned that other mandates of the River Development Basins (RBDA’s) that are aimed at stimulating the setting up of large plantations and industrial complexes capable of bringing the private and public sectors into joint business partnerships have been largely unattainable;

Further concerned that the failure of the River Development Basins in carrying out their functions has led the country into spending billions of naira yearly in the importation of tons of fish and other agricultural produce that should readily have been available in Nigeria;

Cognizance of the Federal Government’s current drive to diversify the economy through agriculture;

Resolves to:

(i) Urge the Federal Ministry of Water Resources to come up with strategies to resuscitate the River Basin Development Authorities to enable them achieve their statutory mandate of diversifying the economy through agriculture;

(ii) Mandate the Committee on Water Resources to visit and assess the eleven River Basin Development Authorities, their Dams and Reservoir projects across the country with a view to ascertaining their levels of operations and ensure increased allocations to them in the 2018 budget estimates.

CONSIDERATION OF REPORTS

The House in the Committee of the Whole considered the following reports;

Report of the Ad-hocCommittee to Investigate the Production and Distribution of Drinks Manufactured by the Nigeria Bottling Company Limited and other Drinks Produced or Marketed in Nigeria:

Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila:

“That the House do consider the Report of the Ad-hoc Committee to Investigate the Production and Distribution of Drinks Manufactured by the Nigeria Bottling Company Limited and other Drinks Produced or Marketed in Nigeria and approve the recommendations therein”(Laid: 14/03/2018)

(i) That warning labels be printed on Fanta and Sprite that the products are harmful when taken with Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C);

(ii) that the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) should compel Producers/Manufacturers to indicate all chemicals, acids, colorants and preservatives contained in their products on the packs or bottles no matter how negligible they are;

(iii) that the Regulatory Agencies be adequately funded by the Government to enable them effectively monitor and ensure compliance;

(iv) that expiration dates must be printed on all carbonated and non-carbonated drinks produced and marketed in Nigeria;

(v) that standard review should be carried out biannually by the Regulatory Agencies, particularly the Standard Organization of Nigeria (SON) partnering with NAFDAC;

(vi) that the Committee on Health Services should pay critical attention to the activities of NAFDAC;

Committee on Public Petitions:

Petition by Empowerment for Unemployed Youth Initiative and Nine Other Civil Society Organizations:

“That the House do consider the Petition by Empowerment for Unemployed Youth Initiative and Nine Other Civil Society Organizations against the Federal Ministry of Transportation and the Ministry of Defence on the Ceding of Nigeria Coastal Waterways to HLSI Security Firms and the Technology and Commercialization of the Nigeria Navy to Shorfac Consortium Limited and approve the recommendations therein” (Hon. Uzoma Nkem-Abonta) (Committee of the Whole) (Laid: 7/3/2018);

(1) that the Contract amount to capital flight –almost 200 Million Dollars will be paid out;

(2) that the Contract will further weaken our Naval Command as the Navy will not be in control of the Command Structure;

(i) urge the Executive Arm to, in the overriding National Security Interest (to preserve our security both internal and external) and to strengthen our Naval Command, cancel the Deep Blue Sea Contract, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), HLSI, System for improving the control over Nigeria’s Exclusive Economic Zone in its entirety;

(ii) that the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency should stop henceforth funding the contract as it was not appropriated for;

(iii) that Messrs Shorfac Consortium Proposal, widely consulted and studied by both the Executive and National Assembly should be encouraged as it puts no financial stress or security threats to Nigeria.

Committee on Public Petitions:

Petition by Igwe (Arc) Augustine Azuka Ngoddy Mcpkoc:

“That the House do consider the Petition by Igwe (Arc) Augustine Azuka Ngoddy Mcpkoc against the Nigeria Police Force Command, Awka over the Land Allocation by Atani Community for Police Station, Atani and approve the recommendation therein” (Hon. Uzoma Nkem-Abonta) (Committee of the Whole) (Laid: 7/3/2018);

That the Nigeria Police should vacate the Land belonging to Atani Community, which it encroached upon, as the Land given to it by the Atani Community did not cross the road as shown in the drawn map

Committee on Public Petitions:

Hon. Uzoma Nkem-Abonta:

Petition by Ahmed A. Abbas and Twenty-Five Others:

“That the House do consider the Petition by Ahmed A. Abbas and Twenty-Five Others against Staff School, Federal Polytechnic, Mubi, Adamawa State on their unlawful dismissal and approve the recommendations therein” (Hon. Uzoma Nkem-Abonta) (Committee of the Whole) (Laid: 7/3/2018)”

(i) urge the Federal Polytechnic Mubi, Adamawa State to reinstate Ahmed A. Abbas and twenty-five others as Staff of the School;

(ii) that all their salaries and entitlements be paid to them;

(iii) that those qualified to receive Pensions, should have their Pensions processed.

Committee on Public Petitions:

Hon. Uzoma Nkem-Abonta:

Petition by Luka Markus Bot against the Chief Registrar, Supreme Court of Nigeria:

“That the House do consider the Petition by Luka Markus Bot against the Chief Registrar, Supreme Court of Nigeria on his wrongful dismissal as Employee of the Supreme Court of Nigeria and approve the recommendation therein” (Hon. Uzoma Nkem-Abonta) (Committee of the Whole)(Laid: 8/3/2018).

Urge the Chief Registrar, Supreme Court of Nigeria to reinstate Luka Markus Bot.

[House Leader, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila expressed concerns about this report, saying that issuing directives to the Judiciary is not within the mandate of the House, and that such an issue should normally be resolved in court, not through the Committee on Public Petitions.]

Committee on Public Petitions:

Petition by Uchenna C. Oparaugo and Co on Behalf of Olukemi Joy Komolaye:

“That the House do consider the Petition by Uchenna C. Oparaugo and Co on behalf of Olukemi Joy Komolaye against the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) on the alleged unlawful termination of her appointment and approve the recommendation therein” (Hon. Uzoma Nkem-Abonta)(Committee of the Whole) (Laid: 8/3/2018).

Urge the Nigerian Communications Commission to reinstate Olukemi Joy Komolaye.

The House reverted to plenary and adjourned until Thursday, March 15 at 11am.

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