House of Representatives Plenary Proceedings for Wednesday, March 28, 2018

House of Representatives Plenary Proceedings for Wednesday, March 28, 2018

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

He said opening prayers and approved votes and proceedings for the previous sitting.

Motion on Breach of Privilege

Hon. Danburam Abubakar Nuhu moved a motion on breach of privilege, citing a story published on news platforms which alleged that members received $30,000 bribes to alter the Electoral Act Amendment Bill.

Hon. Jerry Alagbaoso, while contributing to the motion, described the story as a “reckless publication” which concerned all legislators. “That publication said all of us, it did not say some of us; it did not say APC members or PDP members or APGA members.”

He suggested that the matter should be referred to the committee on ethics and privileges.

Hon. Mark Gbillah said he was quite embarrassed, upset and saddened that the National Assembly is once again being maligned. He said that legislators need to realise that there seems to be a premeditated attempt from certain quarters to always cast aspersion on the institution of the National Assembly and that the sequence being proposed in this amendment has actually been the most prevalent in the history of elections in the country.

“This is a clear case of defamation and some punitive action needs to be taken. As an institution, we need to begin to bring certain institutions to justice so that it can serve as a deterrent”, he said.

Hon. Abonta, however, said that the story did not state that bribes had been paid, but rather, that such a plan was in place.

Majority Leader, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, disagreed with Hon. Abonta. He said that all it takes is to speculate about something in order to put the Legislature on the defensive. He also argued that bribery and corruption are criminal matters and thus, he does not think the House is covered under its rules to investigate such allegations.

“This is an allegation coming from the fourth realm and this has indicted governors, ministers and members of the House. The committee on ethics and privileges is supposed to look into matters concerning the conduct of members, not allegations such as these.”

He added that since the report alleged that legislators had been bribed without exempting anyone specifically, then members of the Committee on Ethics and Privileges had therefore also been indicted and suggested going to court instead of having the committee look into it.

“This is a matter which is ripe for litigation and by the time we slap heavy penalties on those who pass off falsehood as investigative journalism, then perhaps there will be a stop to these incessant attacks. The only legal defence in a case like this is truth and we should take class action. This is fake news if ever I saw or heard one”, he said.

Other members who contributed include Hon. TJ Yusuf, Hon. Aliyu Sani Madaki and Hon. Orker-Jev.

The matter was referred to the Committee on Ethics and Privileges, with the Speaker adding that recommendations given by the committee would determine the next line of action.

Presentation of Bills

The first business of the day was the presentation of 35 bills.

1. Federal Medical Centre, Abakaliki (Establishment) Bill, 2018 (HB. 1390) (Hon. Abbas Tajudeen).

2. Federal Medical Centre, Abeokuta (Establishment) Bill, 2018 (HB. 1391) (Hon. Abbas Tajudeen).

3. Federal Medical Centre, Asaba (Establishment) Bill, 2018 (HB. 1392) (Hon. Abbas Tajudeen).

4. Federal Medical Centre, Azare (Establishment) Bill, 2018 (HB. 1393) (Hon. Abbas Tajudeen).

5. Federal Medical Centre, Bida (Establishment) Bill, 2018 (HB. 1394) (Hon. Abbas Tajudeen).

6. Federal Medical Centre, Birni-Kebbi (Establishment) Bill, 2018 (HB. 1395) (Hon. Abbas Tajudeen).

7. Federal Medical Centre, Birni-Kudu (Establishment) Bill, 2018 (HB. 1396) (Hon. Abbas Tajudeen).

8. Federal Medical Centre, Ebute-Meta (Establishment) Bill, 2018 (HB. 1397) (Hon. Abbas Tajudeen).

9. Federal Medical Centre, Gombe (Establishment) Bill, 2018 (HB. 1398) (Hon. Abbas Tajudeen).

10. Federal Medical Centre, Yola (Establishment) Bill, 2018 (HB. 1399) (Hon. Abbas Tajudeen).

11. Federal Medical Centre, Gusau (Establishment) Bill, 2018 (HB. 1400) (Hon. Abbas Tajudeen).

12. Federal Medical Centre, Ado Ekiti (Establishment) Bill, 2018 (HB. 1401) (Hon. Abbas Tajudeen).

13. Federal Medical Centre, Jalingo (Establishment) Bill, 2018 (HB. 1402) (Hon. Abbas Tajudeen).

14. Federal Medical Centre, Katsina (Establishment) Bill, 2018 (HB. 1403) (Hon. Abbas Tajudeen).

15. Federal Medical Centre, Keffi (Establishment) Bill, 2018 (HB. 1404) (Hon. Abbas Tajudeen).

16. Federal Medical Centre, Lokoja (Establishment) Bill, 2018 (HB. 1405) (Hon. Abbas Tajudeen).

17. Federal Medical Centre, Makurdi (Establishment) Bill, 2018 (HB. 1406) (Hon. Abbas Tajudeen).

18. Federal Medical Centre, Nguru (Establishment) Bill, 2018 (HB. 1407) (Hon. Abbas Tajudeen).

19. Federal Medical Centre, Owerri (Establishment) Bill, 2018 (HB. 1408) (Hon. Abbas Tajudeen).

20. Federal Medical Centre, Owo (Establishment) Bill, 2018(HB. 1409) (Hon. Abbas Tajudeen).

21. Federal Medical Centre, Umuahia (Establishment) Bill, 2018 (HB. 1410) (Hon. Abbas Tajudeen).

22. Federal Medical Centre, Yenagoa (Establishment) Bill, 2018 (HB. 1411) (Hon. Abbas Tajudeen).

23. National Council of Nigerian Version (Establishment, Etc.) Act Repeal Bill, 2018 (HB. 1412) (Hon. Abbas Tajudeen).

24. National Committee on Geographical Names Act (Amendment) Bill, 2018 (HB. 1413)(Hon. Omoregie Ogbeide-Ihama).

25. Remuneration of Former Presidents and Heads of State and Other Ancillary Matters Act (Amendment) Bill, 2018 (HB. 1414)(Hon. Omoregie Ogbeide-Ihama).

26. National Board for Technical Education Act (Amendment) Bill, 2018 (HB. 1415)(Hon. Oladipupo Adebutu).

27. Federal Polytechnics Act (Amendment) Bill, 2018 (HB. 1416)(Hon. Mayowa S. Akinfolarin).

28. Statutory Corporations (Modifications, Etc.) Act (Amendment) Bill, 2018 (HB. 1417)

(Hon. Oladipupo Adebutu).

29. Medical Negligence (Litigation) Bill, 2018 (HB. 1418) (Hon. Mojeed Alabi).

30. Nigeria Immunization Trust Fund Bill, 2018 (HB. 1419) (Hon. Muhammad Usman).

31. University of Uyo, Act (Amendment) Bill, 2018 (HB. 1420)(Hon. Francis Charles Udutok).

32. Federal University of Technology, Land and Air Transport, Uyo (Establishment) Bill, 2018(HB. 1421) (Hon. Francis Charles Udutok).

33. Public Complaints Commission Act (Amendment) Bill, 2018 (HB. 1422) (Hon. Eucharia Azodo).

34. National Orientation Agency Act (Amendment) Bill, 2018(HB. 1423) (Hon. Eucharia Azodo).

35. Nigerian Communications Commission Act (Amendment) Bill, 2018 (HB. 1424) (Hon. Oladipupo Adebutu).

PRESENTATION OF REPORTS

Two reports were presented, namely;

1. Report of the Conference Committee on a Bill for an Act to Provide for the Governance and Institutional Framework for the Petroleum Industry and for Related Matters (HBs. 477, 878 and 1053; Hon. Victor Nwokolo)

2. Report of the Committee on Tertiary Education and Services on a Bill For an Act to Provide easy Access to Higher Education for Nigerians through Interest Free Loans from Nigerian Education Bank Established in the Act with a view to provide Education for all Nigerians and for Related Matters (HB.435) (Referred: 31/5/2016; Hon Aminu Suleiman:).

ORDERS OF THE DAY

BILLS

1. A Bill for an Act to Repeal the Advertisement Practitioners (Regulation, etc.) Act and Enact the Advertising Practitioner’s (Registration, Licensing, etc.) Bill for the Establishment of a Council for Advertising Practitioners as the Apex Regulatory Authority for the Nigerian Advertising Profession and Practice, to make Provisions for the Regulation and Control of the Practice of the Profession and Business of Advertising to ensure the Protection of the General Public and Consumers, Promote Local Content while Entrenching Best International Practices; and for Related Matters (HB. 1248) (Hon. Garba Ibrahim Mohammed) – BILL STEPPED DOWN BY LEAVE OF THE HOUSE

2. A Bill for an Act to Establish Federal College of Agriculture, Okehi, Etche to Provide Full-Time Courses Leading to the Awards of Diploma, Higher National Diploma in Agriculture and Allied Fields, and be Responsible for the due Administration of the College; and for Related Matters (HB. 1325)(Hon. Jerome Amadi Eke) –PASSED THROUGH SECOND READING

3. A Bill for an Act to Amend the Border Communities Development Agency Act, Cap. B10, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 to clearly specify States to be Represented on the Governing Board of the Agency from the Six Geo-Political Zones; and for Related Matters (HB. 1006)(Hon. Benjamin Ioreber Wayo) –PASSED THROUGH SECOND READING, REFERRED TO THE COMMITTEE ON SPECIAL DUTIES

MOTIONS

The following motions were adopted;

1. Rescission on Eleven Bills Passed By the National Assembly, Pursuant to Order One, Rule 1(2) and Order Nine, Rule 1(6) of the Standing Orders of the House of Representatives:

Hon. E.Y. Orker-Jev:

The House:

Notes that the undermentioned Bills were passed by the National Assembly and transmitted to the President for assent:

(i) Federal Competition and Consumers Protection Bill, 2018 (HBs.1 & 60);

(ii) The Franchise Bill, 2018 (HB.76);

(iii) Forestry Research Institute of Nigeria (Establishment) Bill, 2018 (HB.41);

(iv) National Postgraduate College of Medical Laboratory Science

(Establishment) Bill, 2018 (HB.405);

(v) Nigerian Academy of Science (Establishment) Bills, 2018 (HB.917);

(vi) Corporate Manslaughter Bill, 2018 (HB.273);

(vii) National Assembly Budget and Research Office (Establishment) Bill, 2018

(HB.377);

(viii) National Child Protection and Enforcement Agency (Establishment) Bill,

2018 (HB.127);

(ix) Federal Capital Territory Civil Service Commission (Establishment) Bill,

2018 (HB.167); Animal Health and Husbandry Technologists Registration Board

(Establishment) Bill, 2018 (HB.320);

(xi) Conference Committee Report on Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit Bill, 2018 (HB. 1082);

Aware that the Clerk to the National Assembly withdrew the above Bills from the President;

Convinced of the need to reconsider the Bills with all the necessary amendments;

Resolves to:

Commit the 11 Bills to Committee of the Whole for re-consideration.

Rescission of the Report of the Conference Committee on the Public Procurement Act (Amendment) Bill, Pursuant to Order Nine, Rule 1(6) of the Standing Orders of the House of Representatives:

Hon. E.Y. Orker-Jev:

The House:

Notes that the Report of the Conference Committee on a Bill for an Act to amend the Public Procurement Act was considered and adopted on Thursday, 27thJuly, 2017;

Aware that the Conference adopted clause 1(2) of the House of Representatives Bill as passed;

Also aware that Clause 5 of the Report did not reflect in whole, the House version as adopted;

Further aware that Clauses 10 and 12 of the Report did not reflect what was adopted in the Conference;

Desirous of taking necessary steps to reflect the correct and intended amendment of the Public Procurement Act by rescinding the House decision in Clause 1(2) which amended Section 1(2) of the Public Procurement Act, Clause 5 which amended Section 5 of the Public Procurement Act, Clause 10 which amended Section 15 of the Public Procurement Act, Clause 13 which amended section 20 of the Act, Clause 14 which amended Section 21 of the Act, Clause 17(A and B) which amended Sections 25 and 28 of the Act respectively and Clause 18 which amended Section 35 of the Act;

Resolves to:

(i) Rescind its decision on Clauses 2, 5, 10, 12, 13, 14, 17 (A and B) and 18 of Report of the Conference Committee on the Public Procurement Act (Amendment) Bill;

(ii) Commit Clauses 2, 5, 10, 12, 13, 14, 17 (A and B) and 18 of the Report to Committee of the Whole for reconsideration.

Need for Gradual and Constant Rehabilitation of Nigerian Roads:

Hon. Bolaji Yusuf Ayinla:

The House:

Notes that many Federal Roads in different parts of the country are dilapidated which has affected the free movement of people and goods across the country as a lot of delays and accidents occurring on the roads are attributable to the bad state of the roads;

Also notes that all the bad Federal Roads in Nigeria need immediate attention of the Federal Government and the limited resources at the disposal of the Federal Government has made it impossible for all the roads to be rehabilitated at the same time;

Further notes that successive governments had awarded contracts for the rehabilitation or reconstruction of long stretches of Federal Roads proposed in annual budgets but many of such contracts were not executed due to the inability of those governments to release funds on time for the projects;

Convinced that if contracts are awarded yearly for the rehabilitation of specified stretches of selected Federal Roads, it would be easier for the Federal Government to release funds to execute them and ensure that more roads are rehabilitated within the four-year tenure of a particular administration;

Resolves to:

Urge the Federal Government to adopt a system of gradual and constant rehabilitation of Nigerian roads by awarding only contracts it has resources to execute within a fiscal year.

Need to Ensure Remittance of Budgetary Provision for the Federal University of Petroleum Resources, Effurun to Boost Research Development in the Oil and Gas Industry:

Hon. Reyenieju Daniel:

The House:

Notes that the Federal University of Petroleum Resources, Effurun, Delta State enabling Act was passed in 2017;

Also notes that the Federal University of Petroleum Resources which is the first in Africa and sixth in the world was set up with the core mandate of producing skilled personnel with the capability to understand, use and adapt existing technology, improve on and develop new ones;

Further notes that this specialized University is the Federal Government’s deliberate effort to strengthen capacity in science and technology with special focus on petroleum resources and other allied sectors in the Niger Delta Region;

Aware that Section 9 (2), (3) and (4) of the Federal University of Petroleum Resources (Establishment) Act 2017 provides as follows;

“(2) The Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Petroleum Technology Development Fund and the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) shall provide two per cent of their annual budgets for research programmes in petroleum technology, and facilities in the university;

(3) Petroleum Technology Development Fund shall contribute at least two per cent of its gross revenues for the academic and infrastructural development of the university;

(4) The general fund shall be applied for the purpose of the university”;

Concerned that paucity of funds will hinder the capacity of the University to conduct researches that will impact positively on the oil and gas industry which in turn relates to low specialized students’ enrolment;

Worried that if the annual remittance is not given the budgetary attention as envisaged under the Act, it will continue to reduce Nigeria’s locally trained human capacity in the oil and gas industry;

Resolves to:

Mandate the Committees on Petroleum Resources (Upstream), Tertiary Education and Services, Finance and Local Content to ensure that the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Petroleum Technology Development Fund and the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board provide two per cent of their annual budgets to the Federal University of Petroleum Resources, Effurun in the 2018 Appropriations Estimates.

Debate

Hon. Reyenieju stated that the institute is a large one which caters for a large cache of individuals from different parts of the country. He stated that it was in the best interest of the institute to have all its technological needs meeting international standards and on site, and not to depend on technology transfer.

The Chairman, House Committee on Rules and Business moved that the relevant rules be set aside in order to allow the Speaker preside over the Committee of the Whole.

The motion was adopted and the House resolved into the Committee of the Whole for the Consideration of Reports.

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

A Bill for an Act to Provide for the Ajaokuta Steel Company Completion Fund for the speedy Completion of the Project; and for Related Matters (HB. 1371) (Hon. Uzoma Nkem-Abonta and 300 Others) – (Committee of the Whole: 22/3/2018).

A Bill for an Act to Amend the Public Enterprises (Privatization and Commercialization) Act, Cap. P38, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 to Review the List of Enterprises to be Privatized; and for Related Matters (HB. 1372)(Hon. Uzoma Nkem-Abonta and 300 Others) – (Committee of the Whole: 22/3/2018).

Report of the Conference Committee on a Bill for an Act to Provide for the Governance and Institutional Framework for the Petroleum Industry and for Related Matters (HBs. 477, 878 and 1053) (Laid: 28/3/2018; Hon. Victor Nwokolo).

Report of the Conference Committee on the Public Procurement Act (Amendment) Bill, 2018 (Hon. Oluwole Oke)

A Bill for an Act to Establish Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit as the Central Body in Nigeria Responsible for Receiving, Requesting, Analysing and Disseminating Financial Intelligence Reports and other Information to Law Enforcement, Security And Intelligence Agencies and other Relevant Authorities; and for Related Matters” (HB. 1082) – Committee of the Whole: 27/3/2018);

A Bill for an Act to Establish the National Institute of Credit Administration and for Related Matters (HB. 425) (Committee of the Whole: 21/12/2017).

A Bill for an Act to Regulate the Franchised Business in Nigeria; and for Related Matters (HB. 78) – Committee of the Whole: 27/3/2018);

A Bill for an Act to Establish the Forest Research Institute of Nigeria; and for Related Matters (HB. 41) – Committee of the Whole: 27/3/2018);

A Bill for An Act to Establish National Postgraduate College of Medical Laboratory Science to Conduct Professional Postgraduate Examination of Candidates into various specialized branches of Medical Laboratory Science; and for Related Matters (HB. 405) – Committee of the Whole: 27/3/2018);

A Bill For an Act to Establish Nigerian Academy of Science to Promote the Growth, Acquisition and Dissemination of Scientific Knowledge and to facilitate the use of Science in the solution to problems of National Interest; and for Related Matters (HB.917) – Committee of the Whole: 27/3/2018);

A Bill for an Act to Provide for Corporate Manslaughter by making Corporate Organisations Criminally Liable for Death of Employees arising from their acts or Omissions; and for Related Matters (HB.273) – Committee of the Whole: 27/3/2018);

A Bill for an Act to Establish National Assembly Budget and Research Office which provides the National Assembly with Objective, Timely and Non-partisan Analysis needed for Economic and Budget Decisions; and for Related Matters (HB.377) – Committee of the Whole: 27/3/2018);

A Bill for an Act to Establish National Child Protection and Enforcement Agency to provide necessary Protection and Care for the Nigerian Children; and for Related Matters (HB.127) – Committee of the Whole: 27/3/2018);

A Bill for an Act to Establish Federal Capital Territory Civil Service Commission charged with the responsibility for Appointment, Promotion and Discipline of Staff and Employees in the Civil Service of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja; and for Related Matters (HB.167) – Committee of the Whole: 27/3/2018);

A Bill for an Act to Establish Animal Health Husbandry Technologists Registration Board of Nigeria to Regulate the Practice of Animal Health and Husbandry Technologists in Nigeria; and for Related Matters (HB.320) – Committee of the Whole: 27/3/2018)

A Bill for an Act to Repeal the Consumer Protection Act, Cap C25, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004, Establish the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission and the Competition and Consumer Protection Tribunal for the Development and Promotion of Fair, Efficient and Competitive Markets in the Nigerian Economy, Facilitate Access by all Citizens to Safe Products, Secure the Protection of Rights for all Consumers in Nigeria and for Related Matters (HBs1 and 60) – Committee of the Whole: 27/3/2018)

Adjournment

The House adjourned plenary until Thursday, March 29 by the Speaker.

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