House of Representatives Plenary Proceedings for Thursday April 26, 2018

House of Representatives Plenary Proceedings for Thursday April 26, 2018

Plenary proceedings of the House of Representatives for Thursday, April 26, 2018, The Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Yakubu Dogara presiding

After leading the opening prayer, the Speaker went on to examine and approve plenary votes and proceedings for Wednesday, April 25, 2018

PETITIONS

Hon. Sergius brought the Petition from a Constituent whose pension has not been paid from the contributory pension trust fund he engaged in, despite all efforts to retrieve his portion. He asked for the intervention of the House.

Hon. Yakubu Barde brought a petition from a community in his constituency who owned a parcel of land that the Federal Government procured for the building of a prison facility. After the construction however, there was still a substantial part of the land that should have been returned to the community. Instead, the personnel of the Nigerian Prisons are using the land for personal and commercial purposes, even selling off parts of it. The community pleaded with the House to intervene on the Matter.

MOTIONS OF URGENT PUBLIC IMPORTANCE

Hon. Mohammed Soba Moved the Motion on the perception of Nigerians that the running cost of the Legislature is too much, in that light he seeks a wholistic research on the running costs of all Arms of Government. He stated that: “The security votes cannot provide security and the wholistic research should cover all Arms of Governments and their running costs so that the Nigerian people can be enlightened on how every Arm of Government expending their running costs in line with the provision of the Freedom of Information Act”. It was voted on and passed.

Hon. Chukwuemeka Ujam moved the Motion on a devastating rain storm that devastated a wide area of a community in his constituency which affected residential buildings and schools. He called on N.E.M.A to immediately provide relief to the affected families.

Hon. Sadiq Ibrahim moved the Motion on the planned repatriation of Nigerian refugees from Cameroon. He stated that there are over 4,000 Nigerians stranded in neighboring African countries willing to return home. There was an Treaty signed between all the neighboring countries to treat all refugees well, and ensure their protection with logistics and medical attention. It has however been discovered from some refugees who recently arrived that they were treated with disdain and wickedness. He expressed fear for the fate of the other over 4,000 still in Neighboring Countries, especially Cameroon. He urged for their immediate air lift from Cameroon. The Motion was voted on and passed.

PRESENTATION OF REPORTS

Report of Conference Committee:

Hon. Ossai N Ossai: “That the House do receive the Report of the Conference Committee on a Bill for an Act to Establish the Nigeria Maritime University, Okerenkoko, Delta State; and for Related Matters, 2018”.

Report laid on the Floor of the House.

Committee on Defence:

​Hon. Muktar Betara Aliyu: “That the House do receive the Report of the Committee on Defence on a Bill for an Act to Amend the Armed Forces Act, Cap. A20 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 to among other things Provide for specific Duties for Armed Forces Reserve in order to serve as a Rapid Response Mechanism with Capacity to Intervene in Emergency and Internal Security where the Nigerian Police were overwhelmed, Provide for the Appointment of the Chief of Defence Staff, to make the appointment of Service Chiefs subject to Confirmation by the National Assembly and for Related Matters” (HBs.70, 411, 149 and 802)

Report laid on the Floor of the House.

​Committee on Defence:

​Hon. Muktar Betara Aliyu: “That the House do receive the Report of the Committee on Defence on a Bill for an Act to Repeal the Defence Industry Corporation of Nigeria, Act Cap. D4, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 and Enact the Defence Industry Corporation of Nigeria; and for Related Matters” (HB. 399).

Report laid on the Floor of the House.

Committee on Defence:

​Hon. Muktar Betara Aliyu: “That the House do receive the Report of the Committee on Defence on a Bill for an Act to Establish the Security Services Welfare Infrastructure Development Commission to Provide among other things, Management and Review the State of Welfare Infrastructure of the Security Service; and for Related Matters” (HB. 83).

Report laid on the Floor of the House.

Committee on National Security and Intelligence

Hon. Aminu Sani Jaji: “That the House do receive the Report of the Committee on National Security and Intelligence on the Investigative Hearing on the Sources and Actual Ownership of the 43 Million US Dollars Recovered from a Residential Apartment at Osborne Road, Ikoyi, Lagos (HR. 169/2017).

Report laid on the Floor of the House.

Committee on Aviation:

​Hon. Nkeiruka Onyejeocha: “That the House do receive the Report of the Committee on Aviation on the MD83 Dana Aircraft Door Fall-Off at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos Pursuant to Order Eighteen, Rule 17 (2)c of the Standing Orders of the House of Representatives.

Report laid on the Floor of the House.

MOTIONS

Request to include the sum of US$496, 374, 470. 00 in the 2018 Appropriation Bill for the Purchase of Super Tucano Aircraft from the United States Government:
Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila

The House:

Notes that on Tuesday, 24 April, 2018, the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria sent a message to notify the House of Representatives of the decision to purchase Super Tucano Aircraft under a direct Government to Government arrangement with the United States of America;
Also notes that the President having considered that this highly specialized Aircraft is critical to national security, granted Presidential anticipatory approval for the release of US$496,374,470.00 which was paid directly to the treasury of the United States Government for the purchase of the Aircraft; Informed that in the said letter, the President sought the approval of the House of Representatives for the sum of US$496, 374,470.00 (N151, 394,421,335.00) to be included in the 2018 Appropriation Bill currently before the National Assembly;
Also informed that the balance of the requirements for critical operational equipment is still being collated from the different security services which its financial implication will be presented inform of a Supplementary Appropriation Bill to the National Assembly for approval;

Resolves to:

Invite the Honourable Ministers of Defence, Finance and other Appropriate Officers to brief the House on the need to include the sum of USD496, 374,470.00 (N151, 394,421,335.00) in the 2018 Appropriation Bill before the National Assembly.

Debate

Hon. Hon. Tahir Monguno Moved the Motion and it, was Seconded by Hon. Nasir Ahmed. A point of Order was raised by Hon. Ossai Nicholas stating the irregularity of the request of Mr. President contravening the Appropriation Act. Hon. Munir Baba stated that the President had not contravened any Provisions of the Constitution in his communication. Hon. Yussuff Lasun stated that the procedure to bring a substantive Bill is belated as the time of Public Hearing has passed, hence the written communication. Hon. Shehu Shagari pleaded with the sensitivity of the Members to allow the request from the President in light with the fact that the request is to beef up security for the nation, even though the powers of the National Assembly has been breached by the process. Hon. Lovette Idisi stated that the procedure is wrong and cannot be corrected by another unconstitutional process and the National Assembly does not perform retroactive Legislation. Hon. Simon Irabor added that the Presidency should have sent an addendum to the 2018 Appropriation Bill stating their intention, not to spend the funds without appropriation. In ruling, the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Yakubu Dogara explained that there is no straight forward approach, but what the communication seeks the House to approve is for expenditure already made. There are people watching the House to ensure what they do is Constitutional, even if it is not Constitutional; it should only allow National interest supersede. He ruled to refer Motion to the Committee of Rules and Business to see if there is any way it can be debated on a further Legislative day.

Urgent Need to Re-construct Dikwa-Marte- Monguno Federal Road in Borno State.
Hon. M.T. Monguno:

The House

Notes that Dikwa-Marte-Monguno road links Maiduguri the capital of Borno State to the other parts of southern Borno as it occupies 2/3 of the road network of the Southern Borno;

Aware that Boko Haram insurgents had buried mines along the road thus making it unmotorable;

Recalls that following success recorded in the fight against the Boko Haram by the military, people along the road that were displaced by the Boko Haram were advice to return to their ancestral towns and villages;
Also aware that the advice could not be heeded to because of the deplorable condition of the road, which needs reconstruction;

Acknowledges that reconstructing the Dikwa-Marte-Monguno road to a motorable state will ease the relocation of the inhabitants of villages and towns along the road;
Resolves to:

(i) Urge the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing to, without delay, commence the reconstruction of Dikwa-Marte-Monguno road in order to facilitate the return of the people displaced by the activities of the Boko Haram insurgents;

(ii) Mandate the Committees on Works and Appropriation to make provisions for reconstruction of the Dikwa-Marte-Monguno Federal road in the 2018 Budget estimates.

Debate

Hon. Monguno Moved the Motion and it was Seconded by Hon. Munir Baba. As an Infrastructure related Motion it was voted on and passed.

Urgent need to Establish an Army Barrack in Mubi, Adamawa State.

Hon. Adamu D.U. Kamale​​, Hon. Abdulrahman Shuiabu:

The House:

Note that Mubi is one of the most populated, commercially viable and strategic town bordering Michika, Uba and Hong all of which are bordering the deadly Sambisa forest being used as a major hide out by the Boko Haram insurgents;

Aware that there is no military Barracks in Mubi in spite of its strategic location which also include bordering the Republic of Cameroon;

Observes that the Nearest Army Barracks to Mubi are located in Yola and Biu in Borno State which are almost 300km away and therefore could not to the advantage of the teaming population in Mubi and nearby local governments in circumstances that require rapid response;
Further notes that Mubi is the most viable in terms of spring of insurgency, yet very vulnerable due to low security presence with absence of Military Barracks despite the strategic location, high population density and Commercialization;

Worried that the lives and property of innocent Nigerians in Mubi and all the surrounding local governments of Madagali, Michika, Maiha, Mubi South, Hong and Gombi will continue to be jeopardized against the spirit of the constitution which declared the security and the welfare of the people as the primary purpose of government if urgent action is not taken to establish an Army Barrack.

Resolves to;​​​​​​​​​​​​

(i)​Call on the Federal Government to establish an Army Barrack in Mubi to address the multiple security challenges in the zone; and

(ii)​Mandate the Committees on Army and Defence to ensure compliance.

Debate

Hon. Kamale Moved the Motion and it was Seconded by Hon. Abdulrahman Shuiabu. As an infrastructure provision Motion it was voted on and passed.

Need to Intervene in the Non-payment of Entitlement of Retirees:

Hon Albert Abiodun Adeogun

The House:

Notes that retirees in public sector, particularly University Lecturers suffer from non-payment of their pension entitlements;

Also notes that prior to 2004, Government was responsible for the payment of gratuity and pension benefits to public servants;

Further notes that by the provision of Pension Reform Act, 2014, the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS) compelled employees and employers in Public and Private sectors to collectively save a minimum of 18% of each worker’s emolument into the Employee’s Retirement Savings Account (RSA) as part of retirement benefits which is made up of 10% employer’s contribution and 8% employee’s contribution;

Aware that an individual who retired before the commencement of the Pension Reform Act, 2004 or discharged from employment or is disengaged before age of 50 and unable to secure employment within 4 months of disengagement is entitled to withdrawals from his retirement savings account not exceeding 25% of the total amount credited to his/her retirement savings account;

Also aware that the Federal Government computed the entitlements of the public servants who remained in service prior to Pension Reforms Act of 2004 and invested the savings on the Nigeria Mortgage Refinancing Company’s (NMRC’s) Securities and Treasury Bills which will yield interest for Contributors but not payable on retirement;
Further aware that though employers and employees make contributions to RSA, they cannot access the fund until the Federal Government pays its own portion of the pension that was invested in Treasury Bills / Mortgage and which, most times are unpaid for upward of 2years;

Worried that some of the retirees from University community who retired at the age of 70 years are afflicted with various ailments some of which could not be treated due to non-availability of funds;
Also worried that the introduction of the Contributory Pension Scheme which was meant to cure the abnormalities in the Pension Scheme before 2004 had not been achieved;
Concerned that the inability of the retirees to have access to their RSA until the Federal Government contributes its own portion of the scheme has exposed the retirees to an untold financial hardship;
Resolves to;

(i)​Urge the Federal Government to mandate the National Pension Commission (PENCOM) to authorize the payment of 25% out of the retirees’ savings from their respective Retirement Savings Accounts (RSA) pending the payment of the Federal Government’s part of the contribution to the Contributory Scheme.

(ii)​Mandate the Committee on Pensions to investigate the Federal Government’s delay in making available its portion of the contribution and report back within four (4) weeks for further legislative action.

Item stepped down by leave of the House.

Need to address the Excessive Charges for Driver’s License by the Federal Road Safety Commission

Hon. Johnson Egwakhide Oguma

The House:

Notes the increasing number of drivers on Nigerian roads and the need to certify them as being fit to the roads through acquiring driver’s licenses;

Aware that the approved rate by the Joint Task Force for driver’s license is N6350 for a two (2) year license and N10,000 for a five (5) year license, but on the contrary Nigerian are charged N18,000 for a two (2) year license and N25,000 for a five (5) year license;

Also aware of the general outcry that the process of acquiring driver’s license is becoming too cumbersome, which take about 90 to 180 days to process; and in case of a first timer, driver’s license are issued in most cases without undergoing the mandatory tests;

Concerned that due to the excessive charges and delay in the release of drivers’ licenses, prospective drivers result to self-help by driving without due documents, and in some cases resort to forging the licenses which may at the long run expose road users to unqualified drivers and loss of revenue to Government;

Determined to ensure that driver’s license are processed at the official rates and within the shortest period of time, while ensuring that proper training and tests are carried out for first time applicants.
Resolves to:

Mandate the Committee on Federal Road Safety Commission to investigate the high cost, of delay and lack of due process in the issuance of drivers’ licenses in Nigeria and report back within eight (8) weeks for further legislative action.

Debate

Hon. Oguma in leading the Debate decried the high cost implications of issuance of driver’s license to road users. He termed the procedure as too cumbersome and allows individuals in the black market to take advantage of Nigerians and extort them. This has led people to resolve to unwholesome practices like designing fake licenses. He urged for the support of the Motion in the interest of Nigerians. Hon. Garba Datti stated that the Constitution is clear on raising rates of tool of Public Agencies like driving licenses from the Road Safety. The powers of the National Assembly should be employed to check the arbitrary increase in levies, taxes and tariffs. The Motion was voted on and passed.

ORDERS OF THE DAY

BILLS FOR SECOND READING

A Bill for an Act to Establish the Federal University, Wukari and to make Comprehensive Provisions for its due Management and Administration and for Related Matters (HB. 810) (Leader (Senate) (Veto Override) — Second Reading.

Debate

Hon. Tahir Monguno Moved for the Second Reading of the Bill and it was Seconded by Hon. Lovette Idisi. Hon. Monguno stated that the Genesis of the Bill is that it had been passed, but the President refused accent. The Senate had retrieved it and asked for concurrence considering the fact that the University is already in existence and simply seeking legal backing. As an infrastructure related Bill, it was voted on, passed for Second Reading and referred to the House Committee of the Whole.

A Bill for an Act to Provide for Establishment of the Chartered Institute of Treasury Management, for the Promotion, the Study and Practice of Properly Managing the Treasury as a Safeguard against Fraud, Outright Embezzlement, Emasculation, Misappropriation/Misapplication of Resources placed in the Custody of Fund Managers; and for Related Matters (HB. 100) (Hon. E. Y Orker Jev) (Veto Override) – Second Reading.

Debate

Hon. Jev Moved for the Second Reading of the Bill and it was Seconded by Hon. Sylvester Ogbaga. Hon. Jev stated that the Bill was also passed and sent to the President for accent, which was withheld. He added that the reasons given for withholding accent was not on the merits of the Bill, but with some technicalities which have been corrected. He urged for the passing of the Bill so as to check financial misappropriation and fraud. The Bill was voted on, passed for Second Reading, the Clerk Read the Long Title of the Bill and it was referred to the Committee of the Whole.

A Bill for an Act to Establish the Chartered Institute of Public Management of Nigeria to provide for the Control of its Membership and Promote the Practice of Public Management in Nigeria; and for Related Matters (HB.77) (Hon. Sylvester Ogbaga) (Veto Override) – Second Reading.

Debate

Hon. Ogbaga Moved for the Second Reading of the Bill and it was Seconded by Hon. Orker Jev. In leading of the debate, Hon. Ogbaga stated that the Bill had been passed by both Chambers of the National Assembly and transmitted to the President but he withheld accent. He argued that there has to be a legal framework for practice of professional careers. He argued that the Bill was aiming to ensure that there is sanity in the Membership of Professional careers. He stated that the Institute was already existing, it only needed a strong Legal framework. The Bill was voted on, Passed for Second Reading, the Clerk Read the Long Title of the Bill and it was referred to the Committee of the Whole.

CONSIDERATION OF REPORTS (HOUSE IN THE COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE) Rt. Hon. Yussuff Lasun presiding:

Hon. Haliru Dauda Jika: “That the House do consider the Report of the Committee on Police Affairs on a Bill for an Act to Amend the Explosives Act, Cap. E18, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 Relating to their Regulations, Penalties for Defaulters, to make Provisions for the Control of Importation, Manufacture, Distribution, Storage, Possession and use of Firecrackers and Explosives, to Repeal the Explosives Act, Cap. E.18, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 and Re-Enact the Explosives Act, 2017 to make Comprehensive Provisions for the use and Control of Explosives in Nigeria and for Matters Connected Therewith (HBS. 379. 498, 552 and 670) (Laid: 9/11/2017).
967​​​​​Thursday, 26 April, 2018​​​​ No. 151

Clauses voted on and Carried.

Committee on National Security and Intelligence
Hon. Aminu Sani Jaji:
“That the House do consider the Report of the Committee on National Security and Intelligence on the Investigative Hearing on the Sources and Actual Ownership of the 43 Million US Dollars Recovered from a Residential Apartment at Osborne Road, Ikoyi, Lagos (HR. 169/2017) and approve the recommendations therein” (Laid:26/4/2018).

(i) that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission that spearheaded the discovery and recovery of the monies in question should follow due Judicial process to ensure;

(a) ​The forfeiture of the monies and the apartment to the Federal government;

​(b) ​Ensure diligent prosecution of all the suspects involved in the saga.

(ii) ​that all intervention funds given in the last administration to the Intelligence Agencies
should be further investigated;

(iii) ​that the where about of the remaining $202 Million US Dollars should be further investigated.

(iv) ​that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor should be sanctioned and reprimanded for refusing to appear before the Committee in clear contravention of Section 89 (1) a, b and c Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 as amended.

(v) ​that the Director of Accounts and Finance Abubakar Deridisu who by the findings of this Committee is evidently not culpable is recommended to be reinstated.

Report deferred for further Legislative input.

Adjournment

The House adjourned Plenary till Wednesday, May 2 by 11:00 Am

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