Plenary proceedings of the House of Representatives for Thursday, July 19, 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, July 18, 2018
Hon. Lazarus Ogbee brought a petition from some individuals who were victims of advanced free fraud and then intimidated and later had their lives threatened when they tried to get redress.
Hon. Amuda-Kannike Abubakar brought the petition from about 5,000 of his constituents whose houses and shops were demolished by the N.N.P.C using the Nigerian Army, they have come to terms with the demolition, but seek compensation so that they can pick up the pieces of their lives.
Hon. Jerome Amadi brought a petition from a community in his constituency on the case of military invasion, forceful seizure, and intimidation by a garrison command in the community.
All Petitions referred to the Committee on Public Petitions.
MATTERS OF PUBLIC IMPORTANCE
Hon. Suleiman Salisu Moved the Motion on the destruction of lives and properties by rainstorm on July 15th, 2018 in a community in his constituency in Katsina State. He stated that many individuals are now confined to a primary school for shelter. He commended the Federal Government for their visit. He also urged N.E.M.A to help with relief materials and that the House of Representatives sends a delegation to the area to commiserate with the victims. The Motion was Voted on and Passed.
Hon. Diri Douye Moved the Motion on the need to investigate the processes of licensing rounds and financial proceeds of the oil and gas fields operators. He stated that though the economic potentials of such fields are enormous to the economy of Nigeria; it is sad that the operations and remittance of funds back to government is skeletal as the operators keep claiming to be battling with a range of challenges from environmental, financial to procedural. He also noted that the D.P.R has also not lived up to its billing in the supervision of the operation, this has made the process which should be a large contributor to the national funds remit barely 4% earnings of the national coffers. The result is a recurring system of huge revenue loss which can no longer go unnoticed and unresolved. He called on the House to investigate the financial and other clogs complained about by the operators and also the licensing process as a whole. As an investigative Motion, it was voted on and Passed.
Hon. Prestige Ossy Moved the Motion on the need to investigate the status of the welfare of the servicemen and women of the security officers of Nigeria. He raised the Motion due to the increasing state of illegalities nationwide by unknown elements. He stated that the trend seems to show that the security operatives are at the receiving end. He stated that the reports of the lack of prompt welfare remuneration to the men and officers of the security personnel could be responsible for the lack of motivation which may cause the downward trend. As an Investigative Motion, it was voted on and Passed.
PRESENTATION OF BILLS
1. Emergency Powers Act (Repeal and Re-Enactment) Bill, 2018 (HB.1532) (Hon. Sergius O. Ogun) – First Reading.
2. Education (National Minimum Standards and Establishment of Institutions) Act (Amendment) Bill, 2018 (HB .1533) (Hon. Sergius O. Ogun) – First Reading.
3. Government Performance and Results (Establishment) Bill, 2018 (HB. .1534) (Hon. Sergius O. Ogun) – First Reading.
ORDERS OF THE DAY
CONSOLIDATION OF BILLS
(a)A Bill for an Act to Amend the Federal Road Safety Commission Act, Cap. F 19, Laws
of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 to Introduce Stiffer Penalties for Traffic Offences; and for Related Matters (HB. 1483) (Hon. Babatunde Gabriel Kolawole).
(b) A Bill for an Act to Amend the Federal Road Safety Commission Act, 2007 to Ensure the Safe Commercial Transportation of Glass Bottled Drinks on Roads and Highways; and for Related Matters (HB. 1450) (Hon. Olufemi Fakeye).
Hon. Orker Jev Moved for the Consolidation of the Bills and it was Seconded by Hon. Udende Emmanuel.
BILLS FOR SECOND READING
2. A Bill for an Act to Offer Legal Protection to People who give Reasonable Assistance and Medical Services or Aid to an ill, Injured or Unconscious Person at the immediate scene of an Accident or Emergency that has caused the Illness, Injury or Unconsciousness; and for Related Matters (Hon. Abubakar Amuda-Kannike G) (HB. 601) – Second Reading.
Item Stepped down for further Legislative Action by leave of the House.
A Bill for an Act to Establish the Federal Polytechnic, Gwoza, Borno State to Provide for Equity and Access to Tertiary Education in the Country, make Comprehensive Provision for its due Management and Administration; and for Related Matters (HB. 1429) (Hon. Asabe Vilita Bashir) – Second Reading.
Hon. Asabe Moved for the Second Reading of the Bill and it was Seconded by Hon. Abdullahi Usman.
Hon. Asabe in leading the debate stated that the State of Borno which is the second largest State in the nation have their teeming population educationally short-changed with the lack of adequate Federal Tertiary Education Institutions in the State. This has made the State to be listed among the educationally disadvantaged States of the nation. Gwoza the community where the proposed polytechnic would be sited has become one of the most populous communities in the State without the presence of a Tertiary Institute of learning. She pointed out that the proposed Institute would cater for individuals even from neighboring communities, this she said would help in curbing the ignorance that leads to the engagement in vices and insurgency. Hon. Baballe Bashir stated that when schools are opened, prisons are decongested. He praised the Motions and Bills seeking to promote education in Nigeria through the establishment and professionalizing. He however expressed caution in the indiscriminate establishment of such Federal Institutions that may prove too expensive for the nation to cater for all of them. He stated that States like Borno with little Federal Government Institutions are however eligible for such. Hon. Tahir Monguno stated that the case of Borno is indeed pathetic and he urged Members to single out the proposition of Borno for speedy consideration. The Bill was Voted on, Read the Second time and referred to the Committee on Tertiary Education and Services.
A Bill for an Act to Establish the Federal University, Omoku and to make Comprehensive Provisions for its due Management and Administration; and for Related Matters (HB. 1458) (Hon. Uchechuku G. Nnam-Obi) – Second Reading.
Hon. Nnam Obi Moved for the Second Reading of the Bill and it was Seconded by Hon. Chidoka Obinna.
Hon. Nnam Obi stated that the Bill is aimed at enhancing the educational services enjoyed by the people of the region. The Institute started as a Teaching College but population influx due to urbanization has created the dire need for the upgrade of the Institute to a Federal University. He pointed out that 3 out of the 7 NIPP national Projects in the country are sited in the area, hence it deserves this Federal gesture. He also noted that the upgrade has happened in various other communities in the country, it is only logical for their desire to be fulfilled so that access to quality education and employment can be enjoyed by residents of the region and the country at large. Hon. Lovett Idisi in speaking to the Bill stated that the region is also an oil and gas producing region and due to its contribution to the national economy, it deserves more in infrastructural development which would positively engage the youth of the region and ensure peace and progress for the nation. Hon. Mohammed Sani stated that in supporting the Bill he considers the balance and equity in establishing these Institutions so that the distribution of federal institutions would be equal. He stated that there should be responsible in considering such sitting since some seem to be just for scoring cheap political election points which then starve deserving regions from achieving their much needed infrastructure. Hon. Obinna Chidoka in supporting the Bill stated that it saddens him to see Universities shut down due to the paucity of funds. He pointed out that the trend in which the world is moving is one that cannot be kept up with without the availability of quality education. The Bill was Voted on, Read the Second time and referred to the Committee on Tertiary Education and Services.
Need to investigate the concession of the National Carrier:
Hon. Dennis Agbo
Notes that the absence of a national airline in Nigeria has resulted in huge loss of revenue and capital flight from Nigeria whose flying population constitutes the largest air traffic in Africa;
Also notes the recent attempt to revive the national carrier by the Minister of State or Aviation, Hon. Haidi Sirika who has obtained a conditional Certificate of Compliance along with the Outline Business Case (OBC) from Infrastructure Concession and Regulatory Commission (ICRC);
Concerned that as a result of the questionable manner the process was carried out, the arrangement might fail again and bring the nation avoidable losses and embarrassment;
Aware that while the Infrastructure Concession and Regulatory Commission (ICRC), in the conditional Certificate, stated that the process should be at zero investment and zero management interference by government, the Federal Ministry of Transportation of has already indicated an initial requirement of $8.8 million and another $300 million for purchase of aircrafts by December 2018, all of which are not included in the budget of 2018 and has equally gone ahead to organize a road show scheduled for today in London;
Concerned that the Ministry has proceeded with the process in such curious, hastened and in complete disregard of the pre-conditions in the Outline Business Case (OBC) by the Infrastructure Concession and Regulatory Commission(ICRC) charged with ensuring the integrity and favourable outcome of any concession of national assets;
Set up an Ad-hoc Committee to investigate the process of the concession of the national carrier, and ensure the selection of a credible and capable core investor, with a view to avoiding any failure, losses or embarassment to the nation, and report back within six (6) weeks for further legislative action.
Item stepped down by leave of the House.
Urgent Need to Investigate Over 50 Billion Dollars (8 Trillion Naira) Loss in Gold Tax Revenue and Illegal Mining in the Last 5 years:
Hon. Ehiozuwa Johnson Agbonayinma:
Notes the need to diversify from reliance on crude oil to alternative sources of revenue to cushion the effects of the nation’s dwindling oil revenue;
Also notes that the mining sector is a key driver in National Economic Development as Nigeria has the fourth largest reserve of bitumen in the world and the second largest Iron ore deposits in Africa, as well as abundant coal resources;
Concerned that the Mining industry in Nigeria is under-utilized, leading to importation of minerals that could produce domestically;
Also concerned that from reports in 2016 by Signal One International (SOI), a privately owned United States Company, Nigeria has lost over $50 billion in gold revenue tax over the last 2 years as a result of illegal mining and exportation of unprocessed Gold;
Aware that the former Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Dr. Kayode Fayemi identified inadequate tracking as key challenges to effective monitoring of revenue leakages in the Nations mining sector;
Worried that reports from the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) indicated that in 2014 and 2015, Nigeria lost about $9 billion to illegal mining operations and gold exportation;
Also Worried at the current average price of $1,200 per ounce of gold in the international market, which amounts to an unaccounted sum of $4,232,400 per day and $1,544,826,000 per annum, considering that one kilogram is equal to 35.27 ounces, going by international rates;
Set up an Ad-hoc Committee to investigate the revenue leakages in the mining sector and the illegal mining of the country’s mineral resources in the last 5 years, as well as the activities of the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development in curtailing and tracking all mineral movement within and outside Nigeria, and report back to the House within six (6) weeks for further Legislative action.
Hon. Johnson Moved the Motion and it was Seconded by Hon. Shehu Shagari. Hon. Johnson in leading the Motion stated that if the deposits of minerals have been well harnessed by Nigeria , they would contribute more to the national economy than oil. Hon. Shehu Shagari stated that when the former Minister was before the House he unfortunately showed sympathy for illegal miners to the dismay of Members. He stated that some of the regional killings going on are as a result of the illegal mining activities. He urged for the full investigation, apprehension and prosecution of all perpetrators. Hon. Beni Lar stated that in the spirit of economic diversification, the federal government needs to do more to curb illegal mining in the bud so that the continuous revenue loss would cease. She stated that authorities have not done enough to secure the solid mineral sector and ensure al activities are done within the purview of the law guiding the sector. Hon. Nnenna Ukeje stated that during the interactive session between the House and Heads of Government M.D.As the clear vision of these Heads were sought to ensure the slump in oil prices doesn’t overly adversely affect the country’s economy. It was envisaged then that the mining sector which acknowledged various deposits of marketable minerals nationwide would account for at least 10% of national revenues. She wondered why the shortfall and almost complete neglect of, and disregard for the benefits of the sector. She pointed at South Africa who are enriched by the economic mining of minerals who Nigeria needs as a matter of urgency emulate. Hon. Samuel Onuigbo stated that for a nation so endowed like Nigeria, economic diversification should not be an option, but a way of life. The diversification would only be an added blessing due to the wide spread of all these minerals. He also stated that the mining needs to be regulated for the security of life and property of the indigenes of the region. He stated that the regulations of the mining sector is also of importance to ensure the activities are carried out to ensure there is no damage to the environment and people of the region. The Prayer of the Motion was Amended so it could be referred to an already existing Ad-Hoc Committee of the House previously constituted to investigate the loss of revenue in the mining industry through the illegal mining of all solid minerals, not just gold that this exact Motion focuses on. The Motion was then Voted on and Passed as amended.
Danger of Pilots Flying under the Influence of Alcohol and Psychoactive Substances:
Hon. Taofeek Abiodun Adaranijo:
Notes that the practice of pilots or members of the crew being under the influence of alcohol or any psychoactive substance is worrisome;
Aware that by the provision of the Nigeria Civil Aviation Regulations, members of the crew shall not engage in any use of substances while on duty, and a violation of this provision attracts a suspension of the defaulter
Also aware that in December 2016, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) suspended the medical certificates of five members of the crew who tested positive to marijuana during a drug-screening test conducted on participants of the Cabin Crew Training Basic Course at the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology (NCAT) Zaria, Kaduna State;
Further aware that when the NCAA in May 2017 conducted random tests on 87 personnel from Air Peace, Med-View and Air Traffic Controllers of the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) as they were about to embark upon flight operations and air traffic control duties, a member of crew was tested positive to a psychoactive substance – Tetrahydrocannabinol (THe) which is known to be the chemical responsible for most of marijuana’s psychological effects;
Worried that psychoactive drugs work by manipulating the synapses in- between nerves in the central nervous system thereby distorting thought processes and causing a variety of side effects such as anxiety, psychosis, mood swings, depression and sleep problems- all of which are not suitable to the job demands of pilots/members of crew;
Also notes that flying as a pilot or member of crew requires the highest level of sobriety and clear headedness, the use of alcohol or psychoactive substances therefore endangers the lives of passengers on board an airplane;
(i) Call on the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) to routinely subject members of crew and pilots to various tests before and after flights to determine their fitness or otherwise to fly;
(ii) Also call on the Airline operators to diligently ensure that only sober pilots/members of the crew are allowed to fly their planes and this diligence should also extend to the initial period of employment.
(iii) Mandate the Committee on Aviation to liaise with the Ministry of Transportation to ensure implementation of the Resolution.
Hon. Abiodun Moved the Motion and it was Seconded by Hon. Diri Douye.
Hon. Abiodun in leading the debate stated that the Motion was a preventive one and seeks to bring to the notice of the regulators of the Aviation Industry the need to ensure the Nigerian skies remain safe from disasters that may be due to human negligence, errors and promiscuity. He advised for periodic and unscheduled drug tests on all aviation operatives and take the findings extremely serious. Hon. Edward Pwajok in supporting the Motion stated that the Motion is a life saving one and the fact that any personnel can test positive is a serious issue as anyone could have been in any such compromised aircrafts. Hon. Oghene Emma stated that the aviation sector is one that must always be regulated strictly as they represent the image of the country internationally and all Laws must be duly enforced for the safety of lives. Hon. Abdulrazak Namdas in supporting the Motion observed that the heading of the Motion is too harsh especially if it makes headlines. It portrays the nation in a bad light, especially as the Motion is preventive and not that drug use is prevalent in the Nigerian Aviation Industry. The Motion was Voted on and Passed.
Need for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to achieve Optimum Registration of Voters before the Deadline of the Ongoing Continuous Registration Exercise:
Hon. Rotimi Agunsoye:
Notes that one of the responsibilities of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is to provide necessary arrangements and ensure that eligible voters are given the required opportunity to register to vote;
Also notes that INEC recently announced that it will suspend the current Continuous Registration Exercise of voters on Friday 17th August 2018;
Cognizant that the implication of the suspension is that any Nigerian, 18 years and above, who does not register by August 2018, would be ineligible to vote in the 2019 General Elections;
Concerned that some people may be shut out from the INEC’s Continuous Registration Exercise and will ultimately be denied the opportunity to vote in the 2019 General Elections;
Aware that INEC only runs their Continuous Voters Registration Exercise from Monday to Friday, during the general office hours;
Worried that some Nigerians who resume work between of 7.00am and 8.00am and between 4.00pm and 6.00pm, having to travel many hours to and from their work place, would most likely not get to the closest INEC registration point to their homes before they closed for the day;
Also concerned that the on-going Continuous Voters Registration has barely thirty (30) days to round up, failure of which some citizens may become ineligible to vote in the forthcoming 2019 General Elections;
Also cognizant that there ought not to be any impediment against any electorate who desires to vote;
Desirous of ensuring that every Nigerian is given adequate opportunity to exercise his or her civic responsibility and be allowed to register to vote in the 2019 General Elections;
(i)Urge the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to include Saturdays and Sundays (weekends) as part of the days for the current Continuous Voters Registration Exercise, which would be suspended on 17th August 2018;
(ii)Also urge the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to give consideration to electorates by removing impediments limiting them from being able to register to vote;
(iii)Mandate the Committee on Electoral and Political Party Matters to ensure compliance and report back within seven (7) days for further legislative action.
Item Stepped down by leave of the House.
Need for the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) to Account for the 3% Translating into Billions of Naira Accrued to it from the 7% Port Development Levy:
Hon. D.C. Hosea:
Notes that a Port Development Levy is collected from all shipments and is calculated at 7% of the import duty for Ports reconstruction and development;
Also notes that 3% out of the 7% Ports Development Levy accrued to the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) is for ports development and development of new ones;
Aware that Concession of Ports in Nigeria is in line with International best practices to free government resources for other social services to its citizens.
Also aware that before the Ports Concession Agreement of 2006, the function of the NPA was that of Port Operation (Cargo Operation), replacement of vital equipment, plants and expansion of ports;
Further aware that after the 2006 port concession, replacement of vital equipment and plants, expansion of port infrastructure under the terminal operators that are responsible for ports operation are no longer the responsibility of the NPA;
Worried that despite the huge amount accrued to the Agency from the 3% out of the 7% Port Development Levy, the Agency cannot maintain some internal roads thereby causing serious traffic congestion in Apapa, Tin Can Port and other ports across the country;
Constitute an Ad-hoc Committee to ascertain the amount accrued from the 3% of the 7% Ports Development Levy with a view to determining whether the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) should drop the three percent (3%) development levy it received since the Concession of the Ports in 2006 and report back within four (4) weeks for further legislative action.
Item stepped down by leave of the House for further Legislative consultation.
The House suspended its Rules to allow the Speaker to Preside over the Committee of the Whole
CONSIDERATION OF REPORT (HOUSE IN THE COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE) Rt. Hon. Yakubu Dogara Presiding
Report of Conference Committee:
Hon. Musa Sarkin Adar:
“That the House do consider the Report of the Conference Committee on a Bill for an Act to Provide for Establishment of the National Transport Commission as an Independent Multi-Modal Regulator for the Regulated Transport Industry Sectors; and for Related Matters and approve the recommendations therein” (Laid: 7/6/2018).
Synopsis of the Report
Hon. Orker Jev pointed out that the Report is that of a Conference Committee that sought to harmonize the views of both the Senate and House of Representatives who earlier had differing views but were harmonized by the constituted Conference Committee. The question was put on wether or not to adopt the Report, it was Voted on and Adopted.
HOUSE IN PLENARY:
The House in Plenary Adopted the Voting of the House in the Committee of the Whole.
The House adjourned Plenary till Tuesday, July 24, by 11:00 Am
Watch The Full Plenary Here