Proceedings of Senate of Tuesday 12th November, 2019

Proceedings of Senate of Tuesday 12th November, 2019

PROCEEDINGS OF THE NIGERIAN SENATE OF TUESDAY, 12TH NOVEMBER, 2019.

Welcome to a new Legislative Day in the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Senate President Dr. Ahmad Lawan PhD, CON led the Principal Officers into the Chambers; took the official prayers; and begin the day’s proceedings at 10:23am.

Senator Bima Enagi Muhammad moved for the approval of votes and proceedings of Thursday, 7th November, 2019.
Senator Michael Nnachi Seconded.

POINT OF ORDER

Senator Tolu Odebiyi cited Order 42 and informed the Senate on petrol tankers not being able to deliver petrol within 20km of the border.

Motion was approved for presentation at next legislative day.

PRESENTATION OF BILLS

  • First Reading.
  1. National Religious Equity Commission (Est,etc) Bill, 2019 (SB.08) by Senator Stella Oduah, Stella Adaeze.

National Religious Equity Commission (Est,etc) Bill, 2019 (SB.08) was read for the first time

  1. Constituency Development Fund (Est,etc) Bill, 2019 (SB.14) by Senator Ali Ndume.

Constituency Development Fund (Est,etc) Bill, 2019 (SB.14) was read for the First Time.

  1. National Agency For Technology Incubation (Est,etc) Bill, 2019 (SB.18) by Senator Ajayi Boroffice.

National Agency For Technology Incubation (Est,etc) Bill, 2019 (SB.18) was read for the First Time.

  1. National War College Act CAP N82 LFN 2004 (Amendment) Bill, 2019 (SB.43) by Senator ALIYU Wamakko.

National War College Act CAP N82 LFN 2004 (Amendment) Bill, 2019 (SB.43) was read for the First Time.

  1. Compulsory Free Universal Education Act CAP C52 LFN 2004 (Amendment) Bill, 2019 (SB.44) by Senator Rose Oko.

Compulsory Free Universal Education Act CAP C52 LFN 2004 (Amendment) Bill, 2019 (SB.44) was read for the First Time.

  1. Private Security and Forensic Investigation Bureau of Nigeria (Est, etc) Bill, 2019 (SB. 52) by Senator Barinada Mpigi.

Private Security and Forensic Investigation Bureau of Nigeria (Est, etc) Bill, 2019 (SB. 52) was read for the First Time.

  1. Police Act CAP P19 LFN 2004 (Amendment) Bill, 2019 (SB. 91) by Senator Betty Apiafi.

Police Act CAP P19 LFN 2004 (Amendment) Bill, 2019 (SB. 91) was read for the First Time.

  1. Federal University of Agriculture and Technology Funtua (Est, etc) Bill, 2019 (SB. 150) by Senator Bello Mandiya

Federal University of Agriculture and Technology Funtua (Est, etc) Bill, 2019 (SB. 150) was read for the First Time.

  1. Federal College of Education (Technical) Kaima, Kwara State (Est, etc) Bill, 2019 (SB. 151) by Senator Suleiman Sadiq.

Federal College of Education (Technical) Kaima, Kwara State (Est, etc) Bill, 2019 (SB. 151) was read for the First Time.

  1. Federal University of Gashau (Est, etc) Bill, 2019 (SB. 152) by Senator Abubakar Abdullahi.

Federal University of Gashau (Est, etc) Bill, 2019 (SB. 152) was read for the First Time.

  1. Federal Medical Centre Dekina (Est, etc) Bill, 2019 (SB. 153) by Senator Jibrin Isah.

Federal Medical Centre Dekina (Est, etc) Bill, 2019 (SB. 153) was read for the First Time.

  1. National Commission for the Prohibition of Hate Speeches (EST, etc) Bill, 2019 (SB. 154) by Senator Aliyu Sabi.

National Commission for the Prohibition of Hate Speeches (EST, etc) Bill, 2019 (SB. 154) was read for the First Time.

Senate President Dr. Ahmad Lawan commended the Committees for working so hard on the 2020 Budget.

“The ball is now in the Committee of appropriations and we expect them to galvanize into action and produce the report to be laid here on the 26th of November so that we can pass the Appropriations on the 28th of November.” – Senate President Ahmad Lawan.

CONSIDERATION OF A REPORT

Report of Ad-Hoc Committee on Pipeline Explosions by Senator Gobir, Ibrahim Abdullahi

“I want to say that If there is no punishment for any offense committed in the land, it will be repeated severally. We must find people in charge and discipline them. I am suggesting that the Downstream Committee should follow up with this report and ensure people who are managing these pipelines and concerned should face the music. 96 souls were lost and nobody is bothered until you sent this Committee to go and find them. Mr President we have to ensure they are punished. We have to look at everything holistically.” – Senator Chukwuka Utazi.

“Those that are found culpable should be punished; there is negligence on the part of those that are supposed to be monitoring the pipeline. We have found out that there is gross negligence and should not be ignored.“ – Senator Hadejia Hassan Ibrahim

“This issue of pipeline vandalism is being misunderstood. This is a very sophisticated operation. Let us widen the scope and focus on sophisticated criminal ring. I think we need to identify that it goes beyond 90+ victims.” – Senator Adamu Aliero

“Our country has gotten to a point where some people are ready to make money at all cost and that should be a thing of concern. Let the pipeline issue be contracted out.” – Senator Rochas Okorocha.

“The people that carry out this operation are very sophisticated and well trained. It is a deliberate act, they know what to do and in active connivance. Lots of lives are being lost almost on a monthly basis. I think we should get the locals more involved in protecting all the pipelines. I want to support my colleagues that they should be punished and get the communities where the pipelines pass to secure the pipelines.” – Senator Ibikunle Amosun.

“This report is very deep and clearly articulated but this is also a critical matter that must be emphasized. We will continue to talk about this if something proactive is not done. I do think clearly that we cannot use 18th century method to deal with 21st century challenge. If the right technology is applied in taking care of this pipeline we will not have this anymore at least will be reduced to the nearest minimum.” – Senator Onor Sandy Ojang.

“I want to implore the Committee on Downstream to invite the NNPC in a view to review what they have been doing to secure the pipelines over the years. There must be sanctions, somebody would have to pay the price. We need to follow this report and considerations after being sent to the executive to find out what happens.” Senate President Ahmad Lawan.

The report was LAID.

MOTION

Urgent need to complete all the necessary components of Baro River Port Project of the Lower River Nigeria, by Senator Bima Muhammad Enagi and 23 others.

“I support this motion and also want to contribute to this debate. This projected started during the late President Musa Yar’Adua I’d blessed memory. When he awarded this contract, so many people were happy. The senate should do everything possible to ensure we complete the dredging of the River Niger.it is one project that will have great significance on the development of the country.” – Senator Adamu Aliero.

“Baro port is very significant, economically, Baro is one project that Nigeria needs. The employment that Baro will generate will benefit Nigerians from all works of life. It will advance the economic prosperity of Nigeria and neighboring country like Niger Republic.” Senator Ahmed Sani Musa

“I want to encourage our colleagues to see the importance of this motion. What I realized is that the Executive is not well informed and this cannot take action. For the importance of this motion, there is a need for the Senate President in particular to have an engagement with President Muhammadu Buhari to see the importance of putting in more funds towards the completion of the project.” Senator Danjuma Laah Tella

“I support this motion that we invite the minister of go to my presidency so that we overcome this hindrance on ” – Senator Sam Egwu

Senate Resolved To:
Urge the Federal Government to make funds available to contractors handling Baro River Port project for final completion;

Urge the Federal Government of Nigeria to Transfer the roads project to Presidential Infrastructure Development Fund (PIDF) for better funding and execution;

Urge the Federal Government of Nigeria to facilitate the rehabilitation of the Narrow Guage Railway in Baro to ensure the rapid socio-economic growth of Nigeria;

Also Urge that there should be continuous dredging and maintenance by NIWA of the Rivers Niger and Benue to ensure the navigatability;

Mandate the Senate Committees on Maritime Transport, Public Procurement and Works to investigate NIWA activities in respect of Baro Port and make adequate recommendations to facilitate early completion.

Urge that there should be continuous dredging and maintenance by NIWA of the lower River Niger and other affected rivers yet to be dredged;

That the Senate engage with the Executive arm of government on the importance of the completion of the dredging of the River Niger; and
Urge the Federal Government to extend the dredging of the River Niger to Yauri, Kebbi State.

Senate adopted prayers as amended.

Urgent Need to revamp the Nation’s Comatose Textile Industry, by Senator Barkiya, Abdullahi Kabir.

Senator Robert Ajayi Borrofice seconded the motion.

“The closure of our Border is an eye opener. China closed its borders for 40 years for to allow for industrialization. The closure of the border should be extended so as to allow us to put our house in order. This is an opportunity for us to resuscitate our textile industry.” – Senator Ajayi Borrofice

“I fully support what the intent of this motion is which is to encourage local manufacturing and to expand our employment opportunities. I totally disagree with Senator Borrofice on the closure of the border. Closing the border and doing nothing will not lead us to creation of textiles. The fact is we are unable to produce the cottons that we need, far more important is the issue of power. Power was the key problem that made most of the textile mills closed. The Federal Government should do the fundamentals and have a comprehensive look at each part of the metrics that has led to the problem.” – Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe

“Without power, you cannot make any meaningful impact in any manufacturing sector. First is to address the issue of power, with that the cost of production would have reduced drastically and manufacturers will be able to make profit. If we take concrete actions on some of these issues, I believe our economy will be enhanced and consequently we will reduce unemployment and criminality in our society.” – Senator Gabriel Suswam.

“We need to revamp this particular sector, we need to look at it holistically on the economic perspective. I submit that it will be necessary that the Executive should look at this sector holistically.” – Senator Ibrahim Yahaya Oloriegbe

“Let us eat what we produce; let us produce what we eat. The Senate Leadership should meet with the Executive and submit the strongest possible memorandum on some of the things that we are suggesting here.” – Senator Abdullahi Adamu

“This is a motion that is important and will help in achieving a paradigm shift to an expanded and diversified economy. If we do the needful to revive the textile industry, the benefits accrue to us as a nation are enormous.” – Senator Kola Balogun.

“First and foremost thing to do is to bring back power supply to the capacity we need. I urge my colleagues to please support this motion and make it work so that we will be able to move this country to where it is supposed to be.” – Senator Shabi Yau.

“We have signed into the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (ACFTA) and we have to be prepared for the repercussions. We need to up our game and have to be competitive. The problem is largely on the issue of power; secondly, we have to stop smuggling and we have to be in a hurry because by signing ACFTA, we have consciously run into an arrangement where companies produce their things in other countries and ship it to Nigeria. We really need to push for a better power sector in the country. We have to really sit and find ways to solve this issue better and faster because time is of essence here.” – Senate President Ahmad Lawan

The Senate Resolved to:
Urge the Federal Government to encourage local Textile manufacturing companies by providing them with soft loans and easy access to credit facilities through the Bank of Industry;

Appeal to the Federal Government to restrict the importation of foreign textile materials; and
Appeal to the Federal Government to provide the necessary infrastructural facilities especially power supply to local Textile Manufacturing Companies.
Urge the Federal Government to increase its support for cotton farmers with soft loans and easy access to credit facilities through the Bank of Agriculture;

Take holistic assessment of the industry value chain from cotton to garment production and come up with a revitalization plan that will address the whole value chain from cotton to garment production;

Appeal to the Federal Government to Maintain the closure of the border for an additional time to ensure support for local manufacturers; and
Appeal to the Federal Government to totally ban the importation of foreign textile materials for five years to allow the production of local ones.

Senate adopted prayers as amended.

ADJOURNMENT

Senate Leader moved that plenary be adjourned to another legislative day. Minority Leader seconded.

Senate adjourned plenary to Wednesday, 13th November, 2019.

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