Nigeria Senate Proceedings of Wednesday 20th November 2019

Nigeria Senate Proceedings of Wednesday 20th 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 began the day’s proceedings at 10:30 am.

EXECUTIVE SESSION

Senate moved into an Executive Session at 10:33 am and resumed from its Executive Session at 11:03 am.

Senate President, Dr. Ahmad Lawan PhD, CON reported that at the Executive Session the Senate deliberated on the issues bordering on workings of the Nigerian Senate in particular and the National Assembly in general.

‪Senator Yahaya Oloriegbe moved for the approval of votes and proceedings of Tuesday, 19th November 2019. Senator Ifeanyi Ubah seconded.‬

PRESENTATION OF BILLS

  • First Reading
  1. Federal Polytechnic Akpabuyo, Cross River State (Est, etc) Bill, 2019 (SB. 177) by Senator Gershom Bassey.

Federal Polytechnic Akpabuyo, Cross River State (Est, etc) Bill, 2019 (SB. 177) was read the First Time.

  1. Electoral Act No. 6 2010 (Amendment) Bill, 2019 (SB. 179) by Senator Abba Moro.

Electoral Act No. 6 2010 (Amendment) Bill, 2019 (SB. 179) was read the First Time.

  1. Trade Mark Act CAP T13 LFN 2004 (Repeal & Re-enactment) Bill, 2019 (SB. 180) by Senator Kashim Shettima.

Trade Mark Act CAP T13 LFN 2004 (Repeal & Re-enactment) Bill, 2019 (SB. 180) was read the First Time.

  1. Police Act CAP P19 LFN 2004 (Repeal & Re-enactment) Bill, 2019 (SB. 181) by Senator Jika Halliru.

Police Act CAP P19 LFN 2004 (Repeal & Re-enactment) Bill, 2019 (SB. 181) was read the First Time.

  1. Police Academy (Est, etc) Bill, 2019 (SB. 182) by Senator Jika Halliru.

Police Academy (Est, etc) Bill, 2019 (SB. 182) was read the First Time.

  1. Investment and Security Act CAP I24 LFN 2004 (Amendment) Bill, 2019 (SB. 183) by Senator Ibikunle Amosun.

Investment and Security Act CAP I24 LFN 2004 (Amendment) Bill, 2019 (SB. 183) was read the First Time.

  1. 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (Alteration) Bill, 2019 (SB. 184) by Senator Uche Ekwunife.

1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (Alteration) Bill, 2019 (SB. 184) was read the First Time.

  1. Institute of Aviation Safety and Management Mbosi, Anambra State (Est, etc) Bill, 2019 (SB. 186) by Senator Ifeanyi Ubah.

Institute of Aviation Safety and Management Mbosi, Anambra State (Est, etc) Bill, 2019 (SB. 186) was read the First Time.

  1. Constituency Development Catalyst Fund (Est, etc) Bill, 2019 (SB. 187) by Senator Abdulfatai Buhari.

Constituency Development Catalyst Fund (Est, etc) Bill, 2019 (SB. 187) was read the First Time.

  1. National Food Reserve Agency (Est, etc) Bill, 2019 (SB. 189) by Senator Abdullahi Adamu.

National Food Reserve Agency (Est, etc) Bill, 2019 (SB. 189) was read the First Time.

CONSIDERATION OF BILLS

  • Second Reading
  1. A Bill for an Act to provide for the establishment and regulation of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, protect persons with mental health needs and establishment of National Commission for Mental and Substance Abuse Services, for the effective management of mental health in Nigeria and for other related matters, 2019 (SB. 66) by Senator Oloriegbe Yahaya.

“The wellness of our people is very important therefore anything we have to do as a nation that will improve the health of our people should be encouraged.”- Senator Matthew Urhoghide.

“This Bill is very important, patients with problems of drug abuse have been housed by non-professionals and catered for in a non-professional facility. We have seen clearly the damage that lack of mental healthcare facility has done in society. This Bill is one that we should consider carefully. I wish to thank Senator Oloriegbe for bringing this Bill to the Distinguished chamber so that we do the needful.”- Senator Abdullahi Yahaya.

“The business of drug abuse is very dynamic and for this reason, there is a need for a commission to take care of people suffering from this abuse.”- Senator Adamu Aliero.

A Bill for an Act to provide for the establishment and regulation of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, protect persons with mental health needs and establishment of National Commission for Mental and Substance Abuse Services, for the effective management of mental health in Nigeria and for other related matters, 2019 (SB. 66) was read the Second Time.

Senate President, Ahmad Lawan PhD, CON referred the Bill to the Committee on Health to report within four (4) weeks.

“Distinguished colleagues, I thank you for the various contributions made.”- Senate President, Ahmad Lawan PhD, CON.

  1. A Bill for an Act to establish the Federal University of Agriculture and Technology Funtua and to make comprehensive provisions for its due management and administration and for related matters, 2019 (SB. 150) by Senator Mandiya Bello.

“The Bill is important if we look at our commercial agriculture, we are still behind so we need an institution. Up till now, our farmers are still farming locally but if we have this institution then we can train commercial farmers. I, therefore, support this Bill.”- Senator Barkiya Kabir.

“Funtua used to be one of the major producers of groundnut and cotton in West Africa because of the large scale production. Funtua has been a place that has produced so much cash crops for this country and if we site this institution in this location, we will generate more income from agriculture. I call on all of us to support this Bill. The Bill will be able to take care of youths in that area that are not doing anything by engaging and training them to produce cash crops that have been relegated.”- Senator Sani Musa.

“I agree with all the various speakers that this Bill should be supported. I quite agree that this Bill should be supported and passed as quickly as possible. Agriculture University in Funtua is very key. I have argued on this floor that we should have institutions for specific programs. I rise to support this Bill and it should be passed.”- Senator Rochas Okorocha.

“Anything that will educate our people will always have my support.”- Senator Ibikunle Amosun.

“We need to support this Bill, this University should be established and each state should have a University of Agriculture because it will help the country. I am suggesting every state in the northwest should have a university of agriculture because we are the food basket of the nation.”- Senator Barau Jibrin.

A Bill for an Act to establish the Federal University of Agriculture and Technology Funtua and to make comprehensive provisions for its due management and administration and for related matters, 2019 (SB. 150) was read the Second Time.

Senate President, Ahmad Lawan PhD, CON referred the Bill to the Committee on Tertiary Institutions and TETFUND to report within four (4) weeks.

  1. A Bill for an Act to establish the Federal College of Education, Sabon Birini, Sokoto State and for other matters connected therewith, 2019 (SB. 82) by Senator Ibrahim Gobir.

“This particular Bill calls for support and I rise to support my brother on this Bill. A few weeks ago, the Minister of Education announced that millions of children are out of school. The establishment of a federal college of Education is very key because education is the way to go.”- Senator Rochas Okorocha.

A Bill for an Act to establish the Federal College of Education, Sabon Birini, Sokoto State and for other matters connected therewith, 2019 (SB. 82) was read the Second Time.

Senate President, Ahmad Lawan PhD, CON referred the Bill to the Committee on Tertiary Institutions and TETFUND to report within four (4) weeks.

  1. A Bill for an Act to make provisions for the Protection from Internet Falsehood and Manipulations Bill, 2019 (SB. 132) by Senator Sani Musa.

“I think this Bill should be given expedient passage.”- Senator Ibrahim Gobir.

“I want to commend Distinguished Senator Musa for sponsoring this Bill. The issue of fake news in this country, if it’s not regulated is cancer waiting to consume all of us. Even conventional media that are regulated are suffering from falsehood. If we cannot regulate the spread of falsehood, it will consume all of us tomorrow.”- Senator Elisha Abbo.

“I rise to support this Bill because of its a straightforward Bill with good intentions. Some of us in one way or the other have been victims of fake news. I rise to support this bill as it will protect the society. Today we know that America has risen up against fake news as it has had very terrible consequences in America. Fake news is dangerous, therefore Mr. President, we must rise to the challenge.”- Senator Abba Moro.

“I have great respect for the sponsor of this Bill. In-person, I not only oppose it in totality, but I also condemn this bill. Based on our constitution that guarantees freedom of speech, there is a cybercrime act that deals with this.”- Senator Chimaroke Nnamani.

A Bill for an Act to make provisions for the Protection from Internet Falsehood and Manipulations Bill, 2019 (SB. 132) was read the Second Time.

Senate President, Ahmad Lawan PhD, CON referred the Bill to the Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters to report within four (4) weeks.

  1. A Bill for an Act to amend the Electoral Act No. 6 2010 and for other related matters, 2019 (SB. 122) by Senator Ovie Omo-Agege.

“This Bill cannot come at a better time than now, Nigeria has come to a stage we need to be in the global counting, we need to include electronic transmission in this act.”- Senator Micheal Nnachi.

“Power should be given to this Bill for INEC not to announce a winner in an election that is not free and fair. We need to have what is called complete compliance and they will pronounce winner. We need to do something for the masses – those who elected us into office, this will help us move forward. We need to consider this bill as submitted by DSP.”- Senator Micheal Nnachi.

“The society is dynamic, I rise to support this Bill, this is a very straightforward bill and one that many Nigerians are looking up to. This Bill should be passed on time for INEC to have very credible and legitimate election process.”- Senator Abba Moro.

“Any effort at making sure that all the grey areas and imperfections in our electoral laws must be supported. We should put some clause to limit the number of political parties that participate in the election. I think when we get to the public hearing, these are some of the things that should be addressed.”- Senator Ibikunle Amosun.

A Bill for an Act to amend the Electoral Act No. 6 2010 and for other related matters, 2019 (SB. 122) was read the Second Time.

Senate President, Ahmad Lawan PhD, CON referred the Bill to the Committee on INEC to report within four (4) weeks.

MOTIONS

  1. Urgent need to address the power shortages in Nigeria by including Nuclear Power in Nigeria’s energy mix by Senator Al-Makura Tanko.

“There will be no development without all our infrastructure is in place. The development will not happen without infrastructure. In our quest to develop our economy, power is a very significant sector and without it, we will not get there. For me, nuclear energy is possible, several nations have demonstrated it and if we want to get many of our people out of poverty, employment will not happen when many of our small business is not there.”- Senator Ibikunle Amosun.

“Whatever way we are going to get this power; be it nuclear or hydro, we have to make sure that we achieve this result. We have to make sure this motion is being implemented.”- Senator Barkiya Kabir.

“I support this idea and commend the mover of the motion.”- Senator Ibrahim Gobir.

Senate resolved to:

  1. Urge the Federal Government to reposition the Nigerian Nuclear Regulatory Authority to enable it to carry out its mandate of ensuring safety, security safeguards and physical protection of nuclear materials including hazardous waste in Nigeria;
  2. Urge the Federal Government to re-engineer, refocus and recognize the Nigerian Atomic Energy Commission with the mandate to ensure timely contacts and negotiations with nuclear vendors for construction of nuclear power plants with timeline;
  3. Urge the Federal Government to expedite action on the Nuclear Safety, Security and Safeguards Bill currently with the Senate; and
  4. Pass into law all treaties and protocols on nuclear energy as ratified by Nigeria.

“Let me thank the sponsor of this motion and our colleagues who contributed and supported. It is time we tell ourselves the truth, the privatization that has been done is not working. So far from 2011 when that privatization was made we have not seen any serious improvement.”- Senate President, Ahmad Lawan PhD, CON.

“Until we fix power, many things will not move. We have signed the African Continental Free Trade Agreement and we cannot be competitive in many industries will have to buy their generator. We should be in a haste to fix the power. We will set up a roundtable and bring everybody to the table to ensure we fix this power.”- Senate President, Ahmad Lawan PhD, CON.

  1. Need to promote tourism, to further diversify the Nigerian Economy by Senator Oluremi Tinubu.

“What is very important for us is the area of security. I support this motion.”- Senator Ajayi Borrofice.

“It is important for us as a nation to look into the tourism potential of every local government so we can be able to revive and invite foreign capital. The motion is a wake-up call for all of us and should support it.”- Senator Abdullahi Yahaya.

“This is a very straightforward motion and should be supported.”- Senator Kabiru Gaya.

“Tourism all over the world will enhance our culture and bring new ideas to our culture and tradition. Tourism in Nigeria will add value to our tradition and culture. On this note, I support this motion and urge my colleagues to support the motion.”- Senator Bayo Osinowo.

“It is a very important motion. There would be nothing like tourism if our infrastructure is not in place if our security, power roads and rail are not working there will be no tourism. Tourism will not develop until we put our infrastructure in place. With these remarks, I want to commend the mover of this motion.”- Senator Ibikunle Amosun.

“If we look at tourism as a business other than leisure then our country will pay more attention to it. There should also be education and health tourism. If our hospital is correct that will also help health tourism. “- Senator Rochas Okorocha.

“Tourism is a business, tourism is a source of revenue for every nation that takes it seriously and we need to do that in this nation. What we need to do is create an enabling environment for tourism to thrive.”- Senator Barau Jibrin.

“We are merely running a mono-economy where we depend on crude oil. The potential of tourism will bring additional revenue to Nigeria. This motion is very commendable, the tour is also linked to aviation and aviation in this country needs support.”- Senator Elisha Abbo.

Senate resolved to:

  1. Urge the Budget office to increase budgetary allocation to the Ministry of Information and culture;
  2. Urge the relevant ministries and Agencies to revamp the various tourist attractions across the Country;
  3. Urge the Ministry of the environment at various levels of government to create incentives to promote eco-friendly waterfronts to make beaches more tourist-friendly; and
  4. Mandate Committees on Foreign affairs and Information and Culture, in collaboration with the Ministers of Foreign affairs and Information and culture, to organize a stakeholder meeting, to ensure dialogue and discussion of the issues and way forward.
  5. Urgent need to combat the high rate of Infants Deaths caused by Pneumonia in the Country by Senator Clifford Ordia.

“This motion is drawing greater attention to the issue of poverty, I commend the mover of this motion.”- Senator Chimaroke Nnamani.

“As a mother, I can tell you that this motion is timely, with the findings from saving the children foundation, we can see that pneumonia is back to our doorsteps. Children that are malnourished are affected the most, I want to thank you for coming up with such a motion that concerns every Nigerian and I support every prayer on this motion.”- Senator Oluremi Tinubu.

Senate resolved to:

  1. Urge the Federal Ministry of Health to Launch a massive vaccination programme to arrest this killer disease; and
  2. Urge Federal Ministry of Health through its relevant Agencies to make available Amoxicillin DT antibiotics to Health centres around the country to treat the Infection.

‪“Thank you all my Distinguished colleagues for the contributions and interventions.”- Senate President, Ahmad Lawan PhD, CON.

ADJOURNMENT

Senate President, Ahmad Lawan PhD, CON moved that plenary be adjourned to Thursday, 21st November 2019.

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