Plenary proceedings of the House of Representatives for Tuesday, November 14, 2017. The Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Yakubu Dogara presiding
After the opening prayer, the Speaker adopted plenary votes and proceedings for Thursday November 9, 2017
Hon. Aliyu Madaki brought a petition bordering on breach of trust and contract between one Mr. Idris and Officer Ibrahim of the Nigeria Custom Service. He asked the House to redress the issue.
Motion of Public Importance.
Hon. Yusuf Tajudeen raised a Motion of urgent public importance on irregularities in a contract situation in the Ministry of Defence, he asked the House to investigate the process of issuance, percentage completion, and if any illegalities can be verified, and to take proactive measures. Hon. Manu (Kano) seconded.
Hon. Kingsley Chinda brought a Motion before the House on an issue bordering on environmental degradation and abandonment. He stated that ever since the oil spill incidence in Ogoni land (Rivers State) led to the death of Ken Saro Wiwa and his colleagues, no meaningful effort in cleaning up the region and retuning it to a place safe for inhabitation has been embarked upon. He asked the House to investigate and call erring parties to order, so that the right course of action can be taken and the region can be returned to normalcy (environmentally). An amendment to the Prayer that a minute silence should be observed was amended and stepped down after a vote, considering the Ogoni 9 were found guilty by a constituted Committee, so that the House doesn’t act in ignorance, the Motion was voted and passed as amended.
5 BILLS For First Reading
Nigerian Financial Intelligence Agency (Establishment) Bill, 2017 (HB.1210) (Hon. Kayode Oladele) — First Reading.
2. Hate Speech (Prohibition) Bill, 2017 (HB. 1211) (Hon. Aminu Sani Jaji) — First Reading.
3. Nigerian Tourism Development Authority Act (Repeal and Re-Enactment) Bill, 2017 (HB. 1212) (Senate) — First Reading.
4. Hydroelectric Power Producing Areas Development Commission (Establishment, etc.) Act (Amendment) Bill, 2017 (HB. 1213) (Senate) — First Reading.
5. Presidential Inauguration Bill, 2017 (HB.1214) (Senate) — First Reading.
PRESENTATION OF REPORTS
1. Committee on Aids, Loans and Debt Management:
Hon. Adeyinka Ajayi:
“That the House do receive the the Report of the Committee on Aids, Loans and Debt Management on the Request for the Approval of External Loans for Issuance of USD2.5 Billion in the International Capital Market through Eurobonds or a Combination of Eurobonds and Diaspora Bonds, for the Financing of the Federal Government of Nigeria 2017 Appropriation Act and Capital Expenditure Projects; and Issuance of $3Billion Eurobond in the International Capital Market and/or Loan Syndication by Banks for the Refinancing of Maturing Domestic Debt obligations of the Federal Government” (Referred: 10/10/2017).
Hon. Adeyinka Ajayi moved to lay the Report, Hon. Raphael Nanna Igokwe seconded.
2. Committee on Ports, Harbours and Waterways:
Hon. Patrick Asadu:
“That the House do receive the Report of the Committee on Ports, Harbours and Waterways on a Bill for an Act to Repeal the National Inland Waterways Authority Act, Cap. N47, LFN, 2004 and to Re-enact the Nigerian Inland Waterways Act, Establish the Nigerian Inland Waterways Authority to Provide for the Management, Regulation and Development of the Nigerian Inland Waterways and to Provide Private Sector Participation in the Development of the Nigerian Inland Waterways; and for Related Matters (HBs. 267 and 854)” (Referred: 28/2/2017).
3. Committee on Ports, Harbours and Waterways:
Hon. Patrick Asadu:
“That the House do receive the Report of the Committee on Ports, Harbours and Waterways on a Bill for an Act to Repeal the Nigerian Ports Authority Act, Cap. 126, LFN, 2004 and to Re-enact the Nigerian Ports and Harbours Act, Establish the Nigerian Ports and Harbours Authority to Provide for the Ownership, Management and Development of Ports and Harbours; and for Related Matters (HBs 569 and 855)” (Referred: 15/12/2016).
4.Committee on Ports, Harbours and Waterways:
Hon. Patrick Asadu:
“That the House do receive the Report of the Committee on Ports, Harbours and Waterways on a Bill for an Act to Amend the Coastal and Inland Shipping (Cabotage Act) No. 5, 2003; and for Related Matters (HB. 529)” (Referred: 21/7/2016).
Hon. Kabiru Mohammed proposed to lay the Report on behalf of the Committee on Ports, Harbours and Waterways, Hon. Ismaila Ahmed seconded.
ORDERS OF THE DAY
1.Consolidation of Bills:
(a)A Bill for an Act to Amend the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (Establishment, etc.) Act, 2011 to Provide for Additional Conditions for Accessing of Fund for Capital Projects by Beneficiary Institutions to embark on their own Capital Projects instead of relying solely on the Fund for Capital Development; and for Related Matters (HB. 967) (Hon. Abbas Tajudeen); and
(b)A Bill for an Act to Amend the Tertiary Education Trust Fund Act, 2011 in Order to Review some Provisions to give the National Assembly certain Powers under the Act; and for Related Matters (HB. 1057) (Hon. Muhammad Sani Abdu).
Consolidation of Bills
Hon. Orker Jev moved the Motion for the consolidation of the Bills, Hon. Albert Adeogun seconded it.
2. A Bill for an Act to Amend the Federal Universities of Agriculture Act, Cap. F22, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 to specify the Minimum Qualification of the Chairman of the Governing Council, Ownership of Intellectual Property and to Provide for Pre-Action Notice to the University Authority; and for Related Matters (HB. 1116) (Hon. Muhammed Tahir Monguno) — Second Reading.
Hon. Monguno moved for the Second Reading of the Bill, Hon. Mohammed Jega seconded
This is in line with a series of Bills through which the House seeks to amend the Act on the Sections proposed, such as Sections 7, 12 and 21 to ensure professionalism and capability in the stipulated appointable positions of Office, as well as to protect the intellectual properties emanating for painstaking research and collaborations against plagiarism. The question was put to a vote, passed for Second Reading, the Clerk read the long title and it was referred to the Committee on Agriculture.
Call for Rehabilitation of the Dilapidated Ulasi-Okija Bridge along Onitsha-Owerri Federal Road:
Hon. Chukwuemeka Anohu:
Notes the economic importance of Onitsha-Owerri road to the people of the South Eastern part of the country, as it facilitates the movement if people and goods within the axis and also serves as an access route to the South South zone of the country;
Aware that many sections of the road have dilapidated and are hardly motorable, particularly the Ulasi – Okija bridge which is on the verge of collapsing as a result of over flooding from the incessant heavy downpours in the South East zone as well as depression which is taking a toll on the bridge due to heavy vehicular usage;
Concerned that with the brittle ecological nature of the area, considering how prone it is to erosion, a total collapse of the bridge will be more devastating to the people;
(i)urge the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA) to urgently embark on an assessment of the Ulasi – Okija Bridge with a view to making adequate provisions for its immediate reinforcement/reconstruction; and
(ii)mandate the Committees on FERMA and Works to ensure the inclusion of the reconstruction of the bridge in the 2018 budget.
Hon. Chukwuemeka moved the Motion, Hon. Chukwuemeka (Enugu) seconded, as an infrastructure related Motion it was put to a vote and passed.
4. Call for Reconstruction and Upgrading of Kano-Gumel- Mai Gatari Federal Highway into a Trunk “A” Road:
Hon. Muhammed Sani Zorro:
Notes that the Federal Highway linking Kano with Niger Republic through Gumel and the border town of Mai Gatari in Jigawa State has continued to serve as a major trade corridor for agricultural products, especially livestock to various parts of Nigeria since the colonial times;
Aware that the Mai Gatari livestock market in Jigawa State is among officially gazetted Nigerian Markets, with an Export Processing Zone status, Immigration, Customs, and Mounted Troops facilities, being a gateway to Niger Republic;
Concerned about the deplorable state of the Trunk “B” Road which has remained a major cause of accidents, especially between Gumel and Mai Gatari, a 26-kilometers distance, leading to avoidable loss of lives and property on frequent basis;
(i)urge the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing to include the reconstruction of the Kano-Gumel- Mai Gatari Road in the 2018 budget proposal and upgrade it to a Trunk “A” Road; and
(ii)mandate the Committees on Works, and Legislative Compliance to ensure compliance.
Hon. Sani Zorro moved the Motion, Hon. Yuguda Hassan seconded it, as a Motion on the provision of infrastructure , it was put to a vote and passed.
5. Call to Include Construction of the Road Connecting Saki to the Proposed Okerete International Border Market in the 2018 Budget:
Hon. Olajide Olatunbosun:
Notes that the Border Community Development Agency was established to, among other things, develop border communities across the six geopolitical zones by establishing International Markets at the border communities;
Aware that Okerete, which is located about 22 kilometers from the Trans-Benin highway and 15 kilometers from the railway line that links Cotonou Port with Parakou, has been an existing trans-border trade route since 1800 connecting key commercial centres like Dakar, Bamako, Ouagadougou, Saki, Ilorin, etc. and therefore has excellent linkages to the Northern parts of ECOWAS nations, such as Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger and Chad;
Also aware that the Border Communities Development Agency (BDCA) is desirous of establishing an International Border Market in each geo-political zone in the country, starting with the Okerete International Market in Saki-West Local Government Area of Oyo State;
Concerned that Okerete, the site of the proposed International Border Market, is linked by a 60 kilometers unpaved/untarred road to Saki and it is in such an extremely deplorable condition that will make it impossible to access the International market, a situation that will hinder commercial activities in the area;
(i)urge the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing to include the construction of the Road connecting Saki to the proposed Okerete International Border Market in the 2018 Budget; and
(ii)mandate the Committees on Works and Legislative Compliance to ensure implementation.
Item stepped down by leave of the House
6. Need to Check the Menace of Gully Erosion in Jahun, Aujara and Harbo Towns in Jahun Local Government Area of Jigawa State:
Hon. Saidu Yusufu Miga:
Notes that gully erosion has become one of the most devastating environmental problems affecting the people of Jahun, Aujara and Harbo towns who now live in palpable fear whenever the rainy season sets in, due to their sad experiences in the past, as the natural disaster usually destroys buildings and occasionally displaces people;
Also notes that the three towns, which are linked together, are under serious threat as the deep gully that has been created, also poses environmental and health hazards as the water that gathers in it has become breeding grounds for mosquitoes, etc.;
Aware that due to the absence of well-defined channels, flooding usually occurs in the area, in the process, eroding the land and further widening the gully;
Also aware of the adverse consequences and destructive nature of this menace on those towns as several buildings had been destroyed in the area in the past and the likely displacement of families demands that urgent measures be taken by the Federal Government to prevent the disaster that threatens from year to year;
Cognizant that the enormity of the gully erosion, if left unchecked, will inflict serious damages to the people of the area, hence the need for the Federal Government to intervene to halt the gully erosion menace in those towns;
(i)call on the Federal Government to direct the Ecological Fund Office to intervene with a view to curbing the gully erosion in the area with all the attendant ecological, environmental and health hazards it poses to the people of those towns;
(ii)mandate the Committees on Environment and Habitat and Appropriations to include funds with which to address the erosion problem in the area in the 2018 budget estimates; and
(iii)also mandate the Committee on Legislative Compliance to ensure implementation and report back within four (4) weeks for further legislative action.
Item stepped down by leave of the House.
7. Need to Investigate the Violation of the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development Act (NOGICD), 2010 in the Refusal of International Oil and Gas Companies to Use Local Assets and Marine Facilities Owned by Nigerian Companies:
Hon. Daniel Reyenieju.
Notes that the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development Act (NOGICD), 2010 was enacted to ensure measurable growth of Nigerian content in oil and gas exploitation processes;
Also notes that Section 12 of the Act provides that first consideration will be given to Nigerian goods and services in the evaluation of bids for goods and services required for projects by Oil and Gas Companies;
Further notes that Section 15 of the Act requires all Operators and Alliance Partners to give full and fair opportunities to indigenous contractors and companies in the award of contracts;
Aware that indigenous companies had spent money to procure vessels which are now lying fallow at the Ports as the IOCs and Multi-National Companies have refused to engage their services and would rather engage the services of foreign vessels that are not flying Nigerian flags and sometimes, working through Nigerian companies as decoy;
Determined to put an end to the flagrant violation of the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development Act (NOGICD), 2010 by International Oil and Gas Companies;
Mandate the Committee on Local Content to investigate the process of engaging vessels by International Oil and Gas Companies with a view to determining whether the processes comply with the provisions of the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development Act of 2010 and report back within four (4) weeks for further legislative action.
In 2010 The House Passed the Bill on the Local Content Act to grow local participation in the Oil, Marine and Gas sector. The Local Content Board is meant to encourage local participation in the Sector, the IOCs do not patronize the local participant, but favor their foreign cronies in their procurement processes. He urged the House to let the Motion pass so that the Act can be enforced after thorough investigation. Hon. Ogun (Edo) in his contribution stated that the Act is appreciated for its contribution in the Industry, but as the regulatory eyes have been taken off the ball, the provisions of the Act will be compromised. The Motion is critical as the Local companies are the ones that hire Nigerians and when things get bad, the foreign companies pack up and leave, he urged for the compliance of the Law. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila stated a proposed an amendment to streamline the investigation to contracts after reached after 2010 as people hide under earlier Acts in the Sector before the 2010 Local Content Act to perpetrate so many illegalities, Hon Chidoka seconded the amendment, it was put to a vote and passed as amended.
CONSIDERATION OF REPORTS
8. Committee on Aids, Loans and Debt Management:
Hon. Adeyinka Ajayi:
“That the House do consider the Report of the Committee on Aids, Loans and Debt Management on the Request for the Approval of External Loans for Issuance of USD2.5 Billion in the International Capital Market through Eurobonds or a Combination of Eurobonds and Diaspora Bonds, for the Financing of the Federal Government of Nigeria 2017 Appropriation Act and Capital Expenditure
Projects; and Issuance of $3 Billion Eurobond in the International Capital Market and/or Loan Syndication by Banks for the Refinancing of Maturing Domestic Debt obligations of the Federal Government and approve the recommendations therein” (Laid: 14/11/2017):
(i) that the House do approve the issuance of $2.5billion Eurobond in the international capital market through Eurobonds or a combination of Eurobonds and Diaspora bonds for the financing of the Federal Governments 2017 Appropriation Act and Capital Expenditure Projects in the Act;
(ii) that the House do approve the issuance of $3 billion Eurobond in the international capital market and/or Loan syndication by banks for re-financing the maturing domestic debt obligations of the Federal Government;
(iii) that the prior approval of the Committee on Aids, Loans and Debt Management shall be sought and obtained as to the parties, structure, cost of syndication and other terms and conditions of a Loan syndication intended to be utilized in re- financing of maturing domestic debt obligations;
(iv) that the Committee on Aids, Loans and Debt Management should monitor the disbursement of the proceeds of the approved $1.5 billion Eurobonds as specified in the 2017 Appropriation Act.
House in Committee on Supply:
In summary, Hon. Ajayi stated that the approval of the stated funds are vital for the execution of projects that are indeed relevant to the development and lives of people living in Nigeria, especially in light of the need to diversify the Nigerian economy and ensuring an all inclusive governance system. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila stated that the Prayer 2 which highlights that foreign loans are cheaper in repayment mechanism than local loans sounded improper, and if the situation is true, it is what should be rectified to stop the current trend as this gives opportunity for capital flight to favor foreign loans.
The Resolutions 1-4 were considered and carried.
9. Committee on Public Petitions:
Hon. Uzoma Nkem-Abonta:
“That the House do consider the Report of the Committee on Public Petitions on the Petition by CPL Faruna Okwoli against the Nigeria Police Force on wrongful and compulsory retirement from Service and approve the recommendation therein” (Laid: 18/5/2017):
Urge the Nigeria Police Service Commission and the Inspector General of Police to reinstate CPL Faruna Okwoli forthwith and pay all his salaries and entitlements.
Item stepped down by leave of the House
10. Committee on Public Petitions:
Hon. Uzoma Nkem-Abonta:
“That the House do consider the Report of the Committee on Public Petitions on the Petition by Eddy Onyenweuzo against the United Bank for Africa Plc over alleged fraudulent practices that led to the withdrawal of over Eighty-eight million Naira from his account and approve the recommendations therein” (Laid: 26/7/2017):
(i) urge the United Bank for Africa to reconcile his transactions with Unilever Plc;
(ii)also urge the United Bank for Africa to refund the sum of ₦2,794,474.96 to Eddy Onyenwenuzo being excess interest charge on the overdraft facility availed him.
Item stepped down by leave of the House
House in Plenary:
House adopted the proceedings in the Committee of Supply
Hon. Femi Gbajiamila moved for the adoption of the Votes and Proceedings of Tuesday, November 14 and adjourned Plenary till Wednesday, November 15, 2017 by 11:00 Am.
Media Unit, Office of the Honourable Speaker, House of Representatives.