Plenary proceedings of the House of Representatives for Wednesday, January 24, 2018, The Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Yakubu Dogara presiding

After the Speaker led the opening prayer, he went on to examine and adopt plenary votes and proceedings for Tuesday, January 23, 2018

​National Commission on Small Arms and Light Weapons (Prohibition) Bill, 2018 (HB. 1294) (Hon. Yakubu Dogara)

PRESENTATION OF REPORT

Report of the Conference Committee on Bankruptcy and Insolvency Bill, 2018:

Hon. Jones Chukwudi Onyereri:

“That the House do receive the Report of the Conference Committee on a Bill for an Act to Repeal the Bankruptcy Act, Cap. B2, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 and Enact the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Bill, 2018; and for Related Matters.

ORDERS OF THE DAY

BILLS

1.​ Consolidation of Bills:

(a)​A Bill for an Act to Regulate International Trips for Medical Treatment by Public Officers to Strengthen the Health Institutions for Efficient Service Delivery; and for Related Matters (HB. 1007) (Hon. Sergius Oseasochie Ogun); and

(a) A Bill for an Act to Amend the National Health Act, 2014 to Regulate International Trips for Medical Treatment by Public Officers to strengthen the Health Institutions for Efficient Service Delivery; and for Related Matters (HB. 1267) (Hon. Sergius Oseasochie Ogun).

The Leader of the House, Hon. Femi Gbajiamila moved for the consolidation of the Bills and Hon. Orker Jev seconded it. Bill read and passed.

2.​ A Bill for an Act to Amend the Oil and Gas Export Free Zone Authority Act, Cap. O5, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 to Provide for the Designation and Establishment of Oil and Gas Free Zones in Nigeria; and for Related Matters (HBs. 64, 332 & 400) – Third Reading.

The Leader of the House, Hon. Femi Gbajiamila moved for the Amendment of the Bills and Hon. Orker Jev seconded it. Bill read and passed.

3.​ A Bill for an Act to Amend the Federal Capital Territory Appropriation Act, 2017 in order to extend the implementation year of the Federal Capital Territory Appropriation Act, 2017 from 31 December, 2017 to 31 March, 2018 (HB. 1294) (Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila) – Second Reading

The Leader of the House, Hon. Femi Gbajiamila moved for the Amendment of the Bill and Hon. Orker Jev seconded it. Bill read and passed.

4.​ A Bill for an Act to Amend the Nigerian Communications Act, Cap. N97, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 to Provide for Remittance of all Monies Received by the Commission into the Federation Account Pursuant to Section 162 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic Nigeria, 1999; and for Related Matters (HB. 1269) (Hon. Samuel Ikon) – Second Reading.

Bill stepped down by leave of the House

5.​ A Bill for an Act to Amend the Nigerian Research Institutes Act, Cap. N132, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 to include the Establishment of the Shea Butter Research Institute; and for Related Matters (HB. 1271) (Hon. Abubakar Amuda-Kannike G.) – Second Reading.

Bill stepped down by leave of the House

6.​ A Bill for an Act to Establish the Chartered Institute of Social Work Practitioners and to make Provisions, among other things, for Membership and Control of the Profession of Social Works; and for Related Matters (HB. 1258) (Hon. Sylvester Ogbaga) – Second Reading.

Bill stepped down by leave of the House

MOTIONS

7.​ Rescission on a Bill for an Act to Establish National Agency for Ethics and Values, to provide for the Functions and Powers of the Agency, the Qualifications and Procedures for the Appointment of the Chairman and Members and for Related Matters, Pursuant to Order One, Rule 1(2) and Order Nine, Rule 1(6) of the Standing Orders of the House of Representatives:

Hon. Odebunmi Olusegun Dokun:

The House:

Notes that the Bill for an Act to Establish National Agency for Ethics and Values to provide for the functions and powers of the Agency, the qualifications and procedures for the appointment of the Chairman and members; and for related matters was passed on 17 October 2017;

Also notes that Clause 2(d) of the Bill was pre-emptive as it made reference to a non-existing Act, and allowing the said Clause to stand will mislead the public as to the intent and purpose of the Bill;

Resolves to:

Rescind the decision on Clause 2(d) of the Bill for an Act to establish National Agency for Ethics and Values to provide for the functions and powers of the Agency, the qualifications and procedures for the appointment of the Chairman and members, and for related matters and recommit the Clause to the Committee of the Whole for reconsideration.

Hon. Odebunmi Dokun sponsored the Motion and Hon. Ahmed Tijani seconded it, it was voted on and passed.

8.​ Need to Address the Under Utilization of Ikorodu Lighter Terminal and Make It an Export Gateway:

Hon. Babajimi Benson:

The House:

Notes that Ikorodu Lighter Terminal (IKLT), with two large warehouses, and adjudged to be one of the largest in the country, is among the three lighter terminals constructed by the Nigerian Ports Authority to decongest major Ports in Nigeria, particularly the Apapa and Tin Can Island Ports in Lagos State;

Also notes that the multi – billion Naira investment is almost moribund as it is operating below capacity, thus contributing nothing significant to the nation’s economy;

Aware that though the Nigeria Customs Service took over the operation of the Lighter Terminal sometime in 2008 with a view to securing overtime cargoes and facilitating release of same to the owners, little or nothing has been done by the Nigeria Customs Service to designate the Ikorodu Cargo Terminal as a major export gateway as a means of reducing traffic to the Apapa and Tin Can ports, and the facility has therefore continued to rot away owing to lack of patronage;

Further notes that while the staff strength of the Ikorodu Lighter Terminal has increased over the years, there is little or no activity whatsoever in the Terminal with overtime cargoes that were transferred to the facilities from the Apapa and Tin Can Island Ports lying fallow and wasting away for over ten years now;

Cognizant that given the huge economic challenges confronting the nation, which are manifested in reduced job opportunities, business collapses etc., expanding the capacity of the Terminal to an export gateway and putting its facilities to maximum use will open up the economy by increasing Nigeria’s non-oil export volume, create jobs, decongest other ports and further earn foreign exchange for the country;

Resolves to:

(i) Urge the Federal Ministries of Transportation and Interior to direct the relevant agencies to submit memorandum to the House Committees on Ports, Harbours and Waterways, Customs and Excise and Legislative Compliance on the current state of the Ikorodu Lighter Terminal and the realistic efforts being made to restructure the Terminal to ensure its effective utilization;

(ii)​Also urge the Nigeria Ports Authority and the Nigeria Customs Service to put proper terminal operational procedures in place at the Ikorodu Lighter Terminal (IKLT) to ensure that overtime cargo containers are released to the owners with 50% waiver of all charges so as not to completely undermine Federal Government’s income and in the best interest of businesses and the Nigerian economy;

(iii) Mandate the Committees on Ports, Harbours and Waterways, Customs and Excise and Legislative Compliance to visit the Ikorodu Lighter Terminal (IKLT) for on the spot assessment and liaise with necessary stakeholders with a view to bringing the Terminal to effective use, and report back in six (6) weeks for further legislative action.

Debate

Hon. Hassan Saleh in supporting the Motion stated that the vessels that convey Nigerian crude oil do not use our main ports and that is why the conveyance is efficient. The state of the functioning system of Nigerian ports leaves little to be desired. As a critical means of funds for the Nigerian economy, the Nigerian ports have to be put in shape in order for their volume of transactions to increase and aid other auxiliary operating succeed. Hon. Dan Reyeneju pointed out the fact that Nigeria has continued to utilize the vast resources of the maritime sector, which he pointed out can compete quite favorably with oil exports.

9.​ Call for a Phased Ban on the Importation of Fish and Fish Products into Nigeria.

Hon. Tasir Olawale Raji.

The House:

Notes that the diversification of the economy away from crude oil through key sectors such as agriculture remains pivotal to the realization of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan of the present administration;

Also notes that the Fisheries sub-sector, which is a vital component of Nigeria’s Agriculture and the national economy, accounting for about 4% of the country’s Gross Domestic Product, has remained largely under-developed despite having the potential to provide cheap sources of protein, income, employment and foreign exchange;

Aware that local production from artisanal fishing, aquaculture and industrial captures estimated at about 800,000 metric tonnes accounts for only 30% of the total annual fish demand estimated at 2.7 million metric tonnes;

Also aware that Nigeria has, over the years, resorted to importation to meet the deficit of about 1.9 million metric tonnes in domestic fish supply at an estimated cost of USD625 million in foreign exchange annually;

Further notes that the escalating demand for foreign exchange for fish importation is not sustainable in the light of the huge pressure on the country’s foreign reserves and fluctuating earnings from crude oil;

Concerned that Nigeria has now become a dumping ground for all manners of frozen fish, most of which are unwholesome in quality and highly detrimental to the health of consumers;

Cognizant that with the abundant marine and inland fisheries resources comprising 923,768 kms land area, 47,934 kms continental shelf, 853 kms of coastline, network of rivers, flood plain, natural and man-made lakes, Nigeria has all it takes to become self-sufficient in fish production and also become a major hub of fish exportation in the West African Sub-region;

Convinced that the Federal Government needs to vigorously pursue the goal of self-sufficiency in fish production so as to ensure food security and reserve for export;

Resolves to:

mandate the Committees on Agricultural Production and Services and Water Resources to collaborate with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, the Central Bank of Nigeria, the Nigeria Customs Service and other stakeholders to develop a policy framework for the implementation of a phased ban on the importation of fish and fish products so as to create an enabling environment for increased private sector investments in the fisheries sub-sector such that Nigeria can become self-sufficient in fish production within a period of four (4) years, and report back within four (4) weeks for further legislative action.

Hon. Raji moved the Motion, Hon. Egwu Emmanuel seconded it.

Debate

Hon. Raji stated that the Nigerian coast line supports diverse species of fish for feeding and even export, as fish forms an important part of the Nigerian diet, the country has no business importing fish whose origin and standard cannot be vouched for. The process of fish farming is also capable of employing vast numbers of Nigerians. In contributing to the Motion, Hon. Shehu Shagari proposed the relevant House Committee should liaise with the Ministry of Agriculture and other relevant stakeholders in order to ensure the gradual self-sufficiency in fish production in the country is actualized. Hon. Buba Yakubu stated that as farmers, policies like the importation of fish is detrimental to their practice which should have been a veritable tool to employ teeming unemployed Nigerian youth, especially in their Constituencies.

CONSIDERATION OF REPORTS

10.​ A Bill for an Act to Amend the Federal Capital Territory Appropriation Act, 2017 in order to extend the implementation year of the Federal Capital Territory Appropriation Act, 2017 from 31 December, 2017 to 31 March, 2018 (HB. 1294) (Committee of Supply)

HOUSE IN THE COMMITTEE OF SUPPLY (Hon. Yakubu Dogara Presiding):

All Clauses considered, voted on and Carried.

HOUSE IN THE COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE ( Hon. Yussuf Lasun Presiding):

11.​ Report of the Conference Committee on Bankruptcy and Insolvency Bill, 2018:

Hon. Jones Chukwudi Onyereri:

“That the House do consider the Report of the Conference Committee on a Bill for an Act to Repeal the Bankruptcy Act, Cap. B2, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 and Enact the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Bill, 2018; and for Related Matters and approve the recommendations therein” (Laid: 24/1/2018).

12.​ Committee on Capital Market and Institutions:

​Hon. Yusuf Ayo Tajudeen:

“That the House do consider the Report of the Committee on Capital Market and Institutions on a Bill for an Act to Facilitate the Development of Nigeria’s Capital Market by Enabling the Conversion and Re-Registration of the Nigerian Stock Exchange from a Company Limited by Guarantee to a Public Company Limited by Shares; and for Related Matters (HB. 983) and approve the recommendations therein” (Laid: 21/11/2017).

​Ad-hoc Committee on Investigation into Non-Compliance by the Nigerian Export Promotion Council:
Hon. Aliyu B. Ahman Pategi:

“That the House do consider the Report of the Ad-hoc Committee on Investigation into Non-Compliance by the Nigerian Export Promotion Council with the House Resolution on the Petition by Aggrieved Staff of the Nigerian Export Promotion Council against the Management of the Council and approve the recommendations therein” (Laid: 30/11/2017):

(i)​that the Resolutions of the House concerning this matter be fully adhered to by the Management of the Nigerian Export Promotion Council;

(ii)​that no aggrieved staff should be castigated, victimized or humiliated in any manner for their involvement in the petition;

(iii)​that all the staff due for promotion should be promoted with effect from the date of their due promotion;

(iiii) that Mrs. Adeyemi should be fully reinstated in accordance with the earlier instruction of the Ministry and properly placed accordingly;

(v)​that the query letter issued to Tijjani Zakari be withdrawn and his due promotion be implemented accordingly;

(v) that the aggrieved staff should adhere strictly to the provisions of the Civil Service Rules in discharging their responsibilities.

491​Wednesday, 24 January, 2017​No. 97

All Clauses considered, voted on and Carried.

14.​ Nigeria-Saudi Arabia Parliamentary Friendship and Hajj Affairs:

Hon. Abdullahi Balarabe Salame:

“That the House do consider the Report of the Nigeria-Saudi Arabia Parliamentary Friendship and Hajj Affairs on the highlights of the 2017 Hajj and approve the recommendations therein” (Laid: 18/1/2018):

(i) That the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) should be commended for the successful 2017 Hajj exercise and pray that the 2018 exercise will even be better;

(ii) that the Nigeria Saudi Arabia Parliamentary Friendship and Hajj Affairs should henceforth be the singular body in the House to carry out oversight of Hajj Affairs (Appendix);

(iii) that the NSAPFHA should be properly funded by the House and through Appropriations to independently carry out its oversight functions;

(iiii) that the NSAPFHA should make advanced arrangements for carrying out all its oversight functions in the Holy Land in terms of choosing an efficient and befitting Private Tour Operator to handle its travels, accommodation and logistics without recourse to the National Hajj Commission. This will enable it have free hand in carrying out its duties thoroughly and putting up an over-arching report(s) that will help the better performance, value for money and successful future Hajj worthy of being accepted and rewarded by Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala;

(v) that the members of Nigeria-Saudi Arabia Parliamentary Friendship and Hajj Affairs (NSAPFHA) should live up to their responsibilities and make it more robust, vibrant and uplifting the performance of the House in Parliamentary Friendship and Hajj Affairs of the Nation;

(vi) that NAHCON should find ways of reducing Hajj fares;

(vii) that even though the National Medical Team policy adopted by the Commission has improved significantly, the arrangement should be elaborated further to make the medical facility accessible with ease and close to pilgrims’ accommodation;

(viii) that States should be encouraged to move the accommodation of their pilgrims very close to Haram in Makkah (not beyond bridges of Kubri Mansur and Kubri Massafala) and such States could come together within the vicinity of Haram that could accommodate the pilgrims at the same time and for easy management;

(ix) that the Commission made commendable effort to curtail the activities of drug peddlers during the 2017 Hajj and should sustain the feat through more enlightenment for pilgrims;

(x) that NAHCON should ensure early airlift of pilgrims back home;

(xi) that the Public Procurement Act and the Local Content Act should be strictly adhered to in all contracts processes during Hajj exercises;

(xii) that the FCT Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Agency, like other States Pilgrims Boards/Agencies should be placed under the NSAPFHA; this will give room for effective oversight;

(xiii) that NAHCON should be urged to immediately commence refund of money paid for wrist band to all pilgrims that have paid and been established not to have benefitted;

(xiiii) that the biometric capture for intending Umrah and Hajj pilgrims being contemplated by the Embassy of Saudi Arabia should be halted to avoid the unnecessary stress and hardship.

Item 14 stepped down by leave of he House

Adjournment

The House adjourned Plenary till Thursday, January 25 by 11:00 Am

Courtesy:

Media Unit, Office of the Honourable Speaker, House of Representatives