Plenary proceedings from House of Representatives
Votes and Proceedings for Tuesday, March 6, 2018.

Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Yakubu Dogara presided. He said opening prayers and approved votes and proceedings for Thursday’s sitting.

Matter(s) of Urgent Public Importance

There were two matters of urgent public importance moved by Hon. Mohammed Farouq and Hon. Bolaji Yusuf Ayinla.

Hon. Mohammed Farouq’s motion was on a fire incident in a market in Niger state, while Hon. Bolaji Yusuf Ayinla moved a motion on the need to avert the shut down of private oil depots and massive sack of workers by depot owners and petroleum product marketers in Nigeria. Both motions were adopted.

 

PRESENTATION OF BILLS

The following Bills were presented for first reading;

 

1. Raw Materials Research and Development Council Act (Repeal and Re-Enactment) Bill, 2018 (HB. 1353) (Hon. Beni Lar) – First Reading.

 

2. National Centre for Citizenship and Leadership Training Bill, 2018 (HB.1354) (Hon. Segun A. Adekola) – First Reading.

 

3. Child’s Rights Act (Amendment) Bill, 2018 (HB. 1355) (Hon. Segun A. Adekola) – First Reading.

 

4. Federal University of Agriculture, Sabon Gida (Establishment) Bill, 2018 (HB. 1356) (Hon. Beni Lar) – First Reading.

 

5. National Fire Administration (Establishment) Bill, 2018 (HB. 1357) (Hon. Adedapo Lam Adesina) – First Reading.

The House received the report of the Conference Committee on a Bill for an Act to Establish the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit as the Central Body in Nigeria Responsible for Receiving, Requesting, Analyzing and Disseminating Financial Intelligence Report and Other Information to Law Enforcement, Security and Intelligence Agencies and Other Relevant Authorities; and for Related Matters.

 

BILLS

1. The following bills were consolidated:

 

(a) A Bill for an Act to Amend the Tertiary Education Trust Fund 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; to Review some Provisions to give the National Assembly certain Powers under the Act; and for Related Matters (HBs. 967 and 1057) (Hon. Abbas Tajudeen and Hon. Muhammad Sani Abdu); and

(b) A Bill for an Act to Amend the Tertiary Education Trust Fund Act, 2011 to Subject the Annual Budget of the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND) to Approval of the National Assembly; and for Related Matters (HB. 1324) (Hon. O. K. Chinda).

 

2. The House passed through second reading, A Bill for an Act to Establish Federal College of Education (Technical) Onna, Akwa Ibom State to Provide Full-Time Courses, Teaching, Instructions and Training in Technology, Applied Sciences, Arts, Social Sciences, Humanities and Management; and for Related Matters (HB.1304) (Hon. Owoidighe Ekpoattai, referred to the Committee on Tertiary Education & Services)

3. The House also passed through second reading, A Bill for an Act to Establish Federal University of Agriculture, Gamawa to make comprehensive provisions for its due Management and Administration and for Related Matters (HB.1307) (Hon. Mohammed Garba Gololo; referred to the Committee on Tertiary Education & Services)

 

MOTIONS

The following motions were adopted;

1. Need to Investigate the Loss of over N2 Billion and $3.8 Million as a Result of Non- Payment of Interests by Banks from the Sale Proceeds of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) Successor Companies:

Hon. Chukwuka W. Onyema:

 

The House:

Notes that the Electric Power Sector Reform Act of 2005 unbundled the Power Holding Company of Nigeria into a series of 18 successor Companies composed of six Generation Companies, and twelve Distribution Companies covering all the 36 States of the Federation and a National Power Transmission Company;

Also notes that following the divestiture of Federal Government from PHCN through privatization, the Company was divided into separate Companies known as the Local Electricity Distribution Companies;

 

Aware that the successor Companies made payment to the Federal Government through the following Banks: Standard Chartered Bank, Fidelity Bank, Stanbic IBTC, Access Bank, FCMB, Skye Bank, Sterling Bank, Zenith Bank and Unity Bank;

Concerned that the accrued interests due to the Federal Government to the tune of 2 Billion Naira and 3.8 Million US Dollars were alleged to have been diverted by those Banks in collaboration with officials of the Central Bank of Nigeria;

Cognizant that Section 88 (2)(b) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) empowers the House to conduct investigations for the purpose of exposing corruption, inefficiency or waste in the execution or administration of laws within its legislative competence and in the disbursement or administration of funds appropriated by it;

 

Resolves to:

Mandate an adhoc committee to investigate the matter and report back within six (6) weeks for further legislative action.

2. Call to Investigate the Registration and Issuance of Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) to Under Aged Voters by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC):

Hon. Johnbull Giemlong Shekarau:

 

The House:

Notes that Section 12 (1) of the Electoral Act, 2010 provides that a person shall be qualified to be registered as a voter if such a person has attained the age of eighteen years and the INEC is empowered to register and issue Permanent Voters’ Cards to eligible Nigerians;

Concerned about reports from the social, print and electronic media which indicated that there were incidences of under aged voters who presented themselves at polling units with Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) to vote in the recently conducted Local Government Elections in Kano State;

Aware that the Director of Publicity and Voter Education at INEC, Oluwole Osaze Uzzi, while responding to questions on the Africa Independent Television (AIT) on the matter on 15/02/2018, said that the under aged voters were registered because the lives of the registration officers were being threatened;

Also aware that the incidence caused serious embarrassment to the nation and amounts to a threat to our growing democracy and a danger to the security of lives of officials posted to handle sensitive national issues such as registration of eligible voters;

Cognizant that the incidence, if left unchecked, will have adverse effects on the peaceful conduct, credibility of future elections and the legitimacy of elected leaders;

Resolves to:

Set up a powerful adhoc committee for the purpose of investigating the incidence of registration and issuance of Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) to under aged voters by the INEC and report back within six (6) weeks for further legislative action.

3. Call on the Federal Government to Establish a New Shipping Line and also Float a Viable National Carrier:

Hon. Lawal Abubakar Garba:

 

The House:

 

Notes that the Nigerian National Shipping Line was founded in 1959 to enhance the import and export businesses and by 1979, Nigeria had a vibrant shipping line with over 19 ocean-going ships, a situation that provided jobs for over 200,000 Nigerians;

Observes that as at 1996 there was only one Vessel, NV Abuja which was purchased by the late Gen. Sani Abacha’s Administration to bridge the gap in training and balance of payment and the needed forex as some vessels were arrested by clients while others were sold;

Also observes that NV Abuja which was once a pride of the nation was sold in 2005;

Concerned that freight related costs accrue on annual basis of over $6 billion dollars by the Nigerian Imports and Exports to foreign Shipping Companies, a sum that could be ploughed back into the Nigerian economy if Nigeria had a vibrant Shipping Line;

 

Also concerned that a country like Nigeria with vast coastal stretch of over 800 nautical miles is presently without a National Carrier;

 

Believes that the establishment of a new National Fleet has the capacity to transform the life of an average citizen with improved economic fundamentals in economic diversification and profound impact on the economy;

 

Also believes that floating a new National Shipping Line will boost freight haulage, create jobs for the teeming unemployed Nigerians to work and practice their profession and have sea time experience;

 

Convinced that the establishment of a National Carrier will place Nigeria at an international trade advantage in terms of trade and carriage contracts of afreightment thus bringing several benefits such as the springing up of Insurance and Stevedoring Companies, Ship Management , Ship building, dry docking and ship financing;

Resolves to:

 

Urge the Federal Government to establish a new Shipping Line or in the alternative engage a Private Company on a Public Private Partnership (PPP) and provide an enabling environment for a smooth take off a new Shipping Line that may have a National Carrier Status.

 

4. Need for the Central Bank of Nigeria and Other Commercial Banks to Recognize and Accept the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) National Identification Number (Nin) Slip as a Valid Means of Identification

Hon. Ahmed Yerima.

 

The House:

Notes that the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) was established to manage the identity of Nigerian Citizens by Birth and Naturalization;

Also notes that in order to fulfill its mandate, the NIMC deploys the latest Biometric Data Capturing Technology;

 

Concerned that the Central Bank of Nigeria, being the key monetary policy regulator, in its effort to maintain order and transparency in Bank transactions, does not recognize or accept the NIN Slip of Customers;

 

Cognizant of the fact that the National Identification Number (NIN) is one means of identity as noted on the slip which is confidential and may only be released for legitimate transactions and also states clearly that the bearer will be notified when the National Identity Card is ready and stands in place of the permanent card until it is produced, and it takes a long time to be produced;

 

Also concerned that the Central Bank of Nigeria, as a statutory body, has refused to recognize the NIN slip as a means of Identification;

 

Further concerned that the Central Bank of Nigeria has also directed commercial Banks not to recognize the NIN slip which is a proof that the permanent Identification card is in process and this may cause NIN Slip holders waiting for their permanent Identification cards to experience untold hardships in their quest to carry out normal banking and other transactions;

 

Resolves to:

(i) Urge the Central Bank of Nigeria to recognize the National Identification Number Slip issued by NIMC as a statutory document which can be used to carry out legitimate transactions;

(ii) Mandate the Committee on Banking and Currency to interact with the Central Bank of Nigeria and other stakeholders on the need to recognize and accept the NIN Slip as a means of Identification and report within four (4) weeks for further legislative action.

iii. Urge NIMC to quickly produce permanent ID cards and if there are any challenges, they should revert to the House.

iv. Mandate the Committee on Population to also investigate the issuance of permanent ID cards by NIMC.

 

CONSIDERATION OF REPORTS

The following reports were considered and adopted;

1. Committee on Public Petitions:

Hon. Uzoma Nkem-Abonta:

Petition by Rayfield Associates on behalf of Global Spectrum Energy Services Limited:

‘That the House do consider the Report of the Committee on Public Petitions on the Petition by Rayfield Associates on behalf of Global Spectrum Energy Services Limited against the Management of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) on the Denial of Contract for Towage Services at the Calabar Port and approve the recommendations therein” (Laid: 20/2/2018);

(i) Urge the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) to restore the contract entered into with Global Spectrum Energy Service Limited in respect of contract for Towage Service at Calabar Port, as the Contract in its entirety was valid and evidence of past performance of Global Spectrum Energy Services Limited;

 

(ii) that the Nigerian Port Authority should take immediate steps to provide enabling environment to facilitate the commencement of operations at the designated Port of Calabar;

 

(iii) that Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi or indeed any Transport Minister should not interfere or meddle with valid contracts, contrary to sound legal advice.

 

2. Committee on Public Petitions:

Hon. Uzoma Nkem-Abonta:

Petition by Bello Ahmed and two others:

“That the House do consider the Report of the Committee on Public Petitions on the Petition by Bello Ahmed and two others against the Nigeria Prisons Service on Appeal for Intervention and Urgent Redress and approve the recommendation therein” (Laid: 20/2/2018);

 

That the petition be discountenanced for lack of merit.

 

3. Committee on Public Petitions:

Hon. Uzoma Nkem-Abonta:

Petition by Vettal Mega Service Limited:

‘That the House do consider the Report of the Committee on Public Petitions on the Petition by Vettal Mega Service Limited against Opi/Oriental Energy/Shell over an unfair treatment and oppressive conduct meted to them and approve the recommendation therein” (Laid: 20/2/2018);

 

Urge OPI International Nigeria Limited to pay Vettal Mega Service Limited the sum of $11, 967, 102 (US Dollars).

 

4. Committee on Public Petitions:

Hon. Uzoma Nkem-Abonta:

Petition by Mr. Ebi Tubotu:

‘That the House do consider the Report of the Committee on Public Petitions on the Petition by Mr. Ebi Tubotu against the Nigeria Police Force and Airtel Nigeria Limited on Alleged Unwarranted Arrest, Torture, Humiliation and Unlawful Detention and Violation of his Fundamental Human Rights and approve the recommendations therein” (Laid: 20/2/2018);

 

(i) Urge the Nigeria Police Force to ensure that Officers who took part in this misrepresentation are brought to book to serve as deterrent to others;

 

(ii) that the Nigeria Police Force be cautioned to always carry out thorough investigation before apprehending anybody;

 

(iii) that the Nigeria Police Force should tender an apology in two National Dailies to restore the image of the well-known comedian and his family;

 

(iv) that since the Committee lacks the competence to award damages, the sum of N500, 000, 000 (Five Hundred Million Naira) being damages requested in the Petition cannot be awarded.

 

 

5. Committee on Public Petitions:

Petition by Chinedu James Ujam:

Hon. Uzoma Nkem-Abonta:

“That the House do consider the Report of the Committee on Public Petitions on the Petition by Chinedu James Ujam against the Management of the Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC) on unlawful Termination of his Appointment and approve the recommendations therein”(Laid: 26/7/2017).

 

(i) urge the Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC) to reinstate Chinedu James Ujam;

(ii) pay all his salaries from May, 2015 till date;

(iv) that no compensation or damages should be paid to him as the House of Representatives cannot grant such because it is only a court of competent jurisdiction that can grant such compensation or damages.

6. Report of the Conference Committee on a Bill for an Act to Establish the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit as the Central Body in Nigeria Responsible for Receiving, Requesting, Analyzing and Disseminating Financial Intelligence Report and Other Information to Law Enforcement, Security and Intelligence Agencies and Other Relevant Authorities; and for Related Matters.

Courtesy:

Media Unit, Office of the Speaker,
House of Representatives