Plenary proceedings of the House of Representatives for Thursday, October 26, 2017

The Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Yakubu Dogara presiding
After the opening prayer, the Speaker adopted plenary votes and proceedings for Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Petitions:

Petitions were laid before the House by Hon. Rita Orji and Hon. Obinna Chidoka

PRESENTATION OF REPORTS

1.​ Committee on Healthcare Services:

​Hon. Chike John Okafor:

“That the House do receive the Report of the Committee on Healthcare Services on the 2017 Budget Proposal of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) (Pursuant to Order Eighteen, Rule 47 (2) (b)(iv) of the Standing Orders of the House)”.

2.​ Committee on Ports, Harbours and Waterways:

​Hon. Pat Asadu:

“That the House do receive the Report of the Committee on Ports, Harbours and Waterways on the 2017 Budget Proposals of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC), National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) and Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN) (Pursuant to Order Eighteen, Rule 78 (2) (d), (e), (f) and (g) of the Standing Orders of the House)”.

Motion of Importance:

Hon. Tahir Monguno praised the President, Muhammadu Buhari for his sensitivity to the plight of Nigerians living in the North-East by quickly assenting to the North-East Development Bill ably sponsored by the Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Yakubu Dogara and supported by the entire House. He stated that even before the Boko Haram insurgency, the North-East had continued to possess the identity of being the most backward region in terms of developmental indices. In contributing, Hon. Nnenna Ukeje praised the seriousness of the Bill as the North-East Region really needs it. She however hoped that other regions in need of such Developmental Commissions in the future should not be denied at the times of their need.

ORDERS OF THE DAY

BILLS
​A Bill for an Act to Provide for the Establishment of the National Research and Innovation Council, National Research and Innovation Foundation, to among other things, set National Priorities on Research, Innovation and Development, Promote the Gains of the Application of the outputs of Research and Innovation, set Directions to Coordinate Innovation Activities; and for Related Matters (HB.1139) (Senate) (House Leader) — Second Reading.

Item stepped down by leave of the House

2.​ A Bill for an Act to Amend the Engineers (Registration, etc.) Act, Cap. E11, Laws of

the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 to Introduce New Register for Engineering Firms,

include Engineering Personnel, Broaden the Power of the Council and its Registrar

and the Recognition of Other Professional Bodies outside the Nigerian Society of

Engineers to Nominate Representatives to the Council, among Others; and for

Related Matters 2017 (HB. 1092) (Hon. Toby Okechukwu) — Second Reading.

Item stepped down by leave of the House

​A Bill for an Act to Amend the University of Lagos Act, Cap. U9, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 to specify the Minimum Qualification for 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.1106) (Hon. James Abiodun Faleke) — Second Reading.

Hon. Faleke moved for the Second Reading of the Bill, Hon. Garba Datti seconded it.

Debate:

Hon. Faleke explained that the Bill sought to amend 4 Sections of the University of Lagos Act to bring it up to speed with what is obtained internationally. Hon. Chika Adamu (Niger) described the Bill as timely, stating that Pro-Chancellors who are educationally and financially viable and are of sound character influence the inflow of needed funds and goodwill which aids the Institution. It was voted on, passed for Second Reading, the Clerk read the long title and it was referred to the House Committee on Tertiary Education Services.

4.​ A Bill for an Act to Amend the Obafemi Awolowo University (Transitional Provisions) Act, Cap. O2, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 to specify the Minimum Qualification for 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.1111) (Hon. Ayo Omidiran) — Second Reading.

Hon. Omidiran moved for the Second Reading, Hon. Binta Bello seconded.

Debate:

Hon. Omidiran stated that the Bill is similar and seeks to amend the same issues as the previous Bill sponsored by Hon. James Faleke and should be passed and implemented across board to all Government owned Universities nation-wide for standardization. Deputy Speaker, Hon. Yussuf Lasun cautioned that politics should not be mixed with educational advantage in considerations, he supported the Bill. Hon. Jerry Alaogboso praised the Bill, especially the Section dealing with the protection of intellectual property. It was voted on, passed for Second Reading, the Clerk read the Long title and it was referred to the House Committee on Tertiary Education Services.

MOTIONS

5.​ Need to Declare a State of Emergency on Rehabilitation of Federal Roads Across the Country:

Hon. Segun Alexander Adekola ​​Hon. Afe Olowookere:

The House:

Notes the dilapidated state of most Federal roads that link all parts of the Federation, a situation that is causing concern to the citizens;

Also notes that budgetary allocations for rehabilitation/maintenance of the roads are usually less than forty five (45) percent, whereas road infrastructure deficit was estimated in 2015 at ₦2 trillion;

Aware that the absence of a railway system covering the length of the country makes road transportation the most widely available means of movement from one part of the country to another, in the process, exacting immense toll on the road network;

Observes that the zero budgeting system being implemented by the Federal Government is hampering effective rehabilitation and construction of roads in the country given that there is no alternative means of funding this critical sector;

Concerned by the absence of public private partnership scheme and the failure of successive Administrations to prioritize road construction and maintenance, such that practically all Federal roads like Owo-Ikare-Kabba, Ikare-Omuo-Kabba, Ipele-Kabba, Isua-Ibilo-Okene, Okene-Obajana, Abuja-Lokoja-Okene, Lagos-Ibadan expressway, Okigwe-Umuahia, Enugu-Awka-Onitsha, etc are at various states of disrepair;

Also concerned by the harrowing experiences commuters are having on the roads in form of accidents and attacks by hoodlums who rob and kill at will on the roads;

Resolves to:

(i)​urge the Federal Government to declare a state of emergency on the dilapidated Federal roads in the country and initiate measures to rehabilitate them; and

(ii)​mandate the Committee on Works to ascertain the status of Federal Roads across the country, the contracts awarded for their rehabilitation, the budgeted sums and states of execution from 2007 till date, and report back within twelve (12) weeks for further legislative action.

Hon. Adekoya moved the Motion, Hon. Flata (Jigawa) seconded it. As an infrastructure Motion, it was voted on and passed.

6.​ Need for the Federal Government to Concession Gele-Gele Seaport to Edo State Government and Declare it an Export and Import Free Trade Zone:

Hon. Ehiozuwa Johnson Agbonayinma:

The House:

Notes that Gele-Gele Seaport played a prominent role in trade between the Portuguese traders and Benin Empire in the 15th century during which commercial activities flourished so much that the Benin Monarch established an embassy in Portugal with a Benin Crown Prince as the first Ambassador, hence Oba Ewuare II, the Oba of Benin Kingdom is among those leading the quest for the establishment and concession of the seaport to Edo State;

Also notes that from its historical importance, Gele-Gele Seaport will play a significant role in the economic development of Nigeria as Edo State is connected to various parts of the country, which makes it an economic hub for transportation of merchandise;

Aware that the establishment and concession of the seaport to Edo State Government will not only provide for export free trade zone with enormous trading activities but will also lead to the creation of good road infrastructure and agro-industrial park and container terminals in the State, thereby urbanizing the predominantly rural communities in the state;

Believes that the concession will put the seaport to optimal utilization when Edo State Government, in partnership with private investors, manage the seaport as this will boost revenue generation, create more jobs, boost economic activities in the State, assist in the decongestion of other seaports, attract foreign investments and ensure increase in timely delivery and distribution of merchandise to consumer markets;

Resolves to:

(i) ​urge the Federal Government to, as a matter of priority, establish Gele-Gele Seaport and concession its management to Edo State Government and also declare it an export and import free trade zone; and

(ii) ​mandate the Committee on Ports, Harbours and Waterways to ensure implementation and report back in twelve (12) weeks for further legislative action.

Hon. Johnson moved the Motion, Hon. Abdulrahman Shuaibu seconded.

Debate:

Hon. Johnson stressed the importance of sighting the proposed Sea Port in Edo State which sits at the co-joining access to 4 Geo-political zones of the country. He pointed that it would improve transport of goods nationwide and improve the socio-economic wellbeing of people in the region and ensure the influence of development spreads outwards. The Speaker of the House, Hon. Yakubu Dogara stated that if sited in Edo and the State could manage it as a Nigerian asset, there was indeed nothing wrong in national spirit. It was voted on, BUT DID NOT SCALE THROUGH.

7.​ Need to Enlighten Motorists on Taking Advantage of the Third Party Motor Vehicle Insurance Scheme:

Hon. Francis Charles Uduyok​​​Hon. Joseph Edionwele:

The House:

Notes that Section 68 (1) of the Insurance Act of 2003 provides that no person shall use or cause any other person to use a motor vehicle on a road unless a liability which he may thereby incur in respect of damage to the property of a third party is insured with an Insurer registered under this Act;

Also notes that a Third Party Insurance Policy of ₦5000 is usually purchased under the Act by the Insured for protection against another party’s claims that is known as the Third Party;

Aware that motorists are systematically being denied information on the essence of the ₦5000 insurance premium paid at the point of registering a vehicle or renewal of the particulars;

Also aware that most owners of accidented vehicles which were covered by insurance and ought, ordinarily to have been compensated did not receive any compensation and rather ended up bearing the costs of the repairs of their vehicles owing to the fact that majority of vehicle owners still do not know the real reason for the ₦5000 insurance policy they paid, as a result, the Insurance Companies are raking in fortunes without paying compensation to the Insured;

Resolves to:

(i)​urge the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture to initiate enlightenment campaigns on the rights of the Insured under the Third Party Motor Vehicle Insurance Scheme; and

(ii)​mandate the Committee on Insurance and Actuarial Matters to investigate the operations of the Third Party Motor Vehicle Insurance Scheme in order to determine whether the Insured are deriving benefits from the Scheme and constraints in its operations, and report back in twelve (12) weeks for further legislative action.

Hon. Charles moved the Motion, Hon. Mohammed Sherrif seconded it.

Debate:

Hon. Charles stated that the insurance sector is not properly set up and executed, and Nigerians do not get the cushioning benefits they are supposed to, through providing claims in the event of robbery, accidents or any other covered aspect. He stated that if properly managed, the sector was a viable one. In contributing to the debate, Hon. Abubakar Kannike stated that the insurance management fraud is one steadily perpetrated and thriving in Nigeria. He stated that the scenarios where almost every home owns one or two cars and pays the =N=5,000 insurance charge multiplied by all the cars shows huge funds that go unaccounted for. Amendments were proposed (I) Hon. Yunus Abubakar Proposed to Involve the Federal Road Safety Corps in ensuring that only Government registered insurance firms be allowed to cover motorists. (II) Hon. George Oladele proposed an amendment to Prayer 1, it was voted and passed as amended.

8.​ Call for Harmonization of Biometric Data of Nigerian Citizens:

Hon. Ochiglegor Idagbo:

The House:

Recalls that the issue of National Identity Scheme in Nigeria was first conceived in 1977 but was eventually executed almost twenty five (25) years later in view of the importance of biometric data in planning and development of all sectors of a country’s economy;

Notes that several countries of the world like the United States, Canada, South Africa, United Arab Emirates, among others have achieved great outcomes in economic development and crime detection, prevention and fighting as a result of the harmonization of the biometric data of their citizens;

Aware that the Central Bank of Nigeria, the Federal Road Safety Commission, the Federal Inland Revenue Service, the National Pension Commission, the Independent National Electoral Commission, the National Health Insurance Scheme, the National Population Commission, Telecom Service Providers and the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development have all separately initiated their own biometric data gathering which has led to duplicity of efforts due to lack of coordination, thus leading to the storage of the same biometric data by multiple agencies;

Observes that following the biometric data capturing exercises, some of those agencies have obtained biometric data records thus:

(i)​Central Bank of Nigeria/Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System — 16 million persons,

(ii)​Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) — 60 million persons,

(iii)​Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) — 150 million persons,

(iv)​Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) — 5 million persons,

(v)​Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) — 20 million persons;

Recognizes that harmonization of biometric databases of the agencies of Government and private entities will help in saving about ₦40 billion in operational costs and citizens will not be required to have their biometrics taken over and over again by different agencies working for the same Government;

Resolves to:

(i)​urge the Federal Government to initiate measures for the harmonization of the biometric data of Nigerians that have been captured by different agencies of Government; and

(ii)​mandate the Committees on Population and Governmental Affairs to ensure implementation and report back in six (6) weeks for further legislative action.

Hon. Idagbo moved the Motion, Hon. George Oladele seconded it.

Debate:

President Muhammadu Buhari had earlier directed that all biometric information from Agencies of Government be harmonized, but there has not been compliance to this directive. He stated that if aptly done and applied, it would help in identification, documentation and the fighting of crime. Hon. Istifanus Gyang supported the Motion as it aimed at strengthening identity management in the nation. It was put to a vote and passed.

House in the Committee of Supply, Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Yakubu Dogara presiding:

CONSIDERATION OF REPORTS

​Sergius Ogun moved for the Consideration of the Report, Hon. Zephaniah (F.C.T) seconded.Committees on Federal Capital Territory and Federal Capital Territory Area Councils and Ancillary Matters:
​Hon. Sergius Oseasochie Ogun:

“That the House do consider the Report of the Committees on Federal Capital Territory and Federal Capital Territory Area Councils and Ancillary Matters on a Bill for an Act to Authorize the issue from the Federal Capital Territory Administration Statutory Revenue Fund of the Federal Capital Territory Administration Account, the Total Sum of ₦222,360,551,512 (Two Hundred and Twenty- Two Billion, Three Hundred and Sixty Million, Five Hundred and Fifty-One Thousand, Five Hundred and Twelve Naira) only, of which the Sum of ₦52,574,479,667 (Fifty-Two Billion, Five Hundred and Seventy-Four Million, Four Hundred and Seventy-Nine Thousand, Six Hundred and Sixty-Seven Naira) only, is for Personnel Costs and the Sum of ₦40,460,373,354 (Forty Billion, Four Hundred and Sixty Million, Three Hundred and Seventy-Three Thousand, Three Hundred and Fifty-Four Naira) only, is for Overhead Costs whilst the Balance of ₦129,325,698,492 (One Hundred and Twenty Nine Billion, Three Hundred and Twenty-Five Million, Six Hundred and Ninety-Eight Thousand, Four Hundred and Ninety-Two Naira) only, is for Capital Projects for the Service of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, for the Financial Year Commencing from 1 January and Ending on 31 December, 2017 (HB 1065) and approve the recommendations therein” (Laid: 24/10/2017):

Clause 1:​Issue a Bill of ₦222,360,551,512 from Federal Capital Territory Administration Statutory Revenue Fund.

​​​(1) ​The Director of Treasury of the Federal Capital Territory Administration shall, when authorized to do so by warrants signed by the Minister Federal Capital Territory Administration with responsibility to pay out of the Federal Capital Territory Administration Statutory Revenue Fund of the Federal Capital Territory Administration during the financial year 2017 the sum specified by the warrants, not exceeding in the aggregate ₦222,360,551,512 (Two Hundred and Twenty-Two Billion, Three Hundred and Sixty Million, Five Hundred and Fifty-One Thousand, Five Hundred and Twelve Naira) only

(2) ​The amount mentioned in Clause (1) of this clause shall be appropriated to heads of Expenditure as indicated in the schedule to this Bill.​​
​​
Clause 2:​Release of Funds.

All amounts appropriated under this Bill shall be made from the Federal Capital Territory Administration Statutory Revenue Fund only for the purposes specified in the schedule to this Bill.

Clause 3:​Payment of Revenue into the Statutory Account.

(1) ​All revenues accruing to the Federal Capital Territory Administration including the Statutory Revenue distribution shall be paid into the Federal Capital Territory Administration Statutory Revenue Account.

(2) ​No monies shall be withdrawn from the Account mentioned in Clause 3(1) above without appropriation by the National Assembly.​​

Clause 4:​Virement.

In the event that the implementation of any of the projects intended to be undertaken under this Bill cannot be completed without virement, such virement shall only be effected with the prior approval of the National Assembly.

Clause 5:​ Quarterly Report.

The Minister of Federal Capital Territory and the Director of Treasury Federal Capital Territory Administration shall immediately upon the coming into force of this Bill furnish the National Assembly, on a quarterly basis, the status of the records of the Federal Capital Territory Statutory Accounts.​​

Clause 6:​ Waiver not to incur Expenditure.

Where, due to revenue shortfall, amounts appropriated under this Bill cannot be funded, the Minister of Federal Capital Territory shall seek from the National Assembly a waiver not to incur such expenditure.
​​
Clause 7:​ Short Title.

This Bill may be cited as the Federal Capital Territory Appropriation Bill, 2017.

Explanatory Memorandum

This Bill provides for the issuing out of the Statutory Revenue Fund of the Federal Capital Territory the sum of (₦222,360,551,512) only, out of which (₦52,574,479,667) is for Personnel Costs and (₦40,460,373,354) is for Overhead Costs while the balance of (₦129,325,698,492) is for Capital Expenditure.

Committee of Supply voted on all clauses and they were carried.

House in Plenary:

The House adopted the votes on clauses.

House in the Committee of the Whole, Deputy Speaker, Hon. Yussuf Lasun presiding:

10.​ Hon. Mohammed Monguno moved for the consideration of the Report, Hon. Goni seconded it.

Committee on Agricultural Production and Services:

Hon. M. T. Monguno:

“That the House do consider the Report of the Committee on Agricultural Production and Services on a Bill for an Act to Repeal the National Agricultural Seeds Act, Cap. N5, LFN, 2004 and Re-enact the National Agricultural Seeds Council, 2016 and for Other Related Matters (HB. 472) and approve the recommendations therein” (Laid: 31/5/2017).

Debate:

Hon. Tahir Monguno stated that if seed administration is gotten right, 60% of the success process is assured. The Bill it seeks to repeal the earlier operational one as it is obsolete and no more in tandem with current agricultural practices. The clauses were voted on and carried.

11.​ Hon. Onuigbo moved for the consideration, Hon. Shuaibu (Adamawa) seconded.

Committee on Climate Change:

Hon. Sam I. Onuigbo:

“That the House do consider the Report of the Committee on Climate Change on a Bill for an Act to Provide a Legal Framework for the Mainstreaming of Climate Change Responses and Actions into Government Policy Formulation, Implementation and the Establishment of the National Council on Climate Change; and for Related Matters (HB. 1020) and approve the recommendations therein” (Laid: 19/10/2017).

Debate:

Hon. Onuigbo stated that attempts at enacting a proactive climate change Law has not been successful. The Bill seeks to create an enabling environment for those seeking to invest in this sector to succeed. It also seeks to creating an enforceable plan for dealing with climate related disasters. Clause 2 was amended, voted on and carried alongside the other 25 clauses of the Bill

12.​ Committee on Public Petitions:

​Report on the Petition by Mr Philemon Ibrahim Gora: Hon. Nkem Abonta.

​Hon. Istifanus Gyang moved for the Consideration of the Report, Hon. Davematics Ombugadu seconded.

“That the House do resume consideration of the Report of the Committee on Public Petitions on the Petition by Mr Philemon Ibrahim Gora against Diamond Bank Plc on the unlawful closure of accounts and retention of funds belonging to Cash Flowabi Network Limited by the management of the Bank, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the Nigeria Police Force and the Attorney General of the Federation and approve the recommendations therein” (Adjourned Consideration: 25/10/2017):

(i)​urge the Central Bank of Nigeria which went on publicizing and sensitizing people on Bitcoin and Crypto Currency (though have not licensed anybody or forbids the trade), and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) which had investigated the matter while it was still being investigated by the Police, and participated in Court processes);

(ii)​also urge Diamond Bank to oblige Mr Philemon Ibrahim Gora the facility by reopening the account for Cash Flowabi Network Limited to conclude the trading that will lead to disbursement of over 12 Billion Naira to depositors across the nation in overriding public interest.

The only recommendation was carried over form Plenary of Wednesday, October 25, 2017. Hon. Abonta had been asked to liaise with Hon. Chukwudi Onyerere (Chairman, House Committee on Banking and Currency) and report back. It was on that light that the recommendation was voted on and carried.

House in Plenary:

The House adopted the voting on clauses and recommendations of the Reports.

The House then adjourned Plenary to Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Courtesy:

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

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