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Plenary proceedings of the House of Representatives for Tuesday, October 31st, 2023

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The Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Abbas Tajudeen presiding.

After leading the opening prayer and recitation of the national pledge, the Speaker approved the votes and proceedings of Thursday, October 26th, 2023.


ANNOUNCEMENTS:

  1. Messages from Mr. President:

I. 2023 supplementary Appropriation Bill to the tune of over 2 Trillion for the wage payments, cash provision for the vulnerable, as well as for the carrying out of critical infrastructure and projects.

II. Submission of 2024-2026 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and fiscal strategy papers as a prelude of the 2024 budget. The President expressed optimism that the House will accord the documents the normal favorable consideration and due approval. The documents were referred to the House Committee on Finance.

  1. Deputy Minority Whip, Hon. Georgia Ozodinobi announced that there will be a meeting of the 35 Honourable Members of the Labour Party caucus immediately after plenary at room 201.
  2. All Zonal caucuses, as well as State caucuses should meet within the next 7 days to elect their leaders.
  3. The composition of a Special Committee to investigate oil theft was announced and it is to be Chaired by Hon. Alhassan Ado-Doguwa who was asked to immediately inaugurate the Committee so that it can get to work immediately.

PETITIONS:

  1. Hon. Aliyu Mustapha laid a petition on behalf of the African Center for Justice and Human Rights against officers of the British security who are allegedly guilty of hounding a Nigerian businessman thereby flaunting a court order to stop the witch hunt.
  2. Hon. Chris Nkwonta laid a petition on behalf of some complainants in Abia State against Nigeria Gas company, as well as Shell Development company for the alleged refusal to create a host communities development body and the neglect of Shell to carry out its statutory duties to the host communities, as well as pay for gas flaring in the community.
  3. Hon. Philip Agbese laid a petition on behalf of the Center for Social Justice against the Nigeria Police Force on alleged plots to assassinate the Governor of Rivers State.
  4. Hon. Abdullahi Halims laid a petition on behalf of Miss Fatima Charity for the payment of her accrued pensions from the Pension Trust Fund.

All the petitions were referred to the House committee on Public Petitions.


MATTERS OF URGENT PUBLIC IMPORTANCE:

  1. Hon. Adewale Adebayo moved a motion on the urgent need to invite the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs/ Poverty Alleviation to explain to the House the steps taken to disburse over 1.1 Trillion Naira conditional cash transfer to 15 Million households, and it was seconded by Hon. Ahmed Shehu.

Hon. Adebayo stated that the disbursement does not seem to achieve the cushioning of the effects of the removal of fuel subsidy regime for which it was intended. He stated that as representatives of the people, constituents have expressed suspicions regarding the manner in which the disbursement was handled. He stated that there was a need to invite the minister to come before the House to clarify the modalities used for the disbursement.

The motion was voted on, adopted and referred to House committee on Constituency Outreach as well as that on Poverty Alleviation.

  1. Hon. Adamu Tanko moved a motion on the need for urgent intervention to address the insecurity in some parts of Niger State, and it was seconded by Hon. Gaza Gbwefi. Hon. Tanko in leading the debate stated that many communities in Niger State have been facing unrelenting attacks by bandits, the recent attack led to the loss of over 17 lives. He stated that the residents of the communities now live in fear of movement or residing in the area.

Hon. Tanko further stressed that these occurrences have grounded socioeconomic activities in the area. He called on the Inspector General of police, as well as the Chief of Army Staff to mobilize men to the region to provide peace and that the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs should provide relief materials for victims of the region.

The motion was voted on, adopted and referred to the House committee on Police, Defense as well as that on Humanitarian Affairs.


​​​​​​​​​​​​​ PRESENTATION OF BILLS:

  1. Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (Alteration) Bill, 2023 (HB.766) (Hon. Adewunmi Oriyomi Onanuga) – First Reading.
  2. Agricultural Research Council of Nigeria Act (Amendment) Bill, 2023 (HB.767) (Hon. Lawan Shettima Ali) – First Reading.
  3. Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps Act (Amendment) Bill, 2023 (HB.768) (Hon. Tasir Olawale Raji) – First Reading.
  4. Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act (Amendment) Bill, 2023 (HB.769) (Hon. Tasir Olawale Raji) – First Reading.
  5. Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (Alteration) Bill, 2023 (HB.770) (Hon. Tasir Olawale Raji) – First Reading.
  6. Federal University of Medicine and Health Science, Bida, Niger State (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB.771) (Hon. Saidu Musa Abdullahi) – First Reading.
  7. Federal Technical and Vocational Training Centre, Kubau, Kaduna State (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB.772) (Hon. Aliyu Mustapha Abdullahi) – First Reading.
  8. Labour Act (Amendment) Bill, 2023 (HB.773) (Hon. Aliyu Mustapha Abdullahi) – First Reading.
  9. National Institute of Marketing of Nigeria Act (Amendment) Bill, 2023 (HB.774) (Hon. Chris Nkwonta) – First Reading.
  10. National Vocational Centre, Oboroke, Kogi State (HB.775) (Hon. Abdulmaleek Abdulraheem Danga) – First Reading.
  11. Federal Medical Centres Act (Amendment) Bill, 2023 (HB.776) (Hon. Abdulmaleek Abdulraheem Danga) – First Reading.
  12. Higher National Diploma Discrimination (Prohibition) Bill, 2023 (HB.777) (Hon. Mark Udo Esset) – First Reading.
  13. National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency Act (Amendment) Bill, 2023 (HB.778) (Hon. Jesse Okey- Joe Onuakalusi) – First Reading.
  14. Federal Highways Act (Amendment) Bill, 2023 (HB.779) (Hon. Sesi Oluwaseun Whingan) – First Reading.
  15. Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (Alteration) Bill, 2023 (HB.780) (Hon. Sesi Oluwaseun Whingan) – First Reading.
  16. National Tuberculosis and Leprosy Training Centre, (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB.781) (Hon. Sadiq Ango Abdullahi) – First Reading.
  17. Federal College of Nursing and Midwifery, Ikosun, Ekiti State (HB.782) (Hon. Kolawole Akinlayo) – First Reading.
  18. Federal Institute of Information Communication Technology, Idanre, Ondo State (HB.783) (Hon. Akingbaso Festus Olanrewaju) – First Reading.
  19. Chartered Institute of Nigerian Universities Professional Administrators (HB.784) (Hon. Pascal Agbodike) – First Reading.
  20. Nigerian Correctional Service Commission (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB.785) (Hon. Pascal Agbodike) – First Reading.
  21. Nigeria Palliatives Monitoring Commission (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB.786) (Hon. Pascal Agbodike) – First Reading.
  22. Nigerian Civil Defence Corps Academy, Anambra State (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB.787) (Hon. Pascal Agbodike) – First Reading.
  23. National Metallurgical Training Institute (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB.788) (Hon. Pascal Agbodike) – First Reading.
  24. Labour Institutions (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB.789) (Hon. Ademorin Kuye) – First Reading.
  25. National Inland Waterways Authority Act (Repeal and Enactment) Bill, 2023 (HB. 790) (Hon. Paul Sunday Nnamchi) – First Reading.
  26. National Anti-Doping Agency (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB.791) (Hon. Paul Sunday Nnamchi) – First Reading.
  27. Federal University of Forensic Sciences (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB.792) (Hon. Paul Sunday Nnamchi) – First Reading.
  28. Trade Dispute (Essential Services) Bill, 2023 (HB.793) (Hon. Paul Sunday Nnamchi) – First Reading.
  29. National Social Welfare (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (HB.794) (Hon. Abdulmalik Zubairu) – First Reading.
  30. Nigerian Food Security Bill, 2023 (HB. 795) (Hon. Abdulmalik Zubairu) – First Reading.
  31. Supplementary Appropriation Bill, 2023 (HB.765) (Executive) – First Reading.

PRESENTATION OF REPORTS:

1.​Ad–hoc Committee on Aids, Loans and Debt Management:

Hon. Julius Ihonvere:

“That the House do receive the Report of the Ad–hoc Committee on Aids, Loans and Debt Management on the request for Approval of Additional Financing of the National Social Safety Net Programme (Scale- Up) by the National Assembly” (Referred: 13/7/2023).

The report was laid following a motion by Hon. Julius Ihonvbere and seconded by Hon. Ali Isa.

2.​Ad–hoc Committee on the Gruesome Murder of Nigerians by Soldiers
Hon. Abdulraheem Sanni Egidi:

“That the House do receive the Report of the Ad–hoc Committee on the Gruesome Murder of Nigerians by Soldiers in Enugu” (Referred: 19/7/2023).

Laying of the report was stepped down by leave of the House.

  1. Interim Report:

Hon. Makki Abubakar Yalleman:

“That the House do receive the Interim Report of the Ad–hoc Committee to Investigate the Abuse of Tax Incentives, tax Breaks and Tax Waivers by Public Institutions and Companies benefitting from Tax Incentives” (Referred: 13/7/2023).

Laying of the report stepped down by leave of the House:


ORDERS OF THE DAY:

BILLS:

  1. A Bill for an Act to Amend the Interpretation Act, Cap. 123, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 to provide Conditions for Appointment and Assumption of Office in Acting capacity, to provide the meaning of certain words and for Related Matters (HB. 27) (Hon. Benjamin Okezie Kalu and six Others) – Second Reading.

Second reading of the Bill stepped down by leave of the House:

  1. A Bill for an Act to Establish the Federal College of Agriculture Agila, Benue State that shall provide Full-Time Courses in Agriculture Teaching, Instruction and Training in Sciences, Social Sciences, Commerce, Arts, Applied Sciences, Management and Humanities; and carry out Research, Innovation, Development and Adaptation of Teaching Techniques, and for Related Matters (HB. 11) (Hon. Philip Agbese) – Second Reading.

Debate:

Hon. Philip Agbese moved for the second reading of the bill and it was seconded by Hon. James Faleke. Hon. Agbese in leading the debate stated that the bill seeks to establish the Federal College for education, training, research and development in agriculture that will accelerate output and improved seedling research.

He expressed optimism that when established, the college of education will provide a veritable platform for teeming youth in and around the region to develop themselves. The Bill was voted on, approved for second reading and referred to the House committee on Agricultural colleges and Institutions.

  1. A Bill for an Act to authorise the issue from the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Federation the total sum of N2,176,791,286,033 (two trillion, one hundred and seventy-six billion, seven hundred and ninety-one million, two hundred and eighty-six thousand, thirty-three naira) only, of which N18,0000,000,000 (eighteen billion naira) only is for Statutory Transfers, N992,802,015,985 (nine hundred and ninety-two billion, eight hundred and two million, fifteen thousand, nine hundred and eighty-five naira) only is for Recurrent (non-debt) expenditure while the sum of N1,165,989,270,049| (one trillion, one hundred and sixty-five billion, nine hundred and eighty-nine million, two hundred and seventy thousand, forty-nine naira) only is for contribution to the Development Fund for Capital Expenditure for the year ending on 31 December 2023 (HB. 765) – Second Reading.

Hon. Julius Ihonvbere moved for the suspension of relevant rules to allow for the second reading and it was seconded by Hon. Ali Isa.

Debate:

Hon. Julius Ihonvbere moved for the second reading of the Bill and it was seconded by Hon. Ali Isa. Hon. Julius Ihonvbere in leading the debate stated that the bill seeks to provide the legal framework for cushioning of the effects of hardship being felt by Nigerians at the moment, as well as for the Federal government to carry out necessary critical projects such as massive rehabilitation of roads nationwide, upscale of security measures, provision of affordable housing, providing palliatives for the poor and vulnerable etc.

He praised the federal government for being sensitive to the yearning and plight of Nigerians. Hon. Julius Ihonvbere also praised government for the settlement of the cry by University Lecturers and Resident Doctors for the settlement of their demands.

The Deputy Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Benjamin Kalu also commended the Federal government for being dynamic and proactive to the needs of Nigerians. He commended the federal government for being sympathetic and timely to the cries of Nigerians and doing it in the right manner through approaching the Parliament. Rt. Hon. Kalu called the Bill a gap-bridging document as it gives room for the rehabilitation of critical roads and bridges.

Hon. Ali Isa in his contribution commended the government for the critical areas captured in the proposal, he however called for precise implementation as allegations are always rife that palliatives don’t get to people who need them most. He further called for a better geographical spread for developmental projects. He called on Honorable members to support the bill.

Hon. Stanley Olajide termed the bill as a stimulus for development and for the reduction of the hard times being felt by Nigerians as there seems to be a global recession going on.

Hon. Babajimi Benson commended President Bola Ahmed Tinubu for providing good governance for Nigerians and for possessing the desire to ensure better times for Nigerians. He also commended the Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Abbas Tajudeen for championing the wage increment cause. Hon. Benson expressed joy that the welfare and security of Nigerians were well captured in the proposal.

Hon. Mark Esset called on Honourable members to pass the bill for the good of Nigerians so that succor can come to the table of Nigerians. He called on the relevant committees of the House to ensure strict oversight for the implementation of the bill and for the good of all Nigerians and constituencies.

Hon. Eze Nwachukwu stated that the supplementary budget should truly provide the ‘renewed hope’ for Nigerians. He also called for the proper oversight of funds and projects captured in the bill.

Hon. Satomi Ahmed in his contribution commended the Federal government for bringing the supplementary budget and for the critical projects captured in it. He stressed on the need for proper oversight of the provisions made for security development, this he stated is critical especially considering the increasing cases of insecurity nationwide. He called on Honorable members to give the bill quick passage for the good of Nigerians.

Hon. James Faleke in contributing to the debate stated that the bill seeks to fill the gap in the 2023 budget. He noted that it seeks to meet the yearning of Nigerians from all walks of life. He commended the Executive for bringing it before the National Assembly in good time and urged Honorable members to ensure its speedy passage. Hon. Faleke stressed the need for the bill to cushion the socioeconomic demands of Nigerians. The bill was voted on, approved for second reading and referred to the House committee on Appropriations.


MOTIONS:

  1. Devastating Flood and Erosion in Agulu, Nimo, Abagana, Ukpo and Enugwukwu Communities in Anaocha/Njikoka/Dunukofia Federal Constituency of Anambra State:

Hon. George I. Ozodinobi:

The House:

Notes that consistent heavy rainfall in 2023, especially in August and September, has left most parts of the country with flooding, especially in the Eastern part of the country, and particularly in Anaocha/Njikoka/Dunukofia Federal Constituency of Anambra State;

Concerned that the floods caused by the rains have left the areas with devastating gully erosions, damaged roads, collapsed houses, and residents fleeing their ancestral homes to take refuge in neighbouring villages;

Also concerned that during the heavy rains, farmlands were washed away and businesses destroyed, thus causing untold hardship for the people, who are predominantly peasant farmers and depend on the proceeds from their farms for their livelihood;

Worried that despite Anambra State Government interventions and public appeals on Devastating Flood and Erosion in Agulu, Nimo, Abagana, Ukpo and Enugwukwu geographical space, particularly in Isimigbo, Amorji, Nkitaku, Umubiala and Umuowelle villages in Agulu; Otigbodomgbo road and Akpa village in Ukpo, and Amafum/Ajanze, Ezi Obeagha Ezira, Umuchime/Awato and Egbengwu in Nimo, the Federal Government has not taken concrete action to ameliorate the situation;

Also worried that failure to urgently address flooding and erosion in Anaocha/Njikoka/Dunukofia Federal Constituency could lead to grievous consequences for the people and the country at large;

Resolves to:

(i) urge the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Poverty Alleviation and the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to provide necessary assistance to victims of the devastating flooding and erosion in Agulu, Nimo, Abagana, Ukpo and Enugwukwu Communities in Anambra State;

(ii) also urge the Federal Ministry of Environment and the Ecological Fund Office to embark on erosion control and land reclamation in aforementioned communities as a matter of urgent importance;

(iii) further urge the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing to repair and reconstruct federal roads in that axis, now rendered unmotorable by floods and gully erosion, and assist the affected communities in rebuilding their collapsed houses;

(iv) equally, urge the Federal Ministry ofAgriculture and Food Security to ameliorate the losses of farmers in these communities with cash crop seedlings and cash grants to mitigate their losses and remain in farming;

(v) mandate the Committee on Emergency and Disaster Preparedness to ensure compliance.

Debate:

Hon. George Ozodinobi moved the motion on devastating flood erosion in Agulu, Nimo, Abagana, Ukpo and Enugwukwu communities in Anaocha/Njikoka/Dunukofia federal constituency of Anambra state and it was seconded by Hon. Yusuf. The motion was voted on, adopted and referred to the House committee on Emergency and Disaster Preparedness.

  1. Need to End the Eight-Year Total Blackout in Ikara and Kubau Local Government Areas of Kaduna State:

Hon. Aliyu Mustapha Abdullahi:

The House:

Notes that in 2015, a heavy rainstorm destroyed critical national electricity infrastructure in Ikara and Kubau Local Government Areas of Kaduna State, leading to unattended damaged infrastructures and theft of installations;

Concerned that 21 wards and over 200 towns and villages in Ikara and Kubau local government areas have continued to face power outages since 2015, relying on petrol generators and dirty biomass fuels, causing health and environmental issues;

Also concerned that businesses and hospitals in affected communities have been severely damaged, leading to increased unemployment and a worsening security situation for small and medium-scale entrepreneurs;

Cognizant that early this year, Arla Foods, a Danish multinational, invested over 10 million euros and inaugurated its state-of-the-art dairy farm in one of the affected villages named Damau of Kubau Local Government Area in Kaduna State and targets 4 million kilograms of milk production annually, boosting Nigeria’s local dairy development;

Worried that due to the absence of electricity supply, the enabling environment for businesses to thrive, Arla Dairy Farms may face challenges scaling operations and creating the intended 50,000 jobs, while other potential investors may be dissuaded;

Convinced that once the power supply is restored, it will be a win-win situation for the government and communities as significant revenues will be generated, economic activities will pick up, and there will be an improved quality of life;

Resolves to:

(i) urge the Federal Ministry of Power and the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) to inspect, repair, upgrade, and restore power supply to Ikara and Kubau Local Government Areas;

(ii) also urge the security outfits, such as the police and Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, to set up a robust security apparatus that will safeguard the critical electricity infrastructure put in place; and

(iii) mandate the Committees on Power and Legislative Compliance to ensure compliance.

Debate:

Hon. Aliyu Abdullahi moved the motion on the need to end the eight-year total blackout in Ikara and Kubau local government area of Kaduna State, and it was seconded by Hon. Babajimi Benson. The motion was voted on, adopted and referred to the House committee on Power as well as that on Legislative Compliance.

  1. Demand for Justice on the Murder of Miss Chalya Grace Silas.

Hon. Beni Lar:

The House:

Notes that on October 18, 2023, Miss Chalya Grace Silas, a National Youth Service Corps member deployed to Kaduna State, was brutally murdered while jogging in Barnawa, Kaduna South Local Government Area;

Also notes that the late Miss Chalya Grace Silas hailed from Tabat, in Langtang North Federal constituency, Plateau state and a Rehabilitation Sciences graduate from the University of Jos, tragically died at the hands of her assailants while undertaking the mandatory one-year, National Youth Service Corps Service in Kaduna State;

Informed that the tragic incident is one of numerous murders of innocent girls and women nationwide, with perpetrators often unaccounted for or not brought to justice;

Worried that the safety and security of the girl child is no longer guaranteed, given the continued liberty and freedom enjoyed by these heinous assailants, who still roam the streets preying on their next victim;

Acknowledges that prompt justice in this case would deter potential perpetrators, thereby ensuring a safer environment for Nigerian children and residents;

Aware that Delaying justice in this case would be equivalent to denying justice to the victims’ families and loved ones, as well as the entire nation;

Also cognizant that if nothing is done to stop the continuous attacks, rape, and murder of young girls and women, it would render the country unsafe to live;

Resolves to:

(i) Urge the Kaduna state Commissioner of Police to speedily identify and bring the assailants to book;

(ii) urge the Inspector General of Police to ensure the speedy delivery of Justice in this case;

(iii) mandate the Committee on Police to investigate the murderer of Miss Chalya Grace Silas;

(iv) also mandate the Committee on Youth Development to review the safety of Corps members as they fulfil their one-year compulsory National Youth Service Corps assignments, reach out to the family and collaborate with the police as they investigate the killers of the Corps Member.

Debate:

Hon. Beni Lar moved the motion on the demand for justice on the murder of Miss Chalya Grace Silas, and it was seconded by Hon. Ginger Onwusibe. Hon. Chris Nkwonta proposed an amendment to calling for one minute silence in honor of late Miss Grace Silas.

Hon. Godwin Ogah proposed an amendment calling on the National Youth Service Corps to compensate the family of the deceased. The motion was voted on, adopted as amended and referred to the House committee on Police as well as that on Youth Development.

  1. Need to Conclude Investigation on the Rising Value of Unclaimed Dividends, Unremitted Withholding Tax and the Effect on the Nation’s Economy:

Hon. Solomon T. Bob:

The House:

Notes that the value of unclaimed dividends and unremitted withholding tax has increased in recent years, hurting the nation’s economy;

Also notes that the 9th Assembly in line with its mandate and constitutional responsibility, mandated its committee on Capital Market and Institutions to investigate the allegations;

Aware that an interim report of the Committee was laid and the findings and Recommendations of the Committee were adopted by the House;

Worried that the Interim Committee Report/Finding disclosed a provisional figure of N413, 515, 546, 752. 47(four hundred and thirty billion, five hundred and fifty million, five hundred and forty-six thousand, seven hundred and fifty-two naira, and forty-seven kobo) as unclaimed dividends, unremitted withholding tax and penalty, and interest that was under reconciliation with the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Registrars when the interim report was considered;

Concerned that if the issue of unclaimed dividends is not finally put to rest, it will have significant adverse implications for the nation’s economy, erode investors’ confidence in the market, and create a volatile environment in the regulation of the capital market;

Resolves to:

mandate the Committee on Capital Markets and Institutions to investigate the matter and report back within eight (8) weeks for further legislative action.

The motion was stepped down by leave of the House.

  1. Need to Investigate Activities of the Bureau of Public Enterprise (BPE) in the Privatisation and Commercialization of Public Enterprises from 2019–2023:

Hon. Hassan Shehu Hussain:

The House:

Notes that the Federal Government of Nigeria commenced the Privatization and Commercialization of Public Enterprises in 2000;

Also notes that during the period under review; about 80 Public Enterprises were privatised through various modes of Privatisation including core investors, concessions, assets sales, initial Public Offers (IPO) etc.;

Aware that BPE Privatized in 2019, 29% of residues of the Federal Government’s shares in Geregu Power Plant to the core investors to upgrade it to a combined cycle for a total sum of N13,134,375,000 (Thirteen Billion, One Hundred and Thirty-Four Million, Three Hundred and Seventy-Five Thousand Naira);

Also aware that BPE without the investors fulfilling their obligations to upgrade the plant to a combined cycle sold an additional 20% of the balance of shares meant for I.P.O to the Nigerian Public on the Nigerian Stock Exchange to the same investor in 2021;

Worried that the Geregu Power Plant may never be upgraded to a combined cycle by the investors since BPE has removed the Public Enterprises from Post Privatization Monitoring;

Also worried that the balance of N78 billion between Afam Power and Afam Three Fast Power remains outstanding though, the parties signed the Share Sale Purchase Agreement in 2020 and only 25% of the purchase consideration was paid and a 100% handover to investors on the condition that the balance will be paid upon commissioning of the Afam Three Fast Power which was equally done by former Vice President, Professor Yomi Osinbanjo before leaving office;

Concerned that the Federal Ministry of Justice recently blocked the signing of the Zungeru Power Plant Concession Agreement, which would have generated $350million US Dollars in concession fees on the ground that there was no express approval by the Federal Executive Council (FEC);

Also concerned that the Current Director-General of BPE has been ordered to be remanded in Kuje prison for 30 days due to his refusal to implement a Supreme decision in Aluminum Smelter Company of Nigeria (ALSCON) transactions.
Resolves to:

Mandate the Committee on Privatization and Commercialization to investigate the activities of BPE from 2019 to May 2023 and report back within four (4) weeks for further legislative action.

Debate:

Hon. Hassan Hussain moved the motion on the need to investigate activities of the Bureau of Public Enterprise (BPE) in the privatization and commercialization of public enterprises from 2019–2023 and it was seconded by Hon. Shettima Ali. The motion was voted on, adopted and referred to the House Committee on Privatization and Commercialization.


Adjournment:

The House at 13:31 PM adjourned plenary to Wednesday, November 1st, 2023 by 11:00 A.M following a motion for adjournment moved by the Leader of the House, Hon. Julius Ihonvbere and seconded by the Minority Whip, Hon. Ali Isa.

Courtesy:
Media Unit, Office of the Speaker, House of Representatives.

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Constitution Amendment:C’mtee Calls For Memoranda , As First Draft,Final Copy For Presidential Assent, Ready In Aug 24/2025 Respectively-Kalu

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Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Benjamin Okezie Kalu has called for memoranda from Nigerians for this next round of amendment of the 1999 constitution, disclosing that the first draft report of the ongoing review of the 1999 constitution would be ready in August 2025

He also announced that the final clean copy for the presidential assent after the voting on the expected issues of concern by the two chambers of the national assembly would be out in August, 2025.

Kalu dropped the hints at a press conference by the House Committee on Constitution Review on Thursday.

It will be recalled that the committee on its inauguration, Monday, in Abuja gave a 24 month timeline for the conclusion of the exercise.

At the press conference, Kalu who doubles as the chairman of the committee said: “We are pushing to ensure that in our activities, that in no distance time, the first draft of the work we are trying to do in the constitution will be ready.

“This will be subject to approval of the work done by the subcommittee. Let me mention that our target, the first draft of the constitution will be out in August 2024.

“Second draft will be out in October 2024, we will commence zonal inputs from October 2024, we’ll keep collecting inputs from citizens from 14th October 2024 as we prepare for the last version or that last draft copy of the constitution.

“We are hoping that there will be a harmonization of the issues, on the 27th, 28th February 2025.

“We are hoping that during a technical working retreat that will take place in February 2025, the Senate and the House of Representatives documents will be harmonized.

“It is our desire that on the 17th of March 2025, we will have harmonized documents considered in the House. It is our believe that by April 2025, we will have the final copies of draft amendments produced.

“We are optimistic also that by 12th May 2025, we’ll have, the final clean copy of amendments bills agreed on.

“And we are looking at 22nd May 2025, as a time when we will have final report laid for consideration and voting.

“This is to say that members will be voting on the work we have done on this important date of 22nd May 2025

“We are believing that around the 29th of May or 13th of June knowing fully well what these important dates mean to Nigerians, we will expect the final concurrence of state assemblies secured.

“If it delays more than that, it will not go beyond August of 2025 because we believe that by August 2025, the president will receive the bills that will be presented to him for presidential assent. So, our targets that transmission of bills to Mr President for assent will take place August 2025.

“And with this, we are sure that our target to get this job done in 24 months will be achieved if we send it Mr President by August 2025 and hoping that by December we will have a constitution that’s fully amended. Thank you very our guests and honorable colleagues”.

The Deputy Speaker also called for submission of memoranda from different interest groups, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), Labour Unions, relevant institutions of government and the members of the general public to aid the committee’s work.

He said that the thematic areas included Federal Structure and Power Devolution; Local Government/Local Government Autonomy; Public Revenue, Fiscal Federation, and Revenue Allocation; Nigerian Police and Nigerian Security Architecture; Comprehensive Judicial Reforms; Electoral Reforms to strengthen INEC to deliver transparent, credible, free and fair elections; Socio-economic and cultural rights as contained in Chapter 2 of the
constitution and Traditional Institutions.

Other were Issues of Gender; Strengthening the Independence of oversight institutions and agencies created by the constitution or pursuant to an Act of the National Assembly; Residency and Indigene Provisions; Immunity; The National Assembly; Process of state creation and State access to mining.

“In exercise of the powers conferred on the Legislature by Sections 4, 8, and 9 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as
Amended) and Order 20, Rule 30 of the Standing Orders of the House of Representatives (11th Edition) and the Legislative Agenda of the 10th House of Representatives, I am pleased to invite the Executive and judicial bodies, State Governments, Women Groups, Academics, Civil society Organizations, Labour Unions, Professional bodies, Ethnic
Nationalities, Nigerians in the Diaspora, Diplomats and the general public,
to submit memoranda or proposals for further alteration(s) of the 1999
Constitution (as amended) on the following thematic areas: The Federal Structure and Power Devolution; Local Government/Local Government Autonomy; Public Revenue, Fiscal Federation, and Revenue Allocation; Nigerian Police and Nigerian Security Architecture; Comprehensive Judicial Reforms; Electoral Reforms to strengthen INEC to deliver transparent, credible, free and fair elections; Socio-economic and cultural rights as contained in Chapter 2 of the
constitution; Traditional Institutions; Issues of Gender; Strengthening the Independence of oversight institutions and agencies created by the constitution or pursuant to an Act of the National Assembly; Residency and Indigene Provisions; Immunity; The National Assembly; Process of state creation; State access to mining”, he said.

The committee however extended the call for memoranda to “any other matter that will promote good governance and the welfare of all persons in our country on the principles of freedom, equality, and justice”.

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Passing 5 Years Extension Bill For NASS Staff By Senate, Good Omen To Safeguard Nigerian Representative- Democracy- Group

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The Nigeria Good Governance Research Centre has expressed excitement over the Senate final passage of the 5-year extension staff of National Assembly Bill

The group also commended the Senate for concurring with the House of Representatives, in passing the much talked about bill, in a press statement signed by Comrade Igbotako Nowinta, Executive – Director of NIGOREC

The proposed piece of legislation seeks a Five- Year Extension for staff of the nation’s highest parliamentary body, the National Assembly.

“The passing of this bill by the Senate is a major victory and a good omen for safeguarding parliamentary democracy in Nigeria”, NIGOREC, said

The group while commending the 10th Senate under the able leadership of Senator Godswil Akpabio, for using superior wisdom, prayed that the executive arm of government will assent to the Bill

“It is our fervent prayers that the Executive Arm of Government under President Bola Tinubu, will speedily grant the much needed assent to this very important bill, knowing fully well that the current Chief of Staff to the President, Hon. Femi Gbajamiabila is well acquainted with the Bill; he knows the enormous benefits, because he was the leader of the House during the 8th National Assembly who lead the debate, and Speaker, in the 9th National Assembly who passed the Bill but unfortunately did not get concurence with the Senate not until now.” the group added

NIGOREC, noted that the benefits of the Bill cannot be overemphasized, as legislative assignments is best mastered with reasonable length of years, unlike those who appear and disappear with successive elections.

It further noted that the National Assembly needs wholeheartedly experienced hands with abundant capacity built over the years on the job

“The fact of the matter is that this Five Year Extension of service Bill is a welcome development in the name of transferring knowledge and expertise by the top brass of the National Assembly bureaucracy, who are on their way out of the system; just as those top level management staff who were brought in via the Federal Civil Service will be having super advantage in passing further capacity to the lower cadres with the additional five years extension of service

This is a pragmatic opportunity which the current Clerk to the National Assembly, Sani Magaji Tambawal is harnessing to the fullest,.the group argued, stressing that the the five year extension of service is a fantastic idea, unlike the practice of engaging ex-staff as consultants who carry out the same work they can perform with just five years without additional cost or burden to the purse of the National Assembly, the group also argued

Continuing NIGOREC, explained that in civilized parliamentary democracy, such as it is obtainable in the United Kingdom and the United States of America, it is parliamentary experts that usually undertake the technical aspects of the legislative assignments,. such as offering their principals, invaluable technical legislative advise.

The group further explained that the Bill was long over due but has come at the right time

” For us at the Nigeria Good Governance Research Centre, the recent Bill passed by the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, seeking Five Year Extension of service for parliamentary Staff of the National Assembly, is long over due, and a great idea which time has come”

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Politics

River Park Estate Demolition Notice: FCDA Denies Involvement Before Reps Probe Panel

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Following the summon by the House of Representatives Committee on public Petition on the FCT over the demolition notice of the River Park Estate, the director of the department of the development control in Federal Capital Development Authority, Muktair Galadima Usman has denied knowledge of such notice.

The committee, sequel to the petition by the residents of the River Park summoned the minister of FCT, director of department of the development control and officials and the developer, Mr Paul Odili with a view to resolving the age long crisis in the area.

Having denied any knowledge of notice of demolition, the Chairman of the committee Mike Etiaba ruled that the committee will make on the spot visit of the area to access the place to know where the committee whether the FCDA or the developer.

The chair however, adjourned sitting still 21st of March and urged the residents to remain calm, he also appealed to them to make all the relevant papers concerning the lands available to the committee.

In the petition to the speaker of the House, Rt Hon Abbas Tajudeen, the residents at the CRD Layout No. 0235 where we and our families with population of over 500 have been resident for not less than 15 years to come to their rescue.

The chairman of the resident association, Alhaji Abdulwasiu Mustapha appealed to the speaker to kindly lend support to suppressed voices by personally intervene and engage with FCT minister on this matter as all previous engagement s with the immediate past administration had yielded no positive result.

It would be recalled that these illegal activities took a frightening dimension on the 31st January 2015. Then Mr. Paul Odili together with about 30 armed miscreants and 4 persons in Police uniform invaded the Layout. Several people were beaten and properties were damaged with impunity.

This war-like incident, which was coordinated by the 4 people in Police uniform, left four residents of the estate with life-threatening machete injuries on their heads and chests. Mr. Paul Odili stationed some of the miscreants on the “conquered” lands and properties with firm instructions that they should not allow any development whatsoever in the layout.

In December 2016, Mr. Paul Odili came to the Layout again, arrogantly claiming that he had settled top officials of the Department of Development Control of the Ministry of Federal Capital Territory (MFCT) to demolish all the remaining houses located in the Layout. Like a joke, 3 days later, he mobilized 2 Bulldozers to the Layout and personally directed their operators to demolish some fences and dig very steep trenches around some undeveloped plots to make them inaccessible to their owners.

The attempts by some residents and landlord of the Layout to protest were violently resisted by Mr. Paul Odili and about 20 persons in Police uniform, who used their guns and horse whips to frighten and chase such residents and landlords.

The grand plan of Mr. Paul Odili is to forcibly acquired 475 hectares for the siting of River Park Estate. One wonders where this much land will come from in Lugbe, of all places. In pursuance of this grand plan, Mr. Paul Odili had illegal demolished over 10 houses and forcibly acquired about 150 plots in the CRD Lugbe 1, Layout. In the Layout alone, his intention is to forcibly acquire 475 plots. The CRD Lugbe I Layout is not the first Layout that had been so illegally canibalized by Mr. Paul Odili.

Part of Lugbe I Layout was forcibly acquired in this same Gestapo manner. To our chagrin, on Wednesday 7th February 2024, we were welcomed home from work with DEMOLITION NOTICES issued by the Department of Development Control on the ground that our houses either CONSTITUTED NUISANCES to other existing structures or built on land earmarked for CENTRAL MARKET (the attached refers).

This is a ruse and a ploy to misinform and misguide members of the public. It is hard to believe that these illegalities continue under the present FCT Administration, which professed to have no tolerance for corruption. As concerned residents and landlords, and responsible Nigerians in the CRD Lugbe I Layout, severally and collectively, we have reported these illegal activities of Mr. Paul Odili to the DPO Lugbe Police Station, the FCT Police Command, the Minister of the FCT, and the National Assembly, to no avail.

Our patience has been stretched to a point of exhaustion, however, we strongly believe that the long arm of the law shall catch-up with these illegalities. But we pray that the government should come to our rescue on time before the situation degenerate into a total breakdown of law and order in the Layout and its environs.

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