Plenary Proceedings of the House of Representatives for Tuesday, October 31st 2017.

Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Yakubu Dogara presiding
After the opening prayer, the Speaker adopted votes and proceedings of the House for Thursday, October 26th 2017
PRESENTATION OF BILLS
             1.        Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (Establishment, etc.) Bill, 2017 (HB.1199) (Executive) — First Reading.
             2.        Extradition Act (Amendment) Bill, 2017 (HB. 1187) (Hon. Solomon Ahwinahwi) — First Reading.
             3.        Evidence Act (Amendment) Bill, 2017 (HB. 1188) (Hon. Edward Gyang Pwajok) — First Reading.
             4.        National Human Rights Commission Act (Amendment) Bill, 2017 (HB. 1190) (Hon. Edward Gyang Pwajok) — First Reading.
             5.        Federal Character Commission (Establishment, etc.) Act (Amendment) Bill, 2017 (HB.1191) (Hon. Edward Gyang Pwajok) — First Reading.
             6.        Optional Paternity Leave Bill, 2017 (HB.1192) (Hon. Edward Gyang Pwajok) — First Reading.
             7.        Evidence Act (Amendment) Bill, 2017 (HB.1193) (Hon. Muhammad Garba Datti) — First Reading.
             8.        National Integrated Rural Development Agency (Establishment) Bill, 2017 (HB.1194) (Hon. Garba I. Mohammed) — First Reading.
             9.        National Universities Commission (Repeal and Re-Enactment) Bill, 2017(HB.1195) (Hon. Garba I. Mohammed) — First Reading.
            10.       University of Land and Air Transport, Zaria (Establishment, etc.) Bill, 2017 (HB.1196) (Hon. Abbas Tajudeen) — First Reading.
            11.       Federal University of Technology, Kaduna (Establishment, etc.) Bill, 2017 (HB.1197) (Hon. Abbas Tajudeen) — First Reading.
            12.       Federal University of Technology, Lagos (Establishment, etc.) Bill, 2017 (HB.1198) (Hon. Abbas Tajudeen) — First Reading.
            13.       Sexual Offenders (Registration) Bill, 2017 (HB.1199) (Hon. Idagbo Ochiglegor) — First Reading.
            14.       Federal Agencies Performance and Evaluation Bill, 2017 (HB. 1200) (Hon. Igariwey Iduma Enwo) — First Reading.
            15.       National Automotive Council Act (Amendment) Bill, 2017 (HB.1201) (Hon. Igariwey Iduma Enwo) — First Reading.
            16.       Trade Disputes Act (Amendment) Bill, 2017 (HB.1202) (Hon. Abubakar N. Danburam) — First Reading.
            ORDERS OF THE DAY
            3 BILLS Presented for Third Reading:
             1.        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) — Third Reading.
            The Leader of the House, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila moved for the Bill, Hon. Mohammed Monguno seconded, it was voted on passed for third reading and the Clerk read the long title of the Bill
             2.        A Bill for an Act to make Provisions for a System of Standard Scale of Fines and Financial Penalties Imposed by Courts, Tribunals and Other Judicial Bodies; and for Related Matters (HB. 642) — Third Reading.
            The Leader of the House, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila moved for the Bill, Hon. Orker Jev seconded, it was voted on passed for third reading and the Clerk read the long title of the Bill
             3.        A Bill for an Act to Make it Mandatory for the National Assembly to Scrutinize and Approve a Subsidiary Legislation before it becomes Enforceable and for Related Matters (HB. 13) — Third Reading.
            The Leader of the House, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila moved for the Bill, Hon. Orker Jev seconded, it was voted on passed for third reading and the Clerk read the long title of the Bill
             4.        Consolidation of Bills:
            (a)       A Bill for an Act to Amend the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency Act, No. 17, 2007 to increase the Functions of the Agency; and for Related Matters (HB.1131) (Hon. Adamu Kamale); and
            (b)      A Bill for an Act to Amend the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency Act, No. 17, 2007; and for Related Matters (HB. 1178) (Hon. Henry Nwawuba).
            Hon. Orker Jev moved for the consolidation, Hon. Dickson (Benue) seconded. It was referred for consolidation in the Committee of the Whole.
3 Bills presented for Second Reading:
             5.        A Bill for an Act to Amend the University of Nigeria Act, Cap. U11, 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.1108) (Hon. Patrick Asadu) — Second Reading.
            Hon. Patrick moved for the Second Reading of the Bill, Hon. Sylvester Ogbagha seconded. It was voted on, passed for second reading and the Clerk read the long title.
             6.        A Bill for an Act to Repeal the Foreign Exchange (Monitoring and Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, Cap. P34, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 and Re-enact the Foreign Exchange Act, 2017 to Establish a Foreign Exchange Market and to Provide for the Regulation, Monitoring and  Supervision of the Transactions Conducted in the Market; and for Related Matters (HB. 1066) (Hon. Jones Chukwudi Onyereri) — Second Reading.
            Stepped down by leave of the House
             7.        A Bill for an Act to Amend the Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council Act, Cap. N105, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004; and for Related Matters (HB.1123) (Hon. Sadiq Ibrahim) — Second Reading.
            Hon. Ibrahim moved for Second Reading of the Bill, Hon. Yusuf Buba seconded, it was voted on, passed for second reading and the Clerk read the long title of the Bill
            MOTIONS
             8.        Need for Security Agencies to Involve Experts in the Destruction of Illegal Refineries and Boats Laden with Petroleum Products to Prevent Environmental Degradation:
            Hon. Owoidighe Ekpoattai:
            The House:
            Notes that the increase in illegal oil refineries in the creeks of the Niger Delta has become alarming and has added a new twist to the economic and security challenges confronting the nation, even with the plan of turning them to modular refineries;
            Also notes that the quest to acquire crude oil illegally by non-professionals is devastating the environment, destroying wild and aquatic lives as well as stunting the economic development of the nation, thus resulting in an estimated loss of 10.9 billion dollars between 2009 and 2011;
            Aware that section 20 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 provides that the State shall protect and improve the environment and safeguard the water, air, land, forest and wildlife of Nigeria while section 2 of the Environmental Impact Assessment Act, Cap E12, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 also provides for restriction on public or private projects without prior consideration of their impact or effects on the environment;
            Also aware that in a bid to curb the menace, the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, the Nigerian Army and the Nigerian Navy have collectively destroyed at least 280 illegal refineries and barges loaded with petroleum products and secured the conviction of 40 perpetrators out of the 118 arrests made in the last one year in the Niger Delta region;
            Concerned that despite the commendable efforts of the various security agencies to curb the menace of illegal refineries, the methods adopted in the destruction of those refineries are further endangering the environment of the region and negatively affecting the general health and well-being of the people because wastes emanating from the destroyed refineries and barges are washed into the creeks and the ocean;
            Observes that failure by security agents to involve experts in carrying out the destruction of the refineries poses environmental hazards just as the existence and operation of those illegal refineries themselves;
            Resolves to:
             (i)      mandate the Committees on Petroleum Resources (Upstream), Petroleum Resources (Downstream), Environment and Habitat, Army, Navy, Interior, Niger Delta, and Legislative Compliance to interface with relevant Security Agencies to ensure that officials of relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDA’s) are involved in the process of destroying illegal refineries and boats laden with petroleum products to guarantee, to an extent, retrieval of the stolen crude oil, avoid spillage, either on land or water, as well as minimize economic losses and also avoid pollution and degradation of the environment, and report back in six (6) weeks for further legislative action.
                        Hon. Ekpoattai moved the Motion and Hon. Garba (Taraba) seconded it.
Debate:
In leading the Debate, Hon. Ekpoattai stated that the efforts of security agents in the cleaning up of illegal refineries and their products should be done alongside experts so that harmful gases don’t continue to be let off into the atmosphere. Hon. Jimoh Olajide in contributing to the debate stated that the wrongful disposing of gases in destroying illegal refineries is a second wrong added to the wrong of setting up such refineries in the first place, and 2 wrongs never made a right. Hon. Kamala (Adamawa) praised the Motion for the attention it pays to the good of the environment for the people’s sake, as well as its economic connotation by seeking to make wholesome the seized products and selling them off for the economic wellbeing of the nation, instead of destroying them all. Hon. Tahir Monguno called the continuous destruction of products by security operatives as being Penny-wise and Pound-foolish on their part. Hon. Nicolas Ossai proposed an amendment to the Motion by the deletion of Prayer 1. Deputy Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Yussuf Lasun praised the Motion in all ramifications and urged the House to use the machinery of its relevant Committees to as a matter of economic urgency to collate the number of these illegal refineries in the country, evaluate their technological know-how and see how Nigeria can benefit from this practice. He stated that the country is hardly in charge of the workings in the oil and gas sector of the economy, from the exploration, to refining, marketing and transportation. Hon. Hassan Saleh seconded the proposed amendment; it was voted on and passed as amended.
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             9.        Need to Implement the 2017/2018 Dry Season Growth Enhancement Support Scheme (GESS) Programme:
                        Hon. Munir Baba Dan Agundi       Hon. Muktar Dandutse:
                        The House:
            Notes that Nigeria is blessed with abundant arable land and water resources suitable for cultivation of varieties of crops such as rice, maize, wheat, sorghum, millet, groundnut, cotton, soya bean, beniseed, cassava, oil palm, cocoa, rubber, gum Arabic, horticultural crops and vegetables, all under both rainfall or irrigation, and also the rearing of animals such as cattle, sheep, goat and production of fisheries and aquaculture;
            Also notes that farming has become the main occupation of majority of the citizens, especially those living in the rural areas and of recent, some urban dwellers as the country has a vast irrigable land that is suitable for irrigation farming, coupled with available irrigation facilities from the River Basin Development Authorities (RBDAs);
            Further notes that the Federal Government established the Growth Enhancement Support Scheme (GESS) as a vehicle to ensure the equitable distribution of farm inputs to farmers nationwide;
            Aware that the GES Scheme, based on its Implementation Strategies and Operational Modalities (ISOM), creates redemption centres (selling points) across the country which are close to the farmers to ensure the development and sustenance of the permanent input markets down to the grassroots where the targeted end user farmers reside;
            Also aware that the establishment of the GES Scheme ensured that procurement and distribution of farm inputs, elsewhere done directly by Government, has now been transferred to private sector operators, and in the same vein, the beneficiaries of the farm inputs are not only known by names, but by their respective chosen commodities value chains, while their locations and full biometric information are stored in the national database;
            Cognizant that the expected impact of the dry season farming, especially in the light of the country’s determination to actualize self-sufficiency in rice, wheat and maize production cannot be overemphasized as through its implementation, the nation will meet substantial part of its food requirements and have excess for export to earn the much needed foreign exchange;
            Observes that available information on existing irrigable lands, their locations, sources of water and the optimum number of farmers that could utilize the irrigation facilities show that there are 1,179,269.79 hectares of potential irrigable lands, 2,869 number of irrigable facilities that could be used by 1,142,087 farmers during the forthcoming 2017/2018 dry season farming, out of the 14.76 million farmers in the database;
                        Resolves to:
            (i)       urge the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to ensure the implementation of the forthcoming 2017/2018 Dry Season GESS Programme because of its importance to the nation’s desire to ensure self-sufficiency in major staple food crops;
                        (ii)      also urge the Ministry to support farmers with the required input package for the forthcoming 2017/2018 dry season farming in order to bridge the production gap created by non-implementation of the GESS Programme during the 2017 wet season; and
                        (iii)     mandate the Committee on Agricultural Production and Services to ensure implementation.
            Hon. Munir moved the Motion and Hon. Hassan (Jigawa) seconded it.
Debate:
Hon. Munir praised the Speaker of the House, Hon. Yakubu Dogara for being an agriculture-friendly leader. He prayed for the support of Members of the Hose in seeing through what he termed a wide and all-encompassing Motion, as it dwells on issues started from the previous Administration and carried on by the present Administration for the good and development of the Nigerian people. He asserted his belief in the House towards its support for Agriculture and the Nigerian farmer. Hon. Hassan Dan-Dutse praised the intent of the Motion in ensuring Nigerian farmers remain all-year farmers instead of only rainy season farmers and engaging in odd jobs during the dry season, leaving their family behind. It was voted on and passed.
            CONSIDERATION OF REPORTS
            10.       Committee on Healthcare Services:
                        Hon. Chike John Okafor:
            “That the House do consider 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), the sum of ₦18,924,031,753 (Eighteen Billion, Nine Hundred and Twenty-Four Million, Thirty-One Thousand, Seven Hundred and Fifty-Three Naira) only, of which the sum of ₦7,568,033 (Seven Million, Five Hundred and Sixty-Eight Thousand, Thirty-Three Naira) only, is for Overhead Costs (from Federal Government of Nigeria Appropriation), the sum of ₦8,202,816,645 (Eight Billion, Two Hundred and Two Million, Eight Hundred and Sixteen Thousand, Six Hundred and Forty-Five Naira) only, is for Overhead Costs (from Internally Generated Revenue, etc.), the sum of ₦4,443,243,393 (Four Billion, Four Hundred and Forty-Three Million, Two Hundred and Forty-Three Thousand, Three Hundred and Ninety-Three Naira) only, is for Personnel Costs, the sum of ₦N164,364,056 (One Hundred and Sixty-Four Million, Three Hundred and Sixty-Four Thousand, Fifty-Six Naira) only, is for Capital Expenditure (from Federal Government of Nigeria Appropriation), and the sum of ₦6,106,039,626 (Six Billion, One Hundred and Six Million, Thirty-Nine Thousand, Six Hundred and Twenty-Six Naira) only, is for Capital Expenditure from Internally Generated Revenue, etc.) for the Financial Year Commencing from 1 January and  Ending on 31 December, 2017” (Laid: 26/10/2017):
            SUMMARY OF RECOMMENDED EXPENDITURE
            1.         (a)       Overhead (FGN Appropriation)                                                   ₦7,568,033
            (b)      Overhead (from IGR, etc.)                                                ₦8,202,816,645
            2.         Personnel                                                                                         ₦4,443,243,393
            3.         (a)       Capital (FGN Appropriation)                                                        ₦164,364,056
            (b)      Capital (from IGR, etc.)                                                                 ₦6,106,039,626
            Grand Total                                                                                      ₦18,924,031,753
Consideration was deferred because budget details were not presented.
11.       Committee on Justice:
                        Hon. Razak Atunwa:
            “That the House do consider the Report of the Committee on Justice on a Bill for an Act to Provide for the Manner in Which Individuals May in the Public Interest, Disclose Information that Relates to Crime, Unlawful Conduct or Corrupt Practices of Others; to Provide for the Protection against Victimisation of Persons who make these Disclosures; to Establish a Fund for the sake of Rewarding Individuals who make the Disclosures and thereby Enhance Crime Information Gathering for Security Utilisation; and for Related Matters (HB. 3) and approve the recommendations therein” (Laid: 26/1/2016).
Stepped down.
The House adjourned Plenary to Wednesday, November 1 2017 by 11:00 A.m
Courtesy:
Media Unit, Office of the Honourable Speaker, House of Representatives.

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