Plenary Proceedings of the House of Representatives for Thursday, November 23, 2017.

The Deputy Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Yussuf Lasun presiding

After the opening prayer, the Deputy Speaker examined and approved the plenary votes and proceedings for Wednesday, November 22, 2017

PETITIONS

Hon. Abbas Tajudeen brought a petition form an individual from National Institute of Technology who was dismissed. He went to court to challenge the grounds for his dismissal and the Court gave him favorable judgement to be reinstated, but many years after, the correction is yet to materialize. He urged the House to intervene.
Hon. Lawal Maina brought a Petition from an individual who was allegedly wrongfully dismissed and wants the House to intervene for his reinstatement
Hon. Ekpoatai Ime brought ten petitions from different complainants seeking the intervention of the House on various issues.
Hon. Abdulrahman Shuaibu brought a petition form 10 Civil Society Organizations against the Nigeria Water Works Agency for the illegal seizure of their assets, they seek the intervention of the House for their retrieval.

All Petitions referred to the House Committee on Public Petitions

MOTIONS OF URGENT PUBLIC IMPORTANCE

Hon. Abubakar Chika moved the Motion on the need to Investigate the past Power Programmes for the Development of Power supply in Nigeria by the Ministry of Power by successive Governments. Hon. Nurudeen Akinwunmi seconded it.
Debate

Hon. Chika stated that the past Power expansion under the Gas Improvement Utilization that was piloted in Rivers State was a laudable one, but hasn’t been actualized. It has been observed that a financial commitment by the Government to the OEM has already been carried out at a sum considered exorbitant. The Motion resolves to mandate the House Committee on Power to investigate and urge the relevant Agencies of Government to halt further payments until the Committee on Power concludes the investigation. He was of the view that after the privatization of the Power Sector, Government should be in Regulation, and not in business with further Capital intensive investments without Legislative clarification. Hon. Solomon Maren stated that there are more critical sectors to invest in, especially giving the scarce financial resources in Nigeria now, some of these capital intensive endeavors are not financially healthy for the Nation. Hon. Nenna Ukeje asked that the House allow the Committee to investigate the matter so that the contribution of Members is not presumptuous or based on hearsay and speculation. Hon. Diri Duoye stated that power generation is not the problem in the power sector, but distribution, and yet more is being expended on generation which should not be, he stressed for the investigation of the matter. The Motion was put to a vote and passed.

Hon. Rita Orji moved the Motion, it was seconded by Hon. Ismailia Mu’azu.
Debate

Hon. Rita stated that 2 companies in the United States of America owned by Nigerians have been alleged to be taking iNigerians seeking residency in America for granted and being dubious in the provision of visa for residency as they claim to provide. The Companies are only able to place Nigerians in 6 States in the United States, and some times the process is not successful despite the money expended. She urged the House Committee on Foreign Relations to investigate the matter and get back to the House. As an investigative Motion, the question was voted on, passed and referred to the House Committee on foreign Relations for further Legislative action.

PRESENTATION OF BILLS

1.​ Nigeria Natural Medicine Development Agency (Establishment) Bill, 2017 (HB. 1219) (Executive) — First Reading.

2.​ Raw Materials Research and Development Council (Repeal and Re-Enactment) Bill, 2017 (HB. 1220) (Executive) — First Reading.

3.​ Federal Institute for Industrial Research Bill, 2017 (HB. 1221) (Executive) — First Reading.

4.​nFederal College of Education, Akwete (Establishment) Bill, 2017 (HB. 1217) (Hon. Uzoma Nkem-Abonta) — First Reading.

5.​ Federal Polytechnic, Koko (Establishment) Bill, 2017 (HB. 1217) (Hon. Daniel Reyenieju) — First Reading.

​6.​ Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) (Compulsory) Website Bill, 2017 (HB. 1222) (Hon. Blessing Nsiegbe) — First Reading.

7.​ Private Guards Companies Act (Amendment) Bill, 2017 (HB. 1223) (Hon. Blessing Nsiegbe) — First Reading.

8.​ Federal Government Staff Housing Loans Board Act (Amendment) Bill, 2017 (HB. 1224) (Hon. Gogo Bright Tamuno) — First Reading.

PRESENTATION OF REPORTS

1.​ Ad-hoc Committee on the Investigation of the Planned Relocation of Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) from Port Harcourt, Rivers State:

​Hon. Ibrahim Isiaka:

“That the House do receive the Report of the Ad-hoc Committee on the Investigation of the Planned Relocation of Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, to Forestall an Impending Crisis in the Niger-Delta Region (HR. 35)” (Referred: 26/1/2017).

Hon. Isiaka moved for the presentation of the Report, Hon. Abdulrahman Shuaibu seconded it.

2.​ Committee on Power:

​Hon. Daniel Asuquo:

“That the House do receive the Report of the Committee on Power on a Bill for an Act to Amend the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission Meter Reading, Billing, Cash Collection and Credit Management for Electricity Supplies Regulations No. 42 of 2007 to Address Matters Relating to Outstanding Liability of Electricity Bills in Rented Apartments; and for Related Matters (HB. 510)” (Referred: 21/6/2016).

​Committee on Power:
​Hon. Daniel Asuquo:

“That the House do receive the Report of the Committee on Power on a Bill for an Act to Provide for the Utilisation, Sustainability and Adequate Supply of Renewable Energy for Electricity and Heat Generation; and for Related Matters (HB. 440)” (Referred: 04/10/2016).

4.​ Committee on Power:

​Hon. Daniel Asuquo:

“That the House do receive the Report of the Committee on Power on a Bill for an Act to Amend the Electric Power Sector Reform Act, Cap. E7, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 to Reposition the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission for Effective Service Delivery; and for other Related Matters (HB. 611)” (Referred: 06/10/2016).

For Reports 2-4:

Hon. Daniel Asuquo moved to present the Report, Hon. Nkiruka (Abia) seconded.

5.​ Committee on Finance:

​Hon. Babangida Ibrahim:

“That the House do receive the Report of the Committee on Finance on a Bill for an Act to Amend the Revenue Mobilization, Allocation and Fiscal Commission Act, Cap. R7, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 to make Provisions for Erring Revenue Generating Agencies and Enhance the Revenue Profile and Remittances into the Federation Account to Facilitate National Development; and for Related Matters (HB. 542)” (Referred: 01/12/2016).

Hon. Austin (Imo) moved to present the Report, Hon. Ezeikel Adaji seconded it.

6.​ Committee on Aids, Loans and Debt Management:

​Hon. Adeyinka Ajayi:

“That the House do receive the Report of the Committee on Aids, Loans and Debt Management on the Proposed External Borrowing Request for State Governments Under the 2016-2017 External Borrowing (Rolling) Plan for Jigawa, Katsina, Ogun and Plateau States (Second Batch)” (Referred: 06/6/2017).

Hon. Ajayi moved to present the Report, Hon. Abubakar Flata seconded it.

7. ​Committee on Commerce:

​Hon. Sylvester Ogbaga:

“hat the House do receive the Report of the Committee on Commerce on a Bill for an Act to Amend the Oil and Gas Export Free Zone Authority Act, Cap. O5, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 to Provide for the Designation and Establishment of Oil and Gas Free Zones in Nigeria; and for other Related Matters (HBs. 64, 332 and 400)” (Referred: 10/5/2017).

Hon. Ogbaga moved to present the Report, Hon. Mohammed Jega seconded it.

8. ​Committees on Foreign Affairs, and Cooperation and Integration in Africa:

Hon. Nnenna Elendu Ukeje:

“That the House do receive the Report of the Committees on Foreign Affairs, and Cooperation and Integration in Africa on Review of Nigeria’s Continued Membership of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in View of the Clamour to Admit Morocco into the Community (HR. 91/2017” (Referred: 5/10/2017).

Hon. Ukeje moved to present the Report, Hon. Kazeem (Ogun) seconded it.

ORDERS OF THE DAY

BILLS

1.​ A Bill for an Act to Provide for the Establishment of the School of Mines and Geological Studies in Akoko-Edo Local Government Area; and for Related Matters (HB. 105) (Leader) — Third Reading.

Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila moved for the Third Reading of the Bill, Hon. Mohammed Monguno seconded it, the Clerk read the long title of the Bill and the Bill was passed.

2.​ A Bill for an Act to Amend the Hydro Electric Power Production Areas Development Commission (Establishment, etc.) Act, 2010 to make Provisions for Reduction of Percentage on Revenue Generated by any Company or Authority from the Operations of Hydro Electric Dams; and for Related Matters (HB. 1213) (Leader) — Second Reading.

BILL FOR CONCURENCE

Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila moved for the suspension of the Bill for more review and present a better understanding in the debate. The item was stepped down by the leave of the House.

BILLS FOR SECOND READING

3.​ A Bill for an Act to Amend the National Boundaries Commission (Establishment) Act, Cap. N10, LFN, 2004 to provide for Regular, Periodic Delimitation and Supervision of the States, Local Governments and Community Boundaries by the Commission so as to Check and Forestall Boundary Disputes; and for Related Matters (HB. 1184) (Hon. Ochiglegor Idagbo) — Second Reading.

Hon. Idagbo moved for the Second Reading of the Bill, Hon. Nasir Garo seconded it.

Debate

Hon. Idagbo stated that due to the porosity of the Nigerian boundaries, communities don’t know their definite boundaries which results in numerous communal clashes arising from boundary disputes. With the use of technological advancement, the National Boundary Commission (NBC) can undertake the clear marking of boundaries to ensure adequate boundary lines are maintained. He urged the House to urge the NBC to ensure the proper demarcation of Nigerian communities. Members supported the Bill and asked the Boundary Commission to properly demarcate communities Nationwide so that boundary disputes can become things of the past. The Question was put to a vote and passed for second reading, the Clerk read the long title of the Bill.

4.​ A Bill for an Act to Establish the Institute of Chartered Franchise Executives of Nigeria to be charged with the Responsibility for Registration and Disciplining of its Members; and for Related Matters. (HB. 999) (Hon. Sylvester Ogbaga) — Second Reading.

Hon. Sylvester moved for the second reading of the Bill and asked for the support of Members for the Bill to be passed for second reading, it was put to a vote, the clerk read the long title and was referred to the House Committee on Commerce.

5.​ A Bill for an Act to Amend the Nigerian Television Authority Act, Cap. N136, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004; and for Related Matters. (HB.1137) (Hon. Odebunmi Olusegun Dokun) — Second Reading.

Hon. Odebunmi moved for the Second reading of the Bill, Hon. Wale Raji seconded it.

Debate

Hon. Odebunmi stated that the Bill is chiefly aimed to make the Nigeria Television Authority more professional and compete favorably with its international peers. The question was put to a vote, passed for second reading, the clerk read the long title of the Bill and it was referred to the House Committee on Information, National Orientation, Ethics and Value.

MOTIONS

​Rescission of the House Resolution on the Report of the Committee on Local Content on Investigation into the Provision of Indigenous Support Vessel Total Upstream Nigeria Limited, Total Nigeria Plc Tender for Provision of PVC and Terminal Support Ref: NTD 00001632: Pursuant to Order Nine, Rule 1(6) of the Standing Orders of the House of Representatives:
Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila:

The House:

Recalls that on Wednesday, 15 March, 2017, the House considered the Report of the Committee on Local Content on the above matter and adopted the recommendation in the Report;

Notes that the Resolution adopted by the House urged that the whole bidding process be cancelled and a fresh bidding process be introduced within six (6) months, in line with the provisions of the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development Act, 2010 and the Public Procurement Act, 2007;

Also notes that emerging facts since the adoption of the Resolution require that the House do rescind its Resolution of 15 March, 2017 on the matter and commit it to the Committee of the Whole for reconsideration;

Resolves to:

(i)​rescind the Resolution of the House on the bidding process for provision of Indigenous Support Vessel Total Upstream Nigeria Limited; Total Nigeria Plc Tender for provision of PVC and Terminal Support Ref: NTD 00001632 which was adopted on Wednesday, 15 March, 2017; and

(ii)​commit the recommendation to the Committee of the Whole for reconsideration.

Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila moved for the stepping down of the stepping down of the Motion till a further Legislative date, the item was stepped down by the leave of the House.

7.​ Need to Rehabilitate Ero Dam in Ekiti State:

Hon. Thaddeus Akinola Aina:

The House:

Notes that Ero Dam, which is situated at Ikun Ekiti in Moba Local Government Area of Ekiti State is a major Dam that has capacity to provide potable water for at least fourteen (14) local government areas in the State;

Also notes that the Dam has been underutilized due to lack of proper maintenance and poor funding by the Federal Government, as a result, some of the equipment are fast becoming obsolete, therefore requiring replacement for proper functioning;

Aware that lack of potable water in the areas has made the residents of the communities that depend on the Dam to resort to fetching water from streams and rivers as the only source of drinking water, a development that exposes the people to the risks of contacting deadly water borne diseases like cholera and typhoid from the untreated water;

Concerned that no positive results have been achieved by efforts to revive the Dam, despite several moves that had been made in the past in that regard and believing that immediate action needs to be taken to resuscitate the Dam to provide potable water and stave off water borne diseases and breakout of epidemic;

Resolves to:

Mandate the Committee on Water Resources to interface with the Benin-Owena River Basin Development Authority to ensure the resuscitation of Ero Dam and report back within six (6) weeks for further legislative action.

Hon. Aina moved the Motion, as an infrastructure related Motion it was voted and passed.

8.​ Need to Investigate the Low Concessionary Tariffs running into Hundreds of Billions of Naira granted by the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment to Companies for Importation of Sugar:

Hon. E. J. Agbonayinma:

The House:

Notes that in 2013, the Federal Government approved low concessionary tariffs of 5 percent duty and 5 percent levy to companies for importation of raw sugar as against the 5 percent duty and 70 percent levy contained in the National Sugar Policy;

Also notes that the National Sugar Development Council (NSDC) had revealed that some companies had flouted the terms and conditions for obtaining a three year low tariff running into hundreds of billions of Naira for sugar importation into the country;

Further notes that the high tariff for importation of refined sugar was deliberately designed to discourage importation and encourage local production of sugar, but the concession became necessary in order not to hike the local price of the commodity since the country has not yet achieved self-sufficiency in sugar production;

Aware that the Government took the decision to approve the National Sugar Master Plan Policy because of the importance of the commodity given that Nigeria, as at 2013, still depended on sugar importation to meet 90 percent of local demand and in realization that if sugar is to be imported at that high tariff, the cost will be excessively high;

Also aware that the concession was then given to three companies that had signed a commitment for Backward Integration Programme (BIP) with the Federal Government in which the money saved from the concession is to be invested in their farms to cater for sugar being sourced locally with the target that by 2018, the companies will be able to produce 700,000 metric tons of sugar locally from those farms, create jobs for the teeming unemployed youths, diversify the economy from Petroleum to Agriculture, become a source of energy and evolve large scale savings of money for the country;

Recalls that in November 2015, the Executive Secretary of the National Sugar Development Council (NSDC), Dr Abdullatif Demola Busari revealed that some companies had flouted the terms and conditions for obtaining the three year low tariffs for sugar importation;

Observes that the grant of low tariffs to those companies was for them to put the savings from the concession into the Backward Integration Programme (BIP) Agricultural farm sites, a move that will help the country achieve self-sufficiency in sugar production for both domestic consumption and export;

Concerned that the companies have nothing to show for the grants in their farm sites over the three years they enjoyed concessionary low tariffs running into hundreds of billions of Naira;

Resolves to:

Set up an Ad-hoc Committee to investigate the low concessionary tariffs given to companies by the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment for sugar importation into the country from 2013 to 2010 as contained in the Backward Integration Policy.

Hon. Agbonayinma moved the Motion, Hon. Oladimeji Oladele seconded it. As an investigative Motion, it was put to a vote and passed.

9.​ Need to Investigate the Collapse of Etisalat Nigeria (Now 9mobile) in Order to Protect the Interests of Nigerian Subscribers and Other Stakeholders:

​Hon. Saheed Akinade-Fijabi​:

The House:

Notes that Etisalat Nigeria (now 9 mobile) commenced business in Nigeria in 2009 after acquiring the unified access license spectrum in the GSM 1800 and 900 MHZ bands from the Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC) in January 2007, thus becoming Nigeria s fourth largest telecommunications network operator with over 21 million subscribers and controlling about 12.9 per cent of the country’s telecom market share;

Also notes that Etisalat Nigeria was formerly owned by three shareholders, namely Emirates Telecommunications Group Company (40 percent), Mubadala Development Company, Abu Dhabi (45 percent) and EMTS Holding BV (15 percent);

Aware that Etisalat Nigeria obtained a loan of $1.2 billion (377.4 billion Naira) in 2013 from thirteen (13) Nigerian banks which involved a foreign-backed guaranteed bond to finance a major network rehabilitation, upgrade and expansion of its operational base in Nigeria;

Also aware that Etisalat Nigeria had so far paid about half of the initial loan amounting to about 504 billion Naira with total outstanding sum of about 574 miliion dollars but had reneged on its debt servicing obligations after the intervention of the Nigerian Communications Commission and the Central Bank of Nigeria to restructure the loan and new repayment deadline;

Concerned that the failure of Etisalat to meet its debt servicing obligations with the banks since 2016 resulted in its foreign major shareholders pulling out and eventual take-over of the company by the banks;

Cognizant that the take-over of Etisalat Nigeria which was renamed 9mobile by the banks is a clear violation of Section 38 (1) of the Nigerian Communications Act, 2003 which provides that “the grant of a license shall be personal to the licensee and the license shall not be operated by, assigned, sub-licensed or transferred to any other party unless the prior written approval of the Commission has been granted”;

Resolves to:

Mandate the Committee on Telecommunications to conduct investigation with a view to ascertaining what led to the collapse of Etisalat Nigeria and report back in eight (8) weeks for further legislative action.

Hon. Fijabi moved the Motion, Hon. Binta Bello seconded it. As an investigative it was voted on and passed.

10.​ Need to Release Funds to Federal Tertiary Hospitals for Payment of Staff whose Services were Outsourced:

Hon. Betty Apiafi​​​Hon. Hassan. A. Shekarau​Hon. Mojeed O. Alabi

Hon. Mahmud Lawan Maina​​Hon. Sarki Dahiru​​Hon. Olasupo Abiodun

Hon. Umar Jega​​​Hon. Lynda Ikpeazu​​Hon. Mohammed Sanda

Hon. Aminu Mani​​​Hon. Diya Oyewole​​Hon. Johnson Oghuma

Hon. Samson Baderinwa​​Hon. Shehu Usman Aliyu​Hon. John Dyegh

Hon. Sunday Adepoju​​​Hon. Nkeiruka Onyejeocha​Hon. Munir Dan’Agundi:

The House:

Notes that in 2007, the Federal Government outsourced the services of cleaners, security staff, laundry, maintenance and environmental staff in Tertiary Health Institutions, and in 2015, about 40% of the outsourced funds was released to the Institutions, however, in 2016 and 2017, no release of funds was made for the payment of the staff whose services were outsourced;

Aware that the funds are not domiciled in the accounts of the respective Health Institutions for the payment of the salaries of those outsourced staff, hence the adverse effects on the service delivery capability of those institutions;

Concerned that the failure to release the funds that were budgeted for the payment of those staff has led to crisis at the Health Institutions that have manifested in dirty environments, unhealthy living conditions for patients and staff and frequent cases of industrial actions that have led to closure of some of the Institutions;

Resolves to:

(i)​ urge the Federal Ministry of Finance to urgently release the funds budgeted in 2015, 2016 and 2017 for the payment of salaries of staff of Tertiary Health Institutions whose services were outsourced; and

(ii)​ mandate the Committee on Health Institutions to interface with the Federal Ministry of Finance and the Director-General, Budget Office of the Federation to ensure that funds are provided in the 2018 Appropriation proposal for the payment of those outsourced services and are to be domiciled in the accounts of the various Teaching Hospitals/Federal Medical Centres.

Hon. Apiafi moved the Motion, Hon. Zephaniah (F.C.T) seconded it. The question was put to a vote, passed and it was referred to the House Committees on Health Institutions and Legislative Compliance for further Legislative action.

CONSIDERATION OF REPORTS

11.​ Committee on Aids, Loans and Debt Management:

​Hon. Adeyinka Ajayi:

“That the House do consider the Report of the Committee on Aids, Loans and Debt Management on the Proposed External Borrowing Request for State Governments under the 2016-2017 External Borrowing (Rolling) Plan for Jigawa, Katsina, Ogun and Plateau States (Second Batch) and approve the recommendations therein” (Laid: 23/11/2017).

Hon. Ajayi moved for the consideration of the Report, Hon. Ashiru Mani seconded it.

12.​ Committee on Health Institutions:

​Hon. Betty Apiafi:

“That the House do consider the Report of the Committee on Health Institutions on a Bill for an Act to Repeal the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria Act, Cap. P17, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 and Re-enact the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria Bill to Regulate the Training and Practice of Pharmacy; and for Related Matters (HBs 656 and 364) and approve the recommendations therein” (Laid: 8/6/2017).

​Hon. Apiafi moved for the consideration of the Report, Hon. Umar Garba seconded it

A Bill for an Act to Establish the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Agency (N.F.I.A). 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 (HB.1082) (Committee of the Whole) (Adjourned Consideration: 16/11/2017).

Hon. Oladele moved for the consideration of the Report, Hon. Daniel Asuquo seconded it.

HOUSE IN THE COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE (Consideration of the Reports):

Hon. Ajayi stated that the exercise is a continuation of the request from the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria on the external borrowing plan . He stated that the Report covers the second batch of States in the scheme.

The recommendations and clauses of the Report were voted on and Carried.

Hon. Apiafi explained that the Report aims through the Bill to modernize the Act that is a Law which has become obsolete, and no longer represents the modern state of things in the pharmaceutical sector.

The Clauses of the Bill were voted on and Carried.

Hon. Oladele stated that the Bill was reworked on, after its consideration was suspended on Tuesday, November 21, 2017 due to the clarification between if the N.F.I.A was supposed to be an Agency or a Unit, and also that the Director of the Unit should be a Member of the E.F.C.C Board.

All Clauses of the Report except Clause 26 were voted on and Carried. Clause 26 was deleted.

HOUSE IN PLENARY:

The House in Plenary adopted Proceedings it undertook in the Committee of the Whole.

Adjournment

The House adjourned Plenary till Tuesday, November 28, 2017 by 11:00 Am

Courtesy:

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

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