Report Of House Of Reps Proceedings For Wednesday, February 24, 2016
By Rinsola Abiola (SA to the Rt. Hon. Speaker on New Media)
Plenary began around 11:00 a.m.
Petitions from constituents were read by Hon. Dapo Lam-Adesina (Oyo state, APC) and Hon. Prestige Ossy (Abia state, APGA); these petitions were referred to the House Committee on Public Petitions.
Presentation of Bills
The following bills were presented for First reading by the Clerk of the House;
- Nigeria LNG (Fiscal Incentives, Guarantees and Assurances Act (Amendment) Bill, 2016 (Hon. Leo Okuweh Ogor).
- Pension Reform Act (Amendment) Bill, 2016 (Hon. Oluwole Oke).
- Defense Industry Corporation of Nigeria (Repeal and Re-Enactment) Bill, 2016 (Hon. Oluwole Oke)
- Oil and Gas Investment and Free Zones (repeal and Re-Enactment) Bill, 2016 (Hon. Sylvester Ogbagba)
- Chartered Institute for Training and Development of Nigeria (Establishment) Bill, 2016 (Hon. Gideon Gwani)
- The Armed Forces Act (Amendment) Bill, 2015 (Hon. Edward Pwajok).
- Emeka Reginald (Anambra) moved a motion of urgent importance on Zika Virus, stating the need for protection via sensitization. The motion was adopted by the House.
- Saidu Yusuf Miga (from Jigawa state) raised another motion of urgent importance regarding a river in his constituency which has claimed many lives. He stated that the situation has affected many families in the affected villages, and called for the construction of a bridge over this “moving body of water”. The motion was adopted by the House and referred to the Committee on Emergency and Disaster Management.
- Reconsideration of Outstanding Bills from the Preceding Assembly Order XII, Rule 94:
- Anti-Torture Bill, 2015
- Senior Citizens Centre Bill, 2015
Hon. Nkeiruka Onyejeocha raised a motion regarding the above-listed bills, stating that bills passed by the preceding Assembly and forwarded to the Senate for concurrence – or vice versa – for which no concurrence were made or negative, or which were passed by the National Assembly and forwarded to the president for assent, but which were not assented to before the end of the tenure of that Assembly, may be considered in the Committee of the Whole without being recommenced de-novo. She further stated that the above-listed bills were passed by the preceding Assembly and forwarded to the President for assent but no feedback was communicated before the end of the last Assembly, and that the bills have been re-gazetted to HB 120 and 121 respectively, and read the first time. She then prayed that the bills be committed to the Committee of the Whole for consideration, and this motion was adopted and referred to the Committee of the Whole.
- Reconsideration of Outstanding Bill from the Preceding Assembly Order Xii, Rule 94;
Independent National Assembly Budget and research Office Bill, 2016;
Hon. Timothy Golu (and others) raised a motion regarding the above-stated bill, stating that bills passed by the preceding Assembly and forwarded to the Senate for concurrence – or vice versa – for which no concurrence were made or negative, or which were passed by the National Assembly and forwarded to the President for assent, but which were not assented to before the end of the tenure of that Assembly, may be considered in the Committee of the Whole without being recommenced de-novo. He further stated that the above-stated bill was passed by the preceding Assembly and forwarded to the President for assent but no feedback was communicated before the end of the last Assembly, and that the bill has been re-gazetted to HB 377, and read the first time. He then prayed that the bill be committed to the Committee of the Whole for consideration, and this motion was adopted, then referred to the Committee of the Whole.
- Non-Compliance with the Resolution of the House by the Public Complaints Commission;
Hon. Agbedi Yeitiemone Fredrick (Bayelsa) raised a motion on the above-stated issue, explaining that following the presentation of a petition (on October 24, 2013) by one Finidi Jahbless against Shell Petroleum Development Company, regarding contracts NGO 1001316 (A28) and NGO 1003218 (A29), the Public Petitions Committee presented its report to the House on September 23, 2014, which directed the Public Complaints Commission to further investigate the matter and report to the House within eight weeks. He also stated that although this directive was conveyed to the Public Complaints Commission via a letter from the Clerk of the House (dated September 29, 2014), and that Section 5 (1) of the Public Complaints Commission Act (2004) makes all Public Complaints Commissioners answerable to the National Assembly, the Order of Reference contained in the resolution was not complied with. He, therefore, prayed that the Public Complaints Commission explain, within 14 days, why this Order had not been obeyed, and that the Commission fulfill the directive in that resolution as contained in the votes and proceedings of 23 September 2014, within 30 days. This motion was adopted the referred to the Committee on Legislative Compliance.
- Urgent Need to Complete the Reconstruction/Rehabilitation of Oba-Nnewi-Okigwe Road:
Hon. Austin Chukwukere (with Hon. Chris Azubogu, Hon. Eucharia Azodo & Hon. Obinna Onwubuariri) moved a motion on this road, which he said is a federal highway whoch connects Anambra, Imo and Abia states and other South-South states. He further explained that the contract for rehabilitation of the road was awarded in two sections to two companies in 2007, namely CCC Nig. Ltd and Bulletine Construction Ltd., both of which mobilized to site, then later abandoned the project despite not having done up to 50% of the work required. He also drew attention to the economic importance of the road, and prayed that the Federal Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA) rehabilitate the road to make it motorable, that the Committee on Works and Appropriation make provisions in the 2016 budget for completion of the reconstruction, and that the Committee on Legislative Compliance ensure implementation. The motion was adopted, and referred to the Committees on Works, Appropriation and Legislative Compliance.
- Urgent Need for Completion of Kagara Dam in Niger State:
Hon. Abubakar Chika Adamu (Niger State) raised a motion on the Kagara Dam, which covers approximately 1000 hectares and was conceived by the state government, and was awarded to WRECA in 1982 with the aim of providing potable water and irrigation needs of the Kagara people. He further stated that due to the slow pace of execution, the Federal Government re-awarded it to Biwater Shellbear Nig. Ltd. In 1992 at the cost of N199,222,596 with a completion period of 24 months. The project was, however, abandoned due to lack of funds, and this resulted in re-negotiation in 2001 at the cost of N2,219,746,244.75. Execution then stopped in 2006, when the project was 68% complete. He expressed concern that the incessant abandonment of the project has resulted in increased cost for the Federal Government and is adversely affecting job creation and farming in the area, and therefore prayed that the House Committee on Water Resources investigate the delay in the completion of the project despite budgetary allocations over the years and report back to the House within six weeks for further legislative action. The motion was adopted, and referred to the Committee on Water Resources.
- Devastating Erosion in Mikang, Quan-Pan and Shendam Federal Constituency of Plateau State:
Hon. Johnbull T. Shekarau raised this motion, stating that the torrential rainfall of August 8, 2012 left a trail of destruction in the Southern Zone of Plateau State (comprising Langtang North, Langtang South, Mikang, Quaan-Pan, Shendam and Wase), as there destroyed homes, farmlands, bridges and displacement of people. He then added that following the visit of a high-powered delegation, led by then Vice-President Namadi Sambo, the FG, state government and organisations such as NEMA and FERMA, among others, provided one form of intervention or the other, which entailed the rehabilitation of some roads. However, others (e.g. the Shendam byepass, Nbet-Piapung bridge and Doemak-Bwall box culvert) were left untouched and it has been difficult for people affected to connect with other parts of the country. He then prayed that the House urge the Ecological Fund Office to reconstruct the damaged culverts and bridges, that NEMA provide relief materials to affected families and also help the displaced persons relocate to their communities, and that the Committees on Environment and Habitat, and Legislative Compliance work out modalities to ensure rehabilitation of affected communities and report to the House within four weeks. The motion was adopted, and referred to the previously stated Committees.
- Need to Investigate the $260,000,000 Contract Awarded by the National Petroleum Investment Management Services (NAPIMS):
Hon. Babatunde Gabriel Kolawole (Ondo state) raised this motion, stating that NAPIMS, a subsidiary of NNPC, granted approval for Esso Exploration and Production Nig. Ltd. – a subsidiary of ExxonMobil – to award four single-source contracts for projects in ExxonMobil’s Usan Deep Water Project for the sum of $260,000,000 without a tendering process. He further stated that NAPIMS had nominated four companies to execute the contracts in violation of due process and without approval from the Board of NNPC and its Group Executive Committee, and prayed that the House mandate the Committee on Petroleum Resources (Upstream) to investigate the contract and report to the House within four weeks for further legislative action. After extensive debate, an amendment seeking to further mandate the Committee on Public Procurement to investigate the procurement was made, and the motion was adopted. The Speaker then referred the motion to the House Committees on Petroleum Resources (Upstream) and Public Procurement for further legislative action.
- Need to Ensure Integrity in the Issuance of Driver’s License to Reduce Accidents on the Highways:
This was raised by Hon. Philip Shuaibu, who noted that FRSC and VIO – the two agencies in charge of issuance of the driver’s license – do not seem to follow due process while doing so, and lamented the effect that this has had on the spate of accidents on highways, as people who do not know how to drive are issued licenses. He then prayed that the House mandate the Committee on FRSC to investigate the lack of integrity in the issuance of the driver’s license and the measures being put in place to reverse the trend, and report to the House within four weeks for further legislative action. The motion was adopted, and the Speaker referred it to the Committee on FRSC.
- Urgent Need to Address the Problems of Cross Border Communal Clashes in Itongesi Island, Ogun State:
Hon. Adekunle Abdulkabir Akinlade raised this motion, drawing attention to encroachment on this part of Nigeria’s territory by the Republic of Benin. He said that the Nigerian government has no presence on this island, despite Benin Republic’s provision of a school and health centre, and that the country’s flag had even been placed on the island. The small fishing village, which also has oil deposits in commercial quantities, has also been the scene of conflict in recent times, and he therefore prayed that the Committees on Special Duties and Navy undertake an oversight visit to the island with a view to recommending ways to secure it in order to protect Nigerian citizens living there, who face the risk of annexation by the neighbouring Benin Republic. The motion was adopted.
- Collapse of Education Sector in Bama, Ngala, Kala, Balge Federal Constituency of Borno State and the Entire North-East Zone:
Hon. Mohammed Nur Sheriff noted that the specified area has been turned to a battleground due to the insurgency, and that this has resulted in the abduction – and forceful conscription – of young men and women by the Boko Haram sect, and crippled not only economic activities, but also adversely affected education as even those in IDP camps have no access to education as there are no schools in their camps. He further explained that the situation poses serious social and security challenges, which, if not arrested, would have even more serious adverse consequences on the area and the people. He then prayed that the Federal Government adopt measures to revive the educational sector in the area, and to move children from vulnerable areas to more secured locations and establish schools in IDP camps. The motion was adopted.