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Plenary proceedings of the House of Representatives for Wednesday, February 21st, 2024

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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 Tuesday, February 20th, 2024.
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ANNOUNCEMENTS:

1. Plenary for Thursday, February 22nd will be dedicated to the Valedictory Session of the late former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Ghali Umar Na’aba. Honourable Members are encouraged to come sober and be prepared.

2. Inauguration ceremony of the Special House Committee on the Review of the Nigerian Constitution will hold on Monday, February 26th, 2024 at the Congress Hall, Transcorp Hilton by 10:00 AM. Honourable Members are encouraged to come prepared as relevant stakeholders from every constituency of the country have been invited.
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PETITIONS:

1. Hon. Amos Magaji laid a petition on behalf of FWG consortium against the Nigerian Post Army House Scheme on alleged harassment and their denial to access to their rightful land. They craved the intervention of the House solving the issue.

2. Hon. Joseph Nwabasi laid a petition on behalf of a complainant on the alleged environmental degradation, oil spillage, destruction of land, water and wild life against Shell Oil company.

3. A petition was laid against University of Nigeria Nsukka on the alleged recruitment of an unqualified staff.

4. Hon. Nnamdi Ezechi laid a petition on behalf of a complainant against Orbit Marine over the alleged abandonment of an NDDC contract.

5. Hon. Jalo laid a petition on behalf of a complainant on the alleged shooting of a university graduate.

All petitions were referred to the House Committee on Public Petitions.
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MATTERS OF URGENT PUBLIC IMPORTANCE:

1. Hon. Shehu Dalhatu moved a motion on the urgent need to address massive killings and displacement in Paskari/Saboa community in Katsina State and it was seconded by Hon. Salisu Majigiri. Hon. Dalhatu in leading the debate stressed the importance of government providing security to the governed and expressed worry about the continuos attacks and kidnappings of innocent citizens in the region. He called on the Inspector General of police and other security apparatus to deploy more personnel to the area. He further called on the Ministry on Humanitarian Affairs as well as NEMA to ensure succor get s to the victims and that the relevant Committees of the House should ensure compliance. The motion was voted on, adopted and referred to the House Committees on Police, Army as well as that on Disaster Preparedness.

2. Hon. Abdullahi Halims moved a motion on the urgent need to avert security challenges in Otutubatu Chiefdom in Kogi State and it was seconded by Hon. George Ozodinobi. Hon. Halims in leading the debate stated that the community is one of the ancient Chiefdoms in Kogi State and has been under siege by suspected bandits. He stated that the Chiefdom being a strategic border community is always targeted by these suspected herdsmen and bandits.

He stressed that the Chiefdom is one of the most productive region of the state supplying all regions of Nigeria. He called on all relevant security apparatus to provide additional security personnel to ensure peace in the region, that the relevant humanitarian government agencies should provide succor to the victims and that the relevant Committees of the House should ensure compliance. The motion was voted on, adopted and referred to the House Committee on Navy, Police as well as that on National Emergency Management Agency.

3. Hon. Mohammed Jalo moved a motion on urgent need to halt the rampant bandit attacks on some communities in Kaduna state and it was seconded by Hon. Umar Ajilo. Hon. Jalo in leading the debate stated that the attacks on these attacks have occurred daily and has led to the mass exodus of citizens from the region. He expressed worry that these attacks have gone unabated and the perpetrators are not being apprehended which seems to embolden them to carry out more attacks.

He called on all relevant security apparatus to provide additional security personnel to ensure peace in the region, that the relevant humanitarian government agencies should provide succor to the victims and that the relevant Committees of the House should comply. The motion was voted on, adopted and referred to the relevant Committees of the House.
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ADMITTANCE INTO THE CHAMBER:

Admittance into the Chamber:

Hon. Julius Ihonvbere:

“That the House, pursuant to Order Six, Rule 4(1)(viii) of the Standing Orders of the House of Representatives, do admit into the Chamber, the families of Late Ghali Umar Na’Abba, the Speaker, House of Representatives (1999 – 2023), the Former Speakers and Former Hon. Members from 1999–2003 on Thursday 22, February 2024 by 11am for the Purpose of a Valedictory Session in honour of Late Ghali Umar Na’Abba”.

Hon. Julius Ihonvbere moved the motion for admittance and it was seconded by Hon. Kingsley Chinda.
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ORDERS OF THE DAY:

BILLS:

1. Consolidation of Bills:

(a) A Bill for an Act to Amend the Niger Delta Development Commission Act, Cap N86, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 to Provide for inclusion of Anambra State as an Oil Producing State and for Related Matters (HB.154) (Hon. Paschal Agbodike); and

(b) A Bill for an Act to Amend the Niger Delta Development Commission Act, Cap N86, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 to Provide for inclusion of Anambra State as an Oil Producing State and for Related Matters (HB. 857) (Hon. George Ibezimako Ozodinobi).

Debate:

Hon. Bello Ambarura moved for the consolidation of the 2 bills and it as seconded by Hon. Ismail Haruna. The bill was voted on, approved for consolidation and the House committee on Rules and Business was asked to schedule a date for the debate of the general principles of the consolidated bill.

2. A Bill for an Act to Establish Nigeria Army College of Environmental Science and Technology formerly known as Nigeria Army Institute of Technology and Environmental Studies and for Related Matters (HB.376) (Hon. Austin Asema Achado) – Second Reading.

Debate:

Hon. Austin Achado moved for the second reading of the bill and it was seconded by Hon. Abdullahi Rasheed. Hon. Achado in leading the debate stated that the bill seeks the legal framework of the College to ensure the legality of degrees obtained there from. The Bill was voted on, approved for second reading and referred to the House committee on Army.

3. A Bill for an Act to Establish National Vocational Centre with the responsibility among other things to provide Vocational Training for Nigerian Citizens for the purpose of modern Industrialization, creating Jobs and Improving National Economic Development and for Related Matters (HB.510) (Hon. Abdulmalik Zubairu) – Second Reading.

Debate:

Hon. Abdulmalik Zubairu moved for the second reading of the bill and it was seconded by Hon. Nweke Uche. Hon. Zubairu in leading the debate stated that vocational centers are critical for knowledge-base development. He stressed that the centers produce graduates that are practically equipped to carry out functions for which they were trained and hence already employable upon graduation. The bill was voted on, approved for second reading and referred to the House committee on Federal Polytechnics and Higher Education.

4. A Bill for an Act to Amend the Agricultural Research Council of Nigeria Act, Cap. A 12, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 to make Provision for Establishment of Federal College of Agriculture and Forestry Okundi, Boki Local Government Area of Cross River State and for Related Matters (HB.146) (Hon. Victor Abang) – Second Reading.

Debate:

Hon. Victor Abang moved for the second reading of the bill and it was seconded by Hon. Terseer Ugbor. Hon. Abang in leading the debate stated that the essence of the bill is for the far reaching advantage for Nigerians in the region. He stated that the proposed college will aid research in agriculture and will not be highly financially burdensome for government to establish as an existing institution proposed for its conversion has about 80% of the needed facilities for the proposed college and only needs upgrading. He called on Honourable Members to support its passage. The bill was voted on, approved for second reading and referred to the House committee on Agricultural Colleges and Institutions.

5. A Bill for an Act to Establish Nigerian Mining Protection and Security Corps, Provide Employment for the Youths at Mining Material Areas, Enable Effective Mining Revenue Generation and for Related Matters (HB.1067) (Hon. Paul Sunday Nnamchi) – Second Reading.

Second reading of the bill stepped down by leave of the House.
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MOTIONS:

6. Need to Check the Sixty Percent Increase in the Nigerian Law School Fees:

Hon. O. Chinda:

The House:

Notes that the Nigerian Law School is the medium through which the Council of Legal Education discharges its function to regulate the legal education of persons seeking to become members of the legal profession as provided for under Section 1(2) of the Legal Education (Consolidation, etc.) Act Cap. L10, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004;

Also notes that the function of the Council of Legal Education to oversee legal education in Nigeria includes deciding the cost of tuition and other services rendered to students of the Nigerian Law School;

Aware that Nigeria is currently facing a 27.33% inflation rate, as reported by the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics, which is projected by Trade Economics to rise to 30.00% by December 2023;

Concern that in exercising its functions, the Council of Legal Education has approved a 60% increase in Nigerian law school fees from two hundred and ninety-six thousand, Naira (₦296,000. 00) to four hundred and seventy-six thousand, Naira (₦476,000) for the 2023/2024 Bar Part II academic session;

Also ware that the 2023–2024 Bar Part II Academic session commenced in January 2024 with no time given to prospective students to raise the balance;

Cognizant that unless immediate steps are taken to strike a balance between the Council’s need to provide quality services and the prospective students’ abilities to afford an increment, the country will see a high decrease in the number of Nigerian law school students, resultant decrease in the number of lawyers in the next Call to Bar Ceremony, therefore leading to a higher national unemployment rate as those unable to attend law school cannot work as legal practitioners.

Resolves to:

(i) urge the Council of Legal Education to put the Nigerian Law School fee increment in abeyance; and

(ii) mandate the Committee on Tertiary Education and Services to explore solutions to the issue at hand and report back within two (2) weeks for further legislative action as time is of the essence.

Debate:

Hon. Ginger Onwusibe moved the motion on the need to check the sixty percent increase in the Nigerian Law School fees and it was seconded by Hon. Lilian. The motion was voted on, adopted and referred to the House Committee on Justice as well that on Tertiary Institutions.

7. Need for Palliative Interventions at Illela in Sokoto State:

Hon. Isah Bello Ambarura:

The House:

Notes that Illela is a major border town in Sokoto State with proximity to the Republic of Niger;

Also notes that in 2023, the Federal Government announced the removal of fuel subsidy, causing an astronomical hike in the price of petroleum products across the country;

Concerned that with the resultant inflation as a fallout of the subsidy removal, the people of Illela have been worst hit, especially after the collapse of socio-economic activities caused by the closure of Illela border by the Federal Government as part of the sanctions against the military junta in the Republic of Niger;

Worried that the Illela’s people are facing unbearable living conditions daily without humanitarian aid, struggling to feed and lose livelihoods due to harsh economic realities.

Also worried that since the announcement by the Federal Government on the distribution of palliatives to cushion the effects of subsidy removal, the people of Illela have been consistently neglected, without any apparent intervention to alleviate their sufferings;

Resolves to:

(i) urge the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation to, as a matter of urgency, provide palliative interventions to the people of Illela, Sokoto State to enable them revive their businesses and earn a decent living;

(ii) mandate the Committee on Poverty Alleviation to ensure compliance and report back within three (3) weeks for further legislative action.

Debate:

Hon. Bello Ambarura moved the motion on the need for palliative interventions at Illela in Sokoto State and it was seconded by Hon. Inwa Garba who also proposed an amendment to for an additional prayer to ask the federal government to release the current payments of palliatives to beneficiaries on the current subsidy removal plan across the country.

Hon. Alex Egonna asked for the prayers of the motion to be extended to every part of the country.

Hon. Leke Abejide also proposed an amendment to urge all state governors to complement the efforts of the federal government in recognition of the fact that allocations to states have been increased.

Hon. Emeka Chinedu proposed an amendment for a timeframe of one month for the Federal Ministry on Humanitarian Affairs to comply with the prayers of the motion. The motion was voted on, adopted as amended and referred to the House committee on Poverty Alleviation.

8. Need to Investigate the Recent Frequent Collapse of the National Grid:

Hon. Billy Osawaru:

House:

Notes that sustainable energy is essential to any modern economy, and Nigeria is no exception, as stable electricity supply ensures that industries remain viable, power homes, and facilitates significant economic growth and industrial progress;

Commend the plan of the Federal Government to increase power capacity to 20,000 megawatts (MW) from 12,522 MW projected within the next three years and the Electricity Act, 2023 is aimed at addressing the persistent challenges in the power sector, harnessing new opportunities, as well as propel Nigeria toward a future of reliable, affordable, and sustainable electricity supply;

Aware that the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) in August 2023 stated that the Nigerian power grid recorded an unparallel period of stability in the history of the power sector by operating without major disruptions or systems collapse for over 400 consecutive days, a milestone that indicates an advancement in the nation’s efforts at strengthening its power infrastructure, ensuring a reliable and dependable electricity supply to distribution load centres for onward distribution to electricity customers nationwide;

Worried that in a space of one week in the month of August 2023, Nigeria recorded three national grid collapses, the national grid collapsed twice within 6hrs and on the 19 August 2023, another system collapse was recorded;

Also worried that frequent grid collapses this year have negatively impacted the economy, reducing industrial output and raising manufacturing expenses, Firms are forced to invest in alternate power sources, thus, raising operational costs and leaving end users with exorbitant prices, which citizens cannot afford, especially with subsidy removal effects;

Recalls that the nation is currently facing its worst form of insecurity, including insurgency, banditry, kidnapping and other violent crimes, the collapse of the National grid will embolden criminal activities and security facilities such as the Vigiscope App, Police Situation room App, all Police Commands control rooms can be compromised during the dark hours, tracking devices that need power to reach telephone lines can be hampered;

Cognizant that if the frequent national grid collapses are thoroughly investigated and solutions proffered, it will end the continuous system collapse, boost the economy and reduce the suffering of the citizens;

Resolves to:

mandate the Committee on Power to liaise with critical stakeholders in the power sector to urgently investigate and proffer solutions to the embarrassing development and report back within four (4) weeks for further legislative action.

Motion stepped down by leave of the House.

9. Need for the Construction of Wamba–Shendam–Langtang–Wase Road:

Hon. Jeremiah Umaru​​ Hon. Ahmed Idris ​​Hon. Dafau Vincent Bulus.
Hon. John Dafan:

The House:

Notes that the Wamba-Shendam – Langtang – Wase Road is a major transportation route connecting Communities in Nasarawa and Plateau States, it provides a reliable transportation connectivity allowing ease of travelling for education, health care, and other essential activities and reduce security challenges;

Also notes that the road construction will stimulate economic growth in Nasarawa, Plateau and part of Kaduna States;

Aware that the road when constructed will facilitate the movement of goods and services, boosting trade and commerce that can lead to establishment of new business, job creation, and increased investment opportunities;

Also aware that North Central Region of Nigeria is well known for its agricultural potential, the road will provide farmers with better access to market enabling them to sell their produce more efficiently and effectively;

Cognizant that a well-constructed road will provide a safer and more convenient travel experience for commuters and it will reduce travel time, decrease the risk of accidents and improve overall transport efficiency;

Concerned that construction of the road will have positive social impact and improve access to health care facilities, schools and other social amenities;

Also concerned that benefiting the local population social practice can be enhanced by connecting different communities and foster interaction and collaborations;

Resolves to:

(i) urge the Federal Ministry of Works to construct Wamba-Shandam-Lantang-Wase road to facilitate the movement of goods and services and reduce the impact of insecurity within the area; and

(ii) mandate the Committees on Appropriations and Works to make budgetary provision for the road Construction in the 2025 budget estimates.

Debate:

Hon. Jeremiah Umaru moved the motion on the need for the construction of Wamba–Shendam–Langtang–Wase road and it was seconded by Hon. Stanley Olajide. The motion was voted on, adopted and referred to the House committee on Appropriations as well as that on Works.

10. Need for the Construction of a 45 Kilometer Road from Tudun Gambo to Gigera in Bauchi Local Government Area of Bauchi State:

Hon. Aliyu Aminu Garu:

The House:

Notes that the road from Tudun Gambo to Gigera is an essential link that connects several communities of Tudun Gambo, Wuro Gauri, Shafa Kasuwa, Bada Koshi, Sabon Kaura, Yalwa, Yola, Daka Juguda, Gwaramba, Bajaman Kogi Juwara, Dadinkowa Gigera within the Bauchi Local Government area;

Also notes that the deplorable state of the road’s infrastructure is causing untold hardship to residents in terms of transportation, trade transaction and access to essential services such as healthcare and education;

Concerned that the lack of a well-constructed road has hampered economic activities in the region, impacting negatively on the livelihoods of the people who depend on the transportation of goods and services;

Cognizant that the construction of this road would not only improve the overall connectivity of the area but also stimulate economic growth, enhance access to social amenities, and ultimately improve the quality of life for the residents;

Resolve to:

(i) urge the North East Development Commission to consider the construction of a 45-kilometer road from Tudun Gambo to Gigera; and

(ii) mandate the Committees on North-East Development Commission and Legislative compliance to ensure compliance.

Debate:

Hon. Aliyu Garu moved the motion on the need for the construction of a 45 Kilometer road from Tudun Gambo to Gigera in Bauchi local government area of Bauchi state and it was seconded by Hon. Ahamad Badau. The motion was voted on, adopted and referred to the House committee on Northeast Development.

11. Need for the Canalization of the Epie Creek in Yenagoa Local Government Area of Bayelsa State:

Hon. Oboku Abonsizibe Oforji:

The House:

Notes that the Epie Creek in Yenagoa Local Government Area of Bayelsa State originates it’s root from the Orash Rivers which covers about 63,067m2 and encompasses communities such as Igbogene Epie, Yenegwe, Akenfa, Agudum Epiee, Akenpai, Edepie,Etegwekutukutu,Opolo, Biogbolo, Yenizue-Gene, Kpansia,Yenizue-Epie, Okaka, Ekeki,Amarata,Onopa,Ovom,and Yenegoa Town;

Also notes that the creek has a significant impact on the socioeconomic well-being of the communities it serves due to its size and the towns it encompasses. It serves as a vital transportation route for numerous villages, provides subsistence through fish farming and other businesses, and has the potential to become a popular tourism destination;

Worried that the Creek is polluted and blocked by water hyacinth, resulting in economic hardship and a loss of livelihood as the residents are unable to engage in their traditional fishing and farming activities. Similarly, the creek is constantly overflowing with sand, creating the need for canalization and dredging;

Further notes that Residents of Bayelsa State, especially Yenegoa, the capital city, are concerned about the condition of the Epie Creek, believing it will not merely boost the economy but likewise help in the control of perennial flooding and facilitate the development of the state if the creek’s capabilities are properly harnessed;

Resolves to:

(i) urge the Ministry of Niger-Delta Affairs and Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to urgently commence the canalisation/dredging of the Epie Creek; and

(ii) mandate the Committees on Niger Delta Ministry and Niger Delta Development Commission to ensure compliance and report back within four (4) weeks for further legislative action.

Debate:

Hon. Oboku Oforji moved the motion on the need for the canalization of the Epie Creek in Yenagoa local government area of Bayelsa state and it was seconded by Hon. Uchenna Okonkwo. The motion was voted on, adopted and referred to the House Committee on Niger Delta Development Commission.

12. Call to Investigate the Non -Completion of Jere Earth Dam Project in Bakori Local Government Area of Katsina State:

Hon. Abdullahi Balarabe Dabai:

The House:

Notes that the Jere Earth Dam Project in Bakori Local Government of Katsina State was commenced by the Federal Government during the administration of the late President Usman Shehu Shagari to provide water resources for agriculture, livestock rearing, and domestic use in Bakori Local Government Area.

​Also notes that the said Dam construction project was stalled during late President Shagari’s administration due to funding constraints but was revived in 2016 during the former President Muhammadu Buhari administration, which injected a sum of N10 billion for its continuation.

Worried that despite the enormous amount injected into the project by the administration of former President Muhammadu Buhari, it has remained stalled

Cognizant that if the Dam project is completed, it will not only provide water resources for agriculture, livestock rearing, and domestic use, but also create employment opportunities and boost the region’s economy;

Resolves to:

(i) urge the Federal Ministry of Water and Sanitation to setup a high-level task force to assess the state of the project, investigate the completion of the Jere Earth Dam Construction project in Bakori Local Government of Katsina State, and make budgetary provisions for the completion of the Jere Earth Dam Project in the 2025 budget estimates; and

(ii) mandate the Committee on Water Resources to ensure compliance.

Debate:

Hon. Abdullahi Dabai moved the motion on the call to investigate the non-completion of Jere Earth Dam project in Bakori local government area of Katsina State and it was seconded by Hon. Chukwugozie Nwachukwu. The motion was voted on, adopted and referred to the House Committee on Water Resources.

13. Need to Investigate Activities of the Federal College of Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Abuja:

Hon. Alex Egbona​​​​​ Hon. Lawan Shetima​​
Hon. Yahaya Suleiman Rachifa​​​ Hon. Dolapo-Badru Enitan Akami​
Hon. Alexanda Ifeanyi​​​​ Hon. Mamudu Abdullahi:

The House:

Recalls that the Federal Government of Nigeria in 2008, acting on the recommendation of the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN), established the Federal College of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (FEDCAM) as a parastatal of the Federal Ministry of Health;

Notes that the Medical and Dental Practitioners’ Act, Cap. M8, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004 provided the legal basis for the practice of Complementary and Alternative Medicine in Nigeria relating to the practice of Homeopathic medicine, Naturopathic medicine, Acupuncture, Osteopathy, and Chiropractic in Nigeria;

Aware that in 2018 the Federal Government, through the Office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation (OHCSF) created a Department of Traditional, Complementary, and Alternative Medicine (TCAM) in the Federal Ministry of Health with the task of developing and integrating Complementary and Alternative Medicine into the mainstream of the Nigerian Health Care Delivery System;

Acknowledges that the National Assembly passed the Federal College of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (Establishment) Act, 2021 as an unconventional institution for the pursuit of academic and professional knowledge in the field of complementary and alternative medicine in Nigeria;

Concerned that the College remains closed since October 16, 2010 following the shutdown of academic activities of the College by the National Universities Commission (NUC) for running degree programmes without the mandatory approvals and due process;

Disturbed that in 2011 the Federal Ministry of Health further suspended the Management of the College and instituted an Interim Administrative team to manage its affairs expending capital and overhead allocations amounting to hundreds of millions of naira for over 13 years and later in 2016 again appointed a staff of the College as Acting Head of Administration to ensure the day to day running of the college;

Worried by the allegations of unauthorized disbursement of funds, petitions and counter petitions to the financial crimes and anti-corruption agencies by staff of the College over financial impropriety by officials of the Ministry of Health and Management Staff of the College;

Desirous of the need to investigate the activities of the College and activate the full implementation of the Federal College of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (Establishment) Act, 2021 to ensure integration of Complementary and Alternative Medicine into the mainstream of the Nigerian Healthcare Delivery System;

Resolves to:

(i) urge the President to appoint a Provost and other Principal Officers of the College in line with sections 3 and 10 of the Act to ensure immediate resumption of academic activities and full take off of the College;

(ii) also urge the Federal Ministry of Health and Social Welfare to suspend all forms of interference in the daily operation of the College pending conclusion of investigation by the Committee; and

(iii) mandate the Committee on Specialty Healthcare to investigate the allegations of unauthorized disbursement and application of funds, closure of academic activities of the College by the National Universities Commission (NUC), continued non-functionality of the College and failure by the Federal Ministry of Health and Social Welfare to implement the Federal College of Complementary and Alternative Medicine Act, 2021.

Motion stepped down by leave of the House.

14. Call to Improve Nigeria’s Emergency Response and Management:

Hon. Jafaru Gambo Leko:

The House:

Notes that the ability to respond swiftly and effectively to emergencies and disasters is a critical aspect of ensuring the safety, security, and well-being of the Nigerian population;

Also notes that a well-structured and efficient emergency response and management system is essential for minimizing the impact of emergencies;

Aware that Nigeria has faced a series of emergency situations, most recently, the devastating explosion which occurred in Ibadan on the 16 January, 2024, which has highlighted the need for a robust and coordinated emergency response system;

Worried that in some instances where emergency response systems are available, lack of access roads and other environmental or logistic challenges have impeded timely response to emergency situations;

Also worried that there is lack of public awareness and education on emergency preparedness and response that empower citizens to play an active role in their own safety. A good percentage of Nigerians do not know, for example, the Fire Service Control Room number, where it is available;

Cognizant that it is imperative to improve the capacity and resources dedicated to Nigeria’s emergency response, to ensure a more effective and efficient response to emergencies;

Resolves to:

(i) urge the Federal Government to prioritize the strengthening and modernization of Nigeria’s emergency response infrastructure, including the establishment of state-of-the-art emergency operation centers, and the purchase of sufficient fire trucks and emergency management ambulances to efficiently serve the Nigerian populace; and

(ii) also urge relevant emergency agencies like the National Emergency Management Agency, Federal Fire Service, and the Federal Road Safety Commission to establish clear Protocols and Communication Systems for timely and effective information sharing during emergencies; and

(iii) mandate the Committees on Emergency and Disaster Management, Interior, Federal Road Safety Commission to ensure compliance and report back within four (4) weeks for further legislative action.

Debate:

Hon. Jafaru Leko moved the motion on a call to improve Nigeria’s Emergency Response and Management and it was seconded by Hon. Kalejaye Paul.

An amendment was proposed to input an additional prayer for the relevant emergency management agencies to sensitize the public of their hotlines for easy access.

Hon. Muktar Shagaya also proposed an amendment urging the Nigeria Communication Commission, Telecom Companies and relevant Security Apparatus to ensure nationwide functioning hotlines for ease of access by Nigerians in cases of emergency. The motion was voted on, adopted as amended and referred to the House committee on Emergency and Disaster Management, Interior as well as that Federal Road Safety Commission.

15. Call for Better Service in the Production of National Identity Number:

Hon. Olamijuwonlo Ayodeji Alao Akala:

The House:

Notes that the National Identification Number (NIN) is a unique, lifelong Nigerian identification issued by the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) to Nigerian citizens after enrollment;

Also notes that the National Identification Number is a security measure used to match individuals with their barometric data, tie all records in the database, and establish or verify their identity;

Aware that the National Identity Management Commission regulates national identity in Nigeria, offering services like National Identification Number enrolment and issuance, National e-lD card, among others.

Also aware that the National Identity Commission (NIMC) is responsible for managing Nigeria’s National Identity database, registering individuals, assigning Unique NINs, and issuing General Multi-Purpose Cards (GMPC).;

Observes that Nigerians face arduous experiences during registration despite various enrollment options and service centers, with most Nigerians yet to collect their NIN cards despite successful registration;

Cognizant that NIN is the foundational ecosystem of identifying Nigerians, and its functional identification purpose will be defeated if all citizens cannot access their unique national identification number;

Resolves to:

(i) urge the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) to collaborate with the Federal Ministry of Health, Partner Agencies, Hospitals, and other relevant agencies to enroll, register, and generate NIN for all Nigerian citizens and residents upon birth;

(ii) also urge the NIMC and partner agencies to urgently resolve the issues for a seamless and nationwide NIN registration and card issuance; and

(iii) mandate the Committee on Population to investigate the issues and lapses encountered by Nigerians in registering their National Identification Numbers.

Debate:

Hon. Ayodeji Alaoakala moved the motion on the call for better service in the production of National Identity Number and it was seconded by Hon. Umar Ajilo who also proposed an amendment to prayer 3 to also mandate the House Committee on Digital Technology to be part of the prayer. The motion was voted on, adopted as amended and referred to the House Committee on Information, National Orientation, Ethics and Values as well as that on Information Technology.

16. Need to Invite the Leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) for Dialogue over the Impending Nationwide Mass Protests:

Hon Adegboyega Adeyemi Adefarati​​​ Hon. Saba Ahmed Adam:

The House:

Notes that the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) have denounced a two-day nationwide mass protest scheduled for February 27 and 28, in response to the economic challenges faced by Nigerians;

Also notes that the ultimatum given to the Federal Government by the NLC and TUC, highlighting the need for action on a 16-point agreement reached on October 2, 2023, aimed at addressing the severely adverse socio-economic impacts of policies induced by the International Monetary Fund (lME) and the World Bank;

Further notes that the said policies, specifically the hike in the price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) and the devaluation of the Naira, have led to increased hardship for the masses and considerable erosion of the purchasing power of Nigerian workers;

Worried at the escalating concern regarding the possibility of the protests to be potentially hijacked by individuals opposing democratic goals and national security;

Resolves to:

mandate the Leadership of the House of the Representatives to invite the leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) for comprehensive dialogue on the grave concerns raised to prevent the two-day protest, averting any potential resultant crises, and propose a sustainable path for the betterment of the nation’s workforce and the citizenry at large.

Motion stepped down by leave of the House.
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CONSIDERATION OF REPORTS (HOUSE IN THE COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE) Rt. Hon. Benjamin Kalu Chaired:

17. A Bill for an Act to Provide for Establishment of the Federal College of Health Technology, Benisheikh, Kaga, Borno State and for Related Matters (HB.234) (Leader) – Committee of the Whole: 26/7/2023.

Synopsis of the report:

Hon. Julius Ihonvbere stated that the Bill seeks the establishment of the health technology institute for the benefit of Nigerians in the region.

Summary of voting:
Clauses voted on and approved: 2-25
Clause amended and approved: 1

18. A Bill for an Act to Domesticate the New Partnership for Africa’s Development framework and Establish African Union Development Commission and to give effect to its provisions in the Federal Republic of Nigeria and for Related Matters (HB.271) – Committee of the Whole: 27/7/2023.

Consideration of the Report deferred by leave of the House.

19. A Bill for an Act to Repeal the National Library Act, Cap. N56, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 and Enact the National Library Bill, 2024 to establish and maintain the National Library of Nigeria, strengthen its statutory functions and for Related Matters (HB. 89) (Leader) – Committee of the Whole: 18/7/2023.

Synopsis of the report:

Hon. Julius Ihonvbere stated that the Bill seeks the enactment of the existing Bill to bring it in line with current developments in technology, procedure as well as for the relevance of the title of the Bill to be in compliance.

Summary of voting:
Clauses voted on and approved: 1-21.

20. A Bill for an Act to Establish National Metallurgical Training Institute, Sagamu, Ogun State to Provide Training, Information, Supervision, Guidance and advice to Students, researchers and Personnel in Iron and Steel, and Oil and Gas Industries for National Development and for Related Matters (HB. 109) – Committee of the Whole:23/11/2023.

Synopsis of the report:

Hon. Julius Ihonvbere stated that the Bill seeks to establish the proposed institute to cure a vacuum for low and mid-level manpower in the metallurgical, oil and gas sector for optimal input/output.

Summary of voting:
Clauses voted on and approved: 2
Clauses amended and approved: 1, 3

Further consideration of the report deferred by leave of the House for further cleaning.

21. A Bill for an Act to Establish the Federal College of Agricultural Technology Otun Ekiti to Provide full-time Courses in Agricultural Technology, Applied Science Management and other Fields of Studies and to make Provisions for the General Administration of the College and for Related Matters (HB.875) (Leader) – Committee of the Whole:8/2/2024.

Consideration of the report deferred by leave of the House for further cleaning.
_______________________________

HOUSE IN PLENARY:

The House reverted to plenary and adopted the reports of the Committee of the Whole following a motion by Hon. Julius Ihonvbere and seconded by Hon. Kingsley Chinda.
_______________________________

Adjournment:

The House at 13:23 PM adjourned plenary to Thursday, February 22nd, 2024 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 Leader, Hon. Kingsley Chinda

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

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ARISE NEWS MANAGING EDITOR’S DAUGHTER BAGS MASTERS FROM HARVARD UNIVERSITY

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By Kayode Sanni-Arewa

The daughter of Arise News Managing Editor, Christian Ogodo, was among graduands who bagged various degrees from the prestigious Havard University in the United States.

Oghenetega Steffi Eberechukwu Ogodo, was conferred with a masters degree in Urban Planning of the Graduate School of Design of Harvard University on 23rd May, 2024.

Tega was also a Bloemberg Leadership Fellow, who did her industrial training with the Rochester City Council in New York, while her field work had the theme: “People must feed,” postulating that there must be decent and nutritious food even for the downtrodden people in society.

Tega is a graduate of the University of Lagos with a Second Class Honours [Upper Division] from the Faculty of Environmental Sciences, majoring in Urban and Regional Planning.

She is the daughter of Nigeria’s foremost News Anchor on Arise News on WEEKEND NEWSNIGHT, Christian Ogodo, who is the Managing Editor of Arise News Media Group.

She is currently working with an engineering consulting firm in Chicago that specialises in logistics.

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National Anthem: Nigeria switches from fatherland to motherland

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By Francesca Hangeior

The Federal Republic of Nigeria, today, officially reverted to the National Anthem that heralded its independence as a sovereign Nation.

President Bola Tinubu, after he met a joint session of the National Assembly, signed into law, the adoption of the old National Anthem, “Nigeria, We Hail Thee.”

“Nigeria, We Hail Thee” was adopted as Nigeria’s first national anthem on October 1, 1960.

The anthem’s lyrics were written by Lillian Jean Williams, a British expatriate who lived in Nigeria when it achieved independence.

Frances Berda composed the music for “Nigeria, We Hail Thee.”

However, the second national anthem, “Arise, O Compatriots,” was adopted in 1978.

The lyrics of the now jettisoned anthem were a combination of words and phrases taken from five of the best entries in a national contest.

The words were put to music by the Nigerian Police Band under the directorship of Benedict P. Odiase (1934–2013).

The Nigerian national anthem lyrics were created by five people: P. O. Aderibigbe, John A. Ilechukwu, Dr. Sota Omoigui, Eme tim Akpan and B.A. Ogunnaike.

With the return to the old anthem, Nigeria officially switched from a ‘Fatherland’ to a ‘Motherland’.

Hereunder are the Three Stanzas of the old but now new National Anthem:

1. Nigeria we hail thee,
Our own dear native land,
Though tribe and tongue may differ,
In brotherhood we stand,
Nigerians all, and proud to serve
Our sovereign Motherland.

2. Our flag shall be a symbol
That truth and justice reign,
In peace or battle honour’d,
And this we count as gain,
To hand on to our children
A banner without stain.

3. O God of all creation,
Grant this our one request,
Help us to build a nation
Where no man is oppressed,
And so with peace and plenty
Nigeria may be blessed.

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BREAKING! Tinubu extends Abuja free train ride for six months

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President Bola Tinubu has approved the extension of free train rides on the Abuja Rail Mass Transit, also called the Metro Rail, for the next six months until the end of the year.

The FCT Minister, Nyesom Wike, had announced free train rides for two months, to ease the burden of commuting for residents of the FCT.

Tinubu gave the approval during his address at the inauguration of the commencement of operations of the Abuja metro rail in Abuja on Wednesday, May 29.

The president appealed for the extension to offer hope to the people of the FCT and give them reasons to celebrate.

“Our dear landlord and his team, I heard you saying two months free ride. I appeal to you to make it till the end of the year. Since today you’re not going to charge me, that will give the people hope and reasons to celebrate,” Tinubu said.

Details shortly…

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