Plenary proceedings of the House of Representatives for Wednesday, October 13th, 2021

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The Speaker of the House, Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila presiding.

After leading the opening prayer and the recitation of the national pledge, the Speaker went on to examine and approve the votes and proceedings for Tuesday, October 12th, 2021
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ANNOUNCEMENT

The Speaker of the House, Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila announced the membership of a high powered delegation to be led by the leader of the House, Rep. Alhassan Ado-Doguwa to Sokoto state on the lingering insecurity in the state. The minority leader, Rep. Ndudi Elumelu is also part of the delegation.
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MATTER OF URGENT PUBLIC IMPORTANCE

1. Rep. Ndudi Elumelu moved a motion on the need to provide equipment for the Federal medical centre, Asaba in Delta state. He called on the House committee on appropriation to liaise with the relevant quarters to ensure the House resolutions on all such infrastructure matters be incorporated in the provisions of the 2022 appropriation Bill and it was seconded by Rep. Abubakar Bichi. The motion was voted on and adopted.
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PRESENTATION OF BILLS

1. Anatomy Act (Repeal and Enactment) Bill, 2021(HB. 1637) (Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila and Rep. Tanko Sununu) – First Reading.

2. Nigeria Postal Services Act (Repeal and Enactment) Bill, 2021(HB. 1636) (Senate) – First Reading.

3. Federal Agricultural Loan Facility Regulatory Agency Bill, 2021 (HB. 1387) (Rep. Mohammed Auwal Jatau) –First Reading.

4. Anti-Prejudice Education (Inclusion) Bill, 2021(HB. 1388) (Rep. Lawal Muhammed Idrisu) – First Reading.

5. Federal Eye Centre, Iruekpen Ekpoma (Establishment) Bill, 2021(HB. 1390) (Rep. Joseph Eghoghon Edionwele) – First Reading.

6. Federal University of Education, Igueben, Edo State (Establishment etc.) Bill, 2021(HB. 1391) (Rep. Joseph Eghoghon Edionwele) – First Reading.

7. Federal College of Agriculture Kagarko (Establishment) Bill, 2021(HB. 1393) (Rep. Gabriel Saleh Zock) – First Reading.

8. National Institute for Hepatitis Treatment and Control (Establishment) Bill, 2021(HB.1394) (Rep. Gabriel Saleh Zock) – First Reading.

9. Federal College of Agriculture and Cooperatives, Share, Kwara State (Establishment) Bill, 2021(HB. 1633)
(Rep. Jimoh Abdul Raheem Olajide) – First Reading.

10. Federal Capital Territory Wider Area Planning and Development Commission (Establishment) Bill, 2021(HB. 1634) (Rep. Gaza Jonathan Gbefwi) –First Reading.

11. Motor Vehicles (Prohibition of Tinted Glass) Act (Amendment) Bill, 2021(HB. 1635) (Rep. Francis Charles Uduyok) – First Reading.

12. Military and Paramilitary Services (Mandatory) Human Rights Training Bill, 2021(HB. 1638) (Rep. Robert Aondona Tyough) – First Reading.

13. Federal Tertiary Teaching Hospitals Development Tax Fund (Establishment) Etc.) Bill, 2021 (HB. 1639) (Rep. Sani Nazifi) – First Reading.
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PRESENTATION OF REPORTS

1. Committee on Health Institutions:
Rep. Paschal Obi:
“That the House do receive the Report of the Committee on Health Institutions on a Bill for an Act to Establish Federal Medical Centre, Ogoja, Cross Rivers State; and for Related Matters (HB. 276)” (Referred:23/7/20201).

The report was laid following a motion moved by Rep. Paschal Obi and seconded by Rep. Mukhtar Ahmed

2. Committee on Public Petitions:
Report on the Petition by Siyaka Salami:
Rep. Jerry Alagbaoso:
“That the House do receive the Report of the Committee on Public Petitions on the petition by Siyaka Salami against the Nigerian Police Force on a Case of SARS Maltreatment (Referred: 25/3/2021).

The report was laid following a motion moved by Rep. Jerry Alagbaoso and seconded by Rep. Enitan Badru.

3. Committee on Public Petitions:
Report on the Petition by Ekhasomi Henry Sambo:
Rep. Jerry Alagbaoso:
“That the House do receive the Report of the Committee on Public Petitions on the petition by Ekhasomi Henry Sambo against the Management of Nigerian Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITIF), an Appeal for Recall and Reinstatement” (Referred: 1/12/2020).

The report was laid following a motion moved by Rep. Jerry Alagbaoso and seconded by Rep. Enitan Badru.

4. Committee on Public Petitions:
Report on the Petition by Rabiu Okikioposu Akkem Ademola on Behalf of Late Mrs Rabiu Amori Muyimat:
Rep. Jerry Alagbaoso:
“That the House do receive the Report of the Committee on Public Petitions on the petition by Rabiu Okikioposu Akkem Ademola on Behalf of Late Mrs Rabiu Amori Muyimat against the Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD) on Non-payment of Benefits and Entitlements (Referred: 23/3/2021).

The report was laid following a motion moved by Rep. Jerry Alagbaoso and seconded by Rep. Enitan Badru.
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ORDERS OF THE DAY

BILLS

1. A Bill for an Act to Provide for Establishment of Federal University of Environmental Technology, Saapenwa, Ogoni; and for Related Matters (HB. 1219) – Third Reading.

Debate
Rep. Alhassan Ado-Doguwa moved for the third reading of the Bill and it was seconded by Rep. Abubakar Fulata. The Bill was voted on, approved for third reading, the clerk read the long title and it was passed.

2. A Bill for an Act to Provide for Establishment of a Specialized National Dermatology Hospital, Garkida, Management Board for the Hospital, provide Dermatological Treatment, Research and Training; and for Related Matters (HB.1382) – Third Reading.

Debate
Rep. Alhassan Ado-Doguwa moved for the third reading of the Bill and it was seconded by Rep. Ndudi Elumelu. The Bill was voted on, approved for third reading, the clerk read the long title and it was passed.

3. A Bill for an Act to Establish the National Agricultural Development Fund to Provide Funds for Agricultural Development; and for Related Matters (HB.1319) – Third Reading.

Debate
Rep. Alhassan Ado-Doguwa moved for the third reading of the Bill and it was seconded by Rep. Ndudi Elumelu. The Bill was voted on, approved for third reading, the clerk read the long title and it was passed.

4. A Bill for an Act to Provide Special Financial Support, Training and Modern Security Equipment for the Revamping of the Nigerian Armed Forces; and for Related Matters (HB.742) – Third Reading

Debate
Rep. Alhassan Ado-Doguwa moved for the third reading of the Bill and it was seconded by Rep. Ndudi Elumelu. The Bill was voted on, approved for third reading, the clerk read the long title and it was passed.

5. A Bill for an Act to Establish Chartered Institute of Forensics and Certified Fraud Examiners of Nigeria, to Provide for the Regulation and Control of its Membership and Promote the Practice of Forensics and Fraud Examiners in Nigeria; and for Related Matters (HB.1220) – Third Reading

Debate
Rep. Alhassan Ado-Doguwa moved for the third reading of the Bill and it was seconded by Rep. Ndudi Elumelu. The Bill was voted on, approved for third reading, the clerk read the long title and it was passed.

6. A Bill for an Act to Authorise the issue from the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Federation the total sum of N16,391,023,917,692 (Sixteen Trillion, Three Hundred and Ninety–One Billion, Twenty-Three Million, Nine Hundred and Seventeen Thousand, Six Hundred and Ninety-Two Naira) only, of which N768,276,616,043 (Seven Hundred and Sixty–Eight Billion, Two Hundred and Seventy –Six Million, Six Hundred and Sixteen Thousand, Forty–Three Naira) only is for Statutory Transfers, N3,901,952,981,550 (Three Trillion, Nine Hundred and One Billion, Nine Hundred and Fifty–Two Million, Nine Hundred and Eighty–One Thousand, Five Hundred and Fifty Naira) only is for Debt Service, N6,829,015,483,446 (Six Trillion, Eight Hundred and Twenty–Nine Billion, Fifteen Million, Four Hundred And Eighty–Three Thousand, Four Hundred and Forty–Six Naira) only is for Recurrent (Non-Debt) Expenditure while the sum of N4,891,778,836,654 (Four Trillion, Eight Hundred and Ninety–One Billion, Seven Hundred and Seventy–Eight Million, Eight Hundred and Thirty–Six Thousand, Six Hundred and Fifty–Four Naira) only is for Contribution to the Development Fund for Capital Expenditure for the year ending 31 December, 2022. (HB. 1632) (Referred: 7/10/2021) – First Allotted Day

Debate
Rep. Alhassan Ado-Doguwa moved for the second reading of the Bill and it was seconded by Rep. Ndudi Elumelu. Rep. Alhassan Ado-Doguwa in leading the debate stated that the budget proposal reflects the economic realities of Nigeria in line with the federal government’s desire to invest heavily in critical sectors of the economy such as health, education, agriculture, security etc. It also reflects the need to invest in infrastructure/vital capital projects. He called on members to debate in a de-politicized manner and in the overall interest of Nigerians so that the January-December budget cycle can be maintained. Rep. Ado-Doguwa urged committees of the House to be thorough in engaging ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) of government during the budget defence proper.

Rep. Leke Abejide commended the spirit of the budget proposal for making capital projects a priority. He also commended the Executive Arm of government for the budget performance of the 2021 budget. He, however, queried some of the assumptions of the MTEF such as the projected oil productions per day, the foreign exchange rate, the benchmark of $57 per barrel of crude oil which he stated is low, he proposed a benchmark of at least $60 per barrel.

Rep. Mohammed Tahir Monguno also commended the federal government for the 2021 budget implementation. He stated that the 2022 budget proposal truly reflects the desire of the government to lift Nigerians out of poverty as well as the diversification of the Nigerian economy. Rep. Monguno lauded the proposed allocation for security, agricultural production and rail transport which will boost economic development. He however expressed concern about the benchmark of the oil price and called on the National Assembly to look into this. Rep. Monguno called on the committees of the House to ensure effective oversight of MDAs to ensure accountability and transparency.

Rep. Onofiok Luke applauded the provision of =N=50 Billion for hazard allowances for medical practitioners especially during the fight of the covid-19 pandemic. He called for the upward review of the individual hazard allowance of =N=5 thousand. Rep. Luke expressed hope that releases will reach security personnel to boost their morale and ensure they are well equipped to fight insecurity. In the same vein, he called for the increase of remuneration for judicial workers, which he stated is necessary for the speedy and fair dispensation of justice devoid of the need for any inducement. He however expressed concern over the amount allocated for debt servicing, this deficit he stated is to be financed by further borrowing which will increase Nigeria’s debt profile which he termed as very worrisome for the future. Rep. Luke called for borrowed funds to be injected into infrastructural development such as power, transportation development which will increase revenue generation. He called for measures that will tackle the rising cost of goods, services and general living of Nigerians.

Rep. Mohammed Jega praised the spirit of the budget proposal and hoped for its right application to ensure the development of critical infrastructure. He called on the House committee on finance to grill the relevant revenue-generating agencies to boost their activities and ensure the availability of scarce funds. Rep. Jega also called for the inclusion of the plight of internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the budget so that they can also return to normalcy of living.

Rep. Sergius Ogun called for the quarterly debate on budget implementation reports throughout each year by relevant committees so members can keep track of performances by MDAs of government. This he stated is to measure the application of proposed, against actually released funds, especially the percentage implementation of such released funds by such MDAs.

Rep. Toby Okechukwu expressed hope that the budget implementation percentage can be sustained or scaled upwards. He called on the House to continue to respond to the need to pass developmental Bills, he however called for the assurance of the legislative framework for the implementation of such Bills for Nigeria’s development. Rep. Okechukwu also called on the government to ensure the reduction of the economic deficit, inflation and debt servicing as a result of incessant borrowing. He called for full remittances to government coffers by MDAs, as well as the right implementation of such funds.

Rep. Ndudi Elumelu commended the spirit of unity of members despite party lines during the debate of financial Bills for the good of all Nigerians. He called on the Standing committees of the House to investigate MDAs to ensure the appropriated funds are judiciously utilized. He called for proper sanctioning of MDAs who refuse to properly implement the budget. Such agencies he stated should get zero allocation in the current process, and such funds should be channelled to more relevant agencies who have a better implementation ratio for the good of Nigerians. Rep. Elumelu expressed worry over the use of loans for non-developmental reasons.

Rep. Kabir Ibrahim stated that the budget for the ministry of works and that for FERMA is riddled with abnormalities and duplications. He called on the relevant committees to ensure thorough work is done on releases and implementation.

Rep. Nkeiruka Onyejeocha commended President Muhammadu Buhari for the budget performance of the 2021 budget and expressed optimism that it will continue. She also praised the gender-friendly spirit in the allocation of the 2022 budget proposal. Rep. Onyejeocha also called for speedy releases of funds, procurement processes and implementation of such funds.

Rep. Ibrahim Potiskum stated that considering the intensity of the menace of insecurity nationwide; the budget for defence/security is inadequate. The same goes for youth empowerment where the unemployment rate continues to soar. He called for more appropriation for job creation and skill acquisition as the youth remain the backbone of the country. Rep. Potiskum then called for the development of power generation/supply to add to the national grid.

Rep. Abubakar Yalleman called for the inclusion of key ingredients for economic growth by the federal government. He called on the Standing committees of the House to keep the MDAs on their toes during their oversight functions to deliver on the mandate of such MDAs. He called for further development in the areas of agriculture, transportation and internal security for the creation of the atmosphere for national economic development. Rep. Yalleman expressed concern about the source of funding for the budget. He called for the blockage of financial leakages, improvement of non-oil activities and proper oversight of all agencies by committees of the House.

Rep. Manu Masur stressed the need for Nigerians to be more involved in the budget process, from the proposal, implementation and evaluation stages as this will increase the percentage of accountability of public funds. He expressed concern about the debt service proposal. He called for more capital projects such as port development, efficient road/rail transportation, domestic revenue mobilization, increased production etc. Rep. Masur called on the House committee on finance to ensure revenue generating agencies remain focused.

Rep. Olajide Jimoh harped on the need to tackle insecurity and ensure internal security so Nigerians can progress in a peaceful environment. He called for the strengthening of the policies aimed at battling the covid-19 pandemic so that Nigeria remains a safe destination for business. Rep. Jimoh called on Nigerians to improve on values such as honesty. He also called for improvement in the manufacturing/production sector, as the trade in finished goods provides more value to Nigeria.

Rep. Femi Fakeye stated that giving the pain taken by the legislature to scrutinize MDAs for proper implementation; it behoves the executive to ensure proper passage, fund releases and proper implementation for the economic good of Nigerians. He called for a wider tax policy to ensure the generation of more revenue for the economic development of Nigeria. Rep. Fakeye also called for the diversification of the Nigerian economy by the exploration of other mineral resources. He also wondered why gas is still flared when it can be harnessed. He called for the full repair of all oil refineries in Nigeria as that would save the nation a lot and increase its national revenue.

Rep. Mohammed Wudil called for better funding for the rehabilitation of Nigerian roads as they are in terrible conditions. He called for the proper implementation of safety nets for citizens to ensure poor and vulnerable Nigerians are the real beneficiaries. Rep. Wudil also called for the proper utilization of looted funds for developmental projects.

Rep. Abubakar Bichi observed that the allocation for the ministry of works is inadequate as the ministry already owes so much to contractors. He called for much more funding for the ministry so that construction and rehabilitation does not cease.

Rep. Ahmed Munir expressed worry over the gas flaring in the nation, he called for its harnessing for wealth creation, environmental safety and expansion in the oil industry. Rep. Munir called for the creation of external revenue service to coordinate savings and taxes for proper implementation for Nigerians. He called for proper domestication of projects and proper spread for true national development.

Rep. Ahmed Jaha stated that the standard measure of scaling budgets is the public expenditure to GDP ratio and the 2022 budget proposal scores high in this ratio. He called for the proper implementation of borrowed funds. Rep. Jaha expressed concern over releases especially for road construction and called for sustained and timely releases. He also stressed the need for MDAs to ensure they effectively implement released funds, and that such funds are utilized for the specific purpose of such releases.

The Speaker of the House, Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila reiterated the need to track how MDAs of government implement released funds. He called on Standing committees of the House to use the 2022 budget proposal to track the performance of all MDAs.

Rep. Haruna Mshelia stated that the covid-19 pandemic exposed a weak national healthcare system. He bemoaned the fact that the health sector still was allocated only 2% of the current budget proposal. He stated that nothing short of at least 10% is practical. This he stated is needed for proper research and development. Rep. Mshelia also called for an increase in the allocation for the education sector. He stated that since the Bill is still in the proposal stage, more upward adjustments should be done.

Rep. John Dyegh commended the proposed allocation in the budget for security and called for the proper implementation so that insurgency can be defeated once and for all. He called on the relevant defence committees of the House to ensure effective oversight of the Nigerian security apparatus so that the funds are properly applied, in order to ensure that Nigeria becomes safe again, this he stated will ensure the prosperity of Nigerians.
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Adjournment:
The House at 14:19 Pm adjourned plenary till Thursday, October 14th 2021 by 11:00 A.M following a motion for adjournment moved by the leader of the House, Rep. Alhassan Ado-Doguwa and seconded by Rep. Victor Nwokolo.

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

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