Welcome to a new Legislative Day in the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria!
Senate President Ahmad Lawan led the Principal Officers into the Chamber, took the official prayers and began the day’s proceedings at 10:52am.
VOTES AND PROCEEDINGS
Senator Tolu Odebiyi moved for the adoption of the Votes and Proceedings of Tuesday, 26th April, 2022.
Senator Biobarakuma Degi-Eremienyo seconded.
Senate President Ahmad Lawan read a letter from Senator representing Senator representing Sokoto South Senatorial District, Ibrahim Abdullahi Danbaba, announcing his defection from the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
POINT OF ORDER
Minority Whip, Senator Philip Aduda cited Order 43 to inform the Senate that there is no crisis in the PDP in North West.
“If someone says in his place, this is the situation and Senator representing FCT would say no, it doesn’t exist, I think we should ask if it is you that know better or him that represents that constituency.” – Senate President Ahmad Lawan
Senator Uche Ekwunife cited Constitutional Order – Section 68(g) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to inform Senator Ibrahim Danbaba on the need to immediately relinquish his position base on the provision of the section of the Constitution as read.
“I want to advise you that some of these things you have said should not be recorded. My fear is one day, you will stand from that place and say you want to move to this side. All this thing you have said may come back to hunt you. On the issue of the Constitutional Order, we are at liberty as elected representatives of the people that when our parties are turned into pieces, when there are factions and irredeemable and destructive crisis like PDP is, we are free to take our leave and especially Senator Ibrahim Danbaba, to his credit worked so hard to help stabilize PDP but it is irredeemable and therefore, I rule you out of order completely.” – Senate President Ahmad Lawan
Senate President Ahmad Lawan read a letter of notification from Senator representing Ogun Central Senatorial District, Ibikunle Amosun, announcing his intention to contest for the Office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria under the APC.
The formal declaration is scheduled to hold on Thursday 5TH May, 2022 by 11:00am at the Shehu Musa Yar’Adua Centre, CBD, Abuja.
POINT OF ORDER
Senator Rochas Okorocha cited Order 42 to notify the Senate on the ugly incident that led to the loss of 110 lives in Abaezi forest, Ohaji-Egbema Local Government Area of Imo State, rising from a fire incident in a local refinery business.
“Let me also re-echo one or two sentiments as expressed. As a country blessed with petroleum resources, we must ensure that we refine our crude. It has been a long journey so far that we have not been able to refine successfully. We cannot in any true sense benefit better from the oil and gas resources we have in Nigeria if we don’t add the value of refining. We have to refine our petroleum products in Nigeria if we have to enjoy the benefits. For those who get involved in this kind of illegal refinery activities, I think government will have to take action. It is for government to come to a decision on how we should be able to deal with this illegal activities. On one hand, we may encourage private participation. Illegal refinery is causing a lot of damage to our country.” – Senate President Ahmad Lawan
Senate observed a minute silence in honour of those that lost their lives in the accident.
PRESENTATION OF BILLS FOR FIRST READING
1. Federal Medical Centre Umuawulu (Establishment) Bill, 2022 (SB. 881) by Senator Uche Ekwunife
Federal Medical Centre Umuawulu (Establishment) Bill, 2022 (SB. 881) was read the First Time.
2. Federal College of Agriculture Isuochi, Abia State (Establishment) Bill, 2022 (SB. 987) by Senator Orji Kalu
Federal College of Agriculture Isuochi, Abia State (Establishment) Bill, 2022 (SB. 987) was read the First Time.
3. Vigilante Group of Nigeria (Establishment) Bill, 2022 (HB. 437) by Senate Leader, Senator Yahaya Abdullahi
Vigilante Group of Nigeria (Establishment) Bill, 2022 (HB. 437) was read the First Time.
4. National Cashew Production and Research Institute Idah, Kogo State (Establishment) Bill, 2022 (SB. 1000) by Senator Isah Jibrin
National Cashew Production and Research Institute Idah, Kogo State (Establishment) Bill, 2022 (SB. 1000) was read the First Time.
5. National Institute of Information and Communication Technology Warake, Edo State (Establishment) Bill, 2022 (SB. 1001) by Senator Francis Alimikhena
National Institute of Information and Communication Technology Warake, Edo State (Establishment) Bill, 2022 (SB. 1001) was read the First Time.
MOTION FOR RE-COMMITAL
Re-Committal of Bills to the Committee of the Whole
The Bills are:
1. Counselling Practitioners Council of Nigeria; and
2. Federal University of Agriculture, Jalingo;
Senate resolved to rescind its decision on the Bills as passed and re-commit same to the Committee of the Whole for re-consideration and passage
Senate resolved into Committee of the Whole
Senate reverted to Plenary to report progress.
Counselling Practitioners Council of Nigeria;
The Senate in Committee of the Whole and Plenary considered Counselling Practitioners Council of Nigeria and approved Clauses 1- 17 as amended, Schedules 1 & 2 as recommended, Interpretation as recommended, Short and Long Titles as recommended, Explanatory Memorandum as recommended.
Counselling Practitioners Council of Nigeria was read the Third Time and PASSED!
Federal University of Agriculture, Jalingo
The Senate in Committee of the Whole and Plenary considered Federal University of Agriculture, Jalingo and approved Clauses 1-26 as recommended, Interpretation as recommended, Schedules 1 & 2 as recommended, Short and Long Titles as recommended, Explanatory Memorandum as recommended.
Federal University of Agriculture, Jalingo was read the Third Time and PASSED!
CONSIDERATION OF BILLS
1. A Bill for an Act to Amend the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria Act to restrict the activities of the Commission to its regulatory and coordinating functions as it relates to the conduct and operation of Hajj and Umra in Nigeria; prohibit the use of funds accruing to the Hajj Savings Schemes, provide for comprehensive licensing guidelines; and for related matters, 2022 (SB. 982) by Senator Danbaba Ibrahim
“I rise to second the Bill ably sponsored by Senator Ibrahim Danbaba. At the Eighth Senate, I had the opportunity of sharing an Ad-hoc Committee on the duties of the Hajj Commission. In our report, we made it very clear that funds collected from pilgrims should not be used by the Commission but should be kept in an account that would accrued interest and the interest should be utilized to improve the welfare of the pilgrims. We made recommendations unfortunately the report could not be approved by the Senate because of certain interest. It is even criminal of the National Commissioners to be using that money to take care of their welfare. The money is meant for the welfare of the pilgrims as the Commissioners are being paid heavily by the federal government. I don’t see why they should start sharing money that came from the pilgrims. So we should stop it. These are very good legislations that will improve transparency in the funds of the Hajj Commission and provide relief for our pilgrims.” –Senator Adamu Aliero
“There is fundamental difference between a Commission and a travel agency. The fundamental issue here is they should restrict themselves with their own function of regulating the system. What I think they should be doing is regulate the agencies but if they are the ones lifting and providing accommodation, certainly there is going to be problem. I therefore urge every member here to support this so that in future, we should be able to reduce the amount of money our poor pilgrims are paying. We should use the money from the income to reduce the price of going to Hajj.” – Senator Abdullahi Gobir.
“In rising to support this amendment Bill, I will like to say that I hope an opportunity will be given to expand the scope as the amendments are not far reaching. I will like to say that even beyond this, the Hajj Commission overstepped its boundary when it comes to Hajj operation. They dabble into accommodation; they are always clashing with States Hajj Commission and some of these States Hajj Commission are up and doing. There is no country in the world where a Hajj Commission gets directly involved in logistics like Nigeria. My prayer is I hope that when it comes to the public hearing, we will expand this amendment.” – Senator Ibrahim Hassan Hadejia
The Bill was read the Second Time and referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs for further legislative action to report back in four weeks.
2. A Bill for an Act to provide for the establishment of the Institute of Information and Communication Technology Ogbolomabiri, Bayelsa State and for other matters connected therewith, 2022 (SB. 979) by Senator Biobarakuma Degi-Eremienyo
“I stand to support this Bill wholeheartedly because Nigeria is seriously lacking in area of information technology. All the economies in the world are transforming and are taking cues by advancing technology. If you look at stock exchange today, its IT driven. So we cannot be left behind. For this country to develop its economy, we must embrace technology and give our youths that opportunity to be able to catch up with those that have gone ahead.” – Senator Sani Musa
The Bill was read the Second Time and referred to the Committee on ICT and Cybersecurity for further legislation action to report back within four weeks.
3. A Bill for an Act to Repeal the Violence Against Persons (Prohibition) Act 2015, and Enact the Violence Against Persons (Prohibition) Bill, 2022 to eliminate violence in private and public life, prohibit all forms of violence against persons and to provide maximum protection and effective remedies for victims and punishment of offenders; and for related matters, 2022 (SB. 926) by Senator Isah Jibrin
“I rise to second that the Bill be read the Second Time. The reasons are quite obvious. There is rising cases of violence in this country. So the law has to be made in such a way to meet up with such violence situations. We must have adequate provisions to take care of such situations. I appeal to everybody to support the second reading of this Bill.” – Senator Bima Enagi
The Bill was read the Second Time and referred to the Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters for further legislative action to report back in four weeks.
4. A Bill for an Act to Amend the Federal Universities of Technology Act Cap F23 LFN 2004 and for other matters connected therewith, 2022 (SB. 948) by Senator Bima Enagi
“I stand to also support this Bill for the passage because there is no way we can get out of the economic and security drama that we are in without seriously embracing technology. And in so doing, our institution must be expanded to cover other areas that we have gap in. In a country where there are so many people with so many talents but lacking to get admission especially the Federal University of Technology, Minna, where you see many youths not able to get admission because they are not able to meet criteria set up by the University. This Bill is very important at this moment so that the curriculum of these universities will be expanded. I support this Bill and I believe that my colleagues will also do the same.” – Senator Sani Musa
The Bill was read the Second Time and referred to the Committee on Tertiary Institutions and TETFUND for further legislative action to report back in four weeks.
PRESENTATION AND CONSIDERATION OF A REPORT
1. Report of the Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights & Legal Matters
Terrorism (Prevention) Act 2013 (Amendment) Bill, 2022 (SB. 662) by Senator Opeyemi Bamidele
Senator Opeyemi Bamidele moved that the Senate do receive and consider the report of the Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights & Legal Matters on the Terrorism (Prevention) Act 2013 (Amendment) Bill, 2022 (SB. 662)
Senator Orkey-Jev seconded.
Senator Opeyemi Bamidele laid and presented the report.
Senate resolved into Committee of the Whole to consider the report Clause by Clause.
Senate reverted to Plenary to report progress.
The Senate in Committee of the Whole and Plenary considered Terrorism (Prevention) Act 2013 (Amendment) Bill, 2022 (SB. 662) and approved Clauses 1- 98 as recommended, Schedules 1, 2 & 3 as recommended, Interpretation as recommended, Short and Long Titles as recommended, Explanatory Memorandum as recommended.
Terrorism (Prevention) Act 2013 (Amendment) Bill, 2022 (SB. 662) was read the Third Time and PASSED!
“Congratulations to the Senate on passing this very important Bill and it is the leave here in the Senate that this Bill, by the time it is signed into Act by Mr. President, will enhance the efforts of this government in the fight against terrorism, kidnapping and other associated vices. This is one piece of legislation that can turn around not only the security issues of Nigeria but even the economy of the country. I believe that the Executive will waste no time in signing this Bill into law and it is our hope that this additional piece of legislation will achieve the purpose for which it has been worked upon. The fight against any insecurity is not the sole purpose of a government. The contributions and support by the citizens is essential because our security agencies need critical information to fight against terrorism, kidnapping and other things that make life difficult for us. And the security agencies we believe are trying their best but they need to do more and achieve better. With this once again, I want to congratulate the Senate for this very important piece of legislation.” – Senate President Ahmad Lawan
1. The need to establish the National Museum at the Akassa Slave Trade Centre in Bayelsa State to preserve National Heritage by Senator Biobarakuma Degi-Eremienyo
Senate resolved to direct the National Commission for Museum and Monuments to recognize the Akassa Slave Trade Centre and establish it as a National Slave Trade Museum in Bayelsa State.
Senate Leader, Senator Yahaya Abdullahi moved that Senate do stand down other items on the Order Paper till another legislative day.
Minority Whip, Senator Philip Aduda seconded.
Plenary was adjourned for Sallah Break till Tuesday, 10th May, 2022.
New Media Unit
Office of the President of the Senate
Federal Republic of Nigeria