#TodayInPlenary: Proceedings Of The Nigerian Senate Of Tuesday, 17th October, 2017.

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Welcome to a new Legislative Day in the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu took the official Prayer and led the Chambers into today’s proceedings.


Senator Fatimat Rasaki moved for the approval of votes and proceedings of Thursday 12th of October 2017. Senator Suleiman Nazif seconded.

ANNOUNCEMENTS
Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu welcomed people who were present in the gallery to observe plenary.

Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu listed the members of the Conference Committee on Federal Inland Revenue Service 2017 Appropriation to include Senator Kurfi Umaru, Senator Joshua Dariye, Senator Hope Uzodinma, Senator Bayero Nafada, Senator Nelson Effiong and Senator John Enoh as Chairman of the Committee.

PRESENTATION OF REPORT
1. Report of the Committee on Culture and Tourism
Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation Act (Repeal and Re-enactment) Bill, 2017 (SB. 428)
by Senator Mathew A. Urhoghide. 
- That the Senate do receive the report of the Committee on Culture and Tourism on the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation Act (Repeal and Re-enactment) Bill, 2017 (SB. 428).

Senator Clifford Ordia seconded that the Senate do receive the report of the Committee on Culture and Tourism on the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation Act (Repeal and Re-enactment) Bill, 2017 (SB. 428).

The Report was laid.

2. Report of the Committees on Customs, Excise and Tariffs and Marine Transport by Senator Hope Uzodinma (Imo West) and Senator Ahmed Rufai Sani (Zamfara West)
- That the Senate do receive the report on the Committees on Customs, Excise and Tariffs and Marine Transport in respect of a motion on the urgent need to examine the Operations of the Nigeria Custom Service Revenue Drive.

Senator Oluremi Tinubu seconded that the Senate do receive the report of the Committees on Customs, Excise and Tariffs and Marine Transport in respect of a motion on the urgent need to examine the operations of the Nigeria Customs Service Revenue Drive.

The Report was laid.

MOTIONS
1. Demise of Lieutenant General Victor Samuel Malu (Rtd) DSS, MNI1, FWC, PSC by Senator Barnabas Gemade

Senator George Akume said late General Victor Samuel Malu (Rtd) was a gallant soldier all through his service in the Nigerian Army.

Senator Abdul-Aziz Nyako said he is delighted the Senate has agreed to move the said motion and believes a barrack be named after late General Victor Samuel Malu (Rtd).

The Senate accordingly resolved to
i. Observe one minute silence in honour of the late Lieutenant General Samuel Victor Malu;
ii. Send a high powered delegation of this hallowed Chamber to condole with the family, the people and Government of Benue State; and
iii. Urge the Federal Government of Nigeria to immortalize Lieutenant General Samuel Victor Malu, by naming a National monument in his honour.

Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu sent his condolence to the family of late General Victor Samuel Malu (Rtd) on behalf of the Senate and thanked God that while alive late General Victor Samuel Malu (Rtd) contributed to the protection of the citizens of Nigeria.

Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu said "The Senate will work towards making sure that soldiers are catered for in and out of service especially when retired".

Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu listed the members of the Benue delegation as Senator Theodore Orji, Senator Sani Mustapha, Senator Fatimat Rasaki, Senator Uchendu Andrew, Senator Yusuf A. Yusuf and Senator Jeremiah Useni as the leader of the delegation.

2. Commemoration of the United Nations International Day for the Eradication of Poverty 17th October, 2017 by Senator Malam Wakili Mni.

Senator Atai Aidoko appealed to the Government to release funds in order to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

Senator Jibrin Barau went on to say that "Poverty is a weapon of mass destruction".

Senator Shehu Sani said that the policies in Nigeria has only aggravated poverty and to solve this, we must ensure that our budget is implemented and agencies set in place to fight poverty are actually working.

The Senate accordingly resolved to 
i. Call upon the Federal, State and Local Governments of Nigeria to henceforth designate and observe October 17 as World Poverty Day in-line with the UN resolution;
ii. Appeal to Community based Organizations, the Media both conventional and social must step up discourse and discussions on the scourge of poverty and it's debasement of human dignity;
iii. That policies and programmes evolved by the Federal Government through the Social Investment Programmes and other poverty alleviation and eradication measures are vigorously pursued; 
iv. That the Federal Government of Nigeria implements the necessary SDGs that will eliminate poverty in line with Goal 16; and 
v. That the Federal Government should ensure free and compulsory education at all levels.

Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu said "What is important is that we reduce poverty and try to take most of our citizens out of it as a responsible Country", he also said "We need to ensure that there is proper distribution of income".

3. The need to sanction private companies and institutions that disallow workers' unionism in their companies by Senator Shehu Sani.

Senators Joshua Lidani and Senator Umaru Kurfi contributed to the motion on the need to sanction companies and institutions that disallow workers unionism.

The Senate accordingly resolved to
i. Mandate the Senate Committee on labour matters, to as a matter of urgency, draw up measures of ensuring compliance with labour unionism in work places; and 
ii. The Senate Committee on empowerment and labour ensure that companies who do not comply are appropriately sanctioned.

Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu said "This is a way of calling us to action and also a reminder of our oath of office".

4. Update on Lead Poisoning in Zamfara State and the need to prevent propagation of the resource curse theory by Senator Oluremi Tinubu.

Senator Barnabas Gemade contributed that "This devastation has caused a lot damages on the affected area including erosion, this practice must be stopped as it is a great danger to our people".

The Senate accordingly resolved to 
i. Invite the Minister of Solid Minerals to appear before the Senate in plenary to deliver a brief on it's mining roadmap, implementation framework and how it intends to ensure protection of the residents of mining host communities;
ii. Mandate the Senate Committees on Environment and Solid Minerals to visit the affected communities to ascertain the level of damage done and report to the Senate;
iii. Urge the Minister of Solid Minerals to ensure adoption of safer mining methods by mining concerns; and 
iv. Mandate the Senate Committee on Environment to investigate the activities of the Ministry of Environment as it affects the mining sector.

Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu said "Citizens living around the environment affected are greatly affected and must be considered, quick action must be taken".

5. The need to establish and delegate Special Purpose Vehicles to execute and operate Major Power Sector Development Projects by Senator Engineer Mustapha Bukar.

Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe said "The Committee is taking measures to bring back the ministry to what it is supposed to be".

Senator John Enoh said "The power sector is vital to the socio-economic development of this Country", he also said "There is need to support the power sector by putting policies in place that favour the power sector".

The Senate accordingly resolved to 
i. Urge the Federal Government to immediately incorporate SPVs for the implementation of the following alternative energy projects:
a. Hydropower Projects;
b. Solar Power Projects; and
c. Wind Power Projects;
ii. Urge the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing to use gas as the source of Energy for the Kaduna Project in accordance with the original project concepts and the MOU signed with gas suppliers to complete the project as adequate provision has been made for the project in the 2017 Budget;
iii. Urge the Federal Government to employ qualified management team to take charge of the project development in the SPVs and gradually resource the companies in readiness for full operations when the projects are commissioned;
iv. Urge the Federal Government to transfer all generation, transmission and rural electrification projects to the respective agencies for proper administration; 
v. Urge the above-named SPVs when created to comply with the provisions of the Electric Power Sector Reform (EPSR) Act by applyingto NERC for the generation licenses and to the TCN for Grid inter-connection approval;
vi. Urge the Federal Government to appoint a separate minister to run the power ministry.
vii. Urge the Federal Government to include coals as alternative power source.

Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu urges the Committee to do more so as to ensure we are energy sufficient in the Country.

6. The Anchor Borrowers Programme and it’s benefits to farmers by Senator Mohammed Shaaba Lafiagi.

Senate Leader, Ahmed Lawan said we should endeavor to support our farmers, there will be not just food security in the Country but also a measure of political stability.

Senator Jibrin Barau said "With appropriate support, farmers will not only be able to fend for themselves but also provide raw materials for export". He also said that "This motion should be extended to other States".

Senator Umaru Kurfi said farmers should take steps to insure their farmlands.

The Senate accordingly resolved to 
i. Call on Government at all levelsto embrace the Anchor Borrowers Programme;
ii. Direct the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Presidential Committee on rice Production and other Agencies concerned to sustain the momentum in states where the programme is already launched; and 
iii. Mandate the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development to investigate the circumstances surrounding the delay in extending this laudable intervention programme to other states and the FCT.

7. The falling standard of Education in Nigeria by Senator Muhammad Adamu Aliero.

Senator Wakili said "We need to ensure that education is rejuvenated in the country".

Senator Abubakar Kyari also spoke on the ever falling standard of the education sector in the Country.

Senator Matthew Urhoghide said "The education sector of Nigeria is in total disarray".

The Senate accordingly resolved to 
i. Urge the Federal and State Governments to declare a state of emergency in the education sector;
ii. Urge the Federal and State Governments to restore the glory of the teaching profession by improving the status of teachers through building capacities to deliver better quality education;
iii. Urge the Federal and State Governments to be more involved in early childhood education, seeing that it is the foundation of every level of education; and 
iv. Urge the Nigerian Teachers Registration Council to evolve more vibrant methodologies for delivering on their mandate.

Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu said "It is important that we provide the educational requirements for our citizens and also ensure that standards inschools are created and enforced".

ADJOURNMENT
Senate Leader moved that other items on the Order paper be stood down to another Legislative day. Minority Leader seconded.

Plenary was adjourned to Wednesday, 18th October, 2017.


Signed
Digital Communications Department,
Office of the President of the Senate,
Federal Republic of Nigeria.

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