#TodayInSenatePlenary PROCEEDINGS OF THE NIGERIAN SENATE OF TUESDAY, 13TH MARCH, 2018.

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Welcome to a new Legislative Day in the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria!

Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, led the Principal Officers into the chambers; took the official prayers; and began the day’s proceedings at 10:54am.

EXECUTIVE SESSION

Senate moved into an executive session at 11:04am and resumed from its executive session at 11:35am.

Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki reported that at the executive session the Senate deliberated on the workings of the Nigerian Senate, National Assembly in general and CBN.

Senator John Enoh moved for the approval of votes and proceedings of Tuesday, 8th March, 2018. Senator Gilbert Nnaji seconded.

EXECUTIVE COMMUNICATION

Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki read a letter from Mr. President on his decision to decline Presidential Assent to the Electoral Amendment Bill 2018 recently passed by the National Assembly.

Some of my reasons include the following:

A. The amendment to the sequence of elections in Section 25 of the principal act, may infringe upon the constitutionally guaranteed discretion of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to organize, undertake and supervise elections provided in Section 15(A) of the third statue to the Constitution;

B. The amend to Section 138 of the principal act to delete two crucial grounds upon which an election may be challenged by candidates, unduly limits the rights of candidates in elections to a free and fair electoral review process;

C. The amendment to Section 152 Subsection 325 of the Principal Act may raise Constitutional issues over the competence of the National Assembly to legislate over local government elections.

PETITION

Senator Rafiu Ibrahim raised a petition on behalf of a constituency member on wrongful discharge from the Nigerian Army.

Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki referred the petition to the committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions to report back in 2 weeks.

POINT OF ORDER

Senator Rafiu Ibrahim cited orders 42 and 52, said the Senate should consider the screening of 2 Deputy Governors as members of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) to enable the monetary policy committee continue to direct the affairs of CBN.

“This is a straight forward motion and I thank all my Distinguished colleagues on this matter raised by the Chairman committee on Banking.’- Senator Bala Na’allah

“This will restore confidence of the economy and make the economy move forward.’- Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu

“Thank you for bringing that up. I commend my colleagues for the statesmanship roles that they continue to play.”- Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki.

“This is a Chamber that has always been for the issue of the economy. For all it takes, we will continue to ensure that we see the best in the ease of doing business and promoting confidence. This is what we are doing here.”- Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki.

“In as much as we continue to defend the institution and the Constitution, it is time that we look at the priorities and understand what is important.”- Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki.

“Senate Committee Chairman on Banking, please ensure that you complete that process so that we can give the necessary support in this issue of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) and the Deputy Governors of Central Bank to play their own role in the economy.”- Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki.

Senator Bala Na’allah cited order 43 and congratulated Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu on his achievement as a professor. This is another milestone for him.

“Congratulations Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, I wish you all the best.”- Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki.

PRESENTATION OF BILLS- First Reading

Industrial Development (income tax relief) Act CAP I17, LFN, 2004 (Amendment) Bill, 2018 (SB. 638) by Senator Sabi Mohammed.

Industrial Development (income tax relief) Act CAP I17, LFN, 2004 (Amendment) Bill, 2018 (SB. 638) was read the First Time.

Federal Polytechnic Marama, Borno State (Est, etc) Bill, 2018 (SB. 639) by Senator Ali Ndume.

Federal Polytechnic Marama, Borno State (Est, etc) Bill, 2018 (SB. 639) was read the First Time.

Federal College of Education (Technical) Abakiliki, Ebonyi State (Est, etc) Bill, 2018 (SB. 641) by Senator Sam Egwu.

Federal College of Education (Technical) Abakiliki, Ebonyi State (Est, etc) Bill, 2018 (SB. 641) was read the First Time.

PRESENTATION OF A REPORT

Report of the committee on Establishment and Public Service on the chartered polymer institute of Nigeria (Est, etc) Bill, 2018 (SB. 396) by Senator Emmanuel Paulker.

Senator Andy Uba seconded that the Senate do receive the report of the committee on Establishment and Public Service on the chartered polymer institute of Nigeria (Est, etc) Bill, 2018 (SB. 396).

The Report was LAID

MOTIONS

The need to exercise constitutional powers of the National Assembly to ratify treaties in Nigeria by Senator Bala Na’allah.

“I support the motion, it is a very straight forward motion and i urge my colleagues to do the same. I hereby second it.”- Senator James Manager

Senate resolved to:

I. Direct the Federal Ministry of Justice to produce a comprehensive record of all the treaties that were entered into by Nigeria, those that were ratified by the National Assembly, those that are yet to be presented for ratification by the executive and many others that require different forms of action by relevant institutions of government responsible for treaty management in Nigeria;

II. Direct the Federal Ministry of Justice and the Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs to establish a comprehensive database on status and management of treaties in Nigeria;

III. Urge the executive to submit all bills on all outstanding treaties that require ratification by the National Assembly; and

IV. Mandate committees of Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters and Foreign Affairs to liaise with the relevant ministries affected by the resolution to facilitate collation of the documents and report to the Senate within 4 weeks.

“Thank you Senator Bala Na’allah for this motion.”- Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki

The need for sustainable tourism policy in Nigeria by Senator Fatimat Raji-Rasaki.

“I stand to support this motion, this is because it will encourage economic diversification to increase the economy’s activity of tourism in Nigeria. I second this motion.”- Senator Mao Ohuabunwa.

“I rise to join my colleague on this motion. It is apparent to portray the culture and heritage of ones nation.”- Senator Gbenga Ashafa.

“National Orientation Agency should notify law enforcers to stop harassing people most especially foreigners from taking pictures and law enforcers should stop collecting money from people most especially foreigners for right of movement and to allow them gain access to public infrastructure.”- Senator Ben Murray-Bruce.

Senate resolved to:

I. Mandate the Senate committees on Information and Culture to consider summoning the Minister of Information and Culture to brief the committee on the performance of the culture and tourism sectors and the efforts being made to reposition the sector as a major foreign exchange earner and to report back in two (2) weeks;

II. Call on the Federal Government to adopt a comprehensive sustainable tourism policy with a view to using tourism as an important tool for economic diversification, conversation of natural resources and creation of employment;

III. Call on the Federal Government to consider de-merging “culture and tourism” from the Federal Ministry of Information to ensure effective implementation of a sustainable tourism policy that would ensure the optimum realization of the recognized potentials of the tourism sector to our economy; and

IV. Call on the Nigerian Immigration Service, Federal Ministry of Health and Agriculture to intensify surveillance and monitoring of tourist traffic to forestall cross-border crimes and epidemics at Nigeria’s international borders.

Urgent need for the declaration of emergency in the Public Health Sector over the decay of infrastructure by Senator Suleiman Hunkuyi.

“I urge the Senate to call on the Minister of Health to carry out a survey to have the adequate statistics of citizens seeking medical services abroad.”- Senator Aliyu Sabi.

Senate resolved to:

I. Urge the executive to declare a state of emergency in the public health sector in the country;

II. Urge the executive to provide special funding for overhaul of at least one Government Owned medical facility in each of the six geo-political zones of the country every year; and

III. Urge the National Assembly to ensure funding of the National Primary Healthcare Act in the 2018 budget.

“Thank you very much Senator Suleiman Hunkuyi.”- Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki.

BILLS FOR CONCURRENCE

Digital Right and Freedom Bill, 2018 (HB. 490) by Senate Leader.

Digital Right and Freedom Bill, 2018 (HB. 490) was read the Second Time.

Energy Commission Act (Amendment) Bill, 2018 (HB. 72 and 446) by Senate Leader.

Energy Commission Act (Amendment) Bill, 2018 (HB. 72 and 446) was read the Second Time.

COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE

Senate dissolved into the Committee of the Whole for the clause by clause consideration of Digital Right and Freedom Bill, 2018 (HB. 490) and Energy Commission Act (Amendment) Bill, 2018 (HB. 72 and 446).

Senate reverted to plenary and reported progress.

Digital Right and Freedom Bill, 2018 (HB. 490) was read the THIRD time and PASSED.

Energy Commission Act (Amendment) Bill, 2018 (HB. 72 and 446) was read the THIRD time and PASSED.

“Thank you Distinguished colleagues.”- Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu.

CONSIDERATION OF A REPORT

Report of the committee on Tertiary Education and TETFUND on the Federal University, Gashua (Establishment, etc) Bill 2018 (SB. 459) by Senator Barau Jibrin.

Senator Barau Jibrin presented the Report.

COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE

Senate dissolved into the Committee of the Whole for the clause by clause consideration of the Federal University, Gashua (Establishment, etc) Bill 2018 (SB. 459).

Senate reverted to plenary and reported progress.

Federal University, Gashua (Establishment, etc) Bill 2018 (SB. 459) was read the THIRD time and PASSED.

“I thank all my Distinguished colleagues for making this university a possibility, the school is ready for students, youths and we would continue to encourage them.”- Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu.

ADJOURNMENT

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

Plenary is adjourned to Wednesday, 14th March, 2018.


Signed:

New Media Department,

Office of the President of the Senate,

Federal Republic of Nigeria.

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