#TodayInSenatePlenary PROCEEDINGS OF THE NIGERIAN SENATE OF WEDNESDAY, 28TH MARCH, 2018.

#TodayInSenatePlenary  PROCEEDINGS OF THE NIGERIAN SENATE OF WEDNESDAY, 28TH MARCH, 2018.
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 11:00am.

Senator Shaaba Lafiagi moved for the approval of votes and proceedings of Tuesday, 27th March, 2018. Senator Rose Oko seconded.

EXECUTIVE COMMUNICATION
Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki read a letter from Mr. President on the request of the Establishment of a Promissory Note Program and a Bond Issuance to Settle Local Debts and Contractual Obligations

I wish to convey the resolution of the Federal Executive Council (FEC), requesting the National Assembly to pass a Bill to effect a promissory note and bond issuance program to clear the longstanding obligations inherited by this administration.

The promissory note and bond issuance program has become imperative to clear these obligations which include:

Unpaid obligations to pensioners, salaries and promotional arrears to civil servants; Obligations for petroleum marketers;
Contractors and suppliers debts; Unpaid power bills and obligations from tariffs requested from 2014; Export expansion grants scheme debts;Judgement debts.

As you may be aware, Section 41(1)(A) and 44(2)(B) of the Fiscal Responsibility Act (FRA) stipulates that the proceeds of borrowing by the government at all tiers shall be applied solely towards capital expenditure. To provide legal backing to clear the recurrent expenditure components of the obligations, a request for the amendment of the FRA was sent to the National Assembly via a letter to the Presidency on 4th August 2017.

PETITIONS
Senator Yusuf A. Yusuf raised a petition on behalf of a constituency member on the intimidation, harassment and violation of Human right by the Nigerian Army.

Senator Andy Uba, Philip Aduda and Senator Andrew Uchendu also raised petitions on behalf of members of their constituency.

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

POINT OF ORDER
Senator Dino Melaye cited Order 43, said there was a jailbreak this morning, the 2 suspects who claimed that he gave them arms and money escaped. These two accused persons either have been released or killed. “I will sue the IGP for intimidation, abuse of power, harassment and mental assault if these 2 suspects are not produced dead or alive.” -Senator Dino Melaye

“All our institutions must do their best to ensure that we promote this democracy. Otherwise, we will be making a mockery of our selves if these issues raised by the Senator are true.”- Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki.

Senator Ibrahim Gobir citing Order 14, drew the attention of the Senate to a publication of Vanguard, 20th March, 2018 by a group in the Senate “parliamentary support group for Mr. President “ for Late Senator Ali Wakili.

Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki referred the Order to the Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions to look into the matter and get back to the Senate.

Senator Atai Aidoko citing Order 43, drew the attention of the Senate to a circular that was released to MDA’s on the run up of the 2017 budget by 31st March, 2018.

“The budget runs for 12 months and it goes through May. Chairman of Appropriations is not here. Chairmen of Finance, both of you are here, hence, you will need to communicate to the Minister of Finance and all agencies that the budget was passed to run 12 months, and it must run for 12 months."- Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki.

PRESENTATION OF REPORTS

Report of the Committee on Primary Healthcare and Communicable disease on the National centre for disease control prevention (Establishment, etc) Bill, 2018 (SB. 256) by Senator Mao Ohuabunwa.

Senator John Enoh seconded that the Senate do receive the report of the Committee on Primary Healthcare and Communicable disease on the National centre for disease control prevention (Establishment, etc) Bill, 2018 (SB. 256).

The Report was LAID.

Report of the Committee on Defence on the motion in respect of the influx of refugees from the Republic of Cameroon to some border communities in Cross River State and its attendant security fallout by Senator Abubakar Kyari.

Senator Bassey Akpan seconded that the Senate do receive the report of the Committee on Defence on the motion in respect of the influx of refugees from the Republic of Cameroon to some border communities in Cross River State and its attendant security fallout.

The Report was LAID.

Report of the Ad-hoc Committee on Investigation of arrest episodes of Tuesday 21st November, 2017 between Officers of EFCC, NIA and DSS by Senator Francis Alimikhena.

Senator Fatimat Raji-Rasaki seconded that the Senate do receive the report of the Ad-hoc Committee on Investigation of arrest episodes of Tuesday 21st November, 2017 between Officers of EFCC, NIA and DSS.

The Report was LAID.

Report of the Committee on Communications on the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) budget proposal for the year ending 31st December, 2017 by Senator Gilbert Nnaji.

Senator Andy Uba seconded that the Senate do receive the report of the Committee on Communications on the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) budget proposal for the year ending 31st December, 2017.

The Report was LAID.

Report of the Committee on Communications on the Universal Service Provision Fund (USPF) budget proposal for the year ending 31st December, 2017 by Senator Gilbert Nnaji.

Senator David Umaru seconded that the Senate do receive the report of the Committee on Communications on the Universal Service Provision Fund (USPF) budget proposal for the year ending 31st December, 2017.

The Report was LAID.

MOTIONS
The urgent need to include the Eastern rail lines in the Nigerian Railway Development Project by Senator Victor Umeh.

“I support this motion, the issue of Eastern rail line should be developed and funded just like any other part of Nigeria.”- Senate Leader.

“This issue is all about fairness, equity and justice, this issue of Eastern rail line has been on for 3 years, this Eastern rail line is a capital project that will benefit all Nigerians.”- DSP, Ike Ekweremadu 

“South Easterners are known as business men, the rail line from South East to Lagos is still pending. Rail line would make it much easier for purchasing goods and services.”- Senator Chukwuka Utazi

Senate resolved to:
I. Call on the federal Government to restore services on the Eastern rail lines which is currently out of use;

II. Call on the Federal Government to include the Eastern and North West rail lines in its on going railway standardization programme and reflect same in 2018 appropriation Bill for implementation;

III. Urge the Federal Government to include the Eastern rail lines of the Nigerian Railways as one of the beneficiaries of $6.8 billion dollars loan approved towards the standardization and modernization of the Nigerian Railways; and

IV. Urge the Federal Government to include Markurdi, Jalingo and Yola rail lines in its on going standardization and modernization of the Nigerian railways.

“Thank you very much Senator Victor Umeh for this motion”- Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki.

Need to address recurring mass failure in West African Examination Council examination results by Senator Umaru Kurfi.

“This is a straight forward motion, I support this motion in totality.”- Senator Barau Jibrin

“The basic problem lies with our primary and basic education, the foundation for these students is not firm and this makes it difficult for these students to thrive in their WAEC examination.”-Senator Emmanuel Paulker.

“Our future is at stake, if the basic situation of our educational structure is this bad. We need to do a proper evaluation in our educational system, we need to direct the teachers and give proper training so as to better our educational systems.”- Senator Biodun Olujimi

Senate resolved to:
I. Direct the Committee on Education (Basic and Secondary) to summon the Hon. Minister of Education and the Head, National Office of the West African Examination Council (WAEC) and any relevant stakeholder connected with this problem for interactive session to identify the causes of WAEC recurring mass failure rate and recommend appropriate measures to overcome the challenge; and

II. Direct the Committee to submit a comprehensive report to the Senate within one month.

“One the greatest issues that we must address is increasing the value of our human resources through education and healthcare.”- Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki.

“This issue of the recurring failure is of great concern and we must get to the bottom of it. I urge the Committee to swing into action immediately and address this issue.”- Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki.

“In the next few weeks, my Office will be coordinating a Roundtable Discussion on Education, which I would like all our colleagues to participate in fully so that we can use that opportunity to address some of the areas of our educational sector that need serious attention.”- Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki.

Landslide in Tuomo in Buruto Local Government Area of Delta State and the imminent craving in the town; the need for urgent intervention by Senator James Manager.

“Residents of this community usually suffer this landslide situation because it is a reoccurring environmental disaster. I support this motion.”- Senator Emmanuel Paulker

Senate resolved to:
I. Mandate the Committee on Niger Delta to visit and inspect Tuomo town and report on the content of the motion within seven days;

II. Urge the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to immediately take relief materials and services to the people of Tuomo town;

III. Urge the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and the Federal Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs to take steps to prevent the said shore protection wall from total collapse; and

IV. Ecological fund be deployed to assist the people of Tuomo community.

PRESENTATION AND CONSIDERATION OF REPORTS
Conference Committee Report on the Petroleum Industry and Governance Bill, 2018 (SB. 237) by Senator Donald O. Alasoadura.

Senator Gershom Bassey seconded that the Senate do receive and consider the Conference Committee Report on the Petroleum Industry and Governance Bill, 2018 (SB. 237).

The Report was LAID.

Senator Donald O. Alasoadura presented the report.

The Conference Committee Report on the Petroleum Industry and Governance Bill, 2018 (SB. 237) was considered and approved.

“The challenge will always be on the need to get consensus on an issue as important as this one. The passage of this Conference Committee Report on the PIGB will also lay the foundation for the other Bills that are coming.”- Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki.

“We have again shown investors both within and outside the country that this National Assembly is very responsible in the areas that have to do with the laws that govern our petroleum sector.”- Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki.

“I am sure that we will hopefully get the assent of Mr. President and open a new page in Nigeria’s petroleum industry.”- Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki.

Conference Committee Report on the discrimination against persons with disabilities (Prohibition) Bill, 2018 (SB. 22) by Senator Kabir Marafa.

Senator Rose Oko seconded that the Senate do receive the Conference Committee Report on the discrimination against persons with disabilities (Prohibition) Bill, 2018 (SB. 22).

Senator Kabir Marafa presented the report.

The Conference Committee Report on the discrimination against persons with disabilities (Prohibition) Bill, 2018 (SB. 22) was approved.

“It was two weeks ago that the Kpakpando Foundation for People with Disabilities came to visit me at my Office, and I promised them that by the end of March, we would pass this Conference Committee Report and send it to Mr. President to assent.”- Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki.

“I am happy that we have kept to this promise with what we have done today. Thank you all.”- Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki.

CONSIDERATION OF A REPORT
Report of the Committee on Housing on the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Bill, 2018 (SB. 216) by Senator Barnabas Gemade.

COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE 
Senate dissolved into the Committee of the Whole to resume the clause by clause consideration of the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Bill, 2018 (SB. 216).

Senate reverted to plenary and reported progress.

Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Bill, 2018 (SB. 216) was read the THIRD time and PASSED.

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 Thursday, 29th March, 2018.


Signed:
New Media Department,
Office of the President of the Senate,
Federal Republic of Nigeria

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