Nigerian Senate plenary Session on the Second of June 2020

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Nigerian Senate plenary 02/06/2020

Nigerian Senate plenary 02/06/2020: Senator Akwashiki Godiya moved for the approval of votes and proceedings of Thursday, 28th May 2020. Senator Akon Etim Eyakenyi seconds.

Senate President, @DrAhmadLawan reads a letter from Mr. President requesting for the confirmation of the appointment of Resident Electoral Commissioner for INEC

Senate President, @DrAhmadLawan reads a letter from Mr. President requesting for the confirmation of the replacement of a nominee from Kwara State who died after the name was submitted.

Senator Bassey Akpan submitted a petition on behalf of his constituents on the nomination of Mr. Lamido Yuguda as the DG of SEC. He said an Akwa-Ibom person was earlier recommended for the position by the Minister of Finance but the name was substituted.

Senate President, @DrAhmadLawan refers the petition to the Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions to report in two (2) weeks

Senator Kola Balogun raises a petition from a staff of Nigerian Correctional Service who was wrongly asked to resign following the discovery of some persons who used fake results in their employment even when he was not involved.

Senate President, @DrAhmadLawan refers the petition to the Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions to report in two (2) weeks.

Senator Danjuma Goje cites Order 43, asking a question on the petition against the DG nominee of SEC. He is asking if the petition is against Mr. President. Senate President,  @DrAhmadLawan  says the onus of explanation is on the petitioners but that the person who petitioned would be invited to come and explain.

Senator Bulkachuwa Adamu cites Order 43 and speaks on the request for the screening of Ambassadorial nominees. He is asking for an extension of time since most of the nominees are abroad and would be screened via the internet. Senate President, @DrAhmadLawan gives the Committee an extension of two weeks.

Sen. Sandy Onor cites Orders 42 and 52 & moves motion on the issue of rape and asked that the Senate do condemn the rising incidence. Senate notes that a 16-year-old girl was raped in Lagos, a first-year undergraduate student at the University of Benin was equally raped and killed. Senator Biodun Olujimi in her contribution while seconding the motion asked that the authorities take proactive measures so the girl child is protected. Senator Biodun Olujimi says anything that injures the girl child injures the nation. “Rape is real and we must not allow it to go on.” Senator Akon Etim Eyakenyi says the particular issue of rape has been raised and spoken against severally in this Chamber.

“It is not just arresting the culprits and taken to the police station, the court, and then sentenced to a few years of jail time that is enough. A severe penalty should be given to such culprits.”-

Senator Akon Etim Eyakenyi.

Senator Betty Apiafi joins to condemn the violation that has become a daily occurrence in society. She adds the rape incidence of a 12-year-old girl in Jigawa State and called for not just a stiffer penalty but stronger advocacy against rape. Senator Uche Ekwunife commends the mover of the motion. She says the issue of young girls being raped is no longer news, but what is news is that it is on the increase.

Senate resolves to:

  1. condemn the killing of the girls and call for the immediate arrest of the perpetrators; 2. Observe a minute silence in honor of the two girls and others who have fallen victims of rape;
  2. Urge the FG to stage a campaign against the rape and violation of the girl child; 4. Mandate security agencies to employ strategies to check the rising cases of rape;
  3. Urge security agencies to ensure the enforcement of the child rights act which includes the forceful marriage; and 6. Urge the State’s Houses of Assembly to amend the code to make rape punishable.

Presentation of Bills for first reading

  1. FCT Court of Arbitration (Est, etc) Bill, 2020 (SB. 431) by Senator Philip Aduda. FCT Court of Arbitration (Est, etc) Bill, 2020 (SB. 431) is read the First Time.
  2. Ports and Harbors Bill, 2020, (SB. 432) by Senator Danjuma Goje. Ports and Harbors Bill, 2020, (SB. 432) is read the First Time.
  3. National Inland Water Ways Act (Repeal & Re-enactment) Bill, 2020 (SB. 433) by Senator Danjuma Goje. National Inland Water Ways Act (Repeal & Re-enactment) Bill, 2020 (SB. 433) is read the First Time.
  4. 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (Alteration) Bill, 2020 (SB. 434) by Senator Rochas Okorocha. 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (Alteration) Bill, 2020 (SB. 434) is read the First Time.
  5. Complementary and Alternative Medicine Practice Bill, 2020 (SB. 425) by Senator Oloriegbe Yahaya Ibrahim. Complementary and Alternative Medicine Practice Bill, 2020 (SB. 425) is read the First Time.

PRESENTATION OF REPORTS:

  1. Report of the Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions in respect of a petition from Bambo Adesanya, SAN on behalf of Rite Foods Limited against Seven-Up Bottling Company Plc and Ziad Maalouf for allegedly threatening the internal security of the nation and existence of Rite Foods Limited, Ososa, Ogun State by Senator Ayo Akinyelure. Senator Danjuma Laah seconds that the Senate do receive the report of the Committee on Ethics, Privileges, and Public in respect of a petition from Bambo Adesanya, SAN on behalf of Rite Foods Limited against Seven-Up Bottling Company Plc and Ziad Maalouf for allegedly threatening the internal security of the nation and existence of Rite Foods Limited, Ososa, Ogun State. The Report is LAID.
  2. Report of the Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters on the confirmation of the Nomination of the following persons for appointment as Chairman and Members of the Nigerian Law Reform Commission by Senator Opeyemi Bamidele. Senator Yabuku Oseni seconds that the Senate do receive the report of the Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters on the Confirmation of the Nominations of the following persons for appointment as Chairman and Members of the Nigerian Law Reform Commission. The Report is LAID

EXECUTIVE COMMUNICATION:

Confirmation of the Nomination of the following persons for Appointment as Director-General and Commissioners of the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) by Senator Abdullahi Yahaya. Minority Leader seconds that the Senate do consider the request of Mr. President C-in-C on the Confirmation of the Nominees of the above persons for Appointment as Director-General and Commissioners of the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) in accordance with Sections 3 and 5 (1) of the Investment and Security Act. Senate President,  Ahmad Ibrahim Lawan refers to the executive communication to the Committee on Capital Market to report in four (4) weeks.

PRESENTATION AND CONSIDERATION OF REPORTS:

  1. Report of the Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions in respect of petition from Honorable Chief Donatus Nwakpa and 21 others on behalf of All Progressives Congress (APC), Abia State Chapter, against the Appointment of Mr. Henry Ogbulogo as a member of the Federal Character Commission (FCC) representing Abia State by Senator Ayo Akinyelure. Senator Chukwuka Utazi seconds that the Senate do receive and consider the report of the Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions in respect of petition from Honorable Chief Donatus Nwakpa and 21 others on behalf of All Progressives Congress (APC), Abia State Chapter, against the Appointment of Mr. Henry Ogbulogo as a member of the Federal Character Commission (FCC) representing Abia State. Senator Ayo Akinyelure lays and presents the report. In his presentation, Senator Akinyelure said the petition was raised because the appointment negates fair play. He said both the petitioner and the respondents were invited to the cause of the assignment of the Committee.

Findings:

  1. the appointment of Mr. Henry was not in anyway in breach of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Laws cited by the petitioners

Senate resolves to:

  1. Commend Mr. President of the nomination of Mr. Henry as a fit and proper person to serve in that Commission.

The minority leader said he is surprised that the Committee went this length in doing the work because the petitioner already withdrew the petition and has resolved with the parties. Senate President, @DrAhmadLawan says the petitioner should have written to the Senate withdrawing the petition instead of verbal communication. Senator James Manager observes that the petition is frivolous and should not have been entertained. He said a word of caution from the Senate President to the public that not all petition should be entertained. Senate President, Ahmad Ibrahim Lawan says the Senate as the parliament of the people will do all it can to entertain petitions from people who may not have the means to seeks other forms of redress but urged that while doing it, caution should be taken not to bring all sorts of petitions to the Senate because it costs the Senate money and time.

  1. Report of the Committee on Federal Character and Inter-Governmental Affairs on the Confirmation of the Nominations of the following persons for appointment as Chairman and Members of the Federal Character Commission by Senator La’ah, Danjuma Tella.

Senator Uche Ekwunife seconds that the Senate does consider the report of the Committee on Federal Character and Inter-Governmental Affairs on the Confirmation of the Nominations of the above persons for Appointment as Chairman and Members of the Federal Character Commission. Senator Laah says the work of the Committee commenced from the request of Mr. President for the confirmation of the nominees which was referred to the Committee.

Recommendations of the Committee:

  1. That the Senate do wait for the death certificate of the nominee from Kwara who died after making the screening be requested before any action is taken;
  2. The Committee wants the Senate to decide on the petition by Senator Abaribe that the chairman and Secretary should not come from the north; and
  3. That the Senate does confirm all the nominees pending the replacement of the nominee from Kwara who died. Senate President, Ahmad Ibrahim Lawan says the replacement from Kwara State has been received and read this morning. He said the name will be sent to the Committee. Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe rose to speak on a memo he sent to the Committee which he said the Chairman of the Committee has described as a petition. He said the Federal Character Commission is to ensure balance, equity, and fairness among all the tribes in Nigeria. Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe says he will like to use the opportunity to point out the very important part of our being as a Nigerian, saying the Chairman and Secretary should not come from the north. He said he sent the memo to the Committee because in the past, once the chairman comes from the north, the secretary will come from the south and vice versa because both are principal positions in the Commission. Senator Ovie Omo-Agege said the issue raised by the minority leader in his beliefs is an infringement on the powers of the president to make an appointment. He said the tenure of the secretary who is from the north will be expiring in a few months and as such, to balance the issue, the President should be urged to make the replacement a southerner to balance the chairman coming from the north. The nomination of Abba Ali Monguno is confirmed as Member of the Federal Character Commission. The nomination of Mr. Nsor Atamgbe is confirmed as Member of the Federal Character Commission.

The nomination of Hon. Moses Anaughe is confirmed as Member of the Federal Character Commission. The nomination of Chief George Afamefuna Ossi is confirmed as Member of the Federal Character Commission. The nomination of Imuetinyan Festus is confirmed as Member of the Federal Character Commission. The nomination of Barr. Sesan Fatoba is confirmed as Member of the Federal Character Commission. The nomination of Mrs. Ginioka Florence Tor is confirmed as Member of the Federal Character Commission. The nomination of Hamza Mohammed is confirmed as Member of the Federal Character Commission. The nomination of Dr. Diogu Uche is confirmed as a Member of the Federal Character Commission. The nomination of Lawan Ya’u Roni is confirmed as Member of the Federal Character Commission. The nomination of Hadiza Usman Muazu is confirmed as Member of the Federal Character Commission. The nomination of Muhammad Awwal Na’iya is confirmed as Member of the Federal Character Commission. The nomination of Hon. Lawal Garba is confirmed as Member of the Federal Character Commission. The nomination of Abubakar Atiku Bunu is confirmed as a Member of the Federal Character Commission. The nomination of Pharm. Idris Eneyo Bello is confirmed as Member of the Federal Character Commission. The nomination of Abdul Wasiu Kayode Bawa-Allah is confirmed as a Member of the Federal Character Commission. The nomination of Barr. Ajakayi Toro Mamman is confirmed as Member of the Federal Character Commission. The nomination of Maj. Gen. Suleiman Barau Said (Rtd) is confirmed as Member of the Federal Character Commission. The nomination of Abiodun Ishaq Akinlade is confirmed as Member of the Federal Character Commission. The nomination of Chief Olufemi Lawrence Omosanya is confirmed as Member of the Federal Character Commission. The nomination of Adeoye, Abdulrazaq Olalekan is confirmed as Member of the Federal Character Commission. The nomination of Prof. Adeniyi Olowofela is confirmed as Member of the Federal Character Commission. The nomination of Mr. Stephen A. Jings is confirmed as Member of the Federal Character Commission. The nomination of Wokocha Augustine is confirmed as Member of the Federal Character Commission. The nomination of Abdullahi Aminu Tafida is confirmed as Member of the Federal Character Commission. The nomination of Alhaji Armaya’u Dauda Abubakar is confirmed as Member of the Federal Character Commission.

The nomination of Hon. Jibril Maigari is confirmed as Member of the Federal Character Commission. The nomination of Hon. Sani Garba is confirmed as Member of the Federal Character Commission. The nomination of Sen. Adamu Muhammed Sidi-Ali is confirmed as Member of the Federal Character Commission.  All nominees were confirmed except Daniel James Kolo from Kwara State (the deceased).

 

  1. Report of the Committee on Establishment and Public Service on the Confirmation of the Nominations of the following persons for Appointment as Commissioners of the Federal Civil Service Commission by Senator Shekarau Ibrahim.

Senator Sadiq Suleiman seconds that the Senate does receive and consider the report of the Committee on Establishment and Public Service on the Confirmation of he Nominations of the above persons for Appointments as Commissioners for the Federal Civil Service Commission. Senator Shekarau Ibrahim lays and presents the report in his presentation, Senator Shekarau says the Committee having become certified with their qualifications and experience do confirm the two nominees for the Federal Civil Service Commission.

The nomination of Dr. Frederick O. Ekwem is confirmed as Commissioner for the Federal Civil Service Commission. The nomination of Dr. Jonah Madugu is confirmed as Commissioner for the Federal Civil Service Commission.

Report on the Committee on Finance on the 2020-2022 Medium-Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP) in accordance with the Fiscal Responsibility Act 2007 by Senator Adeola Solomon.

Senator James Manager seconds that the Senate does receive and consider the report of the Committee on Finance on the 2020-2022 Medium-Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP) in accordance with the Fiscal Responsibility Act 2007.

Senator Solomon O. Adeola lays and presents the report.  In his presentation, Senator Adeola presents the background of what necessitated the review of the MTEF/FSP which he said is largely the price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia and the fall in demand for oil as a result of the impact of Covid19.

Senator Ajibola Basiru congratulates the Committee for doing a very thorough job within the limited period it was given. He says recommendation of the Committee to review upward the benchmark price of crude from $25 to $28 shows that the Senate does not just take what comes from the executive and that it does its work well especially since there are already recoveries in the economy.

Senator Ajibola Basiru also commends the executive for the removal of petroleum subsidy from the budget. He says the caveat to the fiscal responsibility act is justified.

Senator Gabriel Suswam made some corrections in the report which he thinks are typographical errors. He raises concerns on the provisions of the constitution which empowers the president to raise the budget threshold above 3% if the nation is in a state where its national security is threatened. Senator Gabriel Suswam also spoke about the collection cost of taxes as provided for in the constitution which he says are huge especially at this period that there is no money in the country. He said with technology, most of the transactions will be done online and will not require expending much money to collect taxes. Senator Gabriel Susuwan spoke on the issue of stamp duty which he says must be used as an avenue to raise our revenue. He also speaks about the contribution of solid minerals to GDP which he says must be linked into our drive to diversify the economy. Senator Ibrahim Hadeija is calling on the government to begin to interface with our debtors for debt restructuring. He says the Senate should liaise with the executive to look critically into the issue of diversification. Senator Aisha Dahiru commends the Committee for doing a good job. She speaks on the percentage increase of GDP from the 2019 and 2020 budget as passed to the reviewed budget which is due to consideration. She says the increase is an indication that the country will soon slide into recession. Senator Abubakar Kyari in his contribution says the benchmark of $29 per barrel is very conservative given that Covid19 is on its way out. Senator Kabir Barkiya speaks on the projected revenue of Nigeria Custom by citing a correction in the figure. He commends the Committee for a good job. Senator Chukwuka Utazi also commends the Committee and speaks on the issue that concerns the rework of the 2020 budget. He commends the provisions of 186bn out of 500bn for the upgrade of health facilities in the country, saying this is a good development. He sounds an appeal that in the preparation of the 2021 budget, emphasis should be placed on education and health so we do not start running helter-skelter as we did during the COVID. Senator Chukwuka Utazi advocated for projects like roads and rail be given to the private sector to build and make their money so that we can have enough money for health and education which are very important for the country.

Senator Betty Apiafi spoke on the cost reduction citing 110bn budgeted for rural roads, wondering how rural roads have become so important for funds to be taken from special accounts for rural roads. She also spoke about the inefficiency of the NNPC. She says it is worrisome that the NNPC is producing oil at $21 and selling at $28 by adding that it seems the NNPC is removing subsidy and looking for other ways to make the money back. Senator Betty Apiafi also spoke on the issue of the PIB which must be taken seriously because the issue of unbundling of NNPC must be critically considered

Senator ID Gyang commends the Committee on Finance for a very thorough work on the MTEF. He spoke on the negative effect of the oil price war and the impact of Covid19 which has affected our oil revenue. He says the debt to GDP ratio is not supposed to go beyond 3% but under this report is put at 3.5%. He says the implication of this is that the nation would be massively dependent on both local and foreign debt to finance the budget. Senator ID Gyang spoke on the alert of the probability of the economy recessing into recession calling for the authorities to pay adequate attention so that the effect would be minimized. He notes and applauds the various interventions by the CBN to intervene in the economy in mitigating the impact of Covid19.

Senator Tolu Odebiyi says he took a cursory look at the implementation of our budget over time and said even at the best of times, we have only done another 50-54 percent of our budget not to talk of a time like this that we are in crisis. He says there is a lot that needs to be done with that budget especially in terms of duplicity. He says we honestly cannot run away from cutting cost.

Senator Tolu Odebiyi says he is of the opinion that while we don’t know extents the future holds, it is imperative that we are conservative in our spending. He says there need to be a restriction to focus our budget more on health and education.

Senator Saidu Alkali commends the Committee for the report and corrects some errors in the report for the attention of the Committee.

The recommendations of the Committee on Finance on the 2020-2022 Medium-Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP) are APPROVED

5. Report of the Committee on Local and Foreign Debts on the Federal Government External Borrowing to finance the proposed revised 2020 Budget by Senator Clifford Ordia.
Senator Bima Enagi seconds that the Senate do receive and consider the report of the Committee on Local and Foreign Debts on the Federal Government External Borrowing to Finance the proposed revised 2020 Budget.
Senator Clifford Ordia lays and presents the report. In his presentation, Senator Ordia notes that the emergence of Covid19 has altered the plans and projections of the FG as captured in the 2020 budget, such impact has affected the revenue generation plan of the government leaving it with a larger deficit than envisaged. Senator Clifford Ordia says the change in revenue projection and the deficit it is bringing in the implementation of the budget necessitated the request for more borrowing to finance the budget.
Senator Ajibola Basiru congratulates the Committee and advised the Committee to make reference to paragraph 6 of its report. He says the paragraph counters the notion that the Senate is always quick to approve a loan request by President Buhari.
Senator Ibrahim Gobir says without the loan we cannot move anywhere with the recommendation on the MTEF that has just been approved by the Senate. He, therefore, said the questions for the adoption of the recommendations should be put without any further waste of time.
Senate Gershom Bassey says there should be quick recommendations of the report. The recommendations of the Committee on Local and Foreign Debts on the Federal Government External Borrowing to Finance the proposed revised 2020 budget are APPROVED.
Senate Leader moves that all items on the order paper be stood down to another legislative day. Minority Leader seconds. Plenary is adjourned to Tuesday, 9th June 2020.

 

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