PROCEEDINGS OF THE NIGERIAN SENATE OF THURSDAY, 5TH MARCH, 2020.
Welcome to a new Legislative Day in the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria! Senate President, Ahmad Lawan PhD, CON led the Principal Officers into the chambers; took the official prayers; and began the day’s proceedings at 10:43am. Senator Bima Enagi moved for the approval of votes and proceedings of Wednesday, 4th March 2020. Senator Michael Nnachi seconded. POINT OF ORDER Senator Matthew Urhoghide cited Order 43 and informed the Senate on the transition of Professor Emmanuel Emovon, first Minister of Science and Technology (1985 - 1989), and one time Vice Chancellor of University of Jos (1978- 1985). Senate resolved to: 1. Observe a minute silence in his honour; and 2. Send a high power delegation to condole with the people and government of Edo State. “I want to join you in condoling with the immediate family and the good people of Edo state. The former Minister served excellently and we pray that his soul rest in perfect peace.”- Senate President, Ahmad Lawan PhD, CON. PRESENTATION OF BILLS- First Reading 1. 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (Alteration) Bill, 2020 (SB. 326) by Senator Ovie Omo-Agege. 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (Alteration) Bill, 2020 (SB. 326) was read the First Time. 2. National Unity Corps (Est, etc) Bill, 2020 (SB. 375) by Senator Istifanus Gyang. National Unity Corps (Est, etc) Bill, 2020 (SB. 375) was read the First Time. 3. Nigerian Office of Trade Negotiations (Est, etc) Bill, 2020 (SB. 372) by Senator Francis Fadahunsi. Nigerian Office of Trade Negotiations (Est, etc) Bill, 2020 (SB. 372) was read the First Time. 4. Veteran Welfare Fund (Est, etc) Bill, 2020 (SB. 346) by Senator Abba Moro. Veteran Welfare Fund (Est, etc) Bill, 2020 (SB. 346) was read the First Time. 5. Psychiatric Hospital Act (Amendment) Bill, 2020 (SB. 376) by Senator Yahaya Oloriegbe. Psychiatric Hospital Act (Amendment) Bill, 2020 (SB. 376) was read the First Time. PRESENTATION AND CONSIDERATION OF REPORTS 1. Report of the Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions by Senator Ayo Akinyelure in respect of: a. Petition from Ahmed Tijani Yusuf, Esq. on behalf of Akwa-Ibom Co-operative Fisheries Association Limited against the Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited for alleged refusal to pay the sum of N11,063,916,000 (Eleven Billion, Sixty-Three Million, Nine Hundred and Sixteen Thousand Naira) compensation for oil spillage caused by its facilities from 1998 - 2012; b. Petition from Jackson Bako, Esq. on behalf of Akpmajenya Community, Apo Village, Abuja against the Federal Capital Territory Administration for wrongful obstruction of their farmlands and farming activities; and c. Petition from Mr. Charles Akinwon Akintoye against the Nigerian Navy (NN) for unjust and wrongful dismissal from the service over alleged fraud without trial. Senator Yakubu Oseni seconded that the Senate do receive the report of the Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions in respect of the above petitions. The report was LAID. 2. Report of the Committee on Local and Foreign Debts on the 2016 -2018 Federal Government External Borrowing (Rolling) Plan by Senator Clifford Ordia. Senator Bima Enagi seconded that the Senate do receive and consider the report of the Committee on Local and Foreign Debts on the 2016 -2018 Federal Government External Borrowing (Rolling) Plan. Senator Clifford Ordia laid and presented the report. “The Committee chair informed the Senate that there is one item that was erroneously added. Does this figure increase the side of the load or reduce it? I want to commend the Chairman for working within the time frame.”- Senator Solomon Adeola. “Did Nigeria borrow this money to construct the Lagos - Abidjan road and what do we expect in return? If you look at the other part of the country, nothing is said about the North East. The application of the loan is lopsided and I have not seen why huge loans like this will be concentrated in only one section of the country. We should include critical projects that should be covered on this road.”- Senator Adamu Aliero. “What is here is what is to finance our capital budget. And therefore it is important that we are conscious of the fact that we need to have the capital aspect of the budget funding. It is important that the executive takes note of those areas that are left out and in the next phase we consider those areas that are left out.”- Senate President, Ahmad Lawan PhD, CON. “Mr. President, I disagree with you on one aspect. Saying that this is part of the capital funding of our budget presupposes that this has come to us and we have approved it which is not the position. The position is we approve some of this. It is when we get to approving the capital projects that we can determine which of the projects will improve our economy.”- Senator Eyinnaya Abaribe. “I said we are going to vote on the recommendation. And there is nothing like line by line. It is normally the recommendations that are voted on. We know what the projects are. We cannot go clause by clause because there is no clauses. What we vote on is the recommendation of the committee and they are itemized on the report.”- Senate President, Ahmad Lawan PhD, CON. EXECUTIVE SESSION Senate moves into an Executive Session at 12:38pm and resumed from its Executive Session at 1:32pm. Senate President, Ahmad Lawan PhD, CON reported that at the Executive Session the Senate deliberated on the issues bordering on workings of the Nigerian Senate in particular and the National Assembly in general. The recommendations of the Committee were APPROVED. “Let me join the Senate Committee on Local and Foreign Debts that has put this report together. But let me also emphasize here that we are going to follow very strictly how this loans are applied. We will ensure that no single dollar is spent on any other thing other than what is indicated here. The loans will have positive influence on the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of this country.”- Senate President, Ahmad Lawan PhD, CON. 3. Report of the Committee on Niger Delta on the 2019 budget estimates of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) by Senator Peter Nwaoboshi. Senator Godiya Akwashiki seconded that the Senate do consider the report of the Committee on Niger Delta on the 2019 budget estimates of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC). Senator Peter Nwaoboshi presented the report. “I will urge the NDDC Committee to go and work on the 2020 budget within two weeks so we pass it in good time. I want to also emphasize that at no time should the NDDC or any other agency bring its budget here later than December when we receive the proposal of the Appropriation Bill from Mr. President.”- Senate President, Ahmad Lawan PhD, CON. The report was APPROVED. ADJOURNMENT Senate Leader moved that all items on the order paper be stood down to another legislative day. Minority Leader seconded. Plenary is adjourned to Tuesday, 10th March 2020. #GavelBangs Signed New Media Unit Office of the President of the Senate Federal Republic of Nigeria