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PROCEEDINGS OF THE NIGERIAN SENATE OF WEDNESDAY, 11TH DECEMBER, 2019. 

Welcome to a new Legislative Day in the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Senate President, Dr. Ahmad Lawan PhD, CON led the Principal Officers into the Chambers; took the official prayers; and began the day’s proceedings at 10:28am. Senator Orker-jev Yisa moved for the approval of votes and proceedings of Tuesday, 10th December, 2019. Senator Kabir Barkiya seconded. EXECUTIVE COMMUNICATION Senate President, Ahmad Lawan PhD, CON read a letter from Mr. President on the 2020 Statutory Budget Proposal of the Federal Capital Territory Administration for the kind consideration and passage by the Senate. That the Senate do consider the request of Mr. President C-in-C on the Confirmation of the following persons for appointment as Chairman and Members of the Federal Inland Revenue Service in accordance with Section 3(2) of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (Establishment) Act, 2007 by Senate Leader. 1. Muhammed Mamman Nami, Executive Chairman (north-central). REPRESENTATIVES OF GEOPOLITICAL ZONES 2. James Yakwen Ayuba, Member (north-central); 3. Ado Danjuma, Member (north-west); 4. Adam Baba Mohammed, Member (north-east); 5. A. Ikeme Osakwe, Member (south-east); 6. Adewale Ogunyomade, Member (south-west); 7. Ehile Adetola Aibangbee, Member (south-south). REPRESENTATIVES OF MDAs 8. Ladidi Bara’atu Mohammed, Member (Attorney-General of the Federation); 9. Godwin I. Emefiele, Member (Central Bank of Nigeria); 10. Fatima Hayatu, Member (Ministry of Finance); 11. Maagba S. Adaa, Member (Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission); 12. Umar Ajiya, Member (Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation); 13. DCG. T.M Isah, Member (Nigeria Customs Service); and 14. Registrar General, Member (Corporate Affairs Commission). Minority Leader seconded that the Senate do consider the request of Mr. President C-in-C on the Confirmation of the above persons for appointment as Chairman and Members of the Federal Inland Revenue Service in accordance with Section 3(2) of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (Establishment) Act, 2007. Senate President, Ahmad Lawan PhD, CON referred the executive communication to the Committee on Finance to report on the 18th of December, 2019. That the Senate do consider the request of Mr. President C-in-C on the Confirmation of Mr. Edward Lametek Adamu for appointment as Chairman of the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) in accordance with Section 10(1) of the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) Act, 2010 by Senate Leader. Minority Leader seconded that the Senate do consider the request of Mr. President C-in-C on the Confirmation of Mr. Edward Lametek Adamu for appointment as Chairman of the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) in accordance with Section 10(1) of the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) Act, 2010. Senate President, Ahmad Lawan PhD, CON referred the executive communication to the Committee on Banking, Insurance and other Financial Institutions to report on the 18th of December, 2019. PETITIONS Deputy Senate President, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege raised a petition on behalf of a constituency member against the Nigerian Army on his dismissal without due process. Senator Ayo Akinyelure also raised petitions on behalf of his constituency members. Senate President, Ahmad Lawan PhD, CON referred the petitions raised to the Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions to report in four (4) weeks. POINT OF ORDER Senator Ike Ekweremadu cited Orders 42 & 52 and moved a motion on the escalating rate of unemployment in the country. “Unemployment affects everyone here directly or indirectly. This is an issue that we should take very seriously. Banks in Nigeria contributed in no small measure to unemployment in Nigeria. They do not give credit facility to young Nigerians to run business. This is a complex problem. Let us look at the banking sector. In addressing unemployment, we must look at funding, which is important.”- Senator Smart Adeyemi. “The situation of unemployment has brought upon a trauma of helplessness. Many of our youths are well read, have multiple certificates and still unemployed. The government of Nigeria should declare a state of emergency on unemployment in this country so that all hands will be on deck and deliberate steps must be taken to ensure we rescue Nigerian youths that are in the state of trauma. It is important to ensure that the private sector is empowered to provide an enabling environment to create employment for our youths.”- Senator Istifanus Gyang. “Unemployment today is considered to be a monster that if we are not careful it will consume us a nation. It is clear that the private sector cannot employ the number of people in the unemployment market. What we need to do is to give incentive to the privvate sector to the needful.”- Senator Francis Ezenwa. “We must declare an emergency on unemployment. There is a limit to age when it comes to employment. The emergency is as good as being declared now because something has to be done.”- Senator Biodun Olujimi. “The skills acquisition centers we have should be made to function. If we want to do something about unemployment, we need to ensure skill acquisition centers function.”- Senator Benjamin Uwajumogu. “We need to reshape the narrative and approach to solve the unemployment of young Nigerians. The theater of solving the problem of unemployment in Nigeria is resting in the state. The kind of emergency we are asking for should be directed at the state.”- Senator Olubunmi Adetunmbi. Senate resolved to: 1. Urge the Federal, State and Local Governments to declare emergency on the provision of employment to the youths of Nigeria; 2. Urge the Federal Government through the Ministry of National Planning to put up a mechanism and programme that will provide employment for our teeming unemployed graduates in all tiers of the government; 3. Urge the Federal, State and Local Governments to revitalize existing industries, build new ones and provide a conducive and enabling environment for the private sector to build more industries ; and 4. Urge the Federal Government to initiate a sustainable unemployment fund for the payment of living stipends to unemployed Nigerians until such persons secure any kind of employment. PRESENTATION OF BILLS- First Reading 1. Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (Alteration) Bill, 2019 (SB. 74) by Senator Istifanus Gyang. Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (Alteration) Bill, 2019 (SB. 74) was read the First Time. 2. Federal University of Technology Oko (Est, etc) Bill, 2019 (SB. 256) by Senator Ifeanyi Ubah. Federal University of Technology Oko (Est, etc) Bill, 2019 (SB. 256) was read the First Time. 3. Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (Alteration) Bill, 2019 (SB. 259) by Senator Bamidele Opeyemi. Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (Alteration) Bill, 2019 (SB. 259) was read the First Time. 4. Federal University of Technology Kabwir, Plateau State (Est, etc) Bill, 2019 (SB. 262) by Senator Hezekiah Dimka. Federal University of Technology Kabwir, Plateau State (Est, etc) Bill, 2019 (SB. 262) was read the First Time. 5. Federal College of Agriculture Bambam, Gombe State (Est, etc) Bill, 2019 (SB. 263) by Senator Bulus Amos. Federal College of Agriculture Bambam, Gombe State (Est, etc) Bill, 2019 (SB. 263) was read the First Time. 6. Education (Minimum Standards) Act (Amendment) Bill, 2019 (SB. 264) by Senator Barau Jibrin. Education (Minimum Standards) Act (Amendment) Bill, 2019 (SB. 264) was read the First Time. PRESENTATION AND CONSIDERATION OF A REPORT Conference Committee report on the Finance Bill, 2019 (SB. 140) by Senator Solomon Adeola. Senator James Manager seconded that the Senate do receive and consider the Conference Committee report on the Finance Bill, 2019 (SB. 140). Senator Solomon Adeola laid and presented the report. The Conference Committee report on the Finance Bill, 2019 (SB. 140) was APPROVED. CONSIDERATION OF BILLS- Second Reading 1. A Bill for an Act to alter the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 to designate a definite and certain day for convening the first session and inauguration of elected members of National Assembly and State House if Assembly following their dissolution by the President and Governor pursuant to Sections 64(3) and Section 105(3), provide saving provisions regarding the Standing Orders of the Legislative Houses dissolved by the President and Governor in exercise of their powers under Sections 64(3) and 105(3) of the Constitution respectively and for other matters, 2019 (SB. 204) by Senator Gabriel Suswam. Senate President, Ahmad Lawan PhD, CON referred the Bill to the Committee on Constitutional Review. 2. A Bill for an Act to provide for the establishment of the Federal University of Agriculture and Technology Oke-Ogun and for other related matters thereof, 2019 (SB. 159) by Senator Buhari Abdulfatai. “The presence of higher institution in that area will rob off on almost three or four states. I urge my colleagues to support this Bill.”- Senator Aliyu Sabi. “This is a very important Bill and I support it. I urge my colleagues to do the same as the establishment of this university will lead to diversification of the economy. We need to emphasize on functional education.”- Senator Adamu Aliero. “We should look for ways and means to increase the internally generated revenue, when we do that we would have enough resources to execute projects. Agriculture today is playing a huge role in creating employment for our younger ones.”- Senator Ibikunle Amosun. “This university of agriculture and technology, I am aware that there is a functioning faculty of agriculture in University of Ibadan and Ladoke Akintola University. I am not against this Bill but I want to emphasize, we must also be conscious of productivity and the people we introduce as graduates. Having universities everywhere may not serve the purpose we are aspiring in this country.”- Senator James Manager. A Bill for an Act to provide for the establishment of the Federal University of Agriculture and Technology Oke-Ogun and for other related matters thereof, 2019 (SB. 159) was read the Second Time. Senate President, Ahmad Lawan PhD, CON referred the Bill to the Committee on Tertiary Institutions and TETFUND to report in four (4) weeks. 3. A Bill for an Act to repeal the Federal Road Maintenance Agency Act 2002 (as amended) the Federal Highways Act 1971 and the Control of Advertisement Act 1986 and to establish the Federal Road Authority to provide for the Ownership, Regulation, Management and Development of the Federal Roads Network and for other matters connected there with, 2019 (SB. 89) by Senator Gershom Bassey. “There is no authority to mandate the road sector. The time has come for us to have a proper protection for the road sector. The timely approval of this Bill will go a long way in solving the problems in our road sector.”- Senator Clifford Ordia. “The only way we can have roads that are passable is to have a coordinated agency. I think it is good and far better for us to take roads away from the federal budget and allow private enterprises into the sector.”- Senator Stella Oduah. “The attention of this Bill is to focus on alternative funding for infrastructure. We should have a framework that alternatively finance the road infrastructure. The Bill is commendable because it is thinking out of the box. I commend the sponsor of the Bill and urge my colleagues to allow the Bill progress for next legislative action.”- Senator Basiru Ajibola. “It has never been done anywhere where roads are established and maintained with budgetary allocation. Road is entirely left to revolving funds accruing from different sectors in the economy. When we take the right decision in this country, we will do a lot seamlessly. When this Bill gets to the Committee, something radical has to be done.”- Senator Bala Na’allah. “All the roads in my senatorial district are bad. Our farmers cannot transport their produce to get value because the roads are bad. Armed robbers take advantage of bad roads to torture and rob commuters. Our roads cannot get better until we think creatively and out of the box. I therefore urge everyone to support this Bill so that we can have enough funding to fix our roads and move Nigeria to the next level.”- Senator Sadiq Suleiman. “My state, Niger State has the most number of federal highways and I know what Nigerians are facing especially when you are taking that route. The economic importance of roads can never be underestimated. It is only in Nigeria today you still see colonial roads, narrow bridges, in fact some of roads, the asphalt are no longer there. This Bill is very important because what we need in this country is a road management system. We do not need government to be funding roads, why must we depend on budgetary allocations for things like roads? The need for this Bill is very important, the private system must be allowed to drive this. I think it is high time we passed this Bill and also do our oversight to make sure that this Bill sees the light of the day.”- Senator Sani Musa. A Bill for an Act to repeal the Federal Road Maintenance Agency Act 2002 (as amended) the Federal Highways Act 1971 and the Control of Advertisement Act 1986 and to establish the Federal Road Authority to provide for the Ownership, Regulation, Management and Development of the Federal Roads Network and for other matters connected there with, 2019 (SB. 89) was read the Second Time. Senate President, Ahmad Lawan PhD, CON referred the Bill to the Committee on Works to report in four (4) weeks. 4. A Bill for an Act to provide for Constituency Projects in the annual Budget of the Federation and for other matters connected there with, 2019 (SB. 170) by Senator Stella Oduah. “I want to support this Bill. The subject of the Bill requires our attention at this time. It is only very clear that we try to ensure that every part of this country has that sense of belonging by getting those little interventions. The idea of getting this from bottom up is actually what we have been doing.”- Senator Aliyu Sabi. A Bill for an Act to provide for Constituency Projects in the annual Budget of the Federation and for other matters connected there with, 2019 (SB. 170) was read the Second Time. Senate President, Ahmad Lawan PhD, CON referred the Bill to the Committee on Finance to report in four (4) weeks. MOTION 1. Urgent need to investigate the breach of Nigerian laws by foreign vessels in coastal shipping of petroleum products in downstream sector of the Nigerian Maritime University by Senator Ramoni Mustapha. “I support this motion. There is a need for Nigeria to be actively involved in technology. I urge us all to adopt the motion and accept the prayers which are germane as it relates to an oil producing state.”- Senator Basiru Ajibola. Senate resolved to: 1. Mandate the Committees on Local Content and Petroleum Downstream to carry out an investigation with a view to unraveling the influx of foreign vessels in the coastal region and the level of patronage of Nigerian shipping companies; 2. Investigate the flagrant abuse of the NOGICD Act 2010 and Cabotage Act 2003 respectively, by the operators and stakeholders in the Maritime Industry, through ship-ship transfer with coastal foreign vessel; 3. Investigate foreign ship owners of freight associated with downstream activities repatriated overseas by NNPC to the detriment of the local economy or patronage; 4. Mandate the Committees on Local Content and Compliance to investigate the reasons for the dominance of foreign vessels above locally owned, manned and registered vessels in the domestic carriage of petroleum products within the coastal territory and inland waterways of Nigeria; and 5. Investigate the actions of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company in ensuring participation of indigenous companies in the freight of petroleum products, in line with the provisions of Presidential Executive Order 5(2018). 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 Thursday, 12th December 2019. #GavelBangs Signed New Media Unit Office of the President of the Senate Federal Republic of Nigeria

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