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PROCEEDINGS OF THE NIGERIAN SENATE OF THURSDAY, 1ST FEBRUARY, 2018

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PROCEEDINGS OF THE NIGERIAN SENATE OF THURSDAY, 1ST FEBRUARY, 2018

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

Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, led the Principal Officers into the chambers; took the official prayers; and began the day’s proceedings at 11:02am.

Senator Suleiman Nazif moved for the approval of votes and proceedings of Wednesday, 31st January, 2018. Senator Danjuma Laah seconded.

*PETITION*
Senator Sonni Ogbuoji raised a petition on behalf of his constituent on his removal from the Nigerian Navy and sought his reinstatement.

Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu referred the petition to the Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions to report back in 2 weeks.

*PRESENTATION OF BILLS-First Reading*
Public Service Efficiency Bill, 2018 (SB. 610) by Senator Aliyu Sabi was read the First Time.

Federal College of Education (Technical) Korinya, Benue state (Est, etc) Bill, 2018 (SB. 612) by Senator Barnabas Gemade was read the First Time.

Federal College of Education Omuo-Ekiti, Ekiti state (Est, etc) Bill, 2018 (SB. 611) by Senator Biodun Olujimi was read the First Time.

National Institute for Counter Terrorism (Est, etc) Bill, 2018 (SB. 613) by Senator Shehu Sani was read the First Time.

*PRESENTATION OF A REPORT*
1 Report of the committee on Public Accounts on the Federal Audit Service Commission Bill, 2018 (HB. 107) by Senator Matthew Urhoghide.

Senator Abubakar Kyari seconded that the Senate do receive the Report of the Committee on Public Accounts on the Federal Audit Service Commission Bill, 2018 (HB. 107).

The Report was LAID.

*MOTION*
1 Urgent need to support the centre for research, control and treatment of Lassa fever disease in Nigeria by Senator Clifford Ordia and Senator Lanre Tejuoso.

“I second the motion. Having a single center to cater for a country of 180 million people is inadequate. There is a need for us to call on the Health Ministry that the one center that caters to Lassa Fever must have all basic requirements.” -Senator Emmanuel Paulker.

“This Motion is timely because the Lassa Fever issue in Nigeria has been considered to be a national emergency. There are cases all over the country in our hospitals. People are dying and yet, nothing major is being done. This Lassa Fever issue a national emergency that the nation needs to pay attention to… Immediate adequate funding must be given to the one center that exists to take care of this menace. Innocent people can become infected without knowing. The Lassa Fever has a 21 day gestation period. You could shake somebody’s hand, someone could sneeze and anyone can catch the disease. Something must be done.” -Senator Atai Aidoko.

“When we have a total breakdown of the facilities of the centers that are able to treat Lassa Fever, then there is a problem. We must have a center for the treatment and management of the outbreak. For over 40 years we have been talking about tackling Lassa Fever. This shows the lackadaisical attitude of the Federal Ministry of Health to this issue. If the citizens of a country are not well, then that country is not well. This disease is going from Edo to Bayelsa, from there to Anambra… The Federal Government must be serious. Anyone can contact this viral infection. We need to go back to where this disease started from and treat it from there.” -Senator Matthew Urhoghide.

“When there is an outbreak and regular people are affected, I am alarmed. Now that medical practitioners and doctors are being also affected, I am very very worried. Nigeria is like a community. There are no boundaries. We must treat this Lassa Fever outbreak as a national emergency. We must be prepared from it. We need to decentralize the treatment centers. At the end of the day, we must protect the health of our people. Now that we are undergoing the budget process, we can show seriousness on this issue. Let the funding be provided to decentralize the treatment of such outbreaks.” -Senator James Manager

“Let me first condole with the families of the victims that have been affected. The last time we heard of this outbreak was many years ago, this is unacceptable. There is a serious lapse somewhere. We need to find treatments.”
-Senator Barau Jibrin

“About 2 weeks ago, somebody from my constituency died of this disease. This outbreak requires urgent action to curtail its spread and treat those that have already been affected. Such outbreaks have the potential to negatively affect the wellbeing of our nation.” -Senator Ajayi Boroffice.

“Let me thank everyone that has contributed to this Motion and the mover of this Motion. I believe that Healthcare is one of the primary responsibilities of government. Not being able to do this is us abdicating from our responsibility. The Committee that is responsible must look into this. We need to have sufficient health facilities to prevent our people from traveling abroad.” – Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu.

*Senate resolved to:*
1 Mandate the committees of Health (Secondary and Tertiary) and Primary Health Care and Communicable Diseases to investigate steps taken by the ministry of health to curb the spread of the disease;

2 Urge the Federal Government through the Ministry of Health to urgently provide the center all necessary equipment to enable it meet its responsibilities to Nigerians seeking medical care at the center;

3 Urge the Ministry of information and national orientation to engage in the sensitization and education of the public on the prevention, control and treatment of Lassa fever; and

4 Urge the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to quickly visit the center for the sport assessment with a view to providing relief materials for the victims at the center;

5 National Assembly make sufficient for the additional funding and treatment for Lassa Fever; and

6 Urge the Ministry of Health to set-up zonal screening centers across the nation.

*CONSIDERATION OF REPORTS*
1 Report of the committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters on the Arbitration and Conciliation Act CAP A18 LFN 2004 (Repeal and Re-enactment) Bill, 2018 (SB. 427) by Senator David Umaru.

Senator Barau Jibrin seconded that the Senate do consider the Report of the committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters on the Arbitration and Conciliation Act CAP A18 LFN 2004 (Repeal and Re-enactment) Bill, 2018 (SB. 427).

*COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE*
Senate dissolved into the Committee of the Whole for the clause-by-clause consideration of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act CAP A18 LFN 2004 (Repeal and Re-enactment) Bill, 2018 (SB. 427).

Senate reverted to plenary and reported progress.

Arbitration and Conciliation Act CAP A18 LFN 2004 (Repeal and Re-enactment) Bill, 2018 (SB. 427) was read the THIRD time and PASSED.

“I thank all my Distinguished colleagues for the contributions made. This would help us in the ease of doing business, it would also help in the expansion of our arbitrary act. I hope it would help us in conducting business in Nigeria.”- Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu.

2 Report of the committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters on the Emergency Powers (Repeal and Re-enactment) Bill, 2018 (SB. 182) by Senator David Umaru.

Senator Kabiru Gaya seconded that the Senate do consider the Report of the committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters on the Emergency Powers (Repeal and Re-enactment) Bill, 2018 (SB. 182).

*COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE*
Senate dissolved into the Committee of the Whole for the clause-by-clause consideration of the Emergency Powers (Repeal and Re-enactment) Bill, 2018 (SB. 182).

Senate reverted to plenary and reported progress.

The Emergency Powers (Repeal and Re-enactment) Bill, 2018 (SB. 182) was read the THIRD time and PASSED.

“This is adding flesh to the bone of our existing emergency power Bill. We must be mindful that the constitution is our supreme law.”- Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu.

3 Report of the committee on Works on National Road Funds (Est, etc) Bill, 2018 ( HB. 49 & 163) by Senator Kabiru Gaya.

Senate Leader moved that the Senate do resume the consideration of the National Road Funds (Est, etc) Bill, 2018 ( HB. 49 & 163). Minority Leader seconded.

*COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE*
Senate dissolved into the Committee of the Whole for the clause-by-clause consideration of the National Road Funds (Est, etc) Bill, 2018 (HB. 49 & 163).

Senate reverted to plenary and reported progress.

National Road Funds (Est, etc) Bill, 2018 (HB. 49 & 163) was read the THIRD time and PASSED.

“I believe we have a lot of roads that need the attention of the FG and relevant agencies… It is important we find alternative ways of funding the road sector and this is one of them and I am happy it has passed today.”-Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu.

*ADJOURNMENT*
Plenary is adjourned to Tuesday, 6th February, 20

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