House of Representatives News 

BILLS TO REPOSITION NIGERIA ARMED FORCES- REPS

The Committee on defence today brought together stakeholders in defence to a two days public hearing.
The chairman Hon. Betara Muktar Aliyu at the two days public hearing on the bills referred to the committee said he has no doubt that technical input in form of memorandum or verbal contribution will aid the Committee's report on the Legislations towards repositioning the Nigeria Armed Forces and other security agencies for effective and efficient services delivery, especially in the fight against insurgency in the North, Niger-Delta and Kidnappings Activities in various parts of the country.
The house referred the bills to the House Committee on Defence for further Legislative actions. A bill for an act to amend the armed forces act laws, 2014 to make the appointment of Service Chief subject to confirmation by National Assembly, to provide for the appointment of Chief of Defence Staff, to among other things provide for specific duties for the armed forces reserve in other to serve as a rapid respond mechanism with capacity to intervene in emergency and internal security where the Nigeria Police is overwhelmed, to provide for retirement age of Officers of the Nigerian Armed Forces and for other matters connected therewith.

A bill for an act to Establish the security services welfare infrastructure development commission. And a bill for an act to repeal the Defence Industry corporation of Nigeria.
The 8th National Assembly is committed to delivering it's legislative agenda to enable the Armed Forces of Nigeria and other security agencies fulfill their mandates of securing and protecting the territorial integrity of Nigeria.

——————————————-

Reps revolt against Dogara

A rebellion is building up in the House of Representatives against Speaker Yakubu Dogara,according to multiple sources in the Green Chambers of the National Assembly.

Dogara’s offence is what many members perceive as his soft spot for the Presidency.

The Reps claim the Speaker want to turn the House into a rubber stamp for the executive arm.

They are also angry that constituency projects are not being implemented by the Executive,and want to know why about 50-60 per cent of them (members) have not been assigned their official cars.

Another grievance of the Reps is alleged lateness in payment of their salaries and allowances.

Dogara ,though shocked by the development,has launched a counter move to calm frayed nerves.

Majority of the Reps are said to have opted not to team up with the Senate to move against the Presidency,at least for now.

Investigation revealed that Dogara was jolted on Wednesday when some members of the House took him up on the various issues at an Executive Session.

It was learnt that a ranking member from Kano State led the protest by faulting the House leadership’s alleged romance with the presidency instead of asserting the independence of the chamber.

The members alleged that their support for the presidency, especially ailing President Muhammadu Buhari, was not being reciprocated by the latter.

They also complained about how ministers had been treating summons by committees with disdain.

They were particularly irked by the alleged unwillingness of the Executive to implement constituency projects in the 2016 budget.

Members claimed they went through hell to get the constituency projects executed.

A top source said: “Since he was elected, the Speaker has never had the type of revolt he witnessed during the week from members.

“The matter got to a point that some members at the plenary on Wednesday refused to stand up in deference to the Speaker in order to usher him into the chamber.

“Even on Thursday, some members extended their annoyance to voting during the debate on amendments to the 1999 constitution.”

Another ranking member gave said: “Some members from the North-West actually led the revolt at the Executive session. They accused Dogara of ‘leaning so much to the Executive’ such that the House was being turned into a rubber stamp.

“They gave a long list of constitutional violations by the Executive which the House ignored because of Dogara’s rapprochement with President Muhammadu Buhari and Acting President Yemi Osinbajo.

“They queried why the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola will come out publicly to deride the House without any sanction. They cited cases of ministers and chief executives of MDAs not honouring House summons.

“Also, the MDAs, especially ministers, elect to implement constituency projects based on their whims and caprices. But they have always forgotten that the budget is a law. Some of us are tired and frustrated.

“The Speaker has been persuading us to be patient but we are not delivering dividends of democracy to our constituents. What we now get is stoning of some members by their constituents.

Another member from the South-South said: “Well, some of us actually complained bitterly about welfare matters. We are two years into our tenure and about 50-60 per cent of our members have not been given official cars.

“The complaint we have been getting borders on the fact that the Peugeot model cars have been ordered from abroad but yet to arrive. It is insulting that we have to be lobbying to get official cars which will be paid for from our entitlements.

“We believe that something was fundamentally wrong with the award of the contract for the cars by the House Services Committee.

“There was no communication on what has really happened. Unfortunately, the leadership has been tolerating the House Services Committee.”

A member from the North-West said: “It has not been funny because we get our salaries and allowances late.

“We protested to let the Speaker know that we are suffering in silence. If the Speaker had not handled it with maturity, we would have changed all the principal officers.

“ Of what use is backing President Buhari without meaningful projects in our constituency?

“Many of us preferred the Senate antagonistic method because it is working for that chamber. This was why we took on Dogara since the beginning of the week.”

But a principal officer said: “When Dogara opened up at the session, it was realized by members that he has not been pocketed by the presidency. His leadership style is that of consultation and not confrontation. He thinks service delivery to Nigerians should be the priority of lawmakers and not feud with the Executive.

“The same Speaker said he had engaged the Acting President on Fashola matter and Prof. Osinbajo directed the Minister to go and apologize. He obeyed the directive on Friday.

“In the last few months, the Speaker has been to the Villa to iron out issues amicably between the two arms of government.”

On the welfare of members, the principal officer said: “I think it has to do more with the failure of the House Services Committee than the problem with the Speaker. He was shocked to hear some of the complaints.”

Findings confirmed that following assurances from the Speaker, members jettisoned plans to “team up with the Senate” against the Executive.

“Dogara has sued for calm; we are giving him benefit of the doubt. He is a good listener but we need action.”

A member from the North-East said: “We have heard from Dogara and his team.We are awaiting action on their pledges to address our complaints. We love the Speaker, we have temporarily sheathed the swords.

“We have all collectively resolved not to join the Senate to fight the Executive because some of the issues are really too personal. Some have to do with sheer politics and ambition. We won’t be part of it.

“But the House leadership has suffered a jolt, the situation might never be the same henceforth. We love Dogara but we cannot sacrifice the interest of our constituents.”

——————————————————————

House of Reps to swear in Benue lawmaker, Dorothy Mato after recess

The House of Representatives on Thursday revealed that it would swear in Dorothy Mato as the lawmaker representing Vandeikya/Konshisha Federal Constituency of Benue upon resumption from its six weeks recess.

Chairman House Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Abdulrazak Namdas, confirmed this while speaking to newsmen in Abuja on Thursday.

Namdas said, “By the time the House resumes from the recess, we would have completed all the processes for her to be sworn-in as Hembe’s replacement.

“Our tenure hasn’t elapsed. We are going on a break and when she is through, we can still swear her in.

“The recess is a constitutional matter and when we return, we will continue our legislative business,” he added.

Recall that the Supreme Court, on June 23, 2017 declared as null and void the election of Herman Hembe into the House of Representatives, declaring Mato as winner of the election.

The court also ordered INEC to issue the certificate of return to Mato, while asking Hembe to return all salaries and allowances in not more than 90 days.

REPS SUSPENDS NHIS DUE TO MINISTER'S ABSENCE, NAFDAC HALTED


Today on the floor of National Assembly, the Committee on Healthcare Services led by Hon. Chike Okafor during an interface with National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) suspended anything about it due to the absence of the Minister for Health.

The committee is on the mission to discuss the issues and crisis rock​ing the NHIS haven put budget defence aside, to find a lasting solutions the crisis.. 


The Minister who is key in the crisis was unnecessarily absent and that didn't go down well with the members of the committee who raised a point of order to suspend anything about NHIS until the Minister appears before the committee.

In the same meeting, the NAFDAC boss, Mrs Yetunde Oni was to commence a budget presentations and defence for her agency when a point of order was also raised to halt the process because her submissions came in late and marred with irregularities of the highest order.

A minute silent was observed on behalf of the husband of the NAFDAC boss who died on 16th of June 2017.

Both agency were asked to reappear before the Committee after meeting the demands​ of the committee to appear.


By Adeboye Omoboye 


————————————————–

LEGISLATIVE ARM OF GOVERNMENT NOT AGAINST BORROWING


The Chairman of the House of Representatives Comittee on Aids, Loans and Debt Management, Hon Adeyinka  Ajayi has corrected the perception that the legislative arm of government is against borrowing.

Speaking during an interactive session to consider States borrowing requests under the 2016-2018 External Borrowing Plan at the National Assembly, Hon Ajayi said nothing could be further from the truth as borrowing is an essential tool in a nation's finance architecture.

His words "permit me at this point to correct the erroneous perception that the legislature is borrowing avers".

" Nothing could be further from the truth, parliament is indeed aware that borrowing is an essential, if not unavoidable tool in a nations public finance architecture and is required for rapid and sustainable development" he said.

He also stressed thus " A situation where a nation borrows for consumption or recurrent expenditure at the detriment of long term infrastructural or institution  building investments and where debt services figures begin to rise greatly, eating deep into the nations available resources in its budgetary allocation is unhealthy and therefore unacceptable"

Wednesday's interaction became necessary following the request  from the Acting President,  Professor Yemi Osinbajo SAN, on the 25th of May 2017 asking the House to separate States projects from items listed in the earlier submitted 2016-2018 external borrowing requests plan, with a view to giving the states requests accelerated consideration.

Hon Ajayi reminded those at the session that the request of the Acting President was in compliance with the provisions of the Debt Management Office (Establishment) Act, 2003 and the Fiscal Responsibility Act 2007 which both enjoins the President to lay before the National Assembly its external borrowing plan for approval pursuant to the powers conferred on the national assembly under items 7 and 50 of part 1 of the second schedule of the of the constitution 1999  as amended.

The committee began its scrutiny with the Ebonyi state which intends to obtain from the African Development Bank, ADB and the Islamic Bank a loan facility of 150 million dollars which will be taken in tranches of 80 and 70 million dollars from the two institutions and is to be spent on developing road infrastructure in Ebonyi state.
The Deputy Governor of Ebonyi state,  Mr Kelechi Igwe who represented his state said the state has put in place a very robust structure to ensure the repayment of the loan facility.
This he stressed was in the proper tolling of roads which the state would vigorously pursue to ensure that the facility it is seeking is repaid his words " We believe that the roads we are building in Ebonyi state will have a life span of 30 to 50 years".

Igwe told the committee that Ebonyi is an agrarian state and has made an example in agriculture with the production of rice which stands the state out in Nigeria.

He said " In Ebonyi state the  sum of 2 billion naira was injected by the state into rice production and within 9 months it realises 4 billion which has been reinvested into  the states economy".

Present at the session were other members of the committee, the chairman of the Senate committee on Sports, Senator Obinna Ogba, representatives of the Debt Management office, Abubakar Sani and Maimuna Ibrahim, The country Director of the French Development Agency Olivier Delefosse.


BY OGUNBIYI JOYCE SEYI


——————————————————

BREAKING: NATIONAL ASSEMBLY MAKES MAJOR MOVE, DISQUALIFIES GOODLUCK JONATHAN FROM CONTESTING FOR PRESIDENT IN 2019 OR 2023

Following the on-going Constitutional amendment by the National Assembly, led by Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, former President, Goodluck Jonathan, is no longer eligible to contest in the 2019 Presidential election.


In the report by the Constitution Review Committee, the Lawmakers proposed that ”anyone who has been sworn is as President or Governor, to complete the term of the elected President or Governor, cannot do more than a single term.”


Based on this, Post-Nigeria recalled that Jonathan was sworn-in as President in May 2010, after the death of President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua.


After completing Yar’Adua’s tenure, Jonathan contested and won the Presidential election in 2011.


Based on the provisions of the amended Constitution, Jonathan has been disqualified to contest for President again.


The Committee worked on amending some sections of the 1999 Constitution.


Recall, that in January 2016, the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, inaugurated the Committee, with a resolve to address some “knotty aspects of the Constitution”.


The Committee, which comprised members of the Senate and the House of Representatives, concluded its work weeks ago, and subsequently turned in its report.


However, Constitution amendments only become operative after they have been passed by at least 24 State Houses of Assembly, and two-third of the National Assembly.


———————————


NIGERIA LOSES N15BN TO ILLEGAL SALE OF PHCN ASSETS – REPS 



Adeboye Omoboye



The House of Representatives said on Monday that the country had lost revenue in excess of N 15bn from alleged unauthorised sale, leasing and transfer of non- core assets of the defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria.

The non- core assets are properties of the PHCN not directly used for power generation or distribution.

They were not included in the assets sold to private – sector investors in the wake of the full privatisation of the sector, which started in 2011.

The assets were said to have been retained by the Federal Government as public property and handed over to the Nigeria Electricity Liability Management Company for coordination.

However, many Nigerians had petitioned the House, alleging that some of the assets were either sold , stolen, leased, vandalised or transferred to some persons without due process.

The House had mandated its Sub – Committee on Power/Privatisation/Procurement to investigate the alleged “ shady deals ” with a view to recovering the losses .

The committee opened a public hearing on the issue at the National Assembly in Abuja on Monday.

The Lead Chairman of the probe panel, Mr. Gaza Jonathan, stated that while the government ’s plan of keeping the assets in the care of NELMCO was to sell them and use part of the proceeds to offset the liabilities of PHCN, not much of the objective had been achieved.

Jonathan, a member of the Peoples Democratic Party from Nasarawa State, while giving details, said, “ It will interest you to note that a conservative investigation has revealed monumental losses to the government and the people of Nigeria in excess of about N 15bn as a result of underleases, unauthorised sales, misappropriation of funds, abuse of process and outright negligence.

“In consideration of the present financial and economic times when the country is facing harsh realities caused by recession, it has come as a great concern to the House that on the transfer of these assets, many of them are being leased at undervalued rates, while others are gifted out to distribution companies and some even diverted. ”

Jonathan added that the scope of the investigation covered non – core assets sold from the “era of Niger Dam, Electricity Corporation of Nigeria, National Electric Power Authority, PHCN and NELMCO. ”

On Monday , the committee grilled officials of NELMCO; the Bureau of Public Enterprises; power firms and heads of agencies directly linked with the transactions.

The BPE confirmed that the assets were indeed handed over to NELMCO, noting that they were initially being sold “ without coordination. ”

The Director General of the BPE , Mr. Alex Okoh, told the committee that the National Council on Privatisation intervened by taking over the assets from NELMCO and placing them under a new assets sales committee.

However, he disclosed that when the current All Progressives Congress government took over power in 2015, NELMCO wrote to the NCP to complain that it was its responsibility to oversee the sales.

Okoh stated that the NCP, now under Vice – President Yemi Osinbajo, looked into the complaints of NELMCO, following which the assets were returned to NELMCO again.

“ Up till now, the sales have not commenced.

“We are still waiting for the approval of the NCP, ” he said.

On its part, NELMCO made a presentation to the committee to admit that following an audit of the assets done internally, there was a “revealing report” on how the assets were managed in the past.

The Managing Director of NELMCO, Mr. Adebayo Fegbemi, said, “ There was an audit. We reviewed the entire stock.

“The report is revealing. We have yet to dispose of the assets.

“We are planning the sales to ensure that we comply with government's guidelines on the sale of public assets. ”

When he was asked for the total stock of the assets, the MD said a reliable answer could only come after a “comprehensive audit of all the assets” that were transferred to NELMCO at various times.

The hearing will continue (today ).

——————————————-

NIGERIA​ CUSTOM IS ECONOMICAL WITH THE TRUTH- REPS

It would be recall that the house resolved to Constitute an Ad-hoc Committee to investigate the alleged killing of four persons, maiming of innocent passers-by, illegal raiding of markets, warehouses, breaking of shops to impound contraband rice, the diversion of impounded goods for personal gains by customs officials in Lagos, and any other alleged atrocities perpetrated by men of the Customs Service nation-wide, and report to the House withing six weeks.


The Adhoc Committee members led by Hon. Abubakar Lawal in a public investigative hearing today​ on the floor of House of Representatives received Nigeria Custom submission on the killing of four unarmed Nigerians by the armed officers of the Nigeria Customs Service in Lagos.

Although the committee members are not happy with the fage article of the Nigeria Customs haven expected a more articulate submissions, the representative of the Nigeria Custom defended their carrying and use of arms quoting section 147 of the Nigeria Custom act. In other hand chapter 4 section 33 of Nigeria constitution guarantees the right to life, personal liberty and dignity of Nigerians.
The motion was sponsored by Hon. Olajide Olatunbosun from Saki East/West, while speaking to our correspondent said it was born out of the fact that national agents like Nigeria Customs are not to commit illegalities, either out of ignorance of the limitation of it's role or for personal gains have extended it's operations beyond areas of its core mandate: is a common sight on Highways in Nigeria to see armed Custom men Manning check points, they also raid markets, private warehouses, shops, etc. apparently to fish out and impound the so called contraband good.
The argument of the Nigeria Custom is base on generation of revenue to create jobs. The representatives insisted on being friendly with masses to carry out their duty rather than bullying and taking human life, this is sacred.
The Committee will continue the investigation and refer to the house it's resolution for action.
—————————————————————–

BILL SCALES SECOND READING

The majority leader of the House, Hon Foly Ogedengbe on Tuesday July 18, 2017 presented a bill titled " A Bill for a Law to provide for the Establishment of Edo State Urban Water Regulatory Corporation, the State Water Regulatory Commission and for matters connected therewith" to the House members. He said the bill has been brought before the house so that drinking water production will be monitored.


The lawmaker said that the bill is very relevant particularly because there are no clean water for the people of Edo State to drink and also because there are many people who produce drinking water that are called 'satchel water' in unfit environments and without government approval. 


Foly also said that the bill would create avenue for water board to come into existence and provide hygienic tap water for all the residents in Edo State as well as implement the development, use, conservation and distribution of water resources in the state.


He urged the other lawmakers to support the bill because all their constituents will be beneficiaries of the bill if passed into law.


The speaker added that the bill was very important to the Edo people as even the Oba of Benin, Oba Ewuare 2 and the Governor, Godwin Obaseki looked forward to the day when tap water will run again in the state. He also added that the bill seeks to protect the Edo people from unhealthy sources of drinking water saying that the importance of the bill cannot be overemphasized.


The bill was referred to House committee on Energy and Water Resources.



Edoleyi Mary reporting from Edo State House of Assembly.


BREAKING: ANOTHER NATIONAL ASSEMBLY MEMBER DIES
A member of the House of Representatives, Abdullahi Wammako, is dead.

Mr. Wamakko represented Kware/Wammako federal constituency of Sokoto State.

He died at the National hospital after a brief illness, the spokesman of the House, Abdulrazak Namdas, said.

“We just got the information that we lost Abdullahi Wammako from Sokoto” Mr. Namdas said.

Mr. Wammako is the second member of the National Assembly to die in three months.

Isiaka Adeleke, a senator from Osun State, died in April.

—————————————————————–

REPS DRILL SKYE BANK, CBN OVER INTERVENTION FUNDS TO ECONOMIC SECTORS


The Ad-hoc Committee on Central Bank of Nigeria on the floor of NationalAssembly enquired from the management of Skye Bank Plc on the issue of the various Intervention Funds of CBN and their impact on the economy.
Hon. Bassey Eko Ewa representing Yakur/Abi Federal Constituency of Cross River led the ad-hoc committee members on Legislative duty during the committee session and had earlier in the day held similar session with the top management of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

Recall that the Committee had last week declined engagement with the directors of the Bank due to non-availability of the Bank’s Group Managing Director, Mr Tokunbo Abiru.


Today, the GMD who appeared in person apologized for his last absence and clarified the Issue of the N327billion fund suspected to have been part of the CBN intervention funds to the various sectors of the economy.

According to him, the N327 billion is not an intervention fund but a loan granted to Skye Bank to cushion the effect of the run which the Bank experienced on account of the change of the Board of the Bank by CBN in July 2016 in order to stabilize the bank.

The GMD further explained that being a Financial Accommodation rather than an intervention fund, Skye Bank is expected to pay back the money to the Apex CBN within a stipulated time frame.

The ad-hoc committee members had earlier session frowned at the CBN Governor for giving a "Piece Meal" information to the Committee. The Deputy Governor of CBN who represented his boss apologized and promised to get back to the committee to furnish them with necessary information required by the committe. The meeting was adjourned till next week Tuesday with a view to continuing similar meeting with other Banks.


——————————————————————


REPS RETURNS CRK AS INDEPENDENT SUBJECT


-By a unanimous voice vote, members of the House of Representatives at plenary on Tuesday jettisoned the Buhari's government policy which subsumed Christian Religious Knowledge, CRK in Civic Education as a compulsory subject in the Secondary School curriculum.

This followed a motion titled “Call to make Civic Education an optional instead of a compulsory subject for Senior Certificate Examination”, filed by Hon. Beni Lar from Plateau State. The members after an exhaustive debate on the motion agreed that the policy was incongruent with the spirit and letters of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) on the provision of religious liberties.

The members agreed that students with the inputs of their parents at formative years should be taught the religious subjects of their choice in school. Essentially, the House while pointing out that the policy makers erred ab initio also agreed Islamic Studies and CRK should be taught independently and separately in the spirit of the constitution.

It will be recalled that the issue recently became a subject of controversy whereupon tempers flared.

——————————————————————

REPORT FROM PLENARY AT THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES ON THURSDAY, JULY 6, 2017


Speaker Yakubu Dogara said opening prayers and approved votes and proceedings for Wednesday, 5th July, 2017.
Speaker Dogara acknowledged the presence of students in the gallery and read an announcement from Hon. Chukwuka Onyema, who expressed appreciation to Members for the outpour of kind wishes following his birthday celebration.
Petitions were laid before the House by Hon. Evelyn, Hon. E.J Agbonayinma, Hon. Rita Orji, Hon. John Dyegh, Hon. Johnson Oghuma and Hon. Kehinde Agboola. Hon. Gogo Bright presented a petition from Former First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan, decrying alleged constant harassment of her and her family members by security agencies.
Three reports were laid by Hon. Abubakar Husaini Moriki as follows;
1. Report of the Committee on Industry on a Bill for an Act to make it Mandatory for Tyres to bear Manufacturing and Expiry Dates, and to Prohibit the Importation of Used, Substandard and Expired Tyres and for Other Related Matters (HB. 499) (Referred: 21/7/2016).   
2. Report of the Committee on Industry on a Bill for an Act to Repeal the Small And Medium Scale Industries Development Agency (Establishment) Act, 2003 and to Establish the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria to Regulate, Oversee, Coordinate, Monitor and Evaluate the Developmental Activities and Operation of the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises in Nigeria and amend the Small and Medium Scale Enterprises Development Agency Act to Expressly Provide  the Agency with Power to Protect Artisans, Market Women and Traders and to Organize them into Clusters for Optimum Benefits and for Other Related Matters (HBs 803 and 808) (Referred: 23/11/2016).
3. Report of the Committee on Industry on a Bill for an Act to Establish the Chartered Institute of Training and Development of Nigeria, a body charged with Responsibility to Regulate the Practice and Profession of Training and Development and for Other Related Matters (HB. 401) (Referred: 18/10/2016).
Bills
First Order of the day was the debate on the general principles of A Bill for an Act to Establish a Regulatory Framework for the Water Resources Sector in Nigeria, Provide for the Equitable and Sustainable Development, Management, Use and Conservation of Nigeria's Surface Water and Groundwater Resources and for Related Matters (HB. 1021) (Executive) (Leader).
Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, who led the debate, stated that the Bill will unbundle the water resources sector and enhance opportunities for public private partnership (PPP), and aims to regulate the use of Nigerian water supply in an equitable manner for all Nigerians, in addition to seeking to reinvent the existing river basin authorities. 
“The bill is all-encompassing and contains solutions to challenges plaguing the water sector in Nigeria. It is just as critical as the Petroleum Industry Bill”, he said.
The Chairman of the House Committee on Water Resources, Hon. Pategi, also weighed in, saying that the Bill is aimed at developing the water sector and managing Nigeria’s surface and ground water resources.
“It is an executive Bill that has been in the works since 2006, and will resolve issues relating to the ownership of water.”
Hon. Sadiq Ibrahim also spoke in support of the Bill, after which Speaker Dogara put the question and the ayes had it. The Clerk then read the long title of the Bill and it was referred to the House Committee on Water Resources.
The House then passed through second reading,A Bill for an Act to Amend the Council of Ministers (Evidence) Act, Cap. C32, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 to make the Provisions of the Act Apply to the Executive Council of the Federation and for Related  Matters (HB. 1027) (Sponsored byHon. Gideon Gwani); This Bill seeks to amend the Principal Act by substituting Council of Ministers with Executive Council of the Federation, and by substituting “secretary” with “secretary to the government of the federation” as contained in section 171, sub-section 2A of the 1999 Constitution. The Bill was referred to the Committee on Justice.
Hon. Edward Pwajok then led debate on the general principles of A Bill for an Act to Establish the Chartered Polymer Institute of Nigeria to Promote, Advance and Develop the Application of Polymer Science, Engineering and Technology in Polymer and Allied Industries in Nigeria and for Related Matters (HB. 1029). He said that the issue of polymers has to do with plastics, rubbers, etc., and some time ago, some professionals felt concerned about the lack of an institute to handle polymer science and polymer engineering in Nigeria, and registered the Polymer Institute of Nigeria. He then stressed the importance of this institute being backed by law. The Bill was passed and referred to the Committee on Commerce.
The House also passed through second reading,A Bill for an Act to Amend the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (Establishment, etc.) Act, 2006 and for Related Matters (HB. 964) (sponsored by Hon. Obinna Chidoka). During the course of the debate, Hon, Chidoka stated that the Bill seeks to amend the principal act in order enhance the ability of the agency in the areas of prevention, detection and management of oil spills. Hon. Rita Orji and Hon. Jerry Alagbaoso also contributed to the debate. The Bill was subsequently passed and referred to the Committee on Environment and Habitat.
 
Motions
The following motions were adopted;
Call for Repair of Guard/Protective Rails on the Bridges at Kotonkarfe, Kogi State (moved by Hon. Tony Nwoye)
The House resolved tourge the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing to urgently repair the guard/protective rails on the three bridges at Koton Karfe; and mandate the Committee on Works to ensure compliance.
Need to Address the Persistent Refusal of Electricity Distribution Companies (DISCOs) to Connect Electrified Towns and Villages to the National Grid (moved by Hon. Odebunmi Olusegun Dokun)
The House resolved to mandate the Committee on Power to interface with Electricity Distribution Companies with a view to ensuring the connection of all completed electrification projects to the national grid and report back within six (6) weeks for further legislative action.
Need to Avert the Imminent Closure of University of Maiduguri Due to Rising Insecurity Occasioned by the Spate of Suicide Bomb Attacks  (sponsored by Hon. Mohammed Tahir Monguno, Hon. E. Y. Orker-Jev, Hon. Jibrin Satumari, Hon. Mohammed Nur Sheriff, Hon. Muktar Betara Aliyu, Hon. Mahmud Lawan Maina, Hon. Asabe Vilita Bashir, Hon. Mohammed Sanda A Ngamdu, Hon. Mallam Bukar Gana, Hon. Abdulkadir Rahis, Hon. Ayuba Mohammed Bello, Hon. Zakariyau M. Galadima, Hon. Goni Bukar Lawan, Hon. Ismail Ahmed Gadaka, Hon. Sidi Yakubu, and Hon. Sabo Garba)
The motion was supported by Hon. Jagaba Adams Jagaba, who said that all measures must be taken to ensure that the glory of the institution is restored.
Hon. Ahmed Kaita also stated that part of BH ideology is to make sure that they destroy the educational system, and the repercussions of allowing this to happen will be disastrous, and all measures must, therefore, be taken to ensure that they do not succeed.
“I know the FG is doing its best and we equally acknowledge the progress made, hoever, some things are fundamental based and adequate security must be given to the institution”, he said.
Hon. Mohammed Sani Abdu also noted that the university’s ranking has dropped due to challenges induced by the insurgency, and being the centre of excellence in the Sahel, it must be protected, especially as BH is saying that western education is prohibited.
“If we were able to conquer Sambisa, then we must be able to protect UNIMAID”, Hon. Sani Abdu said.
Other Members who supported the Motion include Hon. Beni Lar, Hon. Segun Odebunmi, Hon. Adamu Kamale, Hon. Chika Adamu, Hon. Umar Farouk, Hon. Garba Shehu, and Hon. Gudaji Kazaure, who suggested that high definition cameras should be provided for surveillance.
The House resolved to;
i.       urge the Federal Government to urgently intervene and put in place extraordinary measures to ensure restoration of peace and tranquility to the University of Maiduguri, including the immediate perimeter fencing of the school and the deployment of critical security systems to ensure full surveillance and detection of security breaches;
 
ii.     also urge the Security Agencies to submit a comprehensive plan of action to maintain constant security of the University in particular and the host community of the school in general to the House; and
 
iii.  mandate the Committee on Tertiary Education and Services to ensure implementation and report back in four (4) weeks for further legislative action.
Plenary was adjourned at 1:23 p.m., until July 11, 2017 at 11 a.m. 


For nassnewsng.com Adeboye Omoboye.


——————————————————————

REPS ON COMMERCE HOLDS PUBLIC HEARING

The House Committee on Commerce on Thursday held a one day public hearing on two bills referred to it by the Speaker of the House of Representatives Hon. Yakubu Dogara.

Stakeholders from all works of life filled the hall to capacity in other to make their submissions​ to the bills.

Hon. Speaker of the House of Representatives represented by the Chief Whip of the House Hon. Osagie said the need for licensing and regulating of the practice of logistics and transport in all ramifications has come to stay and every contributions shall be considered.

The chairman of the Committee on Commerce Hon. Sylvester Ogagba welcome all to the bills opened for discussion. A bill for an act to amend the oil and gas export free zone authority act, laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2011 with a view to provide for the designation and establishment of oil and gas free zones and sub-zones in Nigeria and for related matters. 

And a bill for an act to establish the Chattered institute of Logistics and Transport of Nigeria charged with the responsibility for amongst others, determine the standard of knowledge, skills and qualifications to be attain by persons seeking to become registered professionals and practitioners in logistics and transport in Nigeria and for licensing and regulating the practice of logistics and transport in all ramifications and for related matters.

The two bills were referred to the Committee on Commerce for hearing during plenary by the Speaker Hon. Yakubu Dogara. The one day public hearing has ended but the Clerk office is open to more submissions and deliberation.


For nassnewsng.com Adeboye Omoboye


——————————————————————

REPS TACKLES CASUALIZATION ANDOUTSOURCING OF JOBS AND IT'S SOCIO-ECONOMIC EFFECTS

The House Committee on Labour, Employment and Productivity starts a two days investigative public hearing​ to tackle the problems of casualization and outsourcing of jobs in Nigeria and it's socio-economic effects.

The Chairman of the Committee Hon. Ezenwa Onyewuchi Francis in his opening speech during the investigative hearing said numerous organizations​ outsource their recruitments processes to agents in a bid to dodge responsibility, privileges and entitlements thereby leading to the Casualization of the workers not having access to leave, medical services and unionism in the work environment.

Casuals go through hard employment process, thesame work, thesame time of resumption and closing but different salary, no pension and gratuity.


Hon. Chukwuka Onyema Wilfred who represented the Spaeker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara said Labour laws should be reviewed upward to contemporary time. There's need for collective bargaining from the Ministry of Labour. The dignity of Labour for the Nigeria workers should be reviewed and restored, non negotiable.

Outsourcing in the oil and gas company where foreigners do works that NIGERIANS can do should stop. 

The collective effort of various organizations and individuals can make this successful.

The two day public hearing continues today.



Adeboye Omoboye Oluwole for nassnewng.com from House of Representatives


———————————–

REPS RAISES CONCERN TOWARDS THE SHORTAGE OF EDUCATION INFRASTRUCTION IN (FCT).

During the plenary today, HON.BLESSING NSIEGBE raise a motion on the need to address the Shortage of Education Infrastructure in the Federal Capital Territory FCT, According to her they are aware that huge amount of money is usually voted for education in the Federal Capital Territory budget every year to ensure that children attend schools to acquire quality education. Also recalls the evolutionary trajectory of education in the FCT from 1976 when there were only fifty five (55) primary schools in the capital territory up to the relocation of the capital from Lagos in 1991 and the advent of the current democratic dispensation in 1999. Also observe that the relocation of the capital to Abuja and return of democracy heralded an influx of people into the territory, especially civil servants and politicians, a development that over stretched the educational infrastructure in the territory, the above development led to shortage of teachers and facilities such as classrooms, furniture and other materials to cater for over 160 junior secondary schools With an enrolment figure of over 116,585 students and about 559 primary schools (including the Nomadic Schools) with an enrolment figure of 214,929 pupils. She appeal to the house to urge the Federal Ministry of Education and Ministry of the Federal Capital Territory to urgently carry out an audit of Primary and Secondary Schools in the FCT to identify those that lack the basic facilities, also with a conducive environment required of a learning institution and also mandate the Committee on Basic Education and Services to ensure implementation, Some of the Law makers contributed to the motion that as a Strong Nation, we must Educate our children for a better future.                                                 


Adebisi Adenike Blessing, House of Reps.


——————————————————————REPS TACKLES CASUALIZATION AND OUTSOURCING OF JOBS AND IT'S SOCIO-ECONOMIC EFFECTS

The House Committee on Labour, Employment and Productivity starts a two days investigative public hearing​ to tackle the problems of casualization and outsourcing of jobs in Nigeria and it's socio-economic effects.


The Chairman of the Committee Hon. Ezenwa Onyewuchi Francis in his opening speech during the investigative hearing said numerous organizations​ outsource their recruitments processes to agents in a bid to dodge responsibility, privileges and entitlements thereby leading to the Casualization of the workers not having access to leave, medical services and unionism in the work environment.

Casuals go through hard employment process, thesame work, thesame time of resumption and closing but different salary, no pension and gratuity.


Hon. Chukwuka Onyema Wilfred who represented the Spaeker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara said Labour laws should be reviewed upward to contemporary time. There's need for collective bargaining from the Ministry of Labour. The dignity of Labour for the Nigeria workers should be reviewed and restored, non negotiable.

Outsourcing in the oil and gas company where foreigners do works that NIGERIANS can do should stop. 

The collective effort of various organizations and individuals can make this successful.

The two day public hearing continues today.


Adeboye Omoboye Oluwole for nassnewng.com from House of Representatives


——————————————————————————————-
REPS SHUNS SKY BANK EXECUTIVES OVER NON APPEARANCE OF MD


The Ad-hoc Committee on Central Bank Intervention Funds shuns the Executives of Sky Bank at a meeting today at the floor of the National Assembly.

The Managing Director of the bank was expected to appear before the Committee as written in the letter sent to invite the bank to appear before it, but the executives of the bank was sent to represent the bank at the ad-hoc hearing set up to investigate the disbursement of Central Bank Intervention Funds which Sky Bank Participated.


Speaking with our correspondent the Chairman Hon. Bassey Eko Ewa from Yakurr/Abi, Cross River said the Act establishing Central Bank of Nigeria made provision that gives it the right to make some money available as intervention fund to rescue some area of the economy in distress. Very many critical areas like Electricity, Roads, Federal Institutions, Airline and Small scale Intervention Funds through the states.


A motion which was moved on the floor of the house alerted that the Intervention Funds given to the Companies/Banks was not properly utilized.


A Committee was set up to conduct investigation into the application following the Constitution. The funds released, did it achieve the purposes, has it yielded result.


One of the committee members from Amuwo Odofin, Lagos. Hon. Ogene said the attitude of Sky Bank is quite insolent. There Is need for the Adhoc Committee to take a decision. The letter sent to the Committee by the bank was not signed showing the state of unseriousness of the management.


The Chairman of the ad-hoc committee issued an ultimatum to the Bank 

Managing Director to appear before them in person during the next meeting with documents stating the amount received and how it was disbursed, as the parliament is saddled with the responsibility of Investigating the disbursement of the Intervention Funds which Sky Bank Played a critical role in the economy of the nation.


The committee is to make recommendations to the House Constitutionally to execute a motion or law pass by deliberation, either to accept, amend or reject it.

The sitting was adjourned to 11th of June.


Reporting Adeboye Omoboye from House of Representatives


————————————————————————

BREAKING: REPS RAISE MOTION TO SUMMON FASHOLA

Hon. Sodiq Ibrahim from Adamawa state raised a motion in the plenary to Constitute an ad-hoc committee to look into the allegations of the Hon. Minister for Power, Works and Housing, Raji Fashola.
The motion which was loudly welcome by all in the house came on the ground of the allegations raised by the Minister against the Lawmakers.


In a Press Release signed by his Special Adviser on Media, Hakeem Bello, the minister said he was worried that the National Assembly spokespersons failed to address the fundamental points about development-hindering whimsical cuts in the allocations to several vital projects under the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing as well as other ministries.

Mr. Fashola had, in a recent interview while acknowledging that legislators could contribute to budget making, disagreed with the practice where the legislative arm of government unilaterally alters the budget after putting members of the Executive through Budget Defence Sessions and Committee Hearings to the extent that some of the projects proposed would have become materially altered.

While acknowledging the need for legislative input from the representatives of the people to bring forward their developmental aspirations before and during the budget production process, the minister had observed that it amounted to a waste of tax payers money and an unnecessary distortion of orderly planning and development for all sections of the country, for lawmakers to unilaterally insert items not under the Exclusive or Concurrent lists of the Constitution like boreholes and streetlights after putting Ministries, Departments and Agencies, MDAS, through the process of budget defence.

The Chief Whip of the house of Representatives, Alhassan Ado Doguwa speaking during the plenary in support of the motion insisted the Legislative arm of Government have the power to add and remove from the budget presented by the executive. It's an embarrassment for an appointee of the executive like Raji Fashola to raise such a tarnishing accusation against the elected Lawmakers. 
The Speaker, Hon. Yakubu Dogara put a question across to the members and the house unanimously echoes yes in favour of the motion.


Reporting: Adeboye Omoboye from House of Representatives


—————————————————————–SENATE ASSURES FOREIGN INVESTORS OF CONDUCIVE ENVIRONMENT



The Senate, on Thursday, assured foreign investors of a conducive working environment in Nigeria, to help grow their businesses and build bilateral confidence with other countries of the world.



The Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, gave this assurance while receiving the management of Metropolitan Motors Limited and BAJAJ automobile at the National Assembly complex, Abuja. 



To achieve the conducive business environment for both foreign and local investors, Ekweremadu said that the apex legislative chamber would pass laws that would enable investors feel comfortable doing business in Nigeria.



The automobile giant was in National Assembly, to unfold its new technology in Nigeria, the BAJAJ Maxima Cargo, designed to provide solutions to transpiration challenges. 



Ekweremadu expressed gratitude to the Indian company for providing employment opportunities for hundreds of Nigerians through the establishment of an assembly plants in Nigeria, saying, "this is the right time to arrive in Nigeria, when nobody believes in us”.



He further expressed optimism that, with the arrival of the new BAJAJ Maxima, more jobs would be created for Nigerian youths. 



He said, "today, we are challenged with unemployment and youth restiveness, which is also a function of unemployment and as long as we are creating employment for our people I’m sure we are rolling back those challenges".



The politician also assured that the Senate would continue to pass laws that would make investors have confidence in the system, such as ease of doing business in Nigeria, to ensure that those who come to Nigeria to invest don’t have hard times in the issuance of visa on arrival, tax holidays and others, saying, "no country can develop on its own, because we run a global village".



Earlier, the leader of the delegation and Managing Director of Metropolitan Motors Limited, Mr. Olutoyin Okeowo, informed the Deputy Senate President that, the Indian company had agreed to partner with Metropolitan Motors to launch Maxima Cargo in Nigeria.



Through this partnership, according to him, Nigeria would be the first non-Asian country in the business, because, the investors had confidence in Nigeria’s economy.



He said "the technicians who assemble the new technology are Nigerian youths who were trained abroad and are doing well at it".



In his speech, the Managing Director of BAJAJ Auto, Mr.Sanjiv Bajaj, said that his company had been doing business in Nigeria since 10 years ago, as a result of confidence it had built in the country, disclosing that BAJAJ had launched its Maxima Cargo, in addition to Motorcycles and Tricycles  (KEKE NAPEP), which had been operational in Nigeria. 



On job creation in Nigeria, the MD said, "BAJAJ has currently engaged about 500 workers in Nigeria and before the next 3 years, with this new cargo, we would have employed over 100,000 Nigerian youths in BAJAJ".

———————————————————————

REPS UNRAVEL SCAM IN NHIS


Members of House Committee on Health Services in it's investigative hearing which started on Wednesday unravel scam in NHIS, Calls for suspension of scheme to redirect it to meet it's original goal.

What was conceived to bring succour to workers and their immediate families has ended up as a conduit pipe by some persons and organisations to siphon workers hard earned monies for personal gains.

This is the story of the NHIS as Lawmakers investigate the massive fraud that has crippled the scheme with the hope of finding a solution to the program.


The National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) which was conceived in 2005 to Carter for the healthcare needs of workers and their immediate families in the country have come under serious threat of collapse due to massive fraud discovered in its implementation
The need for the investigation into the operations of the scheme as it relates to it's beneficiaries was sequel to a motion by Hon Chike Okafor from Imo State who incidentally is the chairman of the committee.
He decried the poor process of implementation of the scheme and the need to find a solution to it a position shared also by the speaker as they welcome stakeholder's to the investigative public hearing at the National Assembly on Wednesday

The tone was set for the discussion when the Executive Secretary of NHIS alleged massive fraud in the implementation of the scheme due to the rate of none compliance role played by Health Maintenance Organisations (HMOs) as he called for amendment to the act establishing the Scheme

But the Representative of the HMOs quickly debunked the allegations against it saying that there is a lot of confusion in the process as he called for understanding between all parties to make the implementation work


What was conceived to make healthcare affordable and accessible to workers has been transformed to a conduit pipe by some persons and organisations to enrich individuals and organisations but the committee is determined to use the public hearing to redirect the programme and make it beneficial for it's citizenry as mortality rate in the country rises to an all time high.


Adeboye Omoboye Oluwole from House of Representatives


——————————————————————CAN LEGISLATORS ALTER BUDGET PROVISIONS AS PRESENTED BY THE EXECUTIVE? (1)


Ordinarily, one would have thought since the executive is expected to prepare the budget estimates and place it before the National Assembly, the lawmakers should accept or reject the provisions as presented but are not expected to introduce new items that may not be priority of the government. They may also not be expected to increase the budget envelop since that may affect the balance of the budget. However, these may be ordinary expectations, but what does the law say about it.


The position of the law in this respect varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Generally speaking, budget development is typically in the domain of the executive branch of government which is responsible for the source and veracity of the content of the proposal and any change by the legislature should be done through the executive to avoid friction. There should be respect for the doctrine of Separation of Powers which guarantees the independence of each arm, even in the exercise of checks and balances.


In the USA, the Congress has authority to alter, increase, reduce or even introduce new items. Congress possesses unlimited amendment powers in the budget proposals. It can change funding levels, eliminate or add programmes, add or eliminate taxes or other sources of receipts (See the Budget of the US Government Fiscal year 1999 Washington DC, US Government Printing Office, 1998, page 2). In an international survey prepared by the National Democratic Institute, examples of jurisdictions are given on the role of the legislature in budget making e.g.


In Malawi, the constitution effectively prohibits the legislature from considering any bill or amendment for the imposition of any charge upon the CRF or any alteration of such charge unless the recommendation comes from the government; this effectively prohibits amendment of the ministers’ budget.Ghana – their constitution prohibits the imposition of charge on the Consolidated Fund of Ghana or the alteration of any such charge otherwise than by reduction.South Africa – their 1996 constitution empowers the legislature to offer amendments to the executive’s budget but the legislature must provide the procedure to exercise this power under a framework Law.


It must be noted that the defunct 1979 constitution and the current 1999 constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria were in line with the principle of Separation of Powers amongst the Legislature, Executive and the Judicial arms of government. The legislature makes laws; the executive administers and enforces the laws while the judiciary interprets the laws. In practice, there is cooperation and inter-dependence amongst them. Also, through the checks and balances, one arm of the government can exercise some level of powers over the other arms while being careful, in doing that, not to undermine or usurp their functions. But the legislature should not be made to seem like a rubber stamp of the executive in the budgeting process by accepting the proposal hook, line and sinker. Budget is a plan for saving, borrowing and spending. It is a mere guess work of income and expenditure. The actual income or revenue may fall short of what is expected while expenditure may outstrip the expected revenue.


From Section 81 of the constitution, it is clear that the President will after research on estimates of the revenue and expenditure for the year in question; present the same to the National Assembly. The National Assembly is the custodian of the nation’s purse; one of its most basic and fundamental powers exercised is the power to make laws in relation to taxation of income, profits and capital gains. (See item 59 of the Exclusive Legislative List, 2nd Schedule PT 1 to the Constitution 1999 as amended); the question thus is, “Does the National Assembly have the power to sanitise, query, apportion, vary, subtract from, add to, multiply, tinker with in any way the plans and estimates presented to ensure conformity with the laws, especially the constitution?”


It must be noted that without the approval of the National Assembly, the executive cannot withdraw money from the Consolidated Revenue Fund. See Section 80(2)(3) and (4) of the constitution. Article 1 Section 9 of the US Constitution is similar to Section 80 of our constitution. That section provides “No money shall be withdrawn from the Treasury but in consequence of the Appropriations made by law”. This means all moneys are paid into the USA Treasury which is like our CRF. Also, no withdrawal can be made from the USA Treasury except through appropriation.


Legislature while exercising its powers of oversight should realise that the powers are not absolute but subject to limitations. It cannot, for instance, usurp the general investigating functions of the executive nor can it take over or exercise the powers of the judiciary, otherwise it would be going ultra-vires its powers. This was the decision of the Supreme Court in the case of:


TONY MOMOH VS SENATE OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY (1982) VOL 3 Nigeria constitutional law report 1 page 105; (1981)9 S.C (REPRINT) 1 AT 78-79.


In that case, the court held that with regard to the investigative powers of the legislature, anything outside the purpose defined in Section 88 of the constitution is not valid. In the case of GLOBAL EXCELLENCE COMMUNICATIONS LTD & ORS VS DUKE (2007) Law Pavillion Electronic Law Report – LPELR – 1323 (SC), the case of ATTORNEY-GENERAL BENDEL VS ATTORNEY – GENERAL FEDERATION & 22 ORS was relied on where OBASEKI J.S.C. stated the principles guiding the court in interpreting or constructing the provisions or our constitution and they include:


Where the language of the constitution is clear and unambiguous, it must be given its plain evident meaning;a constitutional power cannot be used by way of condition to attain unconstitutional result.under a constitution conferring specific powers, a particular power must be granted or it cannot be exercise.The constitution is an organic scheme of government to be dealt with as an entirety; a particular provision cannot be severed from the rest of the constitution.a constitutional provision should not be construed so as to defeat its evident purpose;the principle upon which the constitution was established rather than the direct operation or literal meaning of the words used, measure the purpose and scope of its provisions.


To be concluded


Mainoma, a professor of accounting, is the Vice Chancellor of Nasarawa State University, Keffi

——————————————————————–

ACTING PRESIDENT OSINBAJO AND HOUSE OF REPS SPEAKER, DOGARA, CLASH IN MAJOR WAR



The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, on Thursday, has faulted the Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo, for saying that the National Assembly has no powers to alter the national budget.


He stated this during plenary, after Rep. Abubakar Lawal, drew the attention of the Lower Chamber to Osinbajo’s remarks.


Osinbajo was reported in the media, to have said that the power of appropriation was vested with the Executive and not the Legislature.


Reacting, Dogara said: “This issue is left to the Judiciary to interpret to us, as to what arm of government has power to do what. For me, this is not an issue we should dwell so much on.


“I don’t want to believe that the Acting President made that statement, because when it comes to the budget, the power of the purse rests with the Parliament.


“The Executive is just one man; every other person in the Executive arm is answerable to the President alone. The relationship is that of master and servant, but for the Parliament, it is that of equals.


“Even, when the President hasn’t said anything, everyone is trying to read what the body language is; the basis of democracy is collaboration.


“In the case of the budget, if the Parliament disagrees with the Executive, the worst that would happen is that they will refuse to sign the budget.


“In that case, we can override the veto of the President, and pass it into law.


“The worse the Executive can say is that they will not implement. The question then will be, is that the law of the land? Anyone with honour, who is in the seat, should know the right thing to be done.


“In case of the Executive, everyone knows the consequence, and I don’t want to mention it by its name.


“This House is not going to be a rubber stamp to the Executive arm.


“In the United States where we borrowed our Constitution from, once the President walks into the Chamber with the budget proposal, it becomes dead on arrival.


“It is therefore, what the Parliament decides that brings it back to life.


“The priority of the people may not be that of the Executive. This kind of talk is not helpful, so we shouldn’t even take a debate on the issue”, Dogara said.

——————————————————————

THE ESSENCE OF TELECOM MASTS IS TO MAKE LIFE EASY, NOT TO ENDANGER PEOPLE HEALTH. 

Hon. Iboro Ekanem the Chairman Committee on Heath Implications of Mounting of Telecommunication Masts Close to Building, said everything they are doing is for the good Health of the Public for the use of the masses and to safe-guide the system. He further said,the reason he selected this temperate is to make sure they are well guided and the sustainability on their business will be good. According to him, the main essence for Telecom masts is to make life easy and for business people to make profit but we should not kill ourselves in the process. He also said at Ibadan when they went for oversight research to confirm most document submitted by various stakeholders, The security at the station located in Ibadan Opposite Emmanuel College Samanda Amusement Park Height 50 Metres Health resistant level O.45 was complaining that he has been having sleepless night as a result of noise from the Telecom masts and ask NCC what they have done about such complaints NCC assure the Chairman that whenever they get such complain they try to compromise between the complainer and the operator. Hon. Anayo told NCC to be sure that when service producer acquire land. It should be large enough to handle set-back it is not fair to justify the service for whatever they do so, they should always consider the well being of the People. There should be agent corporation before any installing of Telecom masts and correction should be made when installing the masts not after they have install it law maker advise. According to her when they are working and condone to correct it for about one to two (1-2)Years. It means they are not working, she ask them to take all complaint very serious. NCC should make sure Nigeria don't suffer from telecom masts close to them. NCC said they have open channel for communication that will bring customer and services provider together to laid down their complaints. Hon. Anayo Nnebe responded to NCC that not all Nigerians will have access to write to their channel of Communication so they should always take all complain serious either through their channel or not. Hon. Iboro ask (IHS) what are the Health related measure guarantee by their establishment for their co-operate Social responsibility? IHS said they have provide borehole for Communities that are in need and are working to reduce the noise People are complaining about Etisalat said they have provided about 50,000 Mosquito effective net for the People in the Community. ATC said they work with the Community to ensure the road is good for everyone. Glo: They look at the water they drink in the community and ensure it is harmless to their Health. NCC said when they place a Telecom Masts in a town and the People living there increase, there is need to put another Masts to ensure proper service. Chairman told IHS and all other operators to submit concrete evidence document concerning their work so far require from the committee before the next sitting.


——————————————————————

REPS ENGAGES MINISTER FOR HEALTH ON LOCAL VACCINES​ PRODUCTION


Hon. Chike Okafor, Chairman Committee on Health Services led other members of the committee to engage the Minister for Health, Professor Isaac Kolawole, His state counterpart Osagie Ehanire, Director for NAFDAC and other officials of the Ministry of Health on the status of local vaccines production in Nigeria

The Committee members are Keen to know the present status of local vaccines manufacturing in joint venture with May & Baker.

The Lawmakers also wants to know the status of Federal Government National Health Insurance Intervention Scheme.


Professor Isaac Kolawole responding to the quizzes of the Lawmakers, said it gave him great Joy to have taken the decision of local vaccines production because it has put a stop to the madness of importing vaccines and restore our pride as a Nation.


The Minister said in 1940 Nigeria was producing vaccines not only that, we also import vaccines like smallpox, anti-rabies​ and yellow fever vaccine to the neighbouring countries. In the year 1991, a decision to upgrade Federal vaccines production came in which absolutely everything was imported. This importation collapse every vaccine production.


 When I came on board, I discovered the decision to upgrade vaccine production in 1991, nothing was done till 2014. We have been upgrading other countries economy and I know this can not continue, said the Minister. Most of the vaccines importations have been supported by either world bank loan or external donor support.


We invited some vaccine production companies in Nigeria, we chose one and recommended to the President who gave approval.


May & Baker was chosen to produce vaccines locally. But because of the local challenge, people will rather want us to import vaccines than produce locally. We agreed they can invite technical partners to Nigeria and raise money on their own because Federal Government will not put money.


The Minister requested the support of the Lawmakers for the local vaccines production to start running.

Hon. Nicholas Ossai Ossai raised a motion that May & Baker be invited to make a presentation while Hon. members listen to them, this will ascertain their level of technical capacity. And Nigerians need to be educated while their prices needs to be competitive. No sales agreement as NAFDAC will register all vaccines after test and assurance of security. Most imported vaccines are fake, locally made vaccines is more trusted.

The Committee adjourned sitting till 21st of June 2017.


 Adeboye Omoboye from House of Representatives

——————————————————————

REPS ON WHISTLE BLOWER PROTECTION LAW; VITAL TO WAR AGAINST CORRUPTION



…says N/Assembly will break 9 year jinx of non-passage of the Bill.
The Bill for protection of Whistle Blowers is a vital tool against the war against corruption in Nigeria as it will greatly enhance disclosure of information on corrupt persons when it is passed by the National Assembly, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon Yakubu Dogara has said.
Describing it as an essential element of the war against corruption, Dogara said it will also make it easy to uncover private collaborators who connive with corrupt public servants and provide adequate safeguards against victimisation of the person making such complaints.
The Speaker, who made the comments while delivering remarks at a workshop organised for the House of Representatives Committee on Financial Crimes and members of the civil society on the Whistle Blowers Bill in the National Assembly on Tuesday, also argued that the Bill, when passed, will make more information available for investigation of alleged corruption and misuse of power by public servants.
Speaking on the proposed law, he said it is important to note that Nigeria does not currently have a law that protects whistle blowers, rather "what we have is the Federal Ministry of Finance’s whistle blowing programme which is designed to encourage anyone with information about a violation of financial regulations to report," which has not yet been backed by any legal framework, and therefore, not legally enforceable.
He also noted that the burden of corruption in Nigeria is a peculiar one that inhibits our economic and social development and added that in order to fight this scourge and ensure a just and egalitarian society, the relationship between increased availability of information in the public domain, accountability and protection of person who expose alleged wrongdoing cannot be overemphasized.

"Disclosure of information for increased transparency is a necessary condition for accountability. The enactment of Whistle Blowers Protection law as a vehicle for the investigation of alleged corruption and misuse of power by public servants or their private collaborators and to provide adequate safeguards against victimization of the person making such complaint is therefore, an essential element of the war against corruption."
Dogara added that the consequences of corruption are greater than just the diversion of public resources to private gain as it destroys societies and contributes to trust deficit and lack of confidence in governance, threatens sustainable economic development, ethical values and justice; destabilises the society and endangers the rule of law.
He expressed concern that the poor and vulnerable in the society suffer the harmful effect of corruption more grievously because they do not get to enjoy democratic dividends. He gave further assurance that the House of Representatives will continue to work towards enacting a robust legal framework on the Whistle Blower’s policy which will no doubt enhance quick and seamless recovery, forfeiture, and confiscation of property in respect of anti-corruption offences.
Furthermore, he expressed hope that the whistleblowers Bill will see the light of day through it's passage into law "to break the jinx that has bedeviled this piece of proposed legislation since it was first introduced into the National Assembly in 2008."

——————————————————————

MEET REPS ON NATIONAL SECURITY

Members of the House of Representatives are meeting with the Ministers of Interior and Defence, accompanied by Service Chiefs and the Senior Special Assistant to the president on National Assembly matters.
The ministers and Service Chiefs will be briefing lawmakers on the measures been taken to tackle the grave security challenges facing the country.
This follows a resolution on the matter last week Thursday, after the lawmakers urged that steps be taken to address and arrest the ugly spread and cases of kidnapping in the country.
The lawmakers called on the Federal Government to declare State of Emergency on kidnapping across the country.
The motion was raised by a member of the House from Ondo State, Representative Babatunde kolawole and supported by some of his colleagues including; Ado Dogowa, Emmanuel Orker-Jev and Adam Jagaba.
After deliberations on the issue on the floor of the House in Abuja, lawmakers unanimously agreed that the crime had taken an alarming dimension with the kidnapping of school children.
The House called for a security summit that would fashion an effective response to the kidnapping phenomenon.

——————————————————————

RADIOGRAPHERS TURNDOWN NCR BILL
Nigerian Radiographers weekend in Lagos rejected what they described as ‘ill-conceived’ proposed bill to establish the National Council of Radiology and Radiation Medicine, NCR, by a member of the House of Representatives, Hon. Patrick Asadu.
The bill in question which has passed 2nd reading on the floor of the House, is seeking marriage between one regulated profession on one hand (radiology) and others accommodated in regulated profession (medicine and possibly nursing and engineering).
The radiographers however said the proposed bill is unnecessary as radiography already has a regulatory board.
At a joint press conference of the Association of Radiographers of Nigeria, ARN, and Nigeria Union of Allied Health Professionals, NUAHP, in Lagos, the President of ARN, Mrs. Elizabeth Balogun said radiographers were not consulted and have no knowledge or inputs into the said bill.
Balogun who said already they have taken their case to the Minister of Health, Prof Isaac Adewole, added that the bill does not lend itself to clear citation, reference and understanding; neither does it toe the line of international best practice.
“For instance, it is difficult to decipher any positivity in a bill which seeks to establish a council of 12 medical doctors, three radiographers, and two medical physicists“.
Stating that the bill was another waste of tax payers’ money, she queried, “if radiographers are already being regulated as professionals, what is the motive for lumping them with others who don’t have their status of satisfaction and placement?
“Nigerian Radiographers reject the bill and refuse to be associated in any way with it. We are satisfied with Radiographers Registration Board of Nigeria, RRBN, as our regulatory body. We are also aware of our legal right to fair hearing and freedom of Association.”
Speaking, Chairman, Board of RBBN, Hon Abdul Fatare Bakare, alleged that the bill would compound the fragile health institutions, aid and abate quackery in the system.
Bakare said the entire content of the proposed NCR was deeply upsetting and controversial.
He said creation of NCR will result in an ineffective regulatory body because it means one regulatory body will be responsible for multiple professions that require someone with specific knowledge to oversee them.
Bakare called on the Senate and the House of Representatives to confine the dangerous bill, urging them to legislate for adequate funding and training of radiographers in every teaching hospital in Nigeria with a view to reducing acute shortage of radiographers as well as stamp out quackery.
On his part, the South West Coordinator, ARN, Mr. Uzondu Eke, who warned on the dangers of chaos in radiography practice explained that little mistake in the profession could maim a person for life.
He said the discovery of the bill was a rude shock to them as radiographers already have a regulatory body likewise the medicine profession, which is already being regulated by the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria, MDCAN.

——————————————————————






Comments are Closed