PROCEEDINGS OF THE NIGERIAN SENATE OF TUESDAY, 25TH FEBRUARY, 2020
Welcome to a new Legislative Day in the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria!
Senate President, Ahmad Lawan PhD, CON led the Principal Officers into the chambers; took the official prayers; and began the day’s proceedings at 10:33am.
Senator Hadejia Ibrahim moved for the approval of votes and proceedings of Thursday, 20th February 2020. Senator Ezenwa Onyewuchi seconded.
Senate President, Ahmad Lawan PhD, CON announced that the Senate would tomorrow, Wednesday, 26th February 2020 hold a valedictory session in honour of late Senator Longjan Ignatius Datong.
POINT OF ORDER
Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe cited Orders 42 & 52 and moved a motion on the urgent need to reconstitute the Federal Character Commission.
“I second this motion. This is not something that requires heated debate, it is a very straightforward issue.”- Senator Aliyu Sabi.
Senate resolved to:
Urge Mr. President, Commander in Chief to immediately reconstitute or constitute the Commission as not to do so will amount to a breach of the Act establishing the FCC and also a breach to the 1999 constitution as amended.
“Federal Character Commission is one of those National tools that work to ensure equity, fairness and justice in terms of employment distribution across all the 36 states and FCT. It is very important that we have the full component of the commission in place.”- Senate President, Ahmad Lawan PhD, CON.
Senator Aishatu Dahiru cited Orders 42 & 52 and moved a motion on the Insurgent attack on Garkida, a town in Gombi Local Government Area of Adamawa State.
Senate resolved to:
- Urge the Chief of Army Staff to establish a military command base in Garkida and also all major settlements bordering the Sambisa forest immediately;
- Call on the North East Development Commission to immediately embark on rehabilitation of public and religious institutions destroyed and provide assistance to to the individuals affected; and
- Urge NEMA to urgently assess the extent of damage and provide relief materials to members of the Mambilla community affected.
“The Senate had discussed, debated so much on insecurity in the country and set up an Ad-hoc Committee under the Senate Leader. We are not going to rest until we provide solutions to insecurity.”- Senate President, Ahmad Lawan PhD, CON.
PRESENTATION OF BILLS- First Reading
- Raw Materials Research and Development Council Bill, 2020 (HB. 47) by Senate Leader.
Raw Materials Research and Development Council Bill, 2020 (HB. 47) was read the First Time.
- 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (Alteration) Bill, 2020 (SB. 322) by Senator Ovie Omo-Agege.
1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (Alteration) Bill, 2020 (SB. 322) was read the First Time.
- 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (Alteration) Bill, 2020 (SB. 339) by Senator Abba Moro.
1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (Alteration) Bill, 2020 (SB. 339) was read the First Time.
- 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (Alteration) Bill, 2020 (SB. 316) by Senator Ike Ekweremadu.
1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (Alteration) Bill, 2020 (SB. 316) was read the First Time.
- Federal College of Education Gwoza (Est, etc) Bill, 2020 (SB. 342) by Senator Ali Ndume.
Federal College of Education Gwoza (Est, etc) Bill, 2020 (SB. 342) was read the First Time.
PRESENTATION OF REPORTS
- Report of the Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions by Senator Ayo Akinyelure in respect of a:
a. Petition from Captain Diamond Onoberhie against the Nigerian Navy for unjust treatment and refusal to promote him; and
b. Petitions from Ishaku I. Garba, Esq. and Comrade Gboyega Adeoye respectively against the Presidency for prematurely replacing the Chairman, governing board of Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) whose tenure was yet to expire.
Senator Bassey Akpan seconded that the Senate do receive the reports of the Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions in respect of the above.
The report was LAID.
CONSIDERATION OF A BILL- Second Reading
- A Bill for an Act to establish the Federal College of Education Ibokun to make comprehensive provisions for its due management and administration and other related matters, 2020 (SB. 134) by Senator Francis Fadahunsi.
“Establishing this institution will provide us with teachers that will be deployed to man our primary schools. Training of teachers is very important because they provide the software in our educational investment. If you have hardware and no software you will be stranded that is why I support the establishment of this college.”- Senator Gyang Istifanus.
“I am in full support and every Senatorial district must have a college of education that will train the teachers and in turn train our children.”- Senator Christopher Ekpenyong.
A Bill for an Act to establish the Federal College of Education Ibokun to make comprehensive provisions for its due management and administration and other related matters, 2020 (SB. 134) was read the Second Time.
Senate President, Ahmad Lawan PhD, CON referred the Bill to the Committee on Tertiary Institutions and TETFUND to report within four (4) weeks.
- Digitization/Automation of collection and remittance of Withholding Tax on bank Deposits and Dividends payments for enhanced State Government Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) by Senator Uche Ekwunife.
“I support this motion and want to thank Senator Ekwunife for bringing this motion before us. We should do what is necessary to get our revenue.”- Senator Matthew Urhoghide.
“I wholeheartedly support this motion and ensure that something is done about it.”- Senator Biodun Olujimi.
“Time has come for every state government to be effective in responsive tax collection. The methodology of collecting tax has not been advanced enough. The digitalization of tax collection will be the best way and if we believe it is time for this, digitalization of withholding tax collection should come into place so that our revenue will be significantly improved.”- Senator Ayo Akinyelure.
“Only digitalization can give us the actual amount that can be generated from withholding tax.”- Senator Adeola Solomon.
“It is a serious infractions on the part of those who are to remit the revenue but are not doing so. The only way to ensure every kobo that are supposed to go into the coffers of the government is to embrace technology. It is a collective responsibility and we need to handle this matter as such.”- Senator Barau Jibrin.
Senate resolved to:
- Urge the Senate Committees on Banking, Insurance and other Financial Institutions and Finance to investigate this matter, and ensure that all Withholding tax revenues on both bank deposits and dividends are recovered with the Committee on Banking, Insurance and other Financial Institutions leading the investigation and report back to the Senate in four weeks.
- Urgent need to reduce accidents involving Trucks and Articulated Lorries (Tankers and Trailers) on our highways by Senator Teslim Folarin.
“This is a very serious issue. If we look at the issues, many of our tanker drivers are youths. They see small vehicles as ants on the road. FRSC should step up their game in addressing this issue. It is high time that we deployed technology here. If we have a technology, the companies are known and if their drivers commit offense let them get a cheque waiting for them at their office.”- Senator Aliyu Sabi.
“In order to solve this problem, we have to widen the roads. The contract has been awarded but they have not been funded. There should be a round table discussion on this issue.”- Senator Chukwuka Utazi.
“Agencies on the road should test drivers for their mental and physical conditions. Part of the ways we can improve this is to deploy the use of technology. This will enable us to track whether the driver over speeds or has not slept for a while. I support the motion that there should be improvements in the implementation of our traffic laws.”- Senator Yahaya Oloriegbe.
“We have not been too innovative as far as road transport is concerned. We must set pace for the regulatory authorities to follow. I think fundamentally, rest areas, weight and balance and drug areas are fundamental issues. Most importantly is the speed. We must first of all categorize the road and speed limit on the road in terms of their capabilities.”- Senator Bala Na’allah.
“I think this motion is in order. All that we say here goes down to lack of proper planning. We need to make these road agencies more effective. We must address our roads then the efficacy. The motion is apt, I move that we pass this motion.”- Senator Gabriel Suswam.
“The problem that this motion addressed is a problem that causes a lot of death in this country. One of the reasons is the lawless orientation of the drivers. We must embark on enlightenment campaign to make them understand their atrocities. FRSC and policemen are also part of the problem, they also need orientation. They create road blocks in areas they are not supposed to so that they collect money from these drivers. The roads need to be expanded, they are so narrow. Again rejiggering and reconstructing our rail system is important.”- Senator Barau Jibrin.
Senate resolved to:
- Urge the Nigerian Police Force, the Federal Road Safety Commission and Vehicle Inspection Officers to immediately clamp down on trucks and articulated Lorries, plying our highways without the minimum prescribed levels of lighting or other road safety requirements;
- Mandate Senate Committee on Federal Character and Inter-Governmental Affairs to investigate the level of compliance to road safety legislations amongst Haulage operators, owners and drivers;
- Mandate Senate Committee on Federal Character and Inter-Governmental Affairs to investigate adoption and implementation of the recommendations from the 2018 haulage Operators Stakeholders’ Summit amongst all relevant stakeholders; and
- Urge the Federal Government to establish trailer parks and introduce weigh-bridges along the highways.
Senate Leader moved that all items on the order paper be stood down to another legislative day. Minority Leader seconded.
Plenary is adjourned to Wednesday, 26th February 2020.
New Media Unit
Office of the President of the Senate
Federal Republic of Nigeria