PROCEEDINGS OF THE NIGERIAN SENATE OF WEDNESDAY, 24TH MARCH, 2021
Senate President, Dr. Ahmad Lawan, CON, Ph.D, led the Principal Officers into the Chambers, took the official prayers and began the day’s proceedings at 10:50am.
VOTES AND PROCEEDINGS
Senator Sadiq Suleiman Umar moved for the adoption of Votes and Proceedings for Tuesday, 23rd March, 2021.
The motion was seconded by Senator Francis Fadahunsi.
PRESENTATION OF BILLS FOR FIRST READING
1. Nigeria Police Act 2020 (Amendment) Bill, 2021 (SB. 679) by Senator Sirajudeen Ajibola
Nigeria Police Act 2020 (Amendment) Bill, 2021 (SB. 679) was read the First Time
2. Federal Medical Centre Damasak, Borno State (Establishment) Bill, 2021 (SB. 682) by Senator Abubakar Kyari
Federal Medical Centre Damasak, Borno State (Establishment) Bill, 2021 (SB. 682) was read the First Time.
3. Lobbyist Registration Bill, 2021 (SB. 683) by Senator Barau Jibrin
Lobbyist Registration Bill, 2021 (SB. 683) was read the First Time.
4. Araromi Sea Front Port, Ondo State (Establishment) Bill, 2021 (SB. 684) by Senator Nicholas Tofowomo
Araromi Sea Front Port, Ondo State (Establishment) Bill, 2021 (SB. 684) was read the First Time
5. Small Holders Farmers Protection Bill, 2021 (SB. 685) by Senator Bima Enagi
Small Holders Farmers Protection Bill, 2021 (SB. 685) was read the First Time.
1. Executive Communication:
Confirmation of the Nominations for Appointment as Chairman and Members of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) by Senator Yahaya Abdullahi (Senate Leader)
Senate Leader moved that the Senate do consider the request of Mr. President C-in-C on the confirmation of the Nominations for appointment as Chairman and Members of the of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) in accordance with the provisions of section 2(3) of the National Human Rights Commission Act (as amended).
1. Salamatu Hussaini Suleiman – Chairman
2. Mrs. Beatrice Jedy-Agba, Mni – Member
3. Amb. Umar Zainab Salisu – Member
4. Mrs. Dafe T. Adesida – Member
5. Joseph Onyemaechi Mmamel – Member
6. Ahmad Abubakar Fingilla. – Member
7. Kemi Asiwaju-Okeyonda – Member
8. Abubakar Muhammed – Member
9. Femi Okewo – Member
10. Sunny Daniel – Member
11. Barrister Agabaidu Chukwuemeka Jideani – Member
12. Mrs. Nella Andem-Rabana, SAN – Member
13. Azubuike Nwakwenta – Member
14. Jamila Isah – Member
15. Mrs. Idayat Omolara Hassan – Member
16. Prof. Anthony Ojukwu – Member
Minority Leader seconded
The request of Mr. President C-in-C was referred to the Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters to report back within two weeks
PRESENTATION AND CONSIDERATION OF REPORTS
1. Report of the Committee on Interior
Confirmation of the Nomination of Haliru Nababa as Comptroller-General Nigerian Correctional Service by Senator Kashim Shettima
Senator Kashim Shettima moved that the Senate do receive and consider the report of the Committee on Interior on Confirmation of the Nomination of Haliru Nababa as Comptroller-General Nigerian Correctional Service.
Senator Abba Moro seconded.
Senator Kashim Shettima laid and presented the report.
In his presentation, Senator Kashim Shettima said the Committee found the Nominee suitable for the position and no petition was received against him.
“The Nominee possesses the educational qualification for the position; the Nominee is not affiliated to any political party, the nominee is within the age bracket for the recommendation. The Committee recommends that the Senate do confirm the nomination of Haliru Nababa as Comptroller General of Nigerian Correctional Service.” – Senator Kashim Shettima
Senator Abba Moro seconded.
Senate resolved into Committee of the Whole to consider the report.
Senate reverted to Plenary to report Progress.
The Nomination of Haliru Nababa was CONFIRMED as Comptroller-General of the Nigerian Correctional Service.
2. Report of the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development
National Agricultural Development Fund (Establishment) Bill, 2021 (SB. 119) by Senator Abdullahi Adamu
Senator Abdullahi Adamu moved that the Senate do receive and consider the report of the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development on National Agricultural Development Fund (Establishment) Bill, 2021 (SB. 119)
Senator Bima Enagi seconded.
Senator Abdullahi Adamu laid and presented the report.
“The Bill is apt as it comes at a time when the Federal Government is making effort to diversify the economy. The Bill, when passed into law will create employment for our teeming youths. The Committee recommends that the passage of this Bill to law be fast tracked to increase production.” – Senator Abdullahi Adamu
Senate resolved into Committee of the Whole to consider the report Clause by Clause.
Senate reverted to Plenary to report Progress.
The Senate in the Committee of the Whole and Plenary considered and approved Clauses 1-24 as amended, Short and Long Titles as recommended and Explanatory Memorandum as recommended.
National Agricultural Development Fund (Establishment) Bill, 2021 (SB. 119) was read the Third Time and PASSED.
3. Report of the Joint Committee on Communications and Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions by Senator Oluremi Tinubu and Senator Ayo Akinyelure
Senator Oluremi Tinubu moved that the Senate do receive and consider the report of the Joint Committee on Communications and Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions in respect of petition by Alhaji Bashir Abdullahi and five (5) others against MTN Group Limited and Airtel Nigeria for alleged unbearable noise and discomfort caused by telecommunication Mast mounted an No. 20, Oke-Agbe Street, Garki, Abuja.
Senator Nora Daduut seconded.
Senator Oluremi Tinubu laid and presented the report.
“The Committee recommends that the safety of human lives should be of primary consideration and cannot be compromised. The mast at No 20, Oke-Agbe Street, Garki, Abuja, should be removed and be relocated to a safer and more environmental friendly site. I move that the Senate do approve the recommendations of the Joint Committees.” – Senator Oluremi Tinubu
“Mr. President, permit me to commend the joint committee on communications, Ethics, privileges and public petitions for a job well done. We need to protect our citizens from the operators of these telecommunications mast. These masts are everywhere not only in Abuja and it is not good for our people. It should be a wakeup call to stop what they are doing. I urge my colleagues to lend their voices to the recommendations of this committee.” – Senator Barau Jibrin
“I want to commend the Committee for a job well done and this should be extended to mast erected in residential areas. I support the recommendations of the committee and we should do all we can to protect the health of our citizens.” – Senator Adamu Aliero
Senate approved the recommendations of the Joint Committees.
CONSIDERATION OF BILLS FOR SECOND READING
1. A Bill for an Act to amend the University Teaching Hospitals (Reconstitution of Boards, etc) Act Cap U15 LFN 2004 and for related matters, 2021 (SB. 648) by Senator Aishatu Dahiru
Senator Matthew Urhoghide seconded.
The Bill was read the Second Time and referred to the Committee on Health to report back within four weeks.
2. A Bill for an Act to establish the Families of Fallen Servicemen Support Fund and for other related matters, 2021 (SB. 345) by Senator Abba Moro
Senator Sadiq Suleiman Umar seconded. Said: “My support for this Bill is because of the necessity for people who make sure that we are all safe to be shown a deserved respect, love and care. Looking at the cost to get this up is very minimal. The sacrifices of our fallen heroes cannot be quantified.“
The Bill was read the Second Time and referred to the Committee on Establishment and Public Service Matters to report back within four weeks.
3. A Bill for an Act to establish the Clean Nigeria Agency for the purpose, among others to prohibit open urination/open defecation in order to keep Nigeria Clean and Diseases Free, 2021 (SB. 652) by Senator Clifford Odia
Senator Emmanuel Bwacha seconded, said: “The Bill is for the interest of our citizenry. A clean environment breeds healthy people.”
The Bill was read the Second Time and referred to the Committee on Water Resources to report back within four weeks.
4. A Bill for an Act to amend the Police Service Commission Act 2001 to strengthen it for effective oversight of the Nigeria Police Force and for other related matter, 2021 (SB. 580) by Senator Emmanuel Bwacha
Senator Chukwuka Utazi seconded, said: “I rise to support the second reading of this Bill. I want to thank the sponsor of this Bill for coming forward with this very important amendment to make sure the Police is well catered for. I urge every one of us here to support the second reading of this Bill.”
The Bill was read the Second Time and referred to the Committee on Police Affairs to report back within four weeks.
5. A Bill for an Act to amend the Court of Appeal Act 2013 by increasing the number of Justices of the Court of Appeal from Ninety to One Hundred and Ten and for other related matters, 2021 (SB. 670) by Senator Chukwuka Utazi
Senator Stephen Odey seconded, said: “I will want to commend the sponsor of this Bill. You recall that one of the greatest challenges we have in our Judiciary today is the number of justices to address litigations. The Court of Appeal is very strategic. At a point when litigant gets to court, people complain that we don’t have Justices to address the number of issues brought before them. I stand to support this Bill in totality.”
The Bill was read the Second Time and referred to the Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights, and Legal Matters to report back within four weeks.
6. A Bill for an Act to establish the Federal College of Forestry Wawa Zange, Dukku, Gombe State to provide full time courses on forestry technology and development to improve genetic resources of forest trees and ecosystem for economic development and applied science management and other fields of studies and for related matters, 2021 (SB. 308) by Senator Saidu Ahmed Alkali
Senator Tolu Odebiyi seconded.
The Bill was read the Second Time and referred to the Committees on Tertiary Institutions and TETFUND and Agricultural Development to report back in four weeks.
1. Urgent need to investigate the economic and security implication of an unregulated Nigerian retail sector and also consider appropriate legislative measures to incentivize and protect indigenous retail traders by Senator Ifeanyi Ubah.
Senator Francis Fadahunsi seconded, said “This motion is long overdue. If care is not taken, all the shopping malls that are coming will be owned by foreigner. Just like other countries, if this Chamber cannot put up a law that can protect the retailers in this country, we are in trouble. I thereby support this motion so that all our retailers will not be sent out of the market.”
Senate resolved to:
i. Urge the Federal Government to review the indigenization Act and other extant policy and legal framework with a view to providing incentives and/or protection to Indigenous retail business investors in the Nigerian organized retail sector;
ii. Call on governments at all levels to put in place acceptable measures to protect traditional or open market retailers to avoid contravention of environmental and health safety standards, promote revenue collection and prevent harassment and constant disruption of retail trade activities by government revenue collectors or environmental and health enforcement officers; and
iii. Mandate the Committee on Trade and Investment to:
(a) Engage the Ministry of Trade and Investment and other relevant stockholders with a view to receiving briefing on the extant policy and legal framework on retail trade in Nigeria and the protection offered to indigenous retail investors and to report back within two weeks;
(b) Engage local retailers with a view to engaging them on ways to further protect their interests, as well as invite the foreign retailers to ascertain their legal status.
2. Election violence in Ekiti: Need to eschew restraint by Senator Biodun Olujimi
Senator Opeyemi Bamidele seconded, said: “I also identify with the views and the positions canvassed by the mover of this motion who was an eye witness to the fact around the motion. What we can do is to continue to call on all stakeholders on the need for us to remind ourselves and our supporters that no position whatsoever is worth the blood of any human being and to continue to ask for peace from all sided of the divide. As other elections approach, it is important that we draw lessons from implication on things like this. I want to urge all our colleagues to allow the prayers as stated in the motion.”
“I am commending the mover of this motion. We should try and have free and fair elections. I second the motion and go along with the prayers.” –Senator Kabiru Gaya
“This is a very sad experience. It is so sad that to conduct House of Assembly elections and people were killed. There should be a judicial tribunal that should be set up by the Federal Government to investigate what happened.” – Senator Nicholas Tofowomo
Senate resolved to:
i. Observe a minute silence for the victims;
ii. Urge the Federal government to ensure the safety of Electoral Officials, security personnel and election materials during elections;
iii. Urge the Inspector General of Police to order a full scale investigation of the violence with a view to apprehend and bring to book the perpetrators of the dastard act; and
iv. Urge the National Assembly to accelerate the passage of the Electoral Act Amendment Bill and Electoral Offences Commission Bill currently before it to forestall future occurrences;
v. Urge the Federal Government to set up a judicial tribunal to investigate what happened at the election.
2. Urgent need to remove the difficulty faced by Nigerians outside of the shores of Nigeria in renewing their passport by Senator Matthew Urhoghide
Senator Biodun Olujimi seconded, said: “I support this Bill because it will make life easy for Nigerians outside the country. I second this motion and I urge my colleagues to do so.”
Senate resolved to:
i. Mandate the Committees on Interior and Foreign Affairs to engage the Ministers of both the interior and Foreign Affairs; the Comptroller General of Immigration with Ambassadors/Consular Officers of the countries specifically Indicted to consider amongst other measures:
-Making it possible to renew travel passports documents abroad by post;
-Increasing the number of Centers where passports can be renewed abroad; and
-Removing the existence of middlemen; and
-To hold regular and or periodic assessment of the activities of Nigeria’s Foreign Missions.
Senate adjourns Plenary to Tuesday, 13th April, 2021
New Media Unit
Office of the President of the Senate
Federal Republic of Nigeria