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Nigerian National AssemblyNational AssemblyFEDERAL LAWMAKERS CALL FOR SINCERITY OF PURPOSE IN THE RECONSTRUCTION OF NORT-EASTSENATE PASSES EIGHT CONCURRENCE BILLS INTO LAW AS WUKARI VARSITY GETS LEGAL BACKINGSENATE CONSIDERS REPORT OF AD-HOC COMMITTEE ON THE STATE OF THE ECONOMY & PASSES FIVE MOTIONSDEBATE ON THE STATE OF THE ECONOMY CONTINUESSARAKI SENDS TECHNICAL TEAM TO REVIEW HUMANITARIAN SITUATION IN THE NORTH EASTSARAKI, DOGARA TASK LEGISLATIVE INSTITUTE ON EXCELLENCE AND DEVELOPMENT OF THE LEGISLATURECOMMITTEE ON REVIEW AND REFORM OF EXISTING LAWS SUBMITS REPORTSaraki Seeks More Powers For ECOWAS ParliamentMaikasuwa Bows Out As National Assembly ClerkSaraki Commiserates with NMA over death of membersMark Calls for Peace as Campaign HeightensCONCILIATION AND ARBITRATION COMMISSION BILLSENATE PASSES RESOLUTION ON PLIGHT OF INTERNALLY DISPLACED PERSONSSPEAKER DEFECTS TO APCCYBER CRIME BILL PASSED INTO LAWDEGREE, HND DICHOTOMY PROHIBITION BILL SAILS SECOND READINGHOUSE TASKS MINISTRY ON COMPLETION OF ISHAN WATER PROJECTUSE OF FACE MASKS AND HOODS BY SECURITY PERSONNEL DISTURBS REPSHOUSE KICKS AGAINST MONOPOLY IN BROADCASTINGHOUSE CHARGES FG ON DISPLACED NIGERIANS IN CAHOUSE ADOPTS CONFERENCE REPORT ON CONSTITUTION REVIEWCONSTITUTION REVIEW: HOUSE RECEIVES CONFERENCHOUSE ADOPTS CONFERENCE REPORT ON A BILL TO STRENTHEN ADMINISTRATION OF PRISONSREPS FEAR THE OFFICE OF THE SPEAKER IS BEING UNDERMINED, CALL FOR INVESTIGATION

http://nass.gov.ng/feed Thursday 08 December 2016 http://www.nass.gov.ng:80/images/coa.jpg http://www.nass.gov.ng:80 349

<div><div>The House of Representatives has called on the Federal Government and indeed all those who have made pledges and donation in support of the commitment to rebuild the devastated North-eastern region of Nigeria due to the nefarious activities of insurgents to make good their pledges. The call which was &nbsp;came during plenary session on Thursday, September 28, 2016on the heels of a motion of matter of urgent public importance moved by Hon. Sheriff Muhammed who appealed to the Gen. T.Y Danjuma- led Committee on Victim Intervention Fund Raising for the rehabilitation of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and reconstruction of the North-east, and the international Community and private individuals that made pledges to redeem their pledges especially now that the nation is in dear need of such assistance.</div><div>Members lent their voices in support of the motion, Hon. Uzoma Nkem Abonta informed that some traders from other regions of the country lost their goods, shops and properties as a result of the insurgency, but were not captured in the reconstruction plan of the government. Hon. Leo Ogor appreciated the Federal Government and the Armed Forces for gradually restoring peace and protection of public properties in the North-east and charged them to sustain the effort. Other members who contributed to the debate on the motion including Hon. Yusuf Buba advised that people’s culture and tradition should be factored-in when addressing the plight of the IDPs. He added that private houses which were destroyed should also be captured in the reconstruction plan, not just public properties. While others cautioned that the military must ensure that the insurgents have been completely decimated before any re-construction work begins.</div><div>The House also debated and passed for second reading a Bill &nbsp;by Hon. Chime Oji. The Bill seeks to establish a Research and Innovation Trust Fund, charged with the responsibility for imposing, managing and disbursing the research and innovation tax in Nigeria. Another Bill that enjoyed speedy passage for second reading was one which seek to provide for the installation security devices called Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) in Business premises and other major malls, markets, religious structures, hotels, Government and semi Government Agencies, tourist attraction centres and Historical buildings, sponsored by Hon. Douye Diri and 8 others.</div><div><br></div></div>

2016-10-04 03:32:49

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<div><br></div><div>The Senate on Thursday, September 29, 2016 passed into law nine bills and two others for second reading. The first legislation that got the nod of the Red Chamber was the Federal University, Wukari establishment etc. Bill, 2016 (S.B. 273). The Bill was presented by the Committee Chairman on Tertiary Institutions and TETFUND, Sen. Barau Jibrin.</div><div>The Senate desolved into the Committee of &nbsp;Whole where clauses 1 – 26, short and long titles, first, second and third schedules of the Bill as well as the explanatory memorandum of understanding of the legislation were passed as recommended. The Bill was read the third time and passed.</div><div>Similarly, eight concurrence bills emanating from the House of Representatives also scaled through second reading and were equally considered in the Committee of the Whole and ultimately read the third time and passed into law. The Concurrence Bills standing in the name of the Senate Leader include:</div><div>1)<span class=”Apple-tab-span” style=”white-space:pre”><span style=”white-space: normal;”> </span></span>Telecommunication and Postal Offences Act CAP T5 LFN 2004 (Amendment) Bill, 2016 (H.B. 216).</div><div>2)<span class=”Apple-tab-span” style=”white-space:pre”><span style=”white-space: normal;”> </span></span>National Crop Varieties, Livestock Breeds (Registration) Act CAP N27 LFN 2004 (Amendment) Bill, 2016 (H.B. 218).</div><div>3)<span class=”Apple-tab-span” style=”white-space:pre”><span style=”white-space: normal;”> </span></span>Produce (Enforcement of Export Standards) Act CAP P32 LFN 2004 (Amendment) Bill 2016 (H.B. 219).</div><div>4)<span class=”Apple-tab-span” style=”white-space:pre”><span style=”white-space: normal;”> </span></span>Prevention of Crimes Act CAP P27 LFN 2004 (Amendment) Bill, by increasing offences penalties, 2016 (H.B. 233).</div><div>5)<span class=”Apple-tab-span” style=”white-space:pre”><span style=”white-space: normal;”> </span></span>Water Resources Act &nbsp;<span class=”Apple-tab-span” style=”white-space:pre”><span style=”white-space: normal;”> </span></span>CAP W2 LFN 2004 (Amendment) Bill to review upward stipulated fines, 2016 (H.B. 234).</div><div>6)<span class=”Apple-tab-span” style=”white-space:pre”><span style=”white-space: normal;”> </span></span>National Agricultural Land Development Authority Act CAP N4 LFN 2004 (Amendment) Bill 2016 (H.B. 237).</div><div>7)<span class=”Apple-tab-span” style=”white-space:pre”><span style=”white-space: normal;”> </span></span>Bee (Import Control &amp; Management) Act CAP B6 LFN 2004 (Amendment) Bill 2016 (H.B. 238)</div><div>8)<span class=”Apple-tab-span” style=”white-space:pre”><span style=”white-space: normal;”> </span></span>Agricultural and Rural Management Training Act CAP A10 LFN 2004 (Amendment) Bill to allow other Federal Institutions participate in the Board, 2016 (H.B. 241).</div><div>Meanwhile, the Senate has debated and passed for second reading two bills that include:</div><div>1)<span class=”Apple-tab-span” style=”white-space:pre”><span style=”white-space: normal;”> </span></span>A Bill for an Act to Incorporate and Enforce certain provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women, the Protocol to African Charter on Human and People’s Rights on the rights of Women in Africa and other matters connected therewith, 2016, (S.B 301) sponsored by Sen. Biodun Olujimi (Ekiti South) and 20 others. The Bill having scaled through second has been referred to the Senate Committee on Judiciary to report back in four weeks.&nbsp;</div><div>2)<span class=”Apple-tab-span” style=”white-space:pre”><span style=”white-space: normal;”> </span></span>A Bill for an Act to Repeal the Nigerian Ports Authority Act CAP 126 LFN, 2004 and to establish the Nigerian Ports and Harbours Authority to provide for the Ownership, Management and Development of Ports and Harbours and for related matters 2016, (S.B. 234), sponsored by Sen. Andy Uba (Anambra South). The legislation has sailed through second reading and has been referred to the Senate Committee on Marine Transport to report back in two weeks.</div><div>Also, the Senate has received a Presidential Communication via two letters addressed to the Senate President from President Muhammadu Buhari seeking the screening and confirmation of six persons to fill vacant positions in the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and five persons to fill vacant positions in National Population Commission (NPC).</div><div>Before adjourning sitting to Tuesday, October 4, 2016, the Senate President, Bukola Saraki wished Nigerians a happy 56th Independence Anniversary.&nbsp;</div><div><br></div><div><br></div>

2016-10-04 03:21:59

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<div>The Senate on Tuesday, September 27, 2016 commenced consideration of the Report of its Ad-hoc Committee on the State of the Economy. The Report presented before the Chamber for consideration has seventeen recommendations. The recommendations were extensively deliberated upon by &nbsp;Senators and at the end most of them were adopted by the Chamber.</div><div>According to the report, the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria conducted a two-day intense and wide ranging debate on the state of the Nigerian economy. It observed that the negative GDP growth of 0.36% and 2.6% in the first and second quarters of 2016 technically plunged the national economy into recession. This contraction was largely due to the fall in oil revenues and further exacerbated by the vandalism of the nation’s oil assets in the Niger Delta region as well as the country’s plummeting foreign exchange reserve from more than $60 billion in 2007 to $24 billion currently.</div><div>Major highlights of the report is the decision of the Upper Legislative Chamber, urging President Muhammadu Buhari not to sell the country’s national assets, and the suggestion to raise a team of experts that would engage the youth of the Niger Delta for amicable resolution of the crisis in the region. The report also summoned the Chief Financial Reporting Officer of the federation to brief the Chamber.</div><div>Similarly, five Motions were also debated and passed by the Senate, they include:</div><div>1)<span class=”Apple-tab-span” style=”white-space:pre”><span style=”white-space: normal;”> </span></span>Inconclusive Elections, sponsored by the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu (Enugu West) and the Senate Leader, Muhammed Ali Ndume (Borno South). The Motion sailed through with three prayers below:</div><div>A)<span class=”Apple-tab-span” style=”white-space:pre”><span style=”white-space: normal;”> </span></span>Call on the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to immediately nominate suitably qualified persons to fill the vacant positions at INEC in line with the constitution to enhance the capacity of the Institution to conduct conclusive elections.</div><div>B)<span class=”Apple-tab-span” style=”white-space:pre”><span style=”white-space: normal;”> </span></span>Call on INEC to immediately conclude all pending re-run elections in the country.</div><div>C)<span class=”Apple-tab-span” style=”white-space:pre”><span style=”white-space: normal;”> </span></span>Constitute an Ad-hoc Committee to hold a public hearing to review the performance of the INEC &nbsp;in the last one year with a view to ascertain the factors that may have caused the perceived decline of the electoral system.</div><div>2)<span class=”Apple-tab-span” style=”white-space:pre”><span style=”white-space: normal;”> </span></span> Unscrupulous violation of Foreign Exchange (Monitoring and Miscellaneous) Act, sponsored by Sen. Dino Melaye (Kogi West). The Motion noted with serious concern the repatriation of $13.92 billion illegally out of Nigeria by the Mobile Telecommunication Limited (MTN) through its bankers between 2006 and 2016. The Motion scaled through with single resolution below:</div><div>A)<span class=”Apple-tab-span” style=”white-space:pre”><span style=”white-space: normal;”> </span></span>Mandate the Committee on Banking, Insurance and other Financial Institutions to carry out a holistic investigation into the matter and report back to the Senate.</div><div>3)<span class=”Apple-tab-span” style=”white-space:pre”><span style=”white-space: normal;”> </span></span> Earth Tremor and the preparedness of Nigeria to deal with the intending consequences, sponsored by Sen. Danjuma La’ah (Kaduna South). The law-maker noted that the Earth tremor that occurred in Kwoi and its environs in Jaba Local Government Area of Kaduna State on Sunday, through Monday September 11 and 12, 2016 as well as the increasing Earth tremors occurrence in Nigeria in recent time, there is the likelihood of witnessing Earth Quake in the near future. The Motion was passed with three prayers below:</div><div>A)<span class=”Apple-tab-span” style=”white-space:pre”><span style=”white-space: normal;”> </span></span>Urge the government at all levels to take the Earth Tremor warnings in parts of the country serious and begin to take proactive measures to educate the populace on what to expect and how to react when it occurs.</div><div>B)<span class=”Apple-tab-span” style=”white-space:pre”><span style=”white-space: normal;”> </span></span>Urge the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and the Security Agencies to move in immediately through public enlightenment and drills to prepare the people against any eventuality as the resources required at this stage would be minimal.</div><div>C)<span class=”Apple-tab-span” style=”white-space:pre”><span style=”white-space: normal;”> </span></span>Mandate the Committee on Environment and Solid Minerals to undertake tour of affected communities and report back to the Senate.</div><div>4)<span class=”Apple-tab-span” style=”white-space:pre”><span style=”white-space: normal;”> </span></span>The need to ascertain the Degree of Local Content in Nigerian Oil and Gas industry, sponsored by Sen. Gershom Bassey (Cross River South). He stated that the Senate is aware that the National Committee on Local Content Development (NCLCD) discovered that the local participation in the upstream sector of the oil and gas industry in Nigeria was less than 5% meaning that 95% of the yearly expenditure of about $8 billion left the country. The Motion also sailed through with two resolutions below:</div><div>A)<span class=”Apple-tab-span” style=”white-space:pre”><span style=”white-space: normal;”> </span></span>Mandate the Senate Committee on Petroleum Upstream and Gas to conduct a public hearing to investigate the implementation of local content with a view to determine the degree of compliance with the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development Act (NOGIC) by the industry operators.</div><div>B)<span class=”Apple-tab-span” style=”white-space:pre”><span style=”white-space: normal;”> </span></span>Mandate the Senate Committee on Petroleum Upstream and Gas to investigate the utilization of the Nigeria Content Development Fund.</div><div>5)<span class=”Apple-tab-span” style=”white-space:pre”><span style=”white-space: normal;”> </span></span>Looming crisis in the Nigerian Aviation Industry, sponsored by Sen. Samuel Anyanwu (Imo East). The Law-maker noted with concern that the looming crisis in the Aviation sector portends grave danger to air safety and operations. He added that the sector has been gasping for survival over some years now but worsen by the current economic recession. The Motion was passed with two prayers below:</div><div>A)<span class=”Apple-tab-span” style=”white-space:pre”><span style=”white-space: normal;”> </span></span>Mandate the Committee on Aviation and the Ministry of Aviation to liaise with the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) to urgently look into the problems faced by the airlines in order to fashion out possible solutions to the problem and avert latent danger inherent in the crisis.</div><div>B)<span class=”Apple-tab-span” style=”white-space:pre”><span style=”white-space: normal;”> </span></span>Mandate the Federal Ministry of Transport to urgently commence the rehabilitation of major highways and the rail system to serve as a viable and safe alternative to air travels. &nbsp;&nbsp;</div><div><br></div>

2016-09-30 02:17:24

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<div>The Senate on Thursday, September 22, 2016 continued the debate on the State of the Economy, having deferred it to another legislative date yesterday. &nbsp;Almost half of the 109 distinguished Senators contributed to the debate during the plenary that lasted more than six hours, presided over by the Senate President, Bukola Saraki.</div><div>Major highlights of the deliberations were the contribution of the Senate Chief Whip, Sen. Shola Adeyeye who cited that the abuse of contract mobilization fee has resulted in the abandoning of many capital projects across the country thus littering most of the states of the federation and encouraged corruption in government.</div><div>Sen. Adeyeye averred that the National Assembly must be a better Parliament by giving itself a better structure that would offer panacea to the challenges of the nation. He stressed that the structure will henceforth put a stop to stealing and corruption as well as improve relationship between the federal, states and local government areas.</div><div>The ranking Principal Officer of the Senate urged law-makers to take a look at the Constitution Review Process and tinker with the Exclusive Legislative List with a view to reducing its burden. He opined that State Governors in Nigeria should not be blamed for lack of meaningful development in the States because the Presidency was busy spending the national money. He advised that the Presidency must &nbsp;consult the Governors before dipping its hands in the country’s commonwealth. &nbsp;</div><div>The Law-maker called on Nigerians to protect the value of the naira for the nation’s economy to be buoyant. He asserted the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor has a parallel government by spending the country’s money without recourse to legislative approval. This must be stopped and the CBN Governor called to order. The Parliamentarian stated that for Nigeria to be saved, Nigerians must imbibe the culture of honesty and creativity in ending poverty.</div><div>Other Legislators that contributed to the debate include Senators Barau Jibrin, Kabiru Gaya, Bukar Abba Ibrahim, Abdullahi Adamu, Aliyu Wamakko, Omo-Agege, Andy Uba, Emmanuel Paulker, Monsurat Sunmonu, Sunny Ogbouji, Bala Ibn Na’Allah, Ben Murray Bruce, Abdullahi Abubakar Gumel, Aliyu Wakil, Danjuma La’ah, Umar Kurfi, Theodore Orji, Ibrahim Gobir, Solomon Adokwe, Abubakar Kyari, Gershom Bassey, Dada Joseph Gbolahan, Yusuf Abubakar Yusuf, Gyunka Philip Aruwa, Abdul Aziz Murtala Nyako, Jeremiah Useni, Joshua Dariye, Philip Aduda, Olamilekan Adeola Solomon, Jonah Jang, Yahaya Abdullahi, Gbenga Ashafa, Hope Uzodinma, Clifford Ordia, Ahmed Lawan, Chukwuka Utazi, Isa Hammah Misau, Faseyi Duro Samuel, Buhari Abdulfatai, Shittu Muhammed and the Senate President, Bukola Saraki among others.</div><div>Sen. Saraki commended &nbsp;Senators for their patriotism, patience and statesmanship, having waited patiently for two days to contribute. He disclosed that the two-day debate has offered a lot of recommendations on the nation’s economic recession and challenges which he said would be streamlined on Tuesday, September 27, 2016 by an Ad-hoc Committee to be set up by the Chamber at the end of the debate.</div><div>The Ad-hoc Committee has been named and members include Sen. Barau Jibrin, Sen. Ben Murray Bruce, Sen. Muhammed Hassan, Sen. John Enoh and Sen. Tijani Yahaya Abdullahi as Chairman.</div><div>Meanwhile, Sen. Joshua Dariye has decamped from the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressive Congress (APC). The law-maker made his position known through a letter addressed to the Senate President which was read on the floor of the Chamber; stating that his decision was informed by the demand of his constituents to move to the ruling party, APC.</div><div><br></div>

2016-09-29 01:50:13

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<div>As part of the activities to mark the 2016 World Humanitarian Day, the Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, sent a technical team to Maiduguri, Borno State, to conduct interviews with domestic and international stakeholders working in the IDP camps in the greater Maiduguri area. The purpose of the visit was to collect information about the emergency relief, recovery and rehabilitation efforts in Borno State.&nbsp;</div><div><br></div><div>According a press release by the&nbsp;<span style=”font-family: &quot;Helvetica Neue&quot;, &quot;Segoe UI&quot;, Helvetica, Arial, &quot;Lucida Grande&quot;, sans-serif; line-height: normal;”>Special Adviser, Media and Publicity, to the Senate President,&nbsp;</span><span style=”font-family: &quot;Helvetica Neue&quot;, &quot;Segoe UI&quot;, Helvetica, Arial, &quot;Lucida Grande&quot;, sans-serif; line-height: normal;”>Yusuph Olaniyonu, on August 25, 2016,</span>&nbsp;Saraki’s team were directed to review the coordination between the government of Nigeria and NGO/INGOS, the capacity of service delivery programs and receive feedback from the IDP’s themselves.</div><div><br></div><div>At the camps, the team interacted with groups of committed officials and volunteers of NEMA and SEMA, who stated that the government was doing all that it possibly could to aid and secure the IDPs. &nbsp;However, the complexity and scale of the emergency is far beyond the government’s capacity and that Nigeria simply cannot do it by themselves. &nbsp;</div><div><br></div><div>Speaking on the purpose of the visit, the Senate President stated that it was important to send a team to assess the humanitarian situation on ground in the North East, following reports from aid agencies that greater international attention and a more robust response is needed to alleviate the plight of the over 9 million Nigerians who are in need of relief in the Lake Chad Basin area.</div><div><br></div><div>“We cannot afford to take for granted the sacrifice and support of both our domestic and international partners in the North East,” Saraki stated, “This is why we must all sit down as quickly as possible to plan the transition from crisis, to relief and beyond. &nbsp;We must expedite the processes that are needed to bring about the recovery and rehabilitation of the entire region”</div><div><br></div><div>The Senate President’s delegation also represented Saraki at the North East Humanitarian Summit, hosted by UN OCHA and the Network of Civil Society Organisations, Borno State (NECSOB), where 150 IDP Ambassadors – 25 people chosen from 6 different camps – were inaugurated as representatives of the IDPs in Borno State. The responsibility of the IDP Ambassadors is to relay the concerns about protection, community input and empowerment of IDPs directly to government and international partners.</div><div><br></div><div>Several IDPs who spoke at the North East Humanitarian Summit raised awareness about nutrition and food aid delivery issues.</div><div><br></div><div>In a related development, the Senate President has called for an International Summit on the North East – similar to the one held in London for Syria which raised about $10 million. He also mentioned that at the resumption of the Senate in September, there would be a motion to create a Senate Ad-Hoc Committee to conduct a Public Hearing on the humanitarian response in the North East. This public hearing would be aimed at reviewing the recommendations of domestic and international partners in order to develop a sustainable framework for Nigeria’s emergency and humanitarian crisis management for the North East and future complex emergencies.</div><div><br></div>

2016-08-25 08:16:42

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<div>The President of the Senate and Chairman, Governing Council of the National Institute for Legislative Studies (NILS), Dr. Bukola Saraki has described as a major milestone for the National Assembly, the 2nd Matriculation and Endowment of Fellowship Award to honour persons who have contributed significantly to the growth of the legislature and establishment of the National Institute for Legislative Studies (NILS). Addressing both the Post Graduate students being inaugurated and the Fellows being honored during the ceremony on July 18, 2016 in Abuja, Saraki asserted that the occasion was one which inspires a renewed sense of commitment to excellence in lawmaking and the strengthening of democratic governance in Nigeria.&nbsp;<br></div><div><br></div><div>He charged the Fellows that the responsibility falls on them to continue to contribute to the overall development of the legislature as well as encouraging the Institute in any way possible, as it strives to become a world class parliamentary think tank institution in the same league as the Congressional Research Services in the United States of America. He reiterated that for the legislature to be effective, efficient and successful, it requires a competent capacity building, research and training institution. “it is gratifying to see a number of NILS’ postgraduate programs have been duly accredited by the Nigerian Universities Commission and are unique in the sense that NILS is the only Institution in Nigeria that offers Master’s Degree and Postgraduate Diploma in Legislative Studies, Parliamentary Administration and Legislative Drafting”, he said.&nbsp;</div><div><br></div><div>Sen Saraki tasked the Students for the NILS/UNIBEN Postgraduate Programme to take their studies seriously, noting that “the courses are equal in rigor and quality to what is offered at elite institutions in the United Kingdom and the United States of America.</div><div><br></div><div>On his part, the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the Alternate Chairman of NILS Governing Council, Rt. Hon. Yakubu Dogara posited that “although legislators are the essential human resource of a legislature, the work of individual legislators is channeled and enabled by the institutional structures and support that the legislature provides. Key in this regard is the quality and numbers of administrative and expert parliamentary personnel and in view of the complex and challenging responsibilities of legislators, they are supported by aides with varying technical expertise and experience.</div><div><br></div><div>He emphasized that the National Assembly requires better equipped and resourced aides with the requisite competences and expertise in order to compare favourably with Parliaments in established democracies”, hence, the need to embrace the Postgraduate Programmes Parliamentary Administration, Legislative Studies and Legislative Drafting as offered by the National Institute for Legislative Studies in affiliation with University of Benin.&nbsp;</div><div><br></div><div>The Vice Chancellor of the University of Benin, Professor Faraday F. Orhunmwense added his voice to urge the students to make judicious use of the unique learning opportunity provided by the affiliating reputable Institutions to acquire the necessary knowledge and skills to better perform their core functions for improved legislative support to the Legislature.</div><div><br></div><div>The Director General of the Institute, Dr. Ladi Hamalai, while congratulating the distinguished Personalities who were honoured at the endowment of fellowship ceremony, solicited for deeper support on their part in realizing the vision and surpassing the target mission of the National Institute for Legislative Studies.</div><div><br></div><div>Recipients of the Award of Fellowship of the Institute include the former Senate President, Sen. David Mark, GCON, Former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt.Hon. Aminu Tambuwal, CFR, Deputy Senate President, Dr. Ike Ekweremadu, CFR, Former Deputy Speaker,House of Representatives, on &nbsp;Emeka Ihedioha, CON and Former Deputy Speaker, House of Representatives between 2007 and 2011, Senator Usman Nafada, CON.&nbsp;</div><div><br></div><div><br></div><div><br></div><div><br></div><div><br></div>

2016-07-22 05:57:33

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<div>The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon Yakubu Dogara, yesterday, received the report of the 2nd phase of the Ad-hoc committee, established by the Speaker, to review and reform existing laws. &nbsp;Presenting the report, the Chair Person of the Committee and Director General of the National Institute for Legislative Studies (NILS), Dr Ladi Hamalai informed the Speaker and other Members of the House of Representatives, present, that the committee, which received financial support from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), reviewed a total number of 305 Laws, recommended 127 for amendment and drafted 178 Bills.<br></div><div><br></div><div>Dr Hamalai noted that among the recommended Bills is the “Insurgency Victims Stigmatization Prohibition Bill, 2016” which seeks to criminalize stigmatization against victims of insurgency. She extolled committee members, who in spite of their busy schedules made time to ensure that the deadline was met and successes recorded.</div><div><br></div><div>In his response, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Yakubu Dogara commended the Committee for their sacrifice, commitment and patriotism. He noted that these have helped in changing and shaping the history of the House of Representatives. Adding that the committee’s contribution has gone a long way in enhancing the feat recorded by the House recently, which for the first time in its history passed 130 Bills for first reading in a single day.</div><div><br></div><div>It may be recalled that the Committee to review existing laws and law reform was inaugurated by the Speaker on the 23rd of July, 2016 with a mandate to assess all existing laws and identify areas that require reform, revision or further legislative action. They were also required to review all existing laws and determine the outdated laws in the statue books for the purposes of deletion or repeal by the National Assembly.</div><div>The next phase, which is the 3rd phase of the work of the committee will begin in July and end in December, 2016.&nbsp;</div><div><br></div>

2016-06-03 05:18:47

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<div>Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, on Monday called for more powers for the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Parliament, if the aim of the subregion to achieve full integration is to be realized.<br></div><div>Saraki made the call in his speech at the opening of the First Ordinary Session of the ECOWAS Parliament in Abuja, according to a statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the Senate President, Sanni Onogu, in Abuja.</div><div>The Senate President said that even though the ECOWAS parliament is evolving in the right direction, it was his fervent hope that members of the sub region will begin to invest in it,more responsibility and opportunity as a sure path to creating the right structure for closer integration of the sub-region.</div><div><br></div><div>Saraki said: “The ECOWAS sub-region has come a long way in pursuit of integration and development. However, what is clear today is that we need to do more. Other regional bodies including those who we inspired have moved faster towards integration than we have.</div><div>“Sadly, this has been due to our inability to add to the institutional building blocks and muster the courage to reorder our structures for the vision of a virile and integrated ECOWAS.</div><div><br></div><div>The ECOWAS Parliament remains a critical place to start. We must as a necessity, give the parliament greater authorization and capacity to duly legislate on common areas and provide oversight on certain issues of common interest and inter-dependency.</div><div>“For as long as we are unable to, or fail to remit to this parliament more powers, the dreams for greater integration will remain a myth. This singular reason may be responsible for the lack of adequate cohesion in the fight against terrorism, cross border crimes and the implementation of agreed trade agreements and protocols.</div><div>“With greater oversight and authorization, it is possible that we would see greater inroads made in the areas of the enforcement of ECOWAS regional trade agreements and instruments especially the Common External Tariff Order,” he said.</div><div><br></div><div>He said that the ECOWAS Parliament has shown itself as a primer of integration and a key instrument for stability in the sub region having utilized “its instruments to provide opinions on various issues such as infrastructural development, migration, public health and investment referred to it by other Community Institutions, especially the ECOWAS Commission; with the aim to positively impact on the standards of living of West African citizens.”</div><div><br></div><div>He noted that there has been a significant increase in the level of cross boarder businesses in the sub-region – with investment crisscrossing regional boundaries by nationals of the ECOWAS region – as a result of the implementation of the free movement of goods and persons across the region.</div><div><br></div><div>While saying that the policy on free movement of goods and persons is beginning to bear significant fruits across the length and breath of the region, he lamented that “very little is being done to provide the right legal and institutional inter-ECOWAS-states frameworks that would guarantee and insulate these enterprising citizens from discriminatory practices, anti competition, human rights abuse and the possibility of host bias in the treatment of conflicts arising from their cross-border enterprise.</div><div>“This further underscores the need for us to act together to encourage this free flow of capital as a means to deepen our integration and avoid the possibility of recoiling our gains by enabling the parliament have more powers to make laws and fill in the legislative gaps where necessary to aid our regional development agenda,” he said.</div><div><br></div><div>He however reiterated the support and assistance of the nation’s National Assembly to the work of the ECOWAS parliament as it strives to provide the necessary legislative leadership for greater development of the ECOWAS region.</div><div>While the region is proud that the Parliament has done creditably well in fulfilling its mandate according to the Senate President, he noted that “in recent times, we have seen the scourge of terrorism cut through and expose the weaknesses of our regional integration efforts as our various governments scrambled to find a foothold for proper coordination of intelligence, resource mobilization and rapid response to terror threats.</div><div><br></div><div>This weakness we also witnessed in the coordination of responses to the spread of Ebola virus in 2015. These are glaring cases in which we were severely examined and our imperfect union exposed.</div><div>“While these may have happened, we have also shown resilience and our leaders shown ingenuity in coming up with measures that have helped us contain these scourges.</div><div>“However, they remain stark reminders of the challenges ahead and the need for us to revisit our protocols and treaties in order to create a more virile union that can help us deal with the challenges of the 21st century.</div><div><br></div><div>“As we speak, the average citizen of the ECOWAS is yet to feel meaningfully the impact of the ECOWAS union beyond free movement of persons and goods. This is another reason I believe the enhancement of the ECOWAS Parliament remit merits deliberation,” he said.</div><div><br></div>

2016-05-16 06:15:05

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<div>The Clerk to the National Assembly, Alhaji Salisu Maikasuwa, will proceed on his terminal leave, preparatory to his retirement from service on Friday, May 13, 2016.<br></div><div><br></div><div>The outgoing Clerk, according to the circular, marked NASS/CNA/46/VoI.1/97, dated May 12, 2016, indicated that he would be proceeding on his terminal leave from May 14, 2016, to August 14, 2016.”</div><div>The circular partly read, “During my absence, the Acting Clerk to the National Assembly, Alhaji Mohammed A. Sani-Omolori, will perform my duties.”</div><div><br></div>

2016-05-13 02:28:38

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<div>President of the Senate, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, on Wednesday condoled with the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), over the death of six senior Medical Doctors in an auto crash along the Abuja/Kaduna expressway.<br></div><div><br></div><div>The doctors were said to be on their way to attend the 56th Annual Conference and General Delegates meeting of NMA in Sokoto.</div><div><br></div><div>Saraki in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Yusuph Olaniyonu, in Abuja, commiserated with the government and people of Ekiti State, the national leadership of the NMA, the Ekiti State Chapter of the body and the immediate families of the deceased over the sad incident.</div><div><br></div><div>He stated that the six Doctors and the driver lost their lives in active service to humanity and noted that their contributions to the wellbeing of mankind and commitment towards a healthy society will not be forgotten.</div><div><br></div><div>Saraki said: “The tragic demise of these noble citizens is no doubt a big blow to the medical profession in the country and the world at large.</div><div><br></div><div>”As a medical doctor, &nbsp;I am particularly pained that six of my professional colleagues met their untimely death and others were injured in an accident on their way to a conference where they were meant to confer alongside their other colleagues, review the state of healthcare delivery in the country, &nbsp;exchange ideas, and possibly strategize on how to deploy their new knowledge to improve medical practice in the country. This is one mishap too many,” he said.</div><div><br></div><div>The Senate President prayed God to grant speedy recovery to the injured Doctors to enable them resume their normal life and to continue to render immeasurable service to the country.</div><div><br></div><div>Dr. Saraki also prayed the Almighty God to give the bereaved families, relations and the entire members of the NMA the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.</div><div><br></div>

2016-04-28 07:07:37

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Let me, at the outset, thank the leadership and honourable members of the two Houses of the Nigerian National Assembly, the Senate and the House of Representatives and other sister Parliaments in Africa, for this laudable initiative which, indeed, reveals a new vision, a new confidence and renewed vigour in legislative development and peer review in Africa<br>

2015-02-06 13:09:59

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The Senate at plenary on Wednesday, November 12, 2014 passed for second reading “A Bill for an Act to Establish the National Commission for Conciliation and Arbitration Commission, National Labour Council, the Office of the Registrar of Trade Unions, etc. to Administer the Provisions of Labour laws in Nigeria and for Matters Connected therewith, 2014 (H.B.99)”, sponsored by the Senate Leader, Victor Ndoma-Egba. The bill passed second reading after a successful debate on the general principles of the bill by the Senators. All the law-makers that lend their voices to the debate spoke in favour of the second reading of the legislation.&nbsp;<div><br></div><div>The Senators who contributed to debate include: Sen. Maina Ma’aji Lawan, Sen. Abdul Ahmed Ningi, Sen. Smart Adeyemi and Sen. Mahammed Magoro. The bill, having enjoyed a smooth ride on the floor of the Senate, was put to question by the Senate President, Sen. David Mark, and his colleagues answered in the affirmative. The bill was read for the second time and referred to the Senate Committee on Labour and Productivity for further legislative work and to report back in four weeks. Similarly, the Senate has received the report of its Committee on Establishment and Public Service on the screening of Dr. Jonah Madugu representing Benue, Nasarawa and Plateau States for appointment as a member of the Federal Civil Service Commission.&nbsp;</div><div><br></div><div>The report was presented by the Committee Chairman, Sen. Aloysius Etok. They recommended to Senate that the nominee should be confirmed. The Chamber resolved into the Committee of the Whole where it considered and approved the recommendation. The confirmation of Dr. Madugu was put to question by the Senate President, David Mark, and the law-makers voted in favour of his confirmation. Also, the Senate has acknowledged the receipt of a letter from President Goodluck Jonathan forwarding the name of Justice Mahmud Muhammed for screening and confirmation as the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) in line with section 231 (1) of the 1999 Constitution.&nbsp;</div><div><br></div><div>The letter was read on floor of the Senate. At the beginning of the day’s session, the Senate President, Sen. David Mark, lamented over the killing of innocent secondary school students in Potiskum, Yobe State by the Boko Haram insurgents.&nbsp;</div><div><br></div><div>He condemned the dastardly act in strong terms and called on the Federal Government of Nigeria to declare total war against the group and at the same time open up a window for dialogue. Sen. Mark extended his condolence to the parents of the children, the people and government of Yobe State and all Nigerians.<br></div>

2014-11-13 13:52:41

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The Senate has passed a resolution on the plight of internally displaced persons in the North-East of Nigeria. The motion came under mattes of urgent national importance, moved by the Senate Deputy Majority Leader, Sen. Abdul Ahmed Ningi. He recalled that the Senate had earlier passed a resolution that urged the Federal Government to plan an economic programme that would cater for internally displaced persons in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states where Emergency Rule is in operation.</span></p> <p class=”MsoNormal” style=”mso-margin-top-alt:auto;mso-margin-bottom-alt:auto; line-height:normal”><span style=”font-size:12.0pt;font-family:&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family:&quot;Times New Roman&quot;”><span style=”mso-spacerun:yes”>&nbsp;</span>Sen. Ningi cited the crises in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq which he said were more devastating and recorded more refugees, but the welfare of internally displaced persons were not as bad as it is currently in Nigeria, hence this motion seeks to draw the attention of the government to act accordingly.</span></p> <p class=”MsoNormal” style=”mso-margin-top-alt:auto;mso-margin-bottom-alt:auto; line-height:normal”><span style=”font-size:12.0pt;font-family:&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family:&quot;Times New Roman&quot;”><span style=”mso-spacerun:yes”>&nbsp;</span>He revealed that people are sometimes imprisoned in their houses by the Boko Haram insurgents and nothing is done. He added that the towns of Bama, Gwoza and Demboa are still under the control of the insurgents, adding that “we cannot continue to be in a place where we are not wanted”. Supporting the submission of the sponsor of the motion, the Senate Leader, Sen. Victor Ndoma-Egba, said the Senate can do more in addressing the security issues bedeviling the nation. He added that the Senate needs to review and reassess the menace of insecurity holistically. Sen. Muhammed Ali Ndume commended the Chamber for debating the plight of internally displaced persons in the North-East quoting section 14 (1) of the 1999 Constitution which states that Sovereignty belongs to the Nigerian people and security and wellbeing of the people shall be the primary responsibility of the Federal Government. He noted that some of the major towns and villages in Borno South Senatorial District are under siege and his constituents scattered all over Abuja and other parts of the country due to insecurity and absence of government protection. </span></p> <p class=”MsoNormal” style=”mso-margin-top-alt:auto;mso-margin-bottom-alt:auto; line-height:normal”><span style=”font-size:12.0pt;font-family:&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family:&quot;Times New Roman&quot;”>Other Senators who contributed in favour of the motion included Sen. Ita Enang, Sen. Tukur Bello, Sen. Ahmed Zanna, Sen. Nenadi Usman, Sen. Andy Uba and the Senate President, Sen. David Mark. In his submission, the Senate President said that the Boko Haram crisis is no longer an internal war but an international war which should not be treated lightly. He added that at the moment, Nigerians have a serious problem at hand which is to improve the welfare of internally displaced persons within the country and even those in Niger, Chad and Cameroun. He called on the international community to come in and assist Nigeria. The following resolutions were passed: </span></p> <p class=”MsoListParagraphCxSpFirst” style=”mso-margin-top-alt:auto;mso-margin-bottom-alt: auto;mso-add-space:auto;text-indent:-.25in;line-height:normal;mso-list:l0 level1 lfo1″><span style=”font-size:12.0pt;font-family:Wingdings;mso-fareast-font-family:Wingdings; mso-bidi-font-family:Wingdings”><span style=”mso-list:Ignore”>§<span style=”font:7.0pt &quot;Times New Roman&quot;”>&nbsp; </span></span></span><span style=”font-size:12.0pt;font-family:&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;;mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;”>Call on the International Community to step up action and provide assistance to displaced persons.</span></p> <p class=”MsoListParagraphCxSpLast” style=”mso-margin-top-alt:auto;mso-margin-bottom-alt: auto;mso-add-space:auto;text-indent:-.25in;line-height:normal;mso-list:l0 level1 lfo1″><span style=”font-size:12.0pt;font-family:Wingdings;mso-fareast-font-family:Wingdings; mso-bidi-font-family:Wingdings”><span style=”mso-list:Ignore”>§<span style=”font:7.0pt &quot;Times New Roman&quot;”>&nbsp; </span></span></span><span style=”font-size:12.0pt;font-family:&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;;mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;”>Call on the Federal and State Governments to step up effort in bringing succor to the internally displaced persons.</span></p> <span style=”font-size:12.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family:&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family:&quot;Times New Roman&quot;;mso-ansi-language:EN-US;mso-fareast-language: EN-US;mso-bidi-language:AR-SA”><span style=”mso-spacerun:yes”>&nbsp;</span>Senators should donate the sum of N20 million for the improvement of the living standard of displaced persons. The Senate has adjourned plenary session until Tuesday, 4 November, 2014. </span><!–[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:WordDocument> <w:View>Normal</w:View> <w:Zoom>0</w:Zoom> <w:TrackMoves/> <w:TrackFormatting/> <w:PunctuationKerning/> <w:ValidateAgainstSchemas/> <w:SaveIfXMLInvalid>false</w:SaveIfXMLInvalid> <w:IgnoreMixedContent>false</w:IgnoreMixedContent> <w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText>false</w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText> <w:DoNotPromoteQF/> <w:LidThemeOther>EN-US</w:LidThemeOther> <w:LidThemeAsian>X-NONE</w:LidThemeAsian> <w:LidThemeComplexScript>X-NONE</w:LidThemeComplexScript> <w:Compatibility> <w:BreakWrappedTables/> <w:SnapToGridInCell/> <w:WrapTextWithPunct/> <w:UseAsianBreakRules/> <w:DontGrowAutofit/> <w:SplitPgBreakAndParaMark/> <w:EnableOpenTypeKerning/> <w:DontFlipMirrorIndents/> <w:OverrideTableStyleHps/> </w:Compatibility> <m:mathPr> <m:mathFont m:val=”Cambria Math”/> <m:brkBin m:val=”before”/> <m:brkBinSub m:val=”&#45;-“/> <m:smallFrac m:val=”off”/> <m:dispDef/> <m:lMargin 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2014-11-02 16:20:11

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66

In a dramatic and clever manner, the Speaker of the Federal House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Aminu Tambuwal, who presided plenary session on Tuesday, 28 October waited until the last minute after the House leader, Hon. Mulikat Adeola-Akande, had moved a motion for adjournment, then he beckoned the attention of the members who were already making their exit from the chambers to announce his defection to the All Progressive Congress (APC). “I am now a member of the APC”, he declared. The Speaker’s statement immediately turned the chambers into a rowdy mood as members were taken aback by the uniqueness of the notice of defection. But his colleagues were left dump founded and helpless since the notice came after the motion for adjournment until 3rd December. The obvious implication of this situation is that Tambuwal remains the Speaker even after his defection against the wish of the ruling PDP. The big question now is what happens when the House resumes sitting? The House during Tuesday’s plenary also passed a resolution on a motion which was described as a patriotic one by majority of the members. In the resolution which came on the heels of a motion moved by Hon. Olajumoke Okay-Thomas, the House urged the Federal Government to immortalize late Dr. Stella Adadevoh and compensate the families of the health workers who died after contracting Ebola Virus Disease as a result of their exposure to the Liberian carrier of the disease. Hon. Okay-Thomas expressed sadness that as result of physical contact with late Patrick Sawyer, Dr. Adadevoh contracted the disease and consequently died on the 14th of October, 2014. She pointed out that the gallantry, patriotism and professional competence of Dr. Adadevoh went a long way in curbing the spread of the deadly disease. She thinks that naming a medical institution after her name would be an honour well deserved. Many members supported the mover of the motion, congratulating her for bringing to the House such an interesting matter that encourages patriotism and selfless service to humanity.

2014-10-29 17:16:46

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64

The plenary session of the Senate on Thursday, 23 October witnessed the passage into law of “A Bill for an Act to Provide for the Prohibition, Prevention, Detection, Response, Investigation and Prosecution of Cyber Crimes and for Other Related Matters, 2014”. The passage of the bill was sequel to the presentation of Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters’ Report on the Cyber Crime Bill referred to it for further legislative work by the Chamber a few weeks ago. The Chairman of the Committee, Sen. Umaru Dahiru, presented the report before the Senate for clause by clause consideration and passage.&nbsp;<div><br></div><div>According to Sen. Dahiru, the bill seeks to provide a legal framework for the implementation and evaluation of response and preventive measures in the fight against Cyber Crime as well as other related frauds in line with international best practices. It also provides a legal framework for the prohibition and punishment of electronic fraud and cybercrime whilst promoting e-government services, electronic communications and transactions between public and private bodies as well as institutions and individuals. The bill seeks to criminalize certain acts and omissions in line with regional and international best practices and provide procedural guidelines for the investigation of such offences. The legislation also intends to define the liability of service providers and ensure that national interest of this country is not compromised by the use of electronic communications.&nbsp;<div><br></div><div>Sen. Dahiru noted that during the bill’s public hearing, stakeholders and the general public made some important contributions to the bill which specifically seeks to secure computer equipment against unauthorized access and modification, as well as against misuse in the following areas: (1) Unauthorized access or modification of computer. (2) Unauthorized access with intent to commit or facilitate commission of further offences. (3) Unauthorized access to computer or misuse of electronic devices. On receipt of the report, the Senate resolved into the Committee of the Whole and considered and approved clauses 1 to 48 with the exception of clauses 7, 13, 14, 28 and 39 which were deleted and substituted.&nbsp;</div><div><br></div><div>Thereafter, the Chairman rendered progress report and the Senate Leader moved that the bill be read the third time and was seconded by the Senate Minority Leader. The Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, who presided over the day’s sitting put the question on the bill and it sailed through third reading and passed. Sen. Ekweremadu congratulated distinguished Senators for achieving a major landmark by passing this very important bill that not only seek to fight corruption to standstill but boost the image of the country within and outside it as well as reduce to the barest minimum the rate of cyber-crime in Nigeria. </div></div>

2014-10-25 15:33:53

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63

A Bill for an Act to Abolish, Prohibit Dichotomy and Discrimination between first Degree and Higher National Diploma (HND) in the same Profession/Field and Related Matters 2014 (S.B. 433) scaled through second reading on the floor of the Senate during Wednesday’s plenary session. The bill was sponsored by Sen. Ayo Akinyelure. Leading the debate, Sen Akinyelure said the main focus of the bill is to address the controversies and disparities between first Degree and Higher National Diploma holders. He disclosed that due to discrimination, thousands of Polytechnic students have opted for University Degree programmes. He stressed that the disparity infringes negatively on the career progression of HND holders in the public and private sectors. Sen. Akinyelure said the bill sought to address six sections of the legislation and called on the National Council on Employment to bring first Degree and HND at par with one another in both public and private sectors. The Senator added that the disparity was a creation of some few people in the public service. He stated that the passage of the bill has no financial implication on the nation and urged his colleagues to support it. Contributing to debate, Sen. Ahmed Lawan Ibrahim stated that this is one area of the country’s education system that requires a holistic reform, stressing that the dichotomy between first Degree and HND holders is counter-productive and it is more prominent in public service. He added that there is the need to streamline the disparity and discrimination between the two and resolve the issue in the interest of the nation’s development especially in the actualization of vision 20-20. Lending his voice to the debate, Sen. Abubakar Atiku Bagudu noted that the structure of the nation’s educational system created the differences between first Degree and HND. He said the educational system was originally designed in such a way that the University system would produce theoretical experts in some fields while the Polytechnic was expected to produce technical experts that are more grounded in practical aspect of some professional careers. He added that if the legislature is to abolish the disparity, then it is also expedient that Senators consider educational programmes that would be run by the Polytechnics. Other Senators who contributed to the debate include Sen. Emmanuel Paulker, Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, Sen. Ita Enang, Sen. Chris Ngige, Sen. Bernabas Gemade, Sen. Alkali Jajere, Sen. Osarieme Ehigie Uzamere, Sen. Sunny Ogboji and Sen. Umaru Dahiru. The bill struggled to scale second reading due to the stiff opposition it encountered when it was put to question by the Senate President, David Mark. The Senate President said right from the onset, there are differences in the entry benchmark and the problem is not about the product of the Polytechnics but it is fundamental. He added that basically, HND cannot be equated with first Degree which the bill intends to address. But there could be arrangement where these institutions could be converted to degree awarding institutions. Sen. Mark added that the bill’s public hearing would provide professional advice to the legislature in taking a firm position on the bill. It has been referred to the Senate Committee on Education to report back in four weeks.

2014-10-25 15:15:34

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62

The House of Representatives has urged the Federal Ministry of Water Resources to expedite action through fund sourcing for the immediate completion, commissioning and utilization of the Northern Ishan Water Supply Project. The resolution followed a motion dispassionately moved by Hon. Friday Itulah during plenary on Thursday, 23 October. He exposed that the sum of 250 million Naira is needed for the completion of the project and suggested for its inclusion in the 2015 fiscal year Appropriation Act.&nbsp;</div><div>Hon. Itulah explained that non-completion of the project has left the pipes decaying while the affected communities, the Esan North, East/South, are still suffering for lack of water supply. He added that non release of 300 million Naira has encumbered the utilization of the water project which is essential to the people of his Federal Constituency. The contract for the water project was first awarded in 2005 for the sum of 2.2 billion Naira and reviewed upwards in 2009 to a total sum of 2.4 billion Naira. He appealed to the House to wade in on the matter as abandoning the project at its present state would amount to wastage of large sum of money already committed to the project.</div><div>Another matter which took center stage during Thursday’s sitting was a debate on a Bill that sought to prohibit racketeering in &nbsp;human pregnancy or operation of baby production factories, harboring of pregnant persons under the age of 18 years and above and selling or attempting to sell newly born babies in Nigeria. Highlighting the general principles of the Bill, its sponsor, Hon. Eddie Mbadiwe, said the Bill is needed to discourage all forms of trafficking in persons and related practices. Many members added their voice in support of the Bill and condemned any act that reduces human dignity and commercializes human beings under whatever circumstances. The Bill was read the second time and referred to the Committee on Human Trafficking for further legislative action.</div><div><br></div></div>

2014-10-25 14:43:28

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61

The House of Representatives has asked its relevant Committees on Security to summon the heads of security outfits and Service Chiefs to explain the reasons for the use of face masks and hoods by personnel of their various outfits when conducting civil assignments. The directive came following a motion moved by Hon. Nathaniel Agunbiade. He expressed concern that some military and Department of State Service personnel, have been repeatedly sighted wearing masks and hoods openly, particularly while monitoring elections and executing other civil duties.<div><div><br class=”Apple-interchange-newline”>&nbsp;</div><div>Hon. Agunbiade’s worry is that face masks and hoods conceal the identity of those wearing them and make it difficult to differentiate between a legitimate security personnel and criminals. He added that due the security situation in the country and because face masks were used in recent time to perpetrate illegal arrests, intimidation and detention of innocent citizens, the use of such veils now terrifies the citizenry.</div><div><br></div><div>Hon. Samson Osage lent his voice in support of the motion. He said “anything that will make institutions of State to lose the confidence of the people is not worthy to be condoned”. He pointed out that obviously, face masks and hoods are used by hoodlums and even insurgents to commit criminal activities, therefore wearing them threatens public safety.</div><div><br></div></div><div><br></div>

2014-10-25 14:25:39

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60

Sitting of the Federal House of Representatives on Wednesday, 21 October saw two important and controversial Bills pass second reading. The first was a Bill which sought to amend the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) Act and make provision for opportunities of completion and participation in Nigeria and indeed the world market. The sponsor of the Bill, Hon. Aishatu Dahiru Ahmed, argued that foreign investors took advantage of enabling laws in Nigeria to institute services in the industry that are adversely affecting consumers in the country. She highlighted the benefits of enacting a legislation that encourages local investors to have the right of way in the sector.<br>Hon. Ahmed appealed to her colleagues to use the opportunity to ameliorate the sufferings of the people and to follow the steps of countries like Kenya and India that have since removed all sorts of imperialist practices and made the communication sector more expanded and efficient. She urged the House to allow her Bill, which she described as an “anti-monopoly Bill”, pass for second reading. Some of the members who spoke in support of the Bill include Honourables Leo Ogor, Tobi Okechuckwu, Abike Dabiri-Erewa and Samson Osage. Consequently, the Bill was read the second time and referred to the Committee on Information and National Orientation for further legislative input.&nbsp; <br>The second Bill that also scaled second reading was a Bill which sought to improve on the welfare of traffic wardens by establishing the ‘Traffic Wardens Service’ that gives more opportunity for persons in this profession to attain the peak of their career. The Bill was sponsored by Hon. Afam Victor Ogene who was concerned that though the work of the traffic wardens in Nigeria is very tedious and risky, yet it leaves them with no prospect. He argued that if a traffic warden is indeed equal to a police officer, why are they not allowed to enjoy all the entitlements that the police enjoy? <br>Hon. Ogene was worried that the 1975 decree that created the Traffic Wardens has become obsolete and no longer serve in the best interest of the over 3500 personnel who are now in the profession. He said the thrust of his Bill is for the House to repeal the Traffic Wardens Act, 1975 and provide for the establishment of the Traffic Wardens Service and for other matters connected therewith. <br>Meanwhile, the report of the House Committees on Finance and Loans and Aid has been laid before the House for consideration. The laying of the report was deferred twice by the Chairmen of the Committees. It was laid on the floor of the House by a member of the Committee following the absence of the two Chairmen.

2014-10-25 12:53:20

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59

The House of Representatives has called on the Executive arm of government and the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to liaise with their Cameroonian counterparts to provide security and relief materials to the Nigerian refugees who are currently in Fotokol, Kusuri and Garwa. The refugee were reported to have fled to Cameroon following the takeover of some local government areas of Borno state by insurgents. The local government areas include Bama, Ngala and Kala-Balge. The resolution followed a motion moved on the floor of the House by Hon. Abdulrahaman Abba Terab. He insisted that contrary to earlier reports that the LGAs were reclaimed by the Nigerian government, they are still under the control of the Boko Haram insurgents. Hon. Terab further revealed that about two hundred thousand persons mostly women and children who fled Nigeria are now facing all sorts of abuse, torture and forced marriage in their host communities. He added that more manpower and security measures should be provided to get rid of the insurgents. Meanwhile, a Bill for an Act to establish the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, provide engagement of Nigerians in Diaspora in policies, projects and participation in the development of Nigeria and for the purpose of utilizing human, capital and material resources of Nigerians in diaspora towards the overall socio-economic, cultural and political development of the country, was read the third time during Thursday’s sitting.

2014-10-25 12:43:00

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56

The House of Representatives during plenary on Wednesday, 15 October voted on the Conference Committee Report on a Bill for an Act to further alter the provisions of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and for other matters connected therewith. The report, which was laid before the House on Tuesday, 14 October, was billed for voting and members turned out massively to form the constitutionally required quorum for the voting to take place. Before proceeding with the voting exercise, the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, confirmed to the House that out of the 360 members, 261 were present. He said the number was good enough to allow for voting on the constitution alteration report.<br>After a brief closed session to address some concerns of members on the modality and procedural technicalities of the process of constitution amendment, the House resumed an open session to vote on the report. The exercise was done manually and for record purposes, members were asked to write down their names, state of origin, signature and the Federal Constituency they represent. The votes were duly collated and the Speaker announced the result thereafter. The result showed that out of the 261 members that participated in the exercise, 252 voted in the affirmative, 8 voted against and 1 abstained. With the majority vote on the affirmative, the report was passed and adopted by the House.<br>The Speaker directed the Clerk of the House to transmit the adopted report to each of the 36 State Assemblies, as it’s stipulated in the Standing Orders and Rules of the House. <br>In another development, just before the end of the day’s plenary, the House received and adopted the Conference Report on a Bill for an Act to make provisions for the prevention of HIV and AIDS-based discrimination and to protect the fundamental rights and dignity of people living with HIV and AIDS. The clean copy of the Bill was presented before the House by Hon. Joseph Haruna Kigbu.

2014-10-25 12:11:57

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55

&lt;p&gt;In keeping its promise and maintaining an astute resolve to give Nigerians a true people-oriented Constitution, the House of Representatives resumed plenary on Tuesday 14, October to receive the report of the Conference Committee on the alteration and further review of the 1999 Constitution. Before laying the report before the House, the Chairman of the Committee, Deputy Speaker Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha, gave an insight into some of the highpoints of the report. He disclosed that the Conference Committee was made up of 18 legislators – 9 Senators and 9 Reps. &lt;/p&gt;<br><br>&lt;p&gt;The Speaker, Rt. Hon. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, commended the Committee for ensuring diligent and timely submission of the report. He said giving Nigerians a new constitution would be the landmark of the legacy of the current Assembly and urged members to dedicate their time and resources to ensure that core issues that positively affect the people of Nigeria are strongly captured. This, he said, would be possible through lobbying and persuading members of the State Legislatures to vote in line with the true conscience of Nigerians. The Speaker further called on the Reps to be available on Wednesday, 15th October for voting on the decisions of the Conference Committee. &lt;/p&gt;<br>&lt;p&gt;<br>Also, during Tuesday’s plenary a motion which sought for rescission of the decision taken in the Committee of the whole to retain Clause 29(1) (b) in the proposed amendment to section 29 (1)&nbsp; of the principal Act of Electoral Act, 2010 suffered defeat via voice vote. Sooner than the mover of the motion, Hon. Leo Ogor, proceeded with his motion on the matter, the Minority Leader of the House, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila’s attempted effort to stop him by way of a Point of Order failed as the Speaker repeatedly and dramatically ruled him out of Order. This made the motion interesting as the mood of the House was tilted along party lines. But when the question was put on the matter, the minority won via voice vote, while the majority was left murmuring that the presiding officer should have alerted their consciousness to the vote by putting the question twice before ruling on the matter.&lt;/p&gt;<br>&lt;p&gt;<br>The section in question is said to be in conflict with sections 217 (1) and 218 (1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. It affects the functions of the Armed Forces to suppress insurrection and acting in aid of civil authorities to restore order when called upon to do so by the President, but subject to such conditions as may be prescribed by an Act of the National Assembly. Hon. Leo Orgor canvassed that Clause 29(1) of the proposed amendment, is inconsistent with the provisions of the above cited sections of the Constitution, hence should be deleted.&lt;/p&gt;<br>

2014-10-25 12:02:49

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54

The House of Representatives during sitting on Tuesday, 1st July, 2014 received and adopted a conference report on a Bill for an Act to repeal the Prisons Act, Cap. P29 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 and to make comprehensive provisions for the administration of prisons in Nigeria; and for other connected purposes (HB. 107). Speaker Aminu Tambuwal granted leave to Hon. Umar Bature to move for the adoption of the harmonized Bill.&lt;/p&gt;</div><div>&lt;p&gt;In his motion, Hon. Bature recalled with nostalgia that the Prisons Bill was passed by the House in June 2013 and conventionally transmitted to the senate for concurrence. A clean copy of the Bill was made ready for adoption after the two chambers met in conference in October 2013 and adopted the harmonized version. He added that owing to the importance of the Bill to the effective administration of criminal justice system and to the development and efficient management of the Prisons Services in the country, members were urged to support the adoption of the report. &lt;/p&gt;<br></div><div>&lt;p&gt;In another development, the House passed for second reading, a Bill that sought to establish the Constituencies Development Fund for the purpose of even development of all constituencies in the Federation. The sponsor of the Bill, Hon Ben Nwankwo, exposed that the intendment of the Bill is to dedicate specific portion of the annual budget for the provision of infrastructural development and poverty eradication across the country. While he attempted to persuade his colleagues in the chamber to support a Bill he tagged a pro-people and poverty eradication Bill, he canvassed that this has become a trend in most developing nations. &lt;/p&gt;<br></div>

2014-10-25 10:07:10

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53

<table border=”0″ cellspacing=”0″><tbody><tr><td colspan=”4″ height=”53″ valign=”top”><div id=”housetext_newbody”>&lt;p align=”justify”&gt;Sitting of the Federal House of Representatives on Wednesday, 25 June, 2014 started with a motion of privileges under the House Standing Orders moved by Hon. Egbuefi Ozorbachi on the alleged harassment of the Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Aminu Tambuwal, by security operatives who claimed they were acting on orders. The incident was alleged to have taken place at public function in Kaduna. He pointed out that the media has been awash with the purported attempt to ridicule the person and office of the Speaker.&lt;/p&gt;<br>&lt;p align=”justify”&gt;<br>The mover of the motion stated that Nigeria is governed by Constitutional principles and in a democracy the legislature holds the sovereign will of the people. For him, if there is anything the international community still appreciate about Nigeria, it is the perception that for the past few years the nation has maintained democratic institutions and principles. He cautioned that everything should be done to that the legislature is not undermined by any government operatives. “To ridicule the office of the Honourable Speaker is a dent on our democracy” he added.&lt;/p&gt;<br>&lt;p align=”justify”&gt;<br>Hon. Ozormbachi was convinced Mr. President and indeed heads of security agencies were not aware of what transpired. He said it could be easily attributed to over zealousness of the security personnel. The Speaker,&nbsp; Rt. Hon. Tambuwal, interrupted deliberation on the matter and begged to brief the Reps on what really happened on that faithful day, but in a closed door session. After the briefing, relevant Committees of the House were mandated to investigate the matter and report back to the House in one week.<br>Before the commencement of proceedings, the Speaker gave his welcome address in which he urged his colleagues to be fully committed and to ensure due diligence in executing their legislative duties, especially now that the 2015 elections are approaching and serious politicking is almost becoming a distraction to make the lawmakers neglect their duties. He commended the security operatives for the unrelenting fight against terrorism in the North East region of the country, but noted that insurgency is yet to be tackled. &lt;/p&gt;<br>&lt;p align=”justify”&gt;Rt. Hon. Tambuwal called on Nigerians to return to the drawing board of democratic practice, pointing out that the military has become an instrument of intimidation of ordinary law abiding citizens. “A situation where people’s right to free movement is breached by grounding airplanes, intimidation of media, conducting arrest and detention of innocent citizens including elected officials&nbsp; is worrisome” he cautioned. &lt;/p&gt;<br></div></td> </tr> <tr> <td height=”1″><br></td> <td><br></td> <td><br></td> <td><br></td></tr></tbody></table>

2014-10-25 08:47:02

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