Below is the Nigerian Senate’s proceeding of Wednesday 29th November, 2017.
Welcome to a new Legislative Day in the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Senate President, Bukola Saraki took the official Prayer and led the Chambers into today’s proceedings at 10.36am.
Senator Lanre Tejuoso moved for the approval of votes and proceedings of Tuesday, 28th November, 2017, Senator Ahmed Ogembe seconded.
Senate President, Bukola Saraki read a letter from Mr. President, Muhammadu Buhari on the confirmation of chairman and members of the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB).
Senate President, Bukola Saraki announced the invitation of distinguished Senators to the inauguration of the Ad-hoc Committee on the review of the current security structure in the Country tomorrow 30th November, 2017.
Senator Ahmed Ogembe raised a petition from a member of his constituency on outstanding salary allowance from the National Lottery Commission.
Senate President, Bukola Saraki referred the Petition to the Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions.
POINT OF ORDER
Senator Sonni Ogbuoji cited order 43 and spoke on the incident that took place at a police checkpoint sometime in 2005 leading to the death of 5 young men and a young lady.
The commander of the police squad unit Danjuma Ibrahim has been reinstated into the Police Force after the judicial panel of inquiry found him guilty and sentenced him to prison for murder after the killing of 6 innocent people. And another police officer Uthman Abdusalami is at large.
Senate President, Bukola Saraki referred the order cited by Senator Sonni Ogbuoji to the Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions.
PRESENTATION AND CONSIDERATION OF A REPORT
- Report of the Committee on Niger Delta on the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) Act 2000 Bill, 2017 (SB. 578) by Senator Peter Nwaoboshi.
Senator Kabiru Gaya seconded that the Senate do receive and consider the report of the Committee on Niger Delta on the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) Act 2000 Bill, 2017 (SB. 578).
‘We need to improve the revenue and funding source, check financial challenges threatening this commission. Lack of payment of Gas companies has created huge financial debt.’- Senator Peter Nwaoboshi.
COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE
Senate dissolved into the Committee of the Whole for the clause by clause consideration of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) Act 2000 Bill, 2027 (SB. 578).
Senate reverted to plenary and reported progress.
The Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) Act 2000 Bill, 2017 (SB. 578) is read the THIRD time and PASSED.
‘We need to provide the source of funding for the Niger Delta Development Commission, in the past the gas companies has not contributed to the funding,the amendment of this Bill will bring more funds into the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).’-Senate President, Bukola Saraki.
- The worrisome state of security in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe States by Senator Mohammed Ali Ndume.
Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu seconded and supported the motion raised by senator Ali Ndume.
That the Ad-hoc Committee chaired by Senate Leader should handle the issue and report back to the Senate.
- Rescission of the Senate resolution on the confirmation of the nomination of Ahmad Bello Mahmud representing Zamfara State as nominee for Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) by Senator Kabir Marafa.
That the motion be referred back to the Committee on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to report back in a week.
- Urgent need to protect Nigerian Citizens from the Libya Slavery Auctions by Senator Baba Kaka Bashir Garbai.
‘We need to address the core issues of this illegal migration. We must check the corrupt activities of leaders who aid such illegality.’- Senator Ali Wakili.
‘It is high time we resign to citizen diplomacy in Nigeria and Nigerians must not only take lives of every Nigerians seriously but also defend her citizens.’- Senator Dino Melaye.
‘Time has come as a country to look into this issue. Nigerian ambassador to Libya must be invited to explain why this slavery auction has been going on unabated’. – Senator Akpan Bassey.
Senate resolved to:
- Condemn in totality the current depravity and sheer animalism being exhibited by these Libyans selling fellow Africans as slaves;
- Urge the Federal Government to urgently investigate how many of our people are affected;
III. Urge the Federal Government to urgently commence the process of repatriation and rehabilitation of Nigerian citizens caught up in these despicable treatment and human rights abuses;
- Urge the Federal Government to take all diplomatic steps to ensure that everyone involved is held accountable to face the full weight of international law and justice;
- Urge the Government at all levels in Africa to take steps to ameliorate the economic hardship fielding this migration crises; and
- Urge Mr. President, Muhammadu Buhari to seize the opportunity of the ongoing AU-EU all summit in Abidjan to table the matter.
‘As a country its a slap on our face if nigerians can be treated in this manner, we need to mandate the foreign affairs to summon the libyan ambassador here in nigeria to explain what is happening.’- Senate President, Bukola Saraki.
- Need to enforce the terms of 1993 Production sharing contract (PSC) agreement between the international oil companies (IOC) and the Federal Government by Senator Tayo Alasoadura.
Senator Abdullahi Yahaya seconded and supported the motion raised by Senator Tayo Alasoadura.
Senate resolved to:
- Mandate the Committee on Petroleum Resources (Upstream) to investigate the implementation of Production Sharing Contracts (PSC) agreements of 1993 and determine the extent of revenue losses and proffer lasting solution to the problems of implementing the agreement; and
- Urge those charged with statutory responsibility of reviewing the contract to do so to reflect the current economic condition in line with the 1999 Constitution.
‘We can see here the colossal huge losses to the country because people who are saddled with the responsibility of protecting this country are not doing so.’-Senate President, Bukola Saraki.
‘The question as to why the simple issue where there’s clear agreement when crude oil goes above $20 per barrel but some people because of their own personal interest decide to keep quiet at the expense of this country and this matter needs to be investigated. There is revenue within the country we can find instead of continuously trying to borrow money.’- Senate President, Bukola Saraki.
CONSIDERATION OF A BILL
- A bill for an act to authorize the issue from consolidated revenue fund of the Federation the total sum of N8,612,236,953,214 (eight trillion, six hundred and twelve billion, two hundred and thirty six million, nine hundred and fifty three thousand, two hundred and fourteen naira) only, of which N456,458,654,074 (four hundred and fifty six billion, four hundred and fifty eight million, six hundred and fifty four thousand, seventy four naira) only is for statutory transfers, N2,233,835,365,699 (two trillion, two hundred and thirty three billion, eight hundred and thirty five million, three hundred and sixty five thousand, six hundred and ninety nine naira) only is for debt service, N3,494,277,820,219 (three trillion, four hundred ninety four billion, two hundred and seventy seven million, eight hundred and twenty thousand, two hundred and nineteen naira) only is for recurrent (non debt) expenditure while the sum of N2,427,665,113,222 (two trillion, four hundred and twenty seven billion, six hundred and sixty five million, one hundred and thirteen thousand, two hundred and twenty two naira) is for contribution to the development fund for capital expenditure for the year ending 31st December, 2018 (SB. 575)- second reading 2nd Allotted day by Senate Leader.
‘I urge the Government to review upward oil benchmark from $45 to $50 per barrel, with this we may not need to borrow. Over 30% of the budget is committed to capital projects, we hope the amount proposed will be released to the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).’- Senator Adamu Aliero.
‘The impact of borrowing must be reduced. it is not possible for the Federal Government expenditure alone to cater for the economy.’- Senator Akpan Bassey.
‘I commend the Federal Government for bringing the budget on time, I worry on the implementation of the 2017 budget, if by December the 2017 budget is about 17% implemented then it is worrisome of what becomes of the 2018 budget. We need to meet the expected dividend of democracy to Nigerians.’-Senator Godswill Akpabio.
‘It is time for us as Public officers at all levels to be sincere to the citizens of this Country. The N8.26trillion budget is not realistic, must we begin every year to propose a budget that is not realistic? Benchmark at $45 per barrel is to low, I propose a benchmark of $50 per barrel.’- Senator Dino Melaye.
‘In the 2018 budget we should ensure the budget starts with the masses, that includes: health, power and employment. The biggest casualty of the budget is the health sector. The 2018 budget has been reduced in the Health sector from 4.23% to 3.9% and only 15% of the 2017 budget of the health sector was released.’-Senator Lanre Tejuoso.
Senator Sabi Abdullahi in his response to Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe said the budget is not imaginary; stating that as at 2017 the economy was in recession, today we are happy the Country is out of recession.
‘The made in Aba project is now made in Nigeria project as our ease of doing business has improved with a quantum leap. We need to reduce medical tourism, we should ask if this budget will reduce the number of Nigerians seeking medical attention abroad.’- Senator Sabi Abdullahi.
‘We should look into what we can generate within the Country to Fund the budget instead of seeking external loans.’- Senator Philip Gyunka.
‘Mismanagement of resources led us to recession. It is not about how much money we have but how we manage the money.’- Sen. Hope Uzodinma.
‘Every budget we have considered so far, none has been implemented up to 40%. Every budget that has been passed has not been properly managed, we have borrowed, Poverty is on the increase.’- Senator Biodun Olujimi.
‘I don’t want a budget deficit, no gain without pain, we must face the truth collectively.’- Senator Olusola Adeyeye.
‘This current administration say their main focus is to diversify the economy from oil to Solid Minerals and other revenue generating sources. Nothing in this budget suggests that the Government is working to achieve this. In the current budget N20billion was proposed but we don’t know how much would be released eventually.’-Senator Atai Aidoko.
‘Road infrastructure is very important to us especially in the South East, current roads are impassable. We want the Ministry of Works, Power and Housing to prioritize the Enugu-Port Harcourt road. If the huge amount spent on security and defence is directed to employment generation we will spend far less in security.’- Senator Chukwuka Utazi.
‘We need to dwell directly on aspects that has bearing on our constituents, let us lay emphasis on the welfare of Nigerians rather than taking up elitist projects.’- Senator Suleiman Nazif.
‘Greatest problem we have today is the issue of deficit. Nothing in this budget suggests that Edo State, my State is being taken care of, no road, no infrastructure.’-Senator Matthew Urhoghide.
‘While thanking Mr. President and his diligent team for the thoughtfulness of making provisions for these projects and more, it is necessary to advice that the Budget Managers should be very sensitive to the expectations of our people in terms of timely delivery on the projects.’ -Senator Ovie Omo-Agege.
‘The intention of Government is to have 50% of the 2017 budget implemented before the year runs out, we need to hold them to this commitment.’- Senate President, Bukola Saraki.
‘My concern is that Government has been able to effectively block leakages in capital expenditure and people have now moved to current and personnel expenditure for all sort of unscrupulous activities.’-Senate President, Bukola Saraki.
Senate Leader moved that all other items on the order paper be stood down to another Legislative day. Minority Leader Seconded.
Plenary is adjourned to Thursday, 30th November, 2017.
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