Plenary Proceedings of the House of Representatives for Wednesday, February 26th, 2020, The Speaker of the House, Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila presiding.

After leading the opening prayer, the Speaker went on to examine and approve the votes and proceedings for Tuesday, February 25th, 2020
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ANNOUNCEMENTS

1. Plenary on Thursday, March 12 will be dedicated solely to debating the plight of out of school children, the situation is a keg of gun powder that needs to be addressed and members are called on to make themselves available for the debate.

2. The Speaker of the House, Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila reminded members to ensure they submit their signed nomination forms for State caucuses nominating one member per State to represent the states at the Constitution Review exercise. He stated that the deadline is today, Wednesday, February 26th 2020.

3. Honourable Members should submit the names of four members from their constituencies to the office of the Chairman, House Committee on Poverty Alleviation.
Rep. Abdullahi Salame to serve as N-Power supervisors.

4. The House Services Committee will hold a presentation on Thursday, February 27, 2020, after plenary.
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PETITION

1. Rep. Haruna Dederi laid a petition from a complainant on the alleged infringement of her fundamental human rights, she pleaded with the House to intervene.

The petition was referred to the Committee on Public Petitions
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MATTERS OF URGENT PUBLIC IMPORTANCE

1. Rep. Yusuf Gagdi moved a motion on the need to investigate the excess and illegal charges by banks on customers, especially public offices and it was seconded by Rep. Unyime Idem.
Rep. Gagdi stated that while the banking industry is supposed to be a pivotal sector that should be a catalyst and support system for the federal government’s drive for the ease of doing business; the experience of customers at the hands of these banks have left little to be desired by such customers and businesses nationwide. He stated that even though the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had on several occasions intervened on the issue; the charges continue unabated. Rep. Gagdi stated that these charges may look small for each individual, but when collated, it amounts to staggering funds that should not be syphoned illegally. He called on the House to commence an investigation to determine the extent and amount of these illegal charges, that the House Committee on Banking should also liaise with professional financial consultants to unravel the extent of infringement on the Nigerian public and report back to the House within four weeks for further legislative action.
The motion was voted on, adopted and referred to the Committee on Banking.

2. Rep. Kakale Sheu moved a motion on the need to ensure the consorted efforts by the federal government to deal with Lassa fever, the coronavirus and all such diseases is not derailed by procedural errors and it was seconded by Rep. Benjamin Mzondu.
Rep. Kakale stated that the efforts of the Federal government are seriously hampered by the depletion of medical equipment and their diversion. He stated that even though the federal government has been proactive in the exercise, the procurement system seems to be consciously derailed, he called on the Federal government to refer the purchasing rights back to the ministry of health and that the ministry of agriculture should not be interfering, but focus on its other mandates. Rep. Kakale also called on the relevant House Committee to ensure compliance with the prayers.
The motion was voted on and adopted.

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PRESENTATION OF REPORTS

1. Committee on Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC):
Rep. Olubunmi Tunji Ojo:
“That the House do receive the Report of the Committee on Niger Delta Development Commission on the issue from the Statutory Revenue Fund of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), the Total Sum of N346,388,900,000.00 (Three Hundred and Forty-Six Billion, Three Hundred and Eighty-Eight Million, Nine Hundred Thousand Naira) only, of which the Sum of N22,338,900,000 (Twenty-Two Billion, Three Hundred and Thirty-Eight Million, Nine Hundred Thousand Naira) only, is for Personnel Expenditure, while the Sum of N13,466,810,000 (Thirteen Billion, Four Hundred and Sixty-Six Million, Eight Hundred and Ten Thousand Naira) only, is for Overhead Expenditure, while the sum of N4,083, 000,007 (Four Billion, and Eighty-Three Million, Seven Kobo) only, is for Internal Capital Expenditure and the sum of N306,500,899,992 (Three Hundred and Six Billion, Five Hundred Million, Eight Hundred and Ninety-Nine Thousand, Nine Hundred and Ninety-Two Naira) only is for Development Projects for the Service of the Niger Delta Development Commission(NDDC) for the Financial Year Ending on 31 May 2020 (Referred:26/11//2019).

The report was laid following a motion moved by Rep. Olubunmi Ojo and seconded by Rep. Nkeriruka Onyejeocha.

2.House Delegation on Parliamentary Union Conference of the OIC Member States:
Rep. Mohammed Tahir Mouguno:
“That the House do receive the Report of the House Delegation on the Parliamentary Union Conference of the OIC Member States, 15th Edition held at Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso from 27–30 January 2020”.

The report was laid following a motion moved by Rep. Mohammed Tahir Monguno and seconded by Rep. Mohammed Wudil.
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ORDERS OF THE DAY
BILLS
1. A Bill for an Act to Establish Chartered Institute of Public Administration of Nigeria and to make Provisions, among other things, for Membership and Control of the Profession of Public Administration; and for Related Matters (HB.329) – Third Reading.

Debate
Rep. Alhassan Ado-Doguwa moved for the third reading of the Bill and it was seconded by Rep. Mohammed Wudil.
The Bill was voted on, approved for third reading, the Clerk read its long title and it was passed.

2. A Bill for an Act to Establish South West Development Commission charged with Responsibility, among others, to Receive and Manage Funds from Allocation of the Federation Account, including Donations and Gifts, for the Reconstruction and Rehabilitation of Roads, Houses and other Infrastructural damages suffered by the Region and the Need to tackle the Ecological Problems and any other Related Environmental or Developmental Challenges in the South West States; and for Related Matters (HB.597) (Rep. Olufemi Fakeye and 80 Others) – Second Reading.

Debate
Rep. Fakeye moved for the second reading of the Bill and it was seconded by Rep. Abbas Tajudeen.
In leading the debate Rep. Fakeye stated that the Bill seeks to establish the commission to receive and manage funds for the reconstruction and rehabilitation of infrastructural damages as well as tackling developmental challenges in the southwest region of Nigeria. He noted that the Southwest region is one of the earliest ports of entry into Nigeria, and the fact that socio-economic activities in the region started early; the burdens of huge traffic have strained a lot of infrastructures that need constant rehabilitation, this he stated the Bill seeks to address. Rep. Fakeye stated that the Bill enjoys the endorsement of members from all zones of the nation.
Rep. Nasir Ahmed called for the support of the Bill as development in any region; is a development for all Nigerians living in the region. He also stated that such a Commission would do well to be sited in every region to ensure national development.
Rep. Abbas Tajudeen shared the same view.
Rep. Nichola Ossai supported the Bill as the Southwest has contributed heavily to the Nigerian development and continues to do so, so such massive infrastructure rehabilitation needs to be effected.
Rep. Mohammed Tahir Monguno stated that he remembered with nostalgia when the Northeast Development Commission Bill was passed without any voice of dissent and hence Nigerians living in the Southwest deserve the same gesture for the rehabilitation of the region. He also cited the socio-economic burden on Lagos due to its strategic location as the economic nerve-centre of the country.
Rep. Nkeiruka Onyejeocha stated that the Bill as it seeks infrastructural development would benefit all Nigerians in the region irrespective of their State of origin, which by extension translates to national development. As such, the co-sponsor of the Bill sought the support of her colleagues for the second reading of the Bill. The Bill she stated is a wake-up call to ensure all geo-political zones of the nation could be developed through such legislative means.
Rep. Tyough Aondona differed and stated that the Southwest is already more developed than many other regions in Nigeria and does not need the Commission.
Rep. Buba Yakub stated that even if any member does not support the Bill, for the sake of Lagos state as the national commercial nerve centre, it should be supported as this would economically benefit Nigeria as a whole. This view was also expressed by Rep. Shehu Koko.
Rep. Henry Nwawuba stated that the Bill is an opportunity to present a legislative solution to clear developmental needs and it is the responsibility of progressive lawmakers to ensure that the Bill is passed and assented to so that the developmental issues of the Southwest can be resolved. Rep. Nwawuba also stated that it would be worthy for Bills seeking to develop other regions of the nation to be introduced.
Rep. Shehu Kakale stated that the Bill will promote the necessary comparative economic advantage for Nigerians to have access to the infrastructure needed to develop economically, thrive and attract the needed foreign investment. He also hoped other regions of the nation would have such developmental Bills.
The Bill was voted on, passed for second reading and referred to the House Committee on Justice.

3. A Bill for an Act to Establish Federal College of Education (Technical) Ikirun, Osun Sate to Provide for Full-Time Courses, Teaching, Instruction and Training in Technology Applied Science, Arts, Social Science, Humanities and Management; and for Related Matters (HB. 532) (Rep. Rasheed Afolabi Olalekan) – Second Reading.

Debate
Rep. Olalekan Rasheed moved for the second reading of the Bill and it was seconded by Rep. Kehinde Agoola.
Rep. Olalekan stated that education is a requisite tool needed to enable individuals to function effectively in the society and a catalyst for regional as well as national growth that is directly related to the resultant regional and national development. He stated that the Osun Central District lacks the required Federal presence in educational infrastructure, hence the need for the establishment of the desired college of education.
The Bill was voted on, passed for second reading and referred to the Committee on Tertiary Education.

4. A Bill for an Act to Repeal the Police Act, Cap. P19, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 and Enact the Nigeria Police Bill to provide the Framework for the Nigeria Police Force, ensure Cooperation and Partnership between the Police and Host Communities in Maintaining Peace and Combatting Crimes; and for Related Matters (HB. 684) (Rep. Gagdi Adamu Yusuf) – Second Reading.

Debate
Rep. Gagdi moved for the second reading of the Bill and it was seconded by Rep. Rurum Alhassan.
In leading the debate Rep. Gagdi stated that Bill seeks to provide for an efficient framework for the police service and provide for peaceful cooperation between personnel of the police and their host communities. It is also concerned with the welfare of the police personnel during and after their active service and to deal with existing lacuna in the Act amongst other matters. Rep. Gagdi stated that the operational provisions of the Police Act is still the same that was enacted in 1943 and the current times demands an amendment to be more practical, and effective to tackle the realities of preparedness to tackle banditry, kidnapping, insecurity, intelligence gathering, prevention of crime, gender discrimination, comply with the current legislative agenda and ensure the Nigeria police delivers on what is expected of it. Rep. Bamidele Salam in supporting the debate stated the Bill is necessary to guard the policing system so that internal security will be effectively handled by its personnel. He called for deep scrutiny into the recruitment exercise into the police system so that the right personnel would form the foundation of a better policing system.
The Bill was voted on, passed for second reading and referred to the House Committee on Police Affairs.
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MOTIONS
5. Need to Assess the Quality of Work on the Abuja-Lokoja Dual Carriageway:
Rep. Hassan Abdullahi:

The House:

Notes that the contract for the reconstruction of Abuja-Lokoja Expressway was awarded to Messrs Dantata and Sawoe, RCC Nigeria Ltd, Bullentine Construction Company Nigeria Ltd and Gitto ConstruzioniGeneralli Nigeria Ltd in 2006 with some of the contractors having completed their sections while others appear to be experimenting;

Also notes that the dual carriageway has become dangerous to thousands for Nigerians that ply the very busy road with strange folds, contours and potholes that have continued to frighten drivers and passengers, thus leading to harrowing travelling experiences with the section between Giri junction to the main Gwagwalada town and between Abaji and Lokoja being the worst sections;

Further notes that the 196 kilometres highway is one of the most critical roads in the country, being the major link between the North and South for the movement of people and goods through vehicular transportation;

Equally notes that the road has turned to a death trap as a result of heavy traffic, badly constructed portions which have led to daily multiple accidents resulting to deaths and destruction of properties worth several millions of naira;

Resolves to:

(i) Urge the Hon. Minister of Works and Housing to carry out an evaluation of the contract for the reconstruction of Abuja-Lokoja dual carriageway to assess the quality and durability of the construction and ascertain its conformity with the architectural and engineering designs in line with the contract;

(ii) Mandate the Committee on Works to liaise with the Minister of Works and Housing, and stakeholders to review the conflicting issues on the construction of the Abuja-Lokoja Expressway with a view to balancing information on the state of the reconstruction of the road and report back in four weeks for further legislative action.

Motion stepped down due to the absence of its mover

6. Need to Support the Victims of Fire Disaster at Aghoro Market, Ekeremor Local Government Area of Bayelsa State:
Rep. Frederick Yeitiemone Agbedi:

The House:

Notes that Aghoro market which has been in existence before the colonial era, is one of the largest in the Niger Delta Area as traders patronize the market from all sections of the Niger Delta and beyond;

Informed that in the early hours of 3 January 2020 when the community was still in the mood of celebrating the New Year, they were struck with the sight of a fire outbreak in their market and it took the collective efforts of good-spirited individuals to avert loss of lives;

Also informed that properties worth millions of naira were destroyed in the fire, thereby destroying the means of livelihood of the victims;

Cognizant of the need to bring succour to the victims of the fire disaster;

Resolves to:

(i) Urge the National Emergency Management Agency to immediately send relief materials to the victims of the fire incident;

(ii) Mandate the Committee on Emergency and Disaster Preparedness to ensure compliance.

Motion stepped down due to the absence of its mover

7. Need to Construct a Flyover or Roundabout at Jama’are/Itas/Gadau Junction on the Kano-Maiduguri Expressway:
Rep. Bashir Uba Mashema:

The House

Notes that the welfare and security of the people is the primary purpose of government, and it is in realization of the above that the federal government awarded the contract for the dualization of the 600km road linking Kano, Jigawa, Bauchi, Yobe and Maiduguri at the cost of (N50, 000, 000, 000) Fifty Billion Naira in 2006 to ease the free movement of people and goods;

Also notes that the road passes through several communities, towns and cities, including Jama’are/Itas/Gadau Junction, where citizens of the area live along the federal high way which intersects Jama’are/Itas/Gadau road, a State Road in Bauchi State;

Concerned that the intersection has become very dangerous since commuters on the highway are usually on top speed and there is no overhead bridge or roundabout to allow free movement of travellers, vehicles or residents from communities along Jama’are/ltas Gadau State Road;

Also concerned that the absence of a flyover or roundabout at the intersection has become a death trap as residents attempting to cross the federal highway are being knocked down by vehicles on a daily basis, hence the need for construction of a flyover or roundabout in Jama’are along the Kano-Maiduguri expressway.

Resolves to:

(i) Urge the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing to immediately construct a flyover or at least a roundabout to ease vehicle movement and reduce accident on the highway;

(ii) Mandate the Committee of Works to ensure implementation.

Debate
Rep. Bahir Mashema moved the motion on the urgent need to construct a flyover or roundabout at Jama’are/Itas/Gadau junction on the Kano-Maiduguri Expressway and it was seconded by Rep. Haruna Mshelia.
As an infrastructure-related motion, it was voted on and adopted.

8. Need to Construct Multipurpose Mini Stadium in Shira and Giade Federal Constituency of Bauchi State:
Rep. Kani Abubakar Faggo:

The House:
Notes that sport is a powerful tool in strengthening social ties and networks and has been proven to be an effective catalyst for promoting peaceful, locally-driven development;

Also notes that sports is a tool for job creation and revenue generation as individuals who are actively engaged in sporting could derive their livelihoods from games and when sports facilities are leased out, revenues are also derived from them;

Aware that active engagement of the youths in sports will greatly reduce negative influences such as drugs and alcohol addiction, gang affiliation, criminality and myriad forms of anti-social activities to an appreciable extent, thus fostering nation-building and economic development;

Also aware that the youths of Shira and Giade Local Government Areas are actively engaged in sporting activities with an estimated 126 registered football teams, 6 volleyball teams, 3 hockey teams, 11, langa teams, 7 badminton teams and 5 table tennis teams and have over 25,000 sports fans and supporters across the two Local Government Areas;

Concerned that the youths of the Local Governments are unable to reach their full potentials in sports development due to inadequate sporting facilities and stadiums, hence, many of them have become discouraged and resorted to anti-social behaviour for want of better ways to keep their idle minds occupied;

Cognizant that the construction of a mini-stadium in each of the Local Government Areas would generate huge revenue and create employment opportunities in the communities of Shira/Giade Federal Constituency;

Also cognizant that the construction of multipurpose mini stadiums in Shira and Giade Local Government Areas will not only be cost effective but will also open avenues for participation in more variety of sporting activities while providing opportunities for supporters to come together and encourage the youths to strive to be better as well as attract investors to the communities of Shira/Giade Federal Constituency and Bauchi State in general;

Resolves to:

(i) Urge the Federal Government to make provision in the 2021 budget estimates for the construction of multipurpose mini stadiums at Shira and Giade Local Government Areas of Bauchi State in order to encourage sports and youth development;

(ii) Mandate the Committees on Sports, Youth Development and Appropriations to ensure implementation.

Debate
Rep. Faggo moved a motion on the need to construct a multipurpose mini stadium in Shira and Giade federal constituency of Bauchi state and it was seconded by Rep. Munir Dan Agundi.
As an infrastructure-related motion, it was voted on and adopted.

9. Need to Investigate the Privatization of Afam Power PLC and the New Afam III 240MW Power Plants by the Bureau of Public Enterprises:
Rep. Uzoma Nkem-Abonta Rep. Mzondu Benjamin Bem
Rep. Dike Chisom Promise:

The House:

Notes that on 31 July 2013, Televaras Group beat other contenders to emerge the preferred bidder for the AFAM Power Plant PLC with a bid of $260m;

Also notes that a $64m payment was made by Televaras Group to the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), however, the deal remained inconclusive due to the inability of the government to sign a Gas Supply Agreement with the company until February 2016 when the said gas agreement was eventually signed;

Aware that prior to the signing of the Agreement, the Management of AFAM Power Plant PLC got approval from the Federal Ministry of Power to decommission and scrap AFAM I – III which were part of the Assets in the deal secured by Televaras Group;

Concerned that in view of this development, Televaras Group made an application to the Bureau of Public Enterprises for the reduction of the total bid price, which was turned down and in turn, made the investors to terminate the deal and subsequently, requested for the refund of their initial 25% deposit which was granted and the monies refunded on 30 of November 2019;

Informed that in 2017, the then Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing communicated to the Bureau of Public Enterprises via a letter dated 29 March 2017, its decision to commence rapid installation of Eight (8) GE 2500 mobile turbines that would generate 240MW of 30MW each on the site of AFAM III, which was earlier decommissioned and scrapped;

Worried that despite the decision to install mobile turbines at the site of AFAM III, the same communication from the Ministry also invited the Bureau of Public Enterprises to privatize both AFAM Power Plant PLC and AFAM Fast Power Plant;

Also worried that the BPE proceeded with the privatization and a preferred investor emerged with a bid of one hundred and five billion (N105, 000, 000, 000) naira, approximately $300m;

Also informed that Televaras Group was willing to pay a bid price of $260m for just AFAM Power Plant in 2013 without the AFAM Fast Power Plant which was at the period under construction, at a contract sum of $160m;

Observes that the said AFAM Power Plant PLC has a 575MW recoverable capacity from GT12 14, 15, 16, 19 and 20 which is capable of increasing the gross installed capacity of 1 096MW of the two Power Plants;

Resolves to:

(i) Urge the Bureau of Public Enterprises to suspend the latest transaction processes pending the outcome of the investigation;

(ii) Mandate the Committee on Privatization and Commercialization to investigate those transactions and report back within 4 weeks for further legislative action.

Motion stepped down due to the absence of its mover

10. Call on the Federal Government to Partner with Indigenous Inventors to Facilitate Growth of Inventors in Nigeria:
Rep. Dennis Idahosa.

The House:

Notes that the need to facilitate the growth of indigenous inventions and inventors to be at per with their counterparts worldwide cannot be over-emphasized as the global economic landscape is experiencing rapid changes;

Aware that Globalization, among others, is creating considerable new opportunities and new challenges by a plethora of breakthroughs, thus making significant progress in driving the economy;

Also notes that notable inventors of Nigerian extraction with remarkable inventions are making waves in the Science and Technology world, among whom are Philip Emeagwali, Adepoju Saheed, Jelani Aliyu, Ndubuisi Ekekwe, Col. Ovieno Ovadje (rtd.), Emeka Nchekwube, Erino Gilbert, Olu Atanda, Dr Osatohamem Osewengie and Silas Adekunle;

Also aware that in 2011 in Birnin Kebbi, former President Goodluck Jonathan said that Nigeria was going to run its economy based on science and technology, because Nigeria cannot move its economy forward without science and technology and that emphasis will be placed more on science and technology without which, Nigeria was just dreaming;

Further aware that 8 years after, President Muhammadu Buhari urged Nigerian Universities to intensify efforts at making discoveries and inventions that can assist the development of the country stating that over 53 years after independence, Nigerian Universities were slow in making discoveries and inventions;

Equally aware that from verifiable statistics, most of the Nigerian inventors are working alone without government or corporate support and the lack of investments in this area has hindered research and development in strategic industries;

Believes that over 60% of Nigeria’s population is below 30 years and are in touch with the changing world and the advancement in technology and therefore, the right time for more government participation in supporting inventions and discoveries is now;

Cognizant that the key to greatness among the comity of nations is the full utilization of the potentials of Nigeria’s youth force in areas of technological advancement;

Resolves to:

(i) Urge the Federal Government to support indigenous inventors and invention companies;

(ii) Mandate the Committee on Science and Technology to interface with the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology on the state of implementation of the National Policy on Science and Technology” especially on policy incentives to Nigerian youths for career development in Science and Technology, fields and report back within 4 weeks for further legislative action;

(iii) Mandate the Committee on Legislative Compliance to ensure compliance.

Debate
Rep. Idahosa moved the motion on the call on the federal government to partner with indigenous investors to facilitate the growth of Inventors in Nigeria and it was seconded by Rep. Bitrus Laware.
In leading the debate Rep. Idahosa stated that science and technology is the bedrock of any nation and it is the right time for Nigeria to be serious in the investment in science and technology as it would create the base for wellbeing for Nigerians comparable to any that can be acquired worldwide. Science and technology he stated have continued to drive the economy of leading nations in America, Europe and Asia and Nigeria cannot afford to be left behind. He called for better government support for the advancement of the science and technology sector to ensure economic diversification and growth.
Rep. Rotimi Agunsoye called for the cooperation of all arms of government to ensure that Nigeria, through its teeming populace and human resource benefits from the exploitation of the sector for the economic good of the nation.
Rep. Satomi Ahmed stated that the Nigerian government can ill afford to leave the science and technology sector undeveloped as the sector holds the secret to success in such endeavours as ensuring security, wealth creation, national development, ease of doing business, tourism and entertainment development as well as economic diversification.
The motion was voted on and adopted.

11. Need to Investigate the Degrading Sex Slavery Nigerian Women are Subjected to:
Rep. Rimamnde Shawulu Kwewum Rep. Yunusa Ahmed Abubakar
Rep. Zakariya Nyampa Rep. Abubakar Hassan Fulata Rep. Kwamoti Bitrus Laori Rep. Babajimi Benson
Rep. Sada Soli Rep. Dachung Musa Bagos:

The House:

Notes the assurances given by President Muhammadu Buhari in Sochi, Russia recently to the effect that the Nigerian Government would stretch its reach and capacity to protect all Nigerians all over the world;

Also notes that presently, there are several tens of thousands of Nigerian women who have been turned into sex slaves around the world and reports in the media show that Nigerian women and even underage girls have been turned into sex slaves in European and several Middle East countries:

Concerned that even the neighbouring West African states which depend on Nigeria for their wellbeing and security have become notorious in maltreating Nigerian women, keeping them as sex slaves and providing a haven for perpetrators of human trafficking;

Aware that the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) has conducted several investigations and discovered that:

(i) between 20,000-30,000 Nigerian girls are sex slaves with fifty additional girls being added to the list every day;

(ii) because of increased efforts of the Security Agencies, traffickers no longer accompany their victims to Mali but now “waybill” the girls through Cotonou;

(iii) many of the victims were deceived by friends and relatives to leave Nigeria for greener pastures (mostly domestic work, hairdressing or sales) in ‘Malaysia’ only to discover later that they are being used for sex trade;

(iv) Nigerian girls are trafficked mainly to the mining areas in the South and Central part of Mali, but a substantial number are trafficked to rebel-held areas in the North of Mali, where they stand the risk of being radicalized;

(v) some of the victims were taken away from Nigeria, some in school uniforms and are being treated like slaves and less than second class citizens by Malians and their law enforcement agencies collect taxes from the Nigerian women on a weekly basis and force them to use condoms;

(vi) Nigerian women are forced by their ‘Madams’ to sleep with numerous men, without using any protection, hence the high incidence of sexually transmitted diseases and other ailments;

(vii) the border point between Nigeria and Benin Republic at Seme-Krake is notoriously porous and in spite of numerous reports and pictures of notorious trafficking sent to Nigerian security agencies at the border, no action has been taken to curb the practice;

Also aware that recently, the Nigerian Ambassador to Burkina Faso, Ramatu Ahmed alerted that no fewer than 10,000 Nigerian, women, mainly under-aged girls are forced into prostitution in Ouagadougou and other mining camps across West Africa;

Worried that the continuation of this activity dents the image of the country and provides room for other West African countries to disrespect, not just Nigerian women, but all Nigerians;

Also concerned that several of the girls tricked into travelling out of the country have been brutally penalized for insisting that they would not prostitute. For instance in some cases, according to Kevin Hyland, Britain’s anti-slavery commissioner, women who insist they will not work as prostitutes are tied up in a position called crocodile, where their hands are tied to their feet and are left for days without food or water and some are left to die as an example to others;

Informed that in 2020 alone, fifteen young Nigerian women were killed in Mali to instil fear in the other women who may have had the intention of escaping;

Aware that Section 14(2) (b) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) provides that the government has the responsibility to provide for the security and welfare of Nigerians;

Observes that current efforts to combat the menace are commendable though not far-reaching and comprehensive and have not been adequately funded;

Resolves to:

(i) Urge personnel of the Nigerian Immigration Service at the ports and borders of Nigeria to permit trained NAPTIP officials to operate, to spot, identify and prevent the illicit emigration of potential victims and in the long term, given the low budget of NAPTIP, to make it mandatory for all border officials of all security agencies to be trained by NAPTIP

(ii) Also urge the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) to begin to shame the traffickers in their homes, including the widespread publication of the names and pictures of convicted traffickers;

(iii) Mandate the Committee on Human Rights to conduct an investigation into all aspects of sex slavery and recommend appropriate budgeting and legislative, measures including sanctions and cooperation with fellow African countries to stem the tide.

Debate
Rep. Rimamnde Shawulu moved the motion on the need to investigate the degrading sex slavery Nigerian women are subjected to and it was seconded by Rep. Danjuma Shiddi. Rep. Shawulu in leading the debate stated that the data of Nigerian ladies caught in the sex slave market is staggering and embarrassing to the nation. He stated that more attention needs to be paid to this industry that continues to paint Nigeria in a bad light and called on the House to take decisive action on this and provide legislation that would ensure Nigerian lives are respected home and abroad. He called on Nigerians to stop using the guise of looking for elusive greener pastures internationally to engage in or fall for such actions that do not yield any economic or health benefits. In light of this, Rep. Shawulu called for the reorientation of Nigerians to look inward and find alternative and positive means of wealth creation and employment of labour.
Rep. Sada Soli stated that the motion should be worrying to any concerned Nigerian and modern-day slavery like the market of arms and drugs is a global syndicate that has grown in finance, global spread and influence. He urged the Federal and State governments to ensure legislation to stem the tide exists, Rep. Soli commended the Edo and Delta state governments for being proactive in this light, calling on more states to do more. He stated that the entrepreneurial value chain needs serious advocacy and reorientation to ensure practitioners put conscience over seeming economic benefits.
Rep. Rotimi Agunsoye called for a solution that would address and take care of the root cause of the problem. He called on leaders in positions of authority to come together and see how economic hardship and poverty of the people can be alleviated and the need for individuals to engage in such vices would be reduced drastically.
Rep. Adebayo Olusegun called for more orientation by relevant agencies and civil society organizations to ensure young girls and boys are not deceived into what they think is financial emancipation through international jobs that mostly turn out to be merely sex trade. He called for a shift from the idea that only white-collar jobs or get-rich-quick schemes are the attractive means of engagement, calling for more emphasis on vocational and skill acquisition training, as this ensures more wealth creation, distribution, entrepreneurship and employment generation.
The motion was voted on and adopted.
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Adjournment:
The House at 2:46 PM adjourned plenary till Thursday, 27th, February 2020 by 11:00 A.M following a motion for adjournment moved by the Leader of the House, Rep. Alhassan Ado-Doguwa and seconded by the Deputy Leader, Rep. Peter Akpatason.

Courtesy:
Media Unit, Office of the Speaker, House of RepresentativesPlenary Proceedings of the House of Representatives for Wednesday, February 26th, 2020, The Speaker of the House, Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila presiding.

After leading the opening prayer, the Speaker went on to examine and approve the votes and proceedings for Tuesday, February 25th, 2020
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ANNOUNCEMENTS

1. Plenary on Thursday, March 12 will be dedicated solely to debating the plight of out of school children, the situation is a keg of gun powder that needs to be addressed and members are called on to make themselves available for the debate.

2. The Speaker of the House, Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila reminded members to ensure they submit their signed nomination forms for State caucuses nominating one member per State to represent the states at the Constitution Review exercise. He stated that the deadline is today, Wednesday, February 26th 2020.

3. Honourable Members should submit the names of four members from their constituencies to the office of the Chairman, House Committee on Poverty Alleviation.
Rep. Abdullahi Salame to serve as N-Power supervisors.

4. The House Services Committee will hold a presentation on Thursday, February 27, 2020, after plenary.
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PETITION

1. Rep. Haruna Dederi laid a petition from a complainant on the alleged infringement of her fundamental human rights, she pleaded with the House to intervene.

The petition was referred to the Committee on Public Petitions
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MATTERS OF URGENT PUBLIC IMPORTANCE

1. Rep. Yusuf Gagdi moved a motion on the need to investigate the excess and illegal charges by banks on customers, especially public offices and it was seconded by Rep. Unyime Idem.
Rep. Gagdi stated that while the banking industry is supposed to be a pivotal sector that should be a catalyst and support system for the federal government’s drive for the ease of doing business; the experience of customers at the hands of these banks have left little to be desired by such customers and businesses nationwide. He stated that even though the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had on several occasions intervened on the issue; the charges continue unabated. Rep. Gagdi stated that these charges may look small for each individual, but when collated, it amounts to staggering funds that should not be syphoned illegally. He called on the House to commence an investigation to determine the extent and amount of these illegal charges, that the House Committee on Banking should also liaise with professional financial consultants to unravel the extent of infringement on the Nigerian public and report back to the House within four weeks for further legislative action.
The motion was voted on, adopted and referred to the Committee on Banking.

2. Rep. Kakale Sheu moved a motion on the need to ensure the consorted efforts by the federal government to deal with Lassa fever, the coronavirus and all such diseases is not derailed by procedural errors and it was seconded by Rep. Benjamin Mzondu.
Rep. Kakale stated that the efforts of the Federal government are seriously hampered by the depletion of medical equipment and their diversion. He stated that even though the federal government has been proactive in the exercise, the procurement system seems to be consciously derailed, he called on the Federal government to refer the purchasing rights back to the ministry of health and that the ministry of agriculture should not be interfering, but focus on its other mandates. Rep. Kakale also called on the relevant House Committee to ensure compliance with the prayers.
The motion was voted on and adopted.

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PRESENTATION OF REPORTS

1. Committee on Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC):
Rep. Olubunmi Tunji Ojo:
“That the House do receive the Report of the Committee on Niger Delta Development Commission on the issue from the Statutory Revenue Fund of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), the Total Sum of N346,388,900,000.00 (Three Hundred and Forty-Six Billion, Three Hundred and Eighty-Eight Million, Nine Hundred Thousand Naira) only, of which the Sum of N22,338,900,000 (Twenty-Two Billion, Three Hundred and Thirty-Eight Million, Nine Hundred Thousand Naira) only, is for Personnel Expenditure, while the Sum of N13,466,810,000 (Thirteen Billion, Four Hundred and Sixty-Six Million, Eight Hundred and Ten Thousand Naira) only, is for Overhead Expenditure, while the sum of N4,083, 000,007 (Four Billion, and Eighty-Three Million, Seven Kobo) only, is for Internal Capital Expenditure and the sum of N306,500,899,992 (Three Hundred and Six Billion, Five Hundred Million, Eight Hundred and Ninety-Nine Thousand, Nine Hundred and Ninety-Two Naira) only is for Development Projects for the Service of the Niger Delta Development Commission(NDDC) for the Financial Year Ending on 31 May 2020 (Referred:26/11//2019).

The report was laid following a motion moved by Rep. Olubunmi Ojo and seconded by Rep. Nkeriruka Onyejeocha.

2.House Delegation on Parliamentary Union Conference of the OIC Member States:
Rep. Mohammed Tahir Mouguno:
“That the House do receive the Report of the House Delegation on the Parliamentary Union Conference of the OIC Member States, 15th Edition held at Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso from 27–30 January 2020”.

The report was laid following a motion moved by Rep. Mohammed Tahir Monguno and seconded by Rep. Mohammed Wudil.
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ORDERS OF THE DAY
BILLS
1. A Bill for an Act to Establish Chartered Institute of Public Administration of Nigeria and to make Provisions, among other things, for Membership and Control of the Profession of Public Administration; and for Related Matters (HB.329) – Third Reading.

Debate
Rep. Alhassan Ado-Doguwa moved for the third reading of the Bill and it was seconded by Rep. Mohammed Wudil.
The Bill was voted on, approved for third reading, the Clerk read its long title and it was passed.

2. A Bill for an Act to Establish South West Development Commission charged with Responsibility, among others, to Receive and Manage Funds from Allocation of the Federation Account, including Donations and Gifts, for the Reconstruction and Rehabilitation of Roads, Houses and other Infrastructural damages suffered by the Region and the Need to tackle the Ecological Problems and any other Related Environmental or Developmental Challenges in the South West States; and for Related Matters (HB.597) (Rep. Olufemi Fakeye and 80 Others) – Second Reading.

Debate
Rep. Fakeye moved for the second reading of the Bill and it was seconded by Rep. Abbas Tajudeen.
In leading the debate Rep. Fakeye stated that the Bill seeks to establish the commission to receive and manage funds for the reconstruction and rehabilitation of infrastructural damages as well as tackling developmental challenges in the southwest region of Nigeria. He noted that the Southwest region is one of the earliest ports of entry into Nigeria, and the fact that socio-economic activities in the region started early; the burdens of huge traffic have strained a lot of infrastructures that need constant rehabilitation, this he stated the Bill seeks to address. Rep. Fakeye stated that the Bill enjoys the endorsement of members from all zones of the nation.
Rep. Nasir Ahmed called for the support of the Bill as development in any region; is a development for all Nigerians living in the region. He also stated that such a Commission would do well to be sited in every region to ensure national development.
Rep. Abbas Tajudeen shared the same view.
Rep. Nichola Ossai supported the Bill as the Southwest has contributed heavily to the Nigerian development and continues to do so, so such massive infrastructure rehabilitation needs to be effected.
Rep. Mohammed Tahir Monguno stated that he remembered with nostalgia when the Northeast Development Commission Bill was passed without any voice of dissent and hence Nigerians living in the Southwest deserve the same gesture for the rehabilitation of the region. He also cited the socio-economic burden on Lagos due to its strategic location as the economic nerve-centre of the country.
Rep. Nkeiruka Onyejeocha stated that the Bill as it seeks infrastructural development would benefit all Nigerians in the region irrespective of their State of origin, which by extension translates to national development. As such, the co-sponsor of the Bill sought the support of her colleagues for the second reading of the Bill. The Bill she stated is a wake-up call to ensure all geo-political zones of the nation could be developed through such legislative means.
Rep. Tyough Aondona differed and stated that the Southwest is already more developed than many other regions in Nigeria and does not need the Commission.
Rep. Buba Yakub stated that even if any member does not support the Bill, for the sake of Lagos state as the national commercial nerve centre, it should be supported as this would economically benefit Nigeria as a whole. This view was also expressed by Rep. Shehu Koko.
Rep. Henry Nwawuba stated that the Bill is an opportunity to present a legislative solution to clear developmental needs and it is the responsibility of progressive lawmakers to ensure that the Bill is passed and assented to so that the developmental issues of the Southwest can be resolved. Rep. Nwawuba also stated that it would be worthy for Bills seeking to develop other regions of the nation to be introduced.
Rep. Shehu Kakale stated that the Bill will promote the necessary comparative economic advantage for Nigerians to have access to the infrastructure needed to develop economically, thrive and attract the needed foreign investment. He also hoped other regions of the nation would have such developmental Bills.
The Bill was voted on, passed for second reading and referred to the House Committee on Justice.

3. A Bill for an Act to Establish Federal College of Education (Technical) Ikirun, Osun Sate to Provide for Full-Time Courses, Teaching, Instruction and Training in Technology Applied Science, Arts, Social Science, Humanities and Management; and for Related Matters (HB. 532) (Rep. Rasheed Afolabi Olalekan) – Second Reading.

Debate
Rep. Olalekan Rasheed moved for the second reading of the Bill and it was seconded by Rep. Kehinde Agoola.
Rep. Olalekan stated that education is a requisite tool needed to enable individuals to function effectively in the society and a catalyst for regional as well as national growth that is directly related to the resultant regional and national development. He stated that the Osun Central District lacks the required Federal presence in educational infrastructure, hence the need for the establishment of the desired college of education.
The Bill was voted on, passed for second reading and referred to the Committee on Tertiary Education.

4. A Bill for an Act to Repeal the Police Act, Cap. P19, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 and Enact the Nigeria Police Bill to provide the Framework for the Nigeria Police Force, ensure Cooperation and Partnership between the Police and Host Communities in Maintaining Peace and Combatting Crimes; and for Related Matters (HB. 684) (Rep. Gagdi Adamu Yusuf) – Second Reading.

Debate
Rep. Gagdi moved for the second reading of the Bill and it was seconded by Rep. Rurum Alhassan.
In leading the debate Rep. Gagdi stated that Bill seeks to provide for an efficient framework for the police service and provide for peaceful cooperation between personnel of the police and their host communities. It is also concerned with the welfare of the police personnel during and after their active service and to deal with existing lacuna in the Act amongst other matters. Rep. Gagdi stated that the operational provisions of the Police Act is still the same that was enacted in 1943 and the current times demands an amendment to be more practical, and effective to tackle the realities of preparedness to tackle banditry, kidnapping, insecurity, intelligence gathering, prevention of crime, gender discrimination, comply with the current legislative agenda and ensure the Nigeria police delivers on what is expected of it. Rep. Bamidele Salam in supporting the debate stated the Bill is necessary to guard the policing system so that internal security will be effectively handled by its personnel. He called for deep scrutiny into the recruitment exercise into the police system so that the right personnel would form the foundation of a better policing system.
The Bill was voted on, passed for second reading and referred to the House Committee on Police Affairs.
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MOTIONS
5. Need to Assess the Quality of Work on the Abuja-Lokoja Dual Carriageway:
Rep. Hassan Abdullahi:

The House:

Notes that the contract for the reconstruction of Abuja-Lokoja Expressway was awarded to Messrs Dantata and Sawoe, RCC Nigeria Ltd, Bullentine Construction Company Nigeria Ltd and Gitto ConstruzioniGeneralli Nigeria Ltd in 2006 with some of the contractors having completed their sections while others appear to be experimenting;

Also notes that the dual carriageway has become dangerous to thousands for Nigerians that ply the very busy road with strange folds, contours and potholes that have continued to frighten drivers and passengers, thus leading to harrowing travelling experiences with the section between Giri junction to the main Gwagwalada town and between Abaji and Lokoja being the worst sections;

Further notes that the 196 kilometres highway is one of the most critical roads in the country, being the major link between the North and South for the movement of people and goods through vehicular transportation;

Equally notes that the road has turned to a death trap as a result of heavy traffic, badly constructed portions which have led to daily multiple accidents resulting to deaths and destruction of properties worth several millions of naira;

Resolves to:

(i) Urge the Hon. Minister of Works and Housing to carry out an evaluation of the contract for the reconstruction of Abuja-Lokoja dual carriageway to assess the quality and durability of the construction and ascertain its conformity with the architectural and engineering designs in line with the contract;

(ii) Mandate the Committee on Works to liaise with the Minister of Works and Housing, and stakeholders to review the conflicting issues on the construction of the Abuja-Lokoja Expressway with a view to balancing information on the state of the reconstruction of the road and report back in four weeks for further legislative action.

Motion stepped down due to the absence of its mover

6. Need to Support the Victims of Fire Disaster at Aghoro Market, Ekeremor Local Government Area of Bayelsa State:
Rep. Frederick Yeitiemone Agbedi:

The House:

Notes that Aghoro market which has been in existence before the colonial era, is one of the largest in the Niger Delta Area as traders patronize the market from all sections of the Niger Delta and beyond;

Informed that in the early hours of 3 January 2020 when the community was still in the mood of celebrating the New Year, they were struck with the sight of a fire outbreak in their market and it took the collective efforts of good-spirited individuals to avert loss of lives;

Also informed that properties worth millions of naira were destroyed in the fire, thereby destroying the means of livelihood of the victims;

Cognizant of the need to bring succour to the victims of the fire disaster;

Resolves to:

(i) Urge the National Emergency Management Agency to immediately send relief materials to the victims of the fire incident;

(ii) Mandate the Committee on Emergency and Disaster Preparedness to ensure compliance.

Motion stepped down due to the absence of its mover

7. Need to Construct a Flyover or Roundabout at Jama’are/Itas/Gadau Junction on the Kano-Maiduguri Expressway:
Rep. Bashir Uba Mashema:

The House

Notes that the welfare and security of the people is the primary purpose of government, and it is in realization of the above that the federal government awarded the contract for the dualization of the 600km road linking Kano, Jigawa, Bauchi, Yobe and Maiduguri at the cost of (N50, 000, 000, 000) Fifty Billion Naira in 2006 to ease the free movement of people and goods;

Also notes that the road passes through several communities, towns and cities, including Jama’are/Itas/Gadau Junction, where citizens of the area live along the federal high way which intersects Jama’are/Itas/Gadau road, a State Road in Bauchi State;

Concerned that the intersection has become very dangerous since commuters on the highway are usually on top speed and there is no overhead bridge or roundabout to allow free movement of travellers, vehicles or residents from communities along Jama’are/ltas Gadau State Road;

Also concerned that the absence of a flyover or roundabout at the intersection has become a death trap as residents attempting to cross the federal highway are being knocked down by vehicles on a daily basis, hence the need for construction of a flyover or roundabout in Jama’are along the Kano-Maiduguri expressway.

Resolves to:

(i) Urge the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing to immediately construct a flyover or at least a roundabout to ease vehicle movement and reduce accident on the highway;

(ii) Mandate the Committee of Works to ensure implementation.

Debate
Rep. Bahir Mashema moved the motion on the urgent need to construct a flyover or roundabout at Jama’are/Itas/Gadau junction on the Kano-Maiduguri Expressway and it was seconded by Rep. Haruna Mshelia.
As an infrastructure-related motion, it was voted on and adopted.

8. Need to Construct Multipurpose Mini Stadium in Shira and Giade Federal Constituency of Bauchi State:
Rep. Kani Abubakar Faggo:

The House:
Notes that sport is a powerful tool in strengthening social ties and networks and has been proven to be an effective catalyst for promoting peaceful, locally-driven development;

Also notes that sports is a tool for job creation and revenue generation as individuals who are actively engaged in sporting could derive their livelihoods from games and when sports facilities are leased out, revenues are also derived from them;

Aware that active engagement of the youths in sports will greatly reduce negative influences such as drugs and alcohol addiction, gang affiliation, criminality and myriad forms of anti-social activities to an appreciable extent, thus fostering nation-building and economic development;

Also aware that the youths of Shira and Giade Local Government Areas are actively engaged in sporting activities with an estimated 126 registered football teams, 6 volleyball teams, 3 hockey teams, 11, langa teams, 7 badminton teams and 5 table tennis teams and have over 25,000 sports fans and supporters across the two Local Government Areas;

Concerned that the youths of the Local Governments are unable to reach their full potentials in sports development due to inadequate sporting facilities and stadiums, hence, many of them have become discouraged and resorted to anti-social behaviour for want of better ways to keep their idle minds occupied;

Cognizant that the construction of a mini-stadium in each of the Local Government Areas would generate huge revenue and create employment opportunities in the communities of Shira/Giade Federal Constituency;

Also cognizant that the construction of multipurpose mini stadiums in Shira and Giade Local Government Areas will not only be cost effective but will also open avenues for participation in more variety of sporting activities while providing opportunities for supporters to come together and encourage the youths to strive to be better as well as attract investors to the communities of Shira/Giade Federal Constituency and Bauchi State in general;

Resolves to:

(i) Urge the Federal Government to make provision in the 2021 budget estimates for the construction of multipurpose mini stadiums at Shira and Giade Local Government Areas of Bauchi State in order to encourage sports and youth development;

(ii) Mandate the Committees on Sports, Youth Development and Appropriations to ensure implementation.

Debate
Rep. Faggo moved a motion on the need to construct a multipurpose mini stadium in Shira and Giade federal constituency of Bauchi state and it was seconded by Rep. Munir Dan Agundi.
As an infrastructure-related motion, it was voted on and adopted.

9. Need to Investigate the Privatization of Afam Power PLC and the New Afam III 240MW Power Plants by the Bureau of Public Enterprises:
Rep. Uzoma Nkem-Abonta Rep. Mzondu Benjamin Bem
Rep. Dike Chisom Promise:

The House:

Notes that on 31 July 2013, Televaras Group beat other contenders to emerge the preferred bidder for the AFAM Power Plant PLC with a bid of $260m;

Also notes that a $64m payment was made by Televaras Group to the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), however, the deal remained inconclusive due to the inability of the government to sign a Gas Supply Agreement with the company until February 2016 when the said gas agreement was eventually signed;

Aware that prior to the signing of the Agreement, the Management of AFAM Power Plant PLC got approval from the Federal Ministry of Power to decommission and scrap AFAM I – III which were part of the Assets in the deal secured by Televaras Group;

Concerned that in view of this development, Televaras Group made an application to the Bureau of Public Enterprises for the reduction of the total bid price, which was turned down and in turn, made the investors to terminate the deal and subsequently, requested for the refund of their initial 25% deposit which was granted and the monies refunded on 30 of November 2019;

Informed that in 2017, the then Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing communicated to the Bureau of Public Enterprises via a letter dated 29 March 2017, its decision to commence rapid installation of Eight (8) GE 2500 mobile turbines that would generate 240MW of 30MW each on the site of AFAM III, which was earlier decommissioned and scrapped;

Worried that despite the decision to install mobile turbines at the site of AFAM III, the same communication from the Ministry also invited the Bureau of Public Enterprises to privatize both AFAM Power Plant PLC and AFAM Fast Power Plant;

Also worried that the BPE proceeded with the privatization and a preferred investor emerged with a bid of one hundred and five billion (N105, 000, 000, 000) naira, approximately $300m;

Also informed that Televaras Group was willing to pay a bid price of $260m for just AFAM Power Plant in 2013 without the AFAM Fast Power Plant which was at the period under construction, at a contract sum of $160m;

Observes that the said AFAM Power Plant PLC has a 575MW recoverable capacity from GT12 14, 15, 16, 19 and 20 which is capable of increasing the gross installed capacity of 1 096MW of the two Power Plants;

Resolves to:

(i) Urge the Bureau of Public Enterprises to suspend the latest transaction processes pending the outcome of the investigation;

(ii) Mandate the Committee on Privatization and Commercialization to investigate those transactions and report back within 4 weeks for further legislative action.

Motion stepped down due to the absence of its mover

10. Call on the Federal Government to Partner with Indigenous Inventors to Facilitate Growth of Inventors in Nigeria:
Rep. Dennis Idahosa.

The House:

Notes that the need to facilitate the growth of indigenous inventions and inventors to be at per with their counterparts worldwide cannot be over-emphasized as the global economic landscape is experiencing rapid changes;

Aware that Globalization, among others, is creating considerable new opportunities and new challenges by a plethora of breakthroughs, thus making significant progress in driving the economy;

Also notes that notable inventors of Nigerian extraction with remarkable inventions are making waves in the Science and Technology world, among whom are Philip Emeagwali, Adepoju Saheed, Jelani Aliyu, Ndubuisi Ekekwe, Col. Ovieno Ovadje (rtd.), Emeka Nchekwube, Erino Gilbert, Olu Atanda, Dr Osatohamem Osewengie and Silas Adekunle;

Also aware that in 2011 in Birnin Kebbi, former President Goodluck Jonathan said that Nigeria was going to run its economy based on science and technology, because Nigeria cannot move its economy forward without science and technology and that emphasis will be placed more on science and technology without which, Nigeria was just dreaming;

Further aware that 8 years after, President Muhammadu Buhari urged Nigerian Universities to intensify efforts at making discoveries and inventions that can assist the development of the country stating that over 53 years after independence, Nigerian Universities were slow in making discoveries and inventions;

Equally aware that from verifiable statistics, most of the Nigerian inventors are working alone without government or corporate support and the lack of investments in this area has hindered research and development in strategic industries;

Believes that over 60% of Nigeria’s population is below 30 years and are in touch with the changing world and the advancement in technology and therefore, the right time for more government participation in supporting inventions and discoveries is now;

Cognizant that the key to greatness among the comity of nations is the full utilization of the potentials of Nigeria’s youth force in areas of technological advancement;

Resolves to:

(i) Urge the Federal Government to support indigenous inventors and invention companies;

(ii) Mandate the Committee on Science and Technology to interface with the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology on the state of implementation of the National Policy on Science and Technology” especially on policy incentives to Nigerian youths for career development in Science and Technology, fields and report back within 4 weeks for further legislative action;

(iii) Mandate the Committee on Legislative Compliance to ensure compliance.

Debate
Rep. Idahosa moved the motion on the call on the federal government to partner with indigenous investors to facilitate the growth of Inventors in Nigeria and it was seconded by Rep. Bitrus Laware.
In leading the debate Rep. Idahosa stated that science and technology is the bedrock of any nation and it is the right time for Nigeria to be serious in the investment in science and technology as it would create the base for wellbeing for Nigerians comparable to any that can be acquired worldwide. Science and technology he stated have continued to drive the economy of leading nations in America, Europe and Asia and Nigeria cannot afford to be left behind. He called for better government support for the advancement of the science and technology sector to ensure economic diversification and growth.
Rep. Rotimi Agunsoye called for the cooperation of all arms of government to ensure that Nigeria, through its teeming populace and human resource benefits from the exploitation of the sector for the economic good of the nation.
Rep. Satomi Ahmed stated that the Nigerian government can ill afford to leave the science and technology sector undeveloped as the sector holds the secret to success in such endeavours as ensuring security, wealth creation, national development, ease of doing business, tourism and entertainment development as well as economic diversification.
The motion was voted on and adopted.

11. Need to Investigate the Degrading Sex Slavery Nigerian Women are Subjected to:
Rep. Rimamnde Shawulu Kwewum Rep. Yunusa Ahmed Abubakar
Rep. Zakariya Nyampa Rep. Abubakar Hassan Fulata Rep. Kwamoti Bitrus Laori Rep. Babajimi Benson
Rep. Sada Soli Rep. Dachung Musa Bagos:

The House:

Notes the assurances given by President Muhammadu Buhari in Sochi, Russia recently to the effect that the Nigerian Government would stretch its reach and capacity to protect all Nigerians all over the world;

Also notes that presently, there are several tens of thousands of Nigerian women who have been turned into sex slaves around the world and reports in the media show that Nigerian women and even underage girls have been turned into sex slaves in European and several Middle East countries:

Concerned that even the neighbouring West African states which depend on Nigeria for their wellbeing and security have become notorious in maltreating Nigerian women, keeping them as sex slaves and providing a haven for perpetrators of human trafficking;

Aware that the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) has conducted several investigations and discovered that:

(i) between 20,000-30,000 Nigerian girls are sex slaves with fifty additional girls being added to the list every day;

(ii) because of increased efforts of the Security Agencies, traffickers no longer accompany their victims to Mali but now “waybill” the girls through Cotonou;

(iii) many of the victims were deceived by friends and relatives to leave Nigeria for greener pastures (mostly domestic work, hairdressing or sales) in ‘Malaysia’ only to discover later that they are being used for sex trade;

(iv) Nigerian girls are trafficked mainly to the mining areas in the South and Central part of Mali, but a substantial number are trafficked to rebel-held areas in the North of Mali, where they stand the risk of being radicalized;

(v) some of the victims were taken away from Nigeria, some in school uniforms and are being treated like slaves and less than second class citizens by Malians and their law enforcement agencies collect taxes from the Nigerian women on a weekly basis and force them to use condoms;

(vi) Nigerian women are forced by their ‘Madams’ to sleep with numerous men, without using any protection, hence the high incidence of sexually transmitted diseases and other ailments;

(vii) the border point between Nigeria and Benin Republic at Seme-Krake is notoriously porous and in spite of numerous reports and pictures of notorious trafficking sent to Nigerian security agencies at the border, no action has been taken to curb the practice;

Also aware that recently, the Nigerian Ambassador to Burkina Faso, Ramatu Ahmed alerted that no fewer than 10,000 Nigerian, women, mainly under-aged girls are forced into prostitution in Ouagadougou and other mining camps across West Africa;

Worried that the continuation of this activity dents the image of the country and provides room for other West African countries to disrespect, not just Nigerian women, but all Nigerians;

Also concerned that several of the girls tricked into travelling out of the country have been brutally penalized for insisting that they would not prostitute. For instance in some cases, according to Kevin Hyland, Britain’s anti-slavery commissioner, women who insist they will not work as prostitutes are tied up in a position called crocodile, where their hands are tied to their feet and are left for days without food or water and some are left to die as an example to others;

Informed that in 2020 alone, fifteen young Nigerian women were killed in Mali to instil fear in the other women who may have had the intention of escaping;

Aware that Section 14(2) (b) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) provides that the government has the responsibility to provide for the security and welfare of Nigerians;

Observes that current efforts to combat the menace are commendable though not far-reaching and comprehensive and have not been adequately funded;

Resolves to:

(i) Urge personnel of the Nigerian Immigration Service at the ports and borders of Nigeria to permit trained NAPTIP officials to operate, to spot, identify and prevent the illicit emigration of potential victims and in the long term, given the low budget of NAPTIP, to make it mandatory for all border officials of all security agencies to be trained by NAPTIP

(ii) Also urge the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) to begin to shame the traffickers in their homes, including the widespread publication of the names and pictures of convicted traffickers;

(iii) Mandate the Committee on Human Rights to conduct an investigation into all aspects of sex slavery and recommend appropriate budgeting and legislative, measures including sanctions and cooperation with fellow African countries to stem the tide.

Debate
Rep. Rimamnde Shawulu moved the motion on the need to investigate the degrading sex slavery Nigerian women are subjected to and it was seconded by Rep. Danjuma Shiddi. Rep. Shawulu in leading the debate stated that the data of Nigerian ladies caught in the sex slave market is staggering and embarrassing to the nation. He stated that more attention needs to be paid to this industry that continues to paint Nigeria in a bad light and called on the House to take decisive action on this and provide legislation that would ensure Nigerian lives are respected home and abroad. He called on Nigerians to stop using the guise of looking for elusive greener pastures internationally to engage in or fall for such actions that do not yield any economic or health benefits. In light of this, Rep. Shawulu called for the reorientation of Nigerians to look inward and find alternative and positive means of wealth creation and employment of labour.
Rep. Sada Soli stated that the motion should be worrying to any concerned Nigerian and modern-day slavery like the market of arms and drugs is a global syndicate that has grown in finance, global spread and influence. He urged the Federal and State governments to ensure legislation to stem the tide exists, Rep. Soli commended the Edo and Delta state governments for being proactive in this light, calling on more states to do more. He stated that the entrepreneurial value chain needs serious advocacy and reorientation to ensure practitioners put conscience over seeming economic benefits.
Rep. Rotimi Agunsoye called for a solution that would address and take care of the root cause of the problem. He called on leaders in positions of authority to come together and see how economic hardship and poverty of the people can be alleviated and the need for individuals to engage in such vices would be reduced drastically.
Rep. Adebayo Olusegun called for more orientation by relevant agencies and civil society organizations to ensure young girls and boys are not deceived into what they think is financial emancipation through international jobs that mostly turn out to be merely sex trade. He called for a shift from the idea that only white-collar jobs or get-rich-quick schemes are the attractive means of engagement, calling for more emphasis on vocational and skill acquisition training, as this ensures more wealth creation, distribution, entrepreneurship and employment generation.
The motion was voted on and adopted.
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Adjournment:
The House at 2:46 PM adjourned plenary till Thursday, 27th, February 2020 by 11:00 A.M following a motion for adjournment moved by the Leader of the House, Rep. Alhassan Ado-Doguwa and seconded by the Deputy Leader, Rep. Peter Akpatason.

Courtesy:
Media Unit, Office of the Speaker, House of Representatives

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