The Senate has approved the sum of N8,916,964,099,373 (Eight Trillion, Nine Hundred and Sixteen Billion, Nine Hundred and Sixty Four Million, Ninety Nine Thousand, Three Hundred and Seventy Three Naira only) as the 2019 budget.
Presenting the report of the Committee on Appropriations at the plenary session of Tuesday, 30 April 2019, the Chairman, Sen. Danjuma Goje (APC: Gombe)informed the Senate that the Committee had adopted the aggregates in the 2019-2021 Medium Term Expenditure Framework(MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP) that was approved by the National Assembly.
Sen. Goje explained that the Committee had made provisions for severance benefits for the out-going legislators, legislatives aides, and the induction/orientation exercise for newly elected legislators that was not captured in the 2019 budget proposal presented by President Muhammadu Buhari
He then noted the highlights of the 2019 Budget to include
Statutory Transfers- N502,058,892,965
Debt Service- N2,254,014,113,092
Recurrent (Non-Debt) – N4,055,840,383,684
Capital Expenditure – N2,094,950,709,632
Deficit to GDP- 37%
Special Intervention – N500,000,000,000
Concluding his submission, Sen. Goje requested the Senate’s approval of the sum of N8,906,964,099,373 (Eight Trillion, Nine Hundred and Six Billion, Nine Hundred and Sixty Four Million, Ninety Nine Thousand, Three Hundred and Seventy Three Naira only) as the 2019 budget. While the Senate accepted the submission of Sen. Goje, it however resolved to include the sum of N10, 000, 000, 000 (Ten Billion Naira) as Federal Government Intervention in Zamfara State as Service Wide Votes raising the sum to N8, 916, 964,099, 373 (Eight Trillion, Nine Hundred and Sixteen Billion, Nine Hundred and Sixty Four Million, Ninety Nine Thousand, Three Hundred and Seventy Three Naira only).
It would be recalled that the President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday, 20th December 2018, presented the sum of N8,826,636,578,915 ( Eight Trillion, Eight Hundred and Twenty-Six Billion, Six Hundred and Thirty Six Million, Five Hundred and Seventy Eight Thousand, Nine Hundred and Fifteen Naira only) as the 2019 budget proposal to the National Assembly.
SENATE OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA ORDER PAPER Wednesday, 24th April, 2019
8TH NATIONAL ASSEMBLY 224 FOURTH SESSION NO. 99
1. Prayers 2. Approval of the Votes and Proceedings 3. Oaths 4. Announcements (if any) 5. Petitions
PRESENTATION OF BILLS
1. Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (Alteration) Bill, 2019 (SB. 738) – First Reading Sen. Joseph Gbolahan Dada (Ogun West).
2. Installation of Carbon Monoxide Detectors in Motor Vehicles, Houses, Dwelling Places, Offices, Workshops and Factories (Est, etc) Bill, 2019 (SB. 739) – First Reading Sen. Joseph Gbolahan Dada (Ogun West).
3. Anticipatory Opening of Bank Accounts for Corporate Customers (Prohibition) Bill, 2019 (SB. 740) – First Reading Sen. Joseph Gbolahan Dada (Ogun West). PRESENTATION OF A REPORT
1. Report of the Committee on Niger Delta NDDC 2018 Budget Sen. Peter Nwaoboshi (Delta North) -That the Senate do receive the report of the Committee on Niger Delta on the 2018 Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) Budget – To be Laid.
ORDERS OF THE DAY
MOTION 1. Need to recognize Kogi State as an Oil Producing State.
Sponsor: Senator Isaac M. Alfa (Kogi East)
Informed that Oil exploration commenced in Ibaji as far back as 1952 in the villages of Odeke, Echeno, Ihile, Anocha/Uchuchu, Omabo, Ikah, Iregwu and Ujeh, all in Ibaji community of the present day Ibaji Local Government Area of Kogi State by three oil companies namely; Shell BP (now SPDC), Elf (now Total Fina Elf) and AGIP Energy;
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Aware that the companies collectively drilled 25 exploration wells, 2 appraisal wells and 8-core drill wells in the entire Anambra Basin out of which majority of the wells fall within Kogi State as these facts were made possible through a letter to the President, Federal Republic of Nigeria by the former manager, drilling (NPDCNNPC), Engr Sam A. Uchola date 21st November, 2003;
Further informed that the exploration of Oil activities in Kogi State and part of Anambra basin was later abandoned until 18th July, 2001 when the Executive Governor of Kogi State, Late Prince Abubakar Audu wrote to the Group Managing Direction of NNPC, Abuja to remind him of earlier discovery of crude oil at Odeke, Echeno, and Anocha communities in Ibaji Local Government of Kogi State;
Notes that as a follow up to this call, on 25th July 2001, a team of Geo-Scientist/Engineers was drafted to the area to carry out a preliminary investigation on the claims of Kogi State Government and the resuscitation of these productive core wells in the area among other areas prompted the granting of an Oil License, now known as Oil Prospecting License (OPL) 915 and 916 to an indigenous company known as Orient Petroleum Resources PLC;
Concerned that Orient Petroleum Resources PLC has been taking Crude Oil from OPL 915 since 2012 till date and the percentages of crude oil in the OPL 915 among the three contesting states are as follows: Kogi State- 53%, Anambra- 23%, Enugu- 17% and Edo- 7%;
Regrets that there has been no drilling activity from the OPL 916 which jointly belongs to Kogi, Anambra and Delta States while Orient Petroleum has fully drilled 4 oil wells at OPL 915 (wells 1, 2, 3, and 4) with wells 3 and 4 incontrovertibly located in Ibaji in Kogi State accounting for 53% of the crude oil;
Notes that consequent upon this, Orient Petroleum Resources made three offers to Kogi State Government when the company arrived on the scene for exploration activities as detailed below:
– That the Government of Kogi State should appoint a Liaison Officer to act as intermediary between the government and the company; – That the Government of Kogi should allocate a land to her to use as her depot; and – That the Government of Kogi State should buy a share of at least N500,000,000 in the company;
Further Notes that even though Kogi State Government has not taken up the shares, the company confirmed in its official website that the Kogi State Government has granted the other two requests of appointment of Liaison Officer and land allocation;
Whereas the Senate may wish to know that the operational base of the oil company was in Echeno and have been there before the hostility in the disputed area which point to the facts that the disputed area belongs to Kogi State;
Worried that since the granting of the prospecting license to Orient Petroleum, there has been increased tension between and among the communities that have any direct or tangential contiguity with the location of the Oil Wells;
Notes with concern that President Goodluck Jonathan, had, while commissioning the Orient Petroleum Resources Refinery located in Nsugbe, Anambra State on August 30, 2012, without due process, proclaimed Anambra State an oil producing State;
Appreciates that when the attention of the then President was drawn to his official misrepresentation, he convened a round-table on the issue and after each claimant had made submissions, His Excellency directed the National Boundary Commission to demarcate the boundaries of the oil field as due to the communities,
Accordingly resolves to:
i. Urge the Federal Government to declare Kogi State as oil producing State with all benefits and privileges;
ii. Urge the Governors of the three States of Anambra, Enugu and Kogi to resolve the crises between the various communities;
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iii. Urge the Federal Government to direct the national Boundary Commission to immediately release its report on the determination of the boundaries of the communities contiguous to OPLs 915 & 916;
iv. Urge the communities of Ibaji, Igga and Aguleri-Out of Kogi, Enugu and Anambra States to sheath their sword and allow peace to reign while the National Boundary Commission delineate the correct boundaries;
v. Urge the Federal Government to ensure that the displaced communities in the disputed area, due to the hostilities, are allowed to return to their ancestral homes and compensated for their lost due to the crisis; and
vi. Direct the Senate Committee on Petroleum Downstream, National Security and Intelligence to ensure compliance with prayers (i), (ii), (iii), (iv) and (v).
CONSIDERATION OF BILLS
1. A Bill for an Act to amend the National Institute of Legislative and Democratic Studies Act and for other matters connected thereto, 2019 (SB. 737) – Second Reading Sen. Baba Kaka Bashir Garbai (Borno Central), Sen. Peter Nwaoboshi (Delta North) and Sen. Ahmad Lawan (Yobe North-Senate Leader).
2. A Bill for an Act to provide for the establishment of the National Assembly Budget and Research Office and for other matters connected thereto, 2019 (SB. 736) – Second Reading Sen. Emmanuel Paulker (Bayelsa Central).
3. A Bill for an Act to amend the Procurement Act 2007 and for other matters connected thereto, 2019 (SB. 697) – Second Reading Sen. Magnus Abe (Rivers South-East).
4. A Bill for an Act to Repeal the provisions of the Export (Prohibition) Act, CAP E22 LFN 2004 to allow for the exportation of certain foodstuff from Nigeria and for other related matters, 2019 (SB. 576) – Second Reading Sen. Abdullahi Adamu (Nasarawa West).
5. A Bill for an Act to Repeal the provisions of the Export (Prohibition) Act, CAP E22 LFN 2004 to allow for the exportation of certain foodstuff from Nigeria and for other related matters, 2019 (SB. 575) – Second Reading Sen. Sabo Mohammed N. (Jigawa South-West).
6. A Bill for an Act to provide for the establishment of the Auctioneers Registration Council of Nigeria and for other matters connected therewith, 2019 (SB. 693) – Second Reading Sen. Umaru I. Kurfi (Katsina Central).
PRESENTATION AND CONSIDERATION OF REPORTS
1. Report of the Committee on Banking, Insurance and other Financial Institutions Confirmation of Hon Omolola Kuburat Abiola Edewor Sen. Rafiu Adebayo (Kwara South) -That the Senate do receive and consider the report of the Committee on Banking, Insurance and other Financial Institutions on the Confirmation of Hon Omolola Kuburat Abiola Edewor as the Executive Director (Corporate Services ) of the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation. (NDIC).
2. Report of the Committee on Appropriations 2019 Appropriation Bill (SB. 721)
Sen. Goje M. Danjuma (Gombe Central) -That the Senate do consider the report of the Committee on Appropriations on the 2019 Appropriation Bill (SB. 721).
227 Wednesday, 24th April, 2019 99 [ 3. Report of the Committee on Health (Secondary) FCT Health Insurance Agency (Establishment, etc) Bill, 2019 (SB. 668) Sen. Olanrewaju A. Tejuoso (Ogun Central) -That the Senate do consider the report of the Committee on Health (Secondary) on the FCT Health Insurance Agency (Establishment, etc) Bill, 2019 (SB. 668) – To be Laid.
4. Report of the Committee on Health (Primary) FCT Primary Health Care Board Bill, 2019 (SB. 669) Sen. Mao A. Ohuabunwa (Abia North) -That the Senate do consider the report of the Committee on Health (Primary) on the FCT Primary Health Care Board Bill, 2019 (SB. 669).
5. Report of the Committee on Tertiary Institutions and TETFUND National Commission for Colleges of Education Act (Repeal and Re-enactment) Bill 2019 (SB. 561) Sen. Barau I. Jibrin (Kano North) -That the Senate do consider the report of the Committee on Tertiary Institutions and TETFUND on the National Commission for Colleges of Education Act (Repeal and Re-enactment) Bill 2019 (SB. 561).
6. Report of the Committee on Tertiary Institutions and TETFUND Federal Cooperative Colleges Bill, 2019 (SB. 418) Sen. Jibrin Barau (Kano North) -That the Senate do consider the report of the Committee on Tertiary Institutions and TETFUND on the Federal Cooperative Colleges Bill, 2019 (SB. 418).
7. Report of the Committee on Tertiary Institutions and TETFUND Federal University of Education, Kontagora, Niger State (Est, etc) Bill, 2019 (SB. 689) Sen. Barau I. Jibrin (Kano North) -That the Senate do consider the report of the Committee on Tertiary Institutions and TETFUND on the Federal University of Education, Kontagora, Niger State (Est, etc) Bill, 2019 (SB. 689).
8. Report of the Committee on Tertiary Institutions and TETFUND Federal University of Aquatic Studies, Ogbaru, Anambra State (Est, etc) Bill, 2019 (SB. 670) Sen. Barau I. Jibrin (Kano North) -That the Senate do consider the report of the Committee on Tertiary Institutions and TETFUND on the Federal University of Aquatic Studies, Ogbaru, Anambra State (Est, etc) Bill, 2019 (SB. 670).
9. Report of the Committee on Tertiary Institutions and TETFUND School of Mines and Geological Studies, Guyuk, Adamawa State (Est, etc) Bill, 2019 (SB. 706). Sen. Barau I. Jibrin (Kano North) -That the Senate do consider the report of the Committee on Tertiary Institutions and TETFUND on the School of Mines and Geological Studies, Guyuk, Adamawa State (Est, etc) Bill, 2019 (SB. 706).
No. Committee Date Time Venue
1. Ethics, Privileges and Wednesday, 24th April, 2019 3.00pm Committee Room 120 Public Petitions Senate New Building
2. Banking, Insurance & Other Mon. 29th – Tue. 30th April, 2019 12.00noon Conference Room 231 Financial Institutions (Budget Defence) Senate New Building
Senate rejects motion to make Kogi oil producing state
The Senate on Wednesday rejected a motion to declare Kogi as an oil producing State.
This was followed by a motion moved by the newly sworn, Senator Alfa Isaac on the floor of the red chamber.
Unfortunately, his colleagues were not in support of the motion as the matter had previously been discussed and settled among other states (Anambra and Enugu) which had contended on the matter.
It was resolved then that the committee on Petroleum Upstream intervene and meet with the National Boundary Commission over communal clashes that have resulted from the matter.
In his reaction, Senator Chukwuka Utazi “sympathized” with his “colleague because he just came”.
Utazi noted that he understands he (Alfa) wants his constituents to feel his input even before the end of the 8th Senate.
He said: “Your constituency has held three senators in 8th Senate. During the movement, this issues has been concluded with Senator Stella Oduah who isn’t here and Senator Andy Uba. We agreed that instead of dissipating energy, we come together and the three States be declared oil producing state. The Senate then directed the committee on upstream chaired by Senator Alasoadura to solve the problem in order to stop causing confusion.
“I understand he wants to show people that he is working at home. The committee should finish and submit the report. I am of the opinion that the motion brought stepped down so we don’t have more trouble we already have enough trouble and wait for the committee.”
The Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu held similar view and told Senator Isaac to “humbly withdraw the motion and look at the other things on the Order Paper. He should have met with Senator Dino Melaye on the rules and business for proper guidance. We have enough work in the parliament.”
Senator James Manager also advised the Senate President to continue with the proceeding since the Kogi East Senator refused to step down the motion.
The Senate leader, Ahmad Lawan asked the chairman committee on Petroleum Upstream, Tayo Alasoadura to give the status of the report.
Alasoadura stated that his committee sat twice and also met the National Boundary Commission.
“If not for the last activities of the election, the report will have been submitted. Please give us two weeks”, he pleaded.
In its resolutions, the chamber rejected the call to declare Kogi State as oil producing State and rather asked the Governors of the three States of Anambra, Enugu and Kogi to resolve the crises between the various communities.
The following prayers were approved: “Urge the Federal Government to direct the National Boundary Commission to immediately release its report on the determination of the boundaries of the communities contiguous to OPLs 915 & 916;
“Urge the communities of Ibaji, Igga and Aguleri-Out of Kogi, Enugu and Anambra States to sheath their sword and allow peace to reign while the National Boundary Commission delineate the correct boundaries.
“Urge the Federal Government to ensure that the displaced communities in the disputed area, due to the hostilities, are allowed to return to their ancestral homes and compensated for their lost due to the crisis; and
“Direct the Senate Committee on Petroleum Downstream, National Security and Intelligence to ensure compliance of previous prayers.”
Senate Passes 3 Bills Rejected By Buhari
The Nigerian Senate has passed the Nigerian Film Commission Bill, 2019 and two other bills to which President Muhammadu Buhari had earlier declined assent.
The bills are today are Nigerian Aeronautical Search and Rescue Bill, 2019 and Federal University of Wukari (establishment) bill, 2019.
Following the president’s refusal to assent to the Senate set-up a 7-member technical committee headed by Senator David Umaru, chairman of the Senate committee on judiciary and legal matters to look into the constitutional and legal implications of withholding of assent to the bills by the president and to make appropriate recommendations on the way forward.
No retreat, no surrender, Bago vows to contest Reps speakership
Aspirant to the office of speaker, House of Representatives, Mohammed Bago, has vowed to continue the pursuit of his aspiration notwithstanding the adoption of Mr. Femi Gbajabiamila as candidate of the ruling party.
This followed Tuesday’s meeting of All Progressives Congress (APC) lawmakers with President Mohammadu Buhari at the villa where the party’s decision was announced.
In a statement by the Mohammed Bago Campaign Organisation on Wednesday, the Niger-born representative said the adoption of Mr. Gbajabiamila is a “poorly choreographed political orchestra aimed at using the hallowed precincts of the Presidential Villa to anoint a candidate from the South west geo-political zone.”
The statement contended that President Buhari was not part of the decision, saying “as attested by some members-elect who attended the late night dinner, and collaborated by newspaper reports of the event, President Muhammadu Buhari was smart enough to see through the charade, leading to his open reprimand of the APC National Chairman for discussing unnecessary details that were unknown to him, saying that his understanding of how to proceed was that all zones would meet and discuss zoning.”
According to the statement signed by Mr. Victor Ogene, Buhari, reportedly chided Oshiomhole: “I do not expect you to come into the open and say this much, Mr. Chairman.’’
The Bago camp therefore said: “For us, therefore, there is no retreat, no surrender, in our demand for equity and justice in the zoning arrangement, and the ultimate desire of many members-elect to be allowed to choose their own leaders.
“Indeed, our quest for inclusivity has rather than been stifled only gained further traction, especially against the realization that the template which our National Chairman relied upon in arriving at this curious choice remains hazy.
“Consequently, a flurry of posers are immediately thrown up, to wit: In arriving at this divisive decision, was the National caucus of the APC consisting of President Buhari, his deputy, Professor Yemi Osibanjo, National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, APC Governors, Board of Trustees (BOT) members and party stalwarts, including contenders for the office of Speaker and other leading members of the legislature from the party carried along?
“If this question is answered in the affirmative, it would, therefore, be interesting to let Nigerians know on what date such a parley took place, who moved the motion for zoning and micro-zoning, who seconded it, and who voted for and against such proposal?
“As a matter of fact, what better indication of lack of amity among National Working Committee (NWC) members of the party in arriving at this torrid decision, than the position of the Deputy National Publicity of the APC, Hon. Yekini Nabena on the day the contrived decision was announced.
“Nabena, a member of the NWC had clearly ruled out the North west and the South west in the sharing of elective offices in both Senate and House of Representatives.
“Addressing journalists in Abuja, Nabena said: ‘’The Deputy Senate President should be zoned to the South south while the Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives should be zoned to the North central and South east in any order agreed by the party’s leadership.
‘’The South west already has a slot filled by the Vice President. In any case, the South west does not necessarily translate to Lagos or Ogun state. This is sentiment widely shared by our members from the zone’’, Nabena said.
“Warning that our “actions and inactions will have serious implications on party unity’’, the APC deputy national publicity secretary urged the party to adhere to the principle of federal character which is a constitutional requirement, in determining the leadership of the national assembly.
“Flowing from the above, it is our contention that our party is being goaded towards the same ignoble path which led to the 2015 fiasco, which the National Assembly leadership tussle turned out to be. Lawmakers cannot be coerced into being lawbreakers, as the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999, as amended, states in section 14 (3) that “The composition of the Government of the Federation or any of its agencies and the conduct of its affairs shall be carried out in such a manner as to reflect the Federal Character of Nigeria and the need to promote national unity, and also to command national loyalty, thereby ensuring that there shall be no predominance of persons from a few state or from a few ethnic or sectional groups in that Government or any of its agencies”.
“We, therefore, condemn this obvious attempt to drag our party through the same tortuous path of 2015, all in a bid to sustain a legacy of imposition aimed at entrenching one man’s imperious dynasty.
“Until – and unless – the right thing is done, we reiterate our commitment to the pursuit of equity, justice and the independence of the legislature”.
Nigerian Senate passes re-drafted PIGB, Electoral Act, Other Bills
In its determination to reform the nation’s political process, as well as the operations of the petroleum industry, the Nigerian Senate on wednesday, passed a re-drafted version of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Act 2010 (Amendment) Bill, 2019, the Petroleum Industry Governance) Bill, 2019, and five other Bills to which President Muhammadu Buhari earlier declined assent.
Senate also passed the much-awaited Police Reform Bill, which is expected to radically change the operations and effectiveness of the Nigerian Police in the performance of its law enforcement duties, in addition to the National Health Insurance Act (Repeal and Re-enactment) Bill.
Other redrafted Bills passed during wednesdsy’s plebary are: The National Institute for Hospitality and Tourism Bill, 2019; the National Research and Innovation Council Bill, 2019; the Stamp Duties Act (Amendment) Bill, 2019; the National Agricultural Seed Council Bill, 2019; and the Agricultural Credit Guarantee Scheme Fund (Amendment) Bill, 2019.
It should be noted, that following the President’s refusal to assent to the afore-listed Bills, the Senate set-up a 7-member technical committee headed by Senator David Umaru, chairman of the Senate Committee on Judiciary and Legal Matters to look into the Constitutional and legal implications of withholding of assent to the Bills by the President and to make appropriate recommendations on the way forward. The Committee reviewed 6 constitutional amendment Bills and 11 private member Bills.
In its 34-page report, the Committee recommended that the Senate should re-consider and pass again 11 Bills, including the five Constitutional Amendment Bills; it should override the President’s veto on a Constitutional Amendment Bill, and the Industrial Development (Income Tax Relief) Amendment Bill, 2018; and that the Senate should entirely withdraw four other Bills.
At its unusually extended plenary, the Senate, voting on a Motion moved by the Senate Leader, Senator Ahmed Lawan, in which he noted that the technical committee worked on President Buhari’s observations and re-drafted the affected clauses, thereby addressing the rationale for withholding of the presidential assent.
The Senate, then unanimously, passed the seven re-drafted Bills at the Committee of the whole, Chaired by the Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki.
NIGERIA POLICE REFORM
Also, in fulfilment of its promise to address the issues affecting the performance of the Nigeria Police in effectively serving the Nigerian public, the Senate considered and passed the Report of its Committee on Police Affairs and passed the Police Reform Bill.
Speaking on the passage of the Police Reform Bill, Senator Saraki stated that the Reform Bill would go a long way to show the responsiveness of the 8th Senate.
EXCERPT: SARAKI ON POLICE REFORM BILL 17-04-2019.
“This Bill will go a long way to show that we are a listening Parliament and a listening Senate. There is nothing better we can do in honour of those who have lost their lives along the way due to the fact that our laws at that time were not in line,” Saraki said.
The passed Bills, will now be sent to the House of Representatives for concurrence before it is re-transmitted to the President for his assent.
BUDGET BILL/ AUTOMATED CARS
Meanwhile, the Senate, received the report of its committee on Appropriations, on the 2019 Appropriations Bill but it rejected a Bill for an Act to phase out petrol vehicles in 2035 and introduce electric cars.
Similarly, it turned down a Bill for an Act to amend the 1999 Constitution to allow persons of African origin to acquire Nigerian citizenship for the purpose of re-integration and development.
The two bills were sponsored by Senator Ben Murray-Bruce, PDP-Bayelsa East, but unanimously rejected by his colleagues during plenary.
Speakership: Rep woos colleagues with tenure elongation
Mr. John Dyegh (APC, Benue), has promised to work towards extending the tenure of lawmakers from 4 years to 6 years.
The lawmaker who today declared to contest for the position of Speaker of the House of Representatives despite the fact that his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), has already zoned the position to South-west and specifically Mr. Femi Gbajabiamila as its candidate for the plum job.
Mr. Dyegh who anchored his candidacy on path of Justice and fairness, joined other candidates from North central, such as Umar Bago (APC, Niger) and Ahmed Wase (APC, Plateau) in contention for the top post.
He released a 7 point agenda if elected.
Other things on his agenda aside the constitutional amendment bid to elongate the terms of lawmakers include:
To ensure enhance capacity or legislators and legislative support services through training and retraining to enable the 9th Assembly pass national priority law;
To deepen oversight processes of the National Assembly to ensure value for money and project performance by MDAs;
To ensure openness in financial operations of the National Assembly;
To promote legislative measures and laws that will promote and engender national unity;
To create effective collaboration with non governmental organisations (NGOs), Civil Society Groups and Development partners; and
To ensure independence of the National Assembly while encouraging harmonious interdependent working relationship with the executive arm.
9th Assembly leadership-President Buhari encourages APC legislators selected
President Muhammadu Buhari has urged members-elect of the House of Representatives, elected under the platform of the governing All Progressives Congress APC to stand firm in the battle for the 9th Assembly’s leadership.
He made the call at a dinner for the recently elected legislators, which held at the banquet hall of the State House on Tuesday night.
The President’s call is to ensure unity among the newly elected members of the National Assembly ahead of the election of their leaders.
Meanwhile, the leadership of the APC has maintained that its candidates must lead the National Assembly.
Speaking to Journalists after the dinner, the party’s National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, said that as the party with the majority, they must produce the leadership of both houses.
He said: “The NWC had a meeting with reps elect, three weeks ago and it was very revealing, their interventions is a clear confirmation that Nigerians did not make mistake by elected them. The deep knowledge of the constitution would confused many that they were not first timers but seasoned lawmakers. They all on their own speaker after speaker, across the zone, pledged to work together for PMB to leave him, landmark foundation for a new Nigeria. I am confident that this time around, they are very hungry Nigerians ready to deliver on the mandates at the campaigns.
“In life mistakes are permitted but it becomes a problem if the mistake is repeated twice. We are determined not to repeat the mistakes of 2015 in 2019, we have learnt our lesson. Out of 223 APC elected members, about 67 were re-elected, the rest are new members.
“In other climes, you don’t go into coalition when you are in the majority; you do so when you don’t have the numbers. We have the numbers, out of 306, Nigerians elected 223 APC members because they don’t want our President to face the trauma of 2015.
Most of those who decamped were rejected and even those who led it were uprooted. We cannot as a party which has a comfortable majority, entrust critical committees in the hands of the PDP or opposition. If Nigerians wanted them, they could have voted them. In the days of PDP, every committee were chaired by PDP members.”
Oshiomhole said the party has nominated Senator Ahmed Lawan and Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila for Senate President and Speaker.
On his part, the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, told State House Correspondents that President Buhari called for unity among party members.
“90-95 percent of them are in unison, seem to agree on the position of the party. Unanimity ran through the meeting. We cannot speak for five per cent. The President urged them to maintain the unity referring to what transpired in 2015 if there is disunity in their ranks, then anything can happen,” Adesina said.
Acting Inspector General of Police commends NASS leadership
The Acting Inspector General of Police, IGP Mohammed Adamu has hailed the leadership and members of the National Assembly on the passage of the Police Trust Fund Bill, yesterday, 9th March, 2019.
The assertion came in a statement signed by the Force Public Relation Officer Deputy Commissioner of Police DCP Frank Mbah.
The statement said Police Trust Fund Bill, when signed into law by the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR will be pivotal to providing a legal framework for the management and control of the Special Intervention Fund for the training of personnel of the Force, procurement of operational equipment, infrastructures and maintenance of Police Stations across the Country.
The Acting Police chief notes that with the passage of the Bill, and hopefully, the eventual signing into law by the President, the Federal Government will be laying a solid foundation for the future of an effective and efficient structure for policing the Country.
He further observes that the passing of the Bill couldn’t have come at a better time than now when concerted efforts are being made at all levels to overcome issues of armed banditry, kidnapping and other heinous crimes across the Country.
He therefore thanks all stakeholders that helped in mobilizing supports for the passage of the Bill, especially, the Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), Human Rights Groups, Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), the Media, the Traditional Rulers Council of Nigeria among others.
All Kano Representative Members Endorses Gbajabiamila
All the 24 House of Representatives members – elect from Kano state have endorsed the candidature of Mr. Femi Gbajabiamila as the speaker of the 9th National Assembly.
The decision was reached at a meeting with the state governor, Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje on Friday night, which lasted about two hours, at the Governor’s lodge, Aminu Kano House, Asokoro Abuja.
In an address on behalf of the members – elect, the Chief Whip, House of Representatives and member elect, Tudun Wada/Doguwa Federal constituency, Alhasan Ado Doguwa explained that “the decision is to respect the decision of the national working committee of the APC on the zoning of the position of the Speaker of the House, to the Southwest”.
“All the 24 of us discussed freely, as elected representatives of the people and agreed to endorse the candidature of Femi Gbajabiamila, for the Speakership, under the watch of our governor, Dr. Ganduje and the state chairman of our party”, he stressed.
Doguwa, who was flanked by his colleagues, added that the meeting also deliberated extensively on other issues relating to our party and some critical issues affecting the development of Kano state.
The motion to adopt Gbajabiamila was seconded by the Speaker, Kano state House of Assembly and member – elect for Rano/Kibiya/Bunkure Federal constituency, Kabiru Alhasan Rurum.
In his brief remarks, Gov. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje thanked the members elect for their contributions during the meeting and for aligning with the decision of the APC leadership, regarding the Speakership.
Reps reject ‘copy & paste’ budget of works & housing ministry
The House of Representatives Committee on Regional Planning and Urban Development on Thursday rejected the 2019 budget proposal of the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing brought by the Minister of State, Baba Mustapha Shehuri and the Permanent Secretary, Muhammad Bukar.
The committee said the proposal was riddled with lots of “copy and paste” items referring to repetitions of previous expenditures and ambiguous classifications in the recurrent budget.
The lawmakers who frowned at the lack of details of expenditure for the 2018 appropriation also demanded the inclusion of overhead column on the document with accurate accounts of releases and how they were spent before the 2019 proposal could be considered.
A question from a member of the committee, Mr. Ossai Nichola Ossai (PDP, Delta) regarding details of personnel spending as it relates to unit-by-unit allocations threw the ministry’s representatives off balance.
A demand by the committee for details of staff who traveled for a certain African Union event and how much was spent per head, could not be provided. The committee in similar move, called for details of another trip relating to a UN Habitat event which coincided with the General Assembly in 2018.
The Permanent Secretary, Mr. Bukar, while responding to questions told lawmakers that personnel cost is not being managed by the Ministry but the new Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS). He therefore craved for the panel’s indulgence for time to enable him get the details before the end of Thursday.
On why the 2019 document was a ‘photocopy’ of 2018, a director in charge of Finance in the Urban and Regional Development Department struggled with words to respond.
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Announcements, Arts & Books
Driving Job Creation for Africa’s Youth: Mentor to Watch.
Ada Osakwe, CEO of Agrolay Ventures
Ada is an award-winning food entrepreneur and investor. She was also a lead in the launch of the Youth Employment in Agriculture Program (YEAP) that supported the rise of a new cadre of food-entrepreneurs in Nigeria through training, mentorship and financing. Ada is a Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum and a Desmond Tutu Leadership Fellow.
In 2016, she was Entrepreneur of the Year and featured on Choiseul 100 Africa list consecutively from 2016 to 2018. She received the ‘Achiever in Agriculture’ Award and was on the 2014 Forbes 20 Youngest Power Women in Africa list. She is also a mentor on the Future Global Leaders Fellowship.
Uzodinma Iweala : CEO of The Africa Center in New York.
Uzodinma is an award-winning writer, filmmaker, and medical doctor. He is the CEO of The Africa Center in New York, promoting a new narrative about Africa and its diaspora through a focus on culture, policy and business. He is the author of three books: Beasts of No Nation (2005), a novel also adapted into a major motion picture; Our Kind of People (2012), a non-fiction account of HIV/AIDS in Nigeria; and Speak No Evil (2018), a novel about coming-of-age in Washington, D.C. His books have been mentioned by Time Magazine, The New York Times, Entertainment Weekly, The Times and Rolling Stone. ‘Uzodinma Iweala completed his undergraduate studies at Harvard University and he earned a medical degree at Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons.’
ENTER NIGERIA Winning Sunday with The Young Netpreneur for the Week :Ken Nwadiogbu @kennwadio
Ken Nwadiogbu (b. 1994) is a Nigerian born Multidisciplinary Artist, popularly known as KenArt, whose practice is primarily centered around hyper-realistic drawings and works on paper.
Nwadiogbu believes that the society speaks- This voice inspires his art, which evaluates, interrogates and challenges socio-political structures and issues within the society. In his reply to this society, he is able to inspire one or two people to also re-valuate their socio-political structures as we know it. The desire to change his society and the way people think is what drives him to create art every day. Gender equality, African cultures, and Black power are a few aspects of his current research and artistic practice.
Nwadiogbu was born in Lagos, Nigeria and holds a B.Sc in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the University of Lagos, Nigeria. His art career started in the university, and with no formal training, has pushed him to become one of the most interesting young contemporary artists from Nigeria, creating works that question life- calling out some of the problems and becoming very grounded in human consciousness..
Nwadiogbu has been featured in lots of local and international group exhibitions and fairs, including the Insanity exhibition, sponsored by Frot Foundation, in Omenka Gallery, Nigeria; the TMC’s It’s Not Furniture, curated by Winifred Okpapi; the Artyrama’s group exhibition curated by Mr Jess Castellote; Art X Lagos, sponsored by Artyrama Gallery, in Lagos, Nigeria; the Moniker Art Fair, sponsored by Creative Debuts, in Brooklyn, NYC; the Anti-Trump show organised in UK; the Afriuture Exhibition by Ramati Art Africa in association with Commonwealth Africa Summit, in Toronto, Canada; amongst many others. He has been televised and publicized on different platforms like Guardian Life, Tush Magazine, WIRED Magazine, Candid Magazine, Bored Panda, BBC, CNN, and more as well as inspiring and encouraging young creatives through public speaking appearances like TEDx. He co-founded Artists Connect NG, the largest Nigerian artist gathering that took place at Lekki Leisure Lake, in Lagos, Nigeria.
To Nwadiogbu, Art is indeed timeless, it is his solace and hiding place, a safe haven he has found to be devoid of restrictions, boxes and boundaries.