SUMMARY OF SENATE PROCEEDINGS FOR TUESDAY 15TH NOVEMBER 2016.
Senate President, Bukola Saraki presided over plenary.
SenatorTijani Kaura moves for the approval of the Votes and Proceedings of Thursday 10th November, 2016. Senator Nelson Effiong seconds.
The Senate in its closed door session deliberated on the smooth running of the Senate.
POINT OF ORDER
Senator Jibrin Barau raised a Point of Order on the impending 1-Week Industrial Action of ASUU. He said that ASUU is agitating for the smooth operations of Nigerian Universities and Staff Welfare and reminds Senate of the non-implementation of several agreements between FG and ASUU.
Senator Danjuma Goje supports the motion. He speaks on the plight of Nigerian Undergraduates when Lecturers go on Strike.
Senate Leader Ali Ndume says the Senate as a Stabilizing Arm should immediately step in and intervene and avoid the ASUU Strike Action urging the Senate President Bukola Saraki to personally lead the intervention towards resolving the issues.
Senator Paulker says one of the demands of ASUU is to remove Universities from TSA Implementation and tasks the FG to find a middle point.
· Senate commends ASUU for choosing dialogue over confrontation in their approach & that proper funding for ASUU be put into the 2017 Budget.
· Senate also resolves to mandate the Senate President to intervene on behalf of the Federal Government to dialogue with ASUU.
· Senate President commends Senator Jibrin Barau for the urgent matter of national importance and promises prompt intervention.
PRESENTATION OF BILLS
1. Trademarks Act CAP T13 LFN 2004 (Repeal and Re-Enactment) Bill 2016 SB. 357 by Senator Umaru Kurfi (Katsina Central).
2. Constituency Projects (Budgetary Provision) Bill 2016 SB. 321 by Senator @StellaOduah (Anambra North)
3. Armed Forces (Restriction on Use on Certain Internal Security Operations, etc) Bill 2016 SB. 341 by Senator @iamdavidumaru (Niger East).
PRESENTATION OF REPORTS
1. The Report of the Communications Committee on the screening of the Governing Board of the Nigeria Communications Commission was laid by Senator Gilbert Nnaji.
2. The Report of the Niger Delta Committee Screening on Mr. Igo Weli member of the Niger Delta Development Commission Governing Board is laid by Senator Peter Nwaoboshi.
CONSIDERATION OF REPORT
The report of the Foreign Affairs Committee on the 47 Career Diplomats By Senator Monsurat Sumonu.
She says Seniority, Gender Balance and Remaining Years of Service were looked at in screening the 47 Career Nominees.
Senator Peter Nwaoboshi differs. He says he expects the committee to single out the names of the nominees that couldn’t sing the National Anthem to be dropped. He adds that it’s a serious issue as the ambassador is the Country’s representative abroad.
Senator James Manager takes time to speak on the activities of the Foreign Affairs Committee in screening the 47 Career Nominees.
Senator Manager says they did a very thorough job even when their colleagues were on recess; a job devoid of any political interference.
Senator Gbenga Ashafa speaks on the screening of the Diplomat Nominees. He says it was only fright that made about 2 unable to sing the anthem.
Senate Leader Ndume says the Nominees be allowed to get to the peak of their careers before retiring even as the National Anthem is important.
Minority Leader Senator Akpabio says all of the Nominees are indeed qualified but that Patriotism to National Concerns remains indeed important.
Senate President points out, for the records that according to Senators James Manager and Gbenga Ashafa that were present at the Foreign affairs Committee screening, that it was only fright and anxiety that destabilized the nominees from completing the National Anthem.
The Senate President puts the question and all the 47 Career Ambassadorial Nominees were Confirmed by the Senate.
Senate Leader moved that due to numerous petitions on the Non-Career Ambassadorial Nominee earlier submitted, the Senate returns the list to President Muhammadu Buhari for re-submission. The Minority Leader seconded.
1. The Motion on the Provision of Medical Attention for Critical Condition Victims by Senator Monsunrat Sumonu
Senator Monsurat Sumonu notes the need to halt the unnecessary loss of lives due to the refusal of hospitals to attend to gunshot victims. She recognizes the need to build confidence in the public for helping gunshot victims; even if to aid investigations.
· Senate resolves to implore hospitals to extend immediate medical services to save lives of gunshot victims.
Senate President says it’s a clear message that public hospitals must first treat gunshot wounds while communicating with security agents.
2. The Motion on the Urgent Need to end the Illicit Trade in Freshly Minted Naira Notes by Senator Mao Ohabunwa.
Senate also notes that these Naira peddlers lurk around Weddings and other Social Events to ply their illicit trade. Senators Jeremiah Useni and Gbenga Ashafa support the motion on the illicit trade in freshly minted Naira Notes.
· Senate condemns the hawking, selling, and otherwise illegal trading of new Naira Notes.
· Senate mandates Central Bank to strengthen its system and audit the process of collation and disposition of defaced notes.
· Senate also urges Central Bank to investigate the allegation that commercial bank officials do in fact sell new Naira notes to illegal peddlers. Senate President thanks the sponsor for the motion and insists on the need for the full compliance of the S.21 of the CBN Act.
3. The Motion on the Urgent Need to examine the Operations of the Nigeria Customs Service Revenue Drive by Sen. Isaac Alfa &12 Co-Sponsors.
Senator Isaac Alfa notes with serious concern that the revenue projection and targets of the Nigeria Customs Service are not being met and the Senate is also worried that Border Posts are not properly equipped with Cargo Handling and Security Scanning Capabilities.
DSP Ekweremadu commends the Senate on its continued focus on not just expenditure but also revenue. He says it’s time to look at Nigerian Custom books.
· Senate resolves to mandate it’s committee on customs to investigate the Nigeria Customs service to identify leakages and irregularities leading to dwindling revenues.
Senate President says ‘that place is stinking; just last week we heard the former Customs Boss returned N1B. The Nigeria Customs should be investigated”
4. The Motion on the Total State of Disrepair and Collapse of the Ekpoma – Benin Federal Highway by Senator Clifford Ordia
Senator Clifford Ordia speaks on the dilapidated and total collapse of the Ekpoma-Benin Federal Highway in view of its strategic importance he adds that the highway is also part of the ongoing Okene-Benin Road Dualization that has been abandoned.
Senator James Manager speaks on the importance of the Ekpoma-Benin Highway to the National Road Transport Network.
· Senate accordingly resolves that the FG urgently release funds to the Contractor handling the dualization Project.
· Senate also mandates its committee on works to ascertain the level of disrepair of the Ekpoma-Benin Road with a view to making recommendations and urged FERMA to put in place temporal solutions.
5. The Motion on the Urgent Need for the Declaration of Emergency over the Security Situation in Southern Kaduna by Senator Danjuma La’ah.
Senator La’ah notes the continued loss of lives and properties in Southern Kaduna Senatorial District and there is a general atmosphere of insecurity in Southern Kaduna at the moment.
Senator Shehu Sani also speaks on the plight of the people of Southern Kaduna. He harps on the need to resolve the continued restiveness.
Deputy Leader Na’Allah also decries the violence in Southern Kaduna. He says it’s the responsibility of Govt. to secure the lives of people.
· Senate calls on the Federal Government to declare a Security Emergency in Southern Kaduna Senatorial District of Kaduna State.
· Senate also observes a Minute Silence for the repose of the souls of the deceased victims of the Southern Kaduna Attacks.
Senate Leader moves that all other matters on the Order Paper be stepped down to the next legislative day. The Minority Leader seconds.
Senate President puts the question and Plenary is adjourned to Wednesday 16th November 2016.
Summary of Senate plenary is compiled by New Media Department of the Senate President