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Today In Senate Plenary [March 19 Complete Updates]

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14:35

“So much money can be made if value added tax is decentralized. Value added tax has the potential to make 1.3 Trillion for Nigeria per annum.”- Senator Jide Omoworare.

“I thank all our colleagues who contributed to the debate on the principles of the 2019 Appropriation Bill. As stated by all, there is still a lot of work that needs to be done concerning the issue of the actual capital expenditure.”

“There is a need for us to continue to plug the leakages and independent revenue. The most important issue now is for us to see how we can complete the process.”- Senate President, Bukola Saraki

A Bill for an Act to authorize the issue from the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Federation the total sum of N8,826,636,578,915 is read the Second Time.

Senate President refers the Bill to the Committee on Appropriation to report in two weeks.

“I want to make a strong appeal to all members of the Subcommittees on Appropriation to ensure that you all immediately start receiving presentations.”

“As I say that all Ministers, Heads of Agencies and Department should ensure that they promptly attend when they are called in— so that there will be no delays coming from them.”

“Ministers and Heads of MDAs should know that this is not the time to travel. This is the time to be around. Because of the short timeframe, Distinguished Senators should let us know of any MDA that you have called for presentations who have not attended for one reason or the other, so that this can be done by the 2nd of April when we hope to consider the final Report by the Appropriation Committee.” – Senate President, Bukola Saraki

Senate Leader moves that all items on the order paper be stood down to another legislative day. Minority Leader seconds.

Plenary is adjourned to Wednesday, 20th March, 2019.

Gavel bangs!

13:30

Minority Leader seconds that the Senate do consider the request of Mr. President C-n-C on the confirmation of nomination of the following persons for appointment as Chairman and Commissioners for the Revenue Mobilization, Allocation and Fiscal Commission.

Senate President, Bukola Saraki refers the Executive Communication to the Committee on National Planning to report in two weeks.

Senate now moves into the MOTION of the day.

The sad demise of two illustrious Nigerians in the recent Ethiopian airlines crash of 10th March, 2019 and the need for Nigeria to protect its airspace from the Boeing 737 Max 8 series pending the determination of its air worthiness by Senator Gbenga Ashafa

“As we mourn these illustrious, eminent and distinguished sons of Nigeria, I want to commend the Ministry of State Transport for barring the 737 Max 8 Aircraft. We should use the opportunity to develop our own national airline.”- Senator Mao Ohuabunwa.

“These are not the best of times. We need to own our own national airline so that we can have our own regulations to monitor our own aviation laws.”- Senator Biodun Olujimi.

Senate accordingly resolves to:

  1. Observe one minute silence in honour of the two Distinguished Nigerians who passed away in the ill-fated Ethiopian airlines flight ET- 302 on Sunday 10th March, 2019.
  2. Commend the Federal Ministry of Aviation and the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority for moving swiftly in mitigating the operations of the Boeing 737 Max 8 and 9 series aircraft within the Nigerian Airspace in order to ensure the safety of all Nigerians.
  3. Urge the Federal Ministry of Aviation and the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority to ensure that all aircrafts operating within Nigeria are air worthy in order to keep Nigerians safe at all times.

Senate now moves into the consideration of a Bill for second reading.

A Bill for an Act to authorize the issue from the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Federation the total sum of N8,826,636,578,915…. by Senate Leader, Ahmad Lawan

“With a total debt service of 25.7% and capital budget at 23%, it means we are paying more debt. This is a budget of impossibilities. Out of every 1 Naira, 68kobo is paid out. The Federal Government needs to go back to the drawing board.”- Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe.

“We are consolidating poverty. We need to really look at this budget. Instead of reducing, we should ‘jack up’ the budget by 10 trillion. What can 2 trillion do when we have ongoing projects.”- Senator Mao Ohuabunwa.

“We need to block leakages and ensure taxes are collected and put into good use in the economy such as the Basic Health fund which Senate President, Saraki started.”- Senator Mao Ohuabunwa

“The budget is not different from what we have been presented in the last 4 years. Recurrent expenditure of 4 trillion is too high. There are government agencies set up that have no value. These agencies must be scrapped.”- Senator Ben Murray-Bruce.

“The Federal Government needs to embark on an immediate deregulation.”- Senator Ben Murray-Bruce.

“In developed countries, economies are powered by loans. We are one of the least indebted economies in the world. My suggestions are centered on 2 areas; these are agriculture and industries.”- Senator Sabo Mohammed.

“There is a need to look at agricultural practices especially in the private sector.”- Senator Sabo Mohammed.

“We must have revenue in place to meet capital expenditure. The Fiscal Revenue Act put in place to check budgets was not implemented in the past. We need to ensure the common wealth of Nigerians is taken seriously.”- Senator Matthew Urhoghide.

“If we must pass this budget, let us be born again in implementing this budget.”- Senator Matthew Urhoghide.

“The attention to science and technology in the budget is inadequate. The economy without domesticating science and technology would spend 10 times more.”- Senator Boroffice Ajayi.

12:15

“This bill should be passed promptly to let the workers know that the National Assembly is not their problem.” – Senator Barnabas Gemade.

“I believe that a minimum of half a million naira should be the fine for not keeping records of employees. Also, Local Governments have not been able to implement the N18,000 minimum wage.” – Senator Alaso Aadura

“We must ensure a committee is set up to look into the revenue sharing formular throughout the nation.” – Senator Alaso Aadura

Senate now dissolves into the Committee of the Whole for the clause by clause consideration of the report of the Ad-hoc Committee on the National Minimum Wage on the National Minimum Wage Act CAP N61 LFN (repeal and re-enactment) Bill, 2019 (SB. 722).

Senate reverts to plenary and reports progress.

National Minimum Wage Act CAP N61 LFN (repeal and re-enactment) Bill, 2019 (SB. 722) is read the THIRD time and PASSED.

“Let me join our colleagues to commend the efforts of the committee. More importantly, let me  commend the patience of Nigerian workers and the leadership of the Labour Union, who have over the years been calling for this minimum wage and have carried their efforts responsibly.” –  Senate President Bukola Saraki

“I want to commend the leaders of the organisations of the union. Let me also state that as government, we should ensure that at times like these, we should not wait for there to be strikes to do what is truly deserving for our workers.” –  Senate President Bukola Saraki

“I hope that with this minimum wage our workers will double their efforts to increase their productivity, so that we can also improve the general productivity of the country. It is my hope that the implementation of this will start immediately.” –  Senate President Bukola Saraki

EXECUTIVE COMMUNICATION

  1. Confirmation of nomination by Senate Leader.

-That the Senate do consider the request of Mr. President C-n-C on the confirmation of nomination of the following persons for appointment as Chairman and Commissioners…

Minority Leader seconds that the Senate do consider the request of Mr. President C-n-C on the confirmation of nomination of the following persons for appointment as Chairman and Commissioners for the Revenue Mobilization, Allocation and Fiscal Commission.

Senate President Bukola Saraki refers the Executive Communication to the Committee on National Planning to report in two weeks.

11:50

Welcome to a new Legislative Day in the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria!

Senate President, Bukola Saraki  leads the Principal Officers into the chambers; takes the official prayers; and begins the day’s proceedings at 10:58am.

Senator Boroffice moves for the approval of votes and proceedings of Wednesday, 13th March, 2019. Senator Joshua Lidani seconds.

Senate now moves into the presentation of Bills for first reading.

  1. Electric Power Sector Reform Act (Amendment) Bill, 2019 (HB. 1384) by Senator Ahmad Lawan.

Electric Power Sector Reform Act (Amendment) Bill, 2019 (HB. 1384) is read the First Time.

  1. National Institute for Security Studies (NISS) (Est, etc) Bill, 2019 (HB. 1583) by Senator Ahmad Lawan.

National Institute for Security Studies (NISS) (Est, etc) Bill, 2019 (HB. 1583) is read the First Time.

  1. Interpretation Act (Amendment) Bill, 2019 (HB. 137) by Senator Ahmad Lawan.

Interpretation Act (Amendment) Bill, 2019 (HB. 137) is read the First Time.

Senate now moves into the presentation and consideration of a report.

  1. Report of the Ad-hoc Committee on the National Minimum Wage on the National Minimum Wage Act CAP N61 LFN (repeal and re-enactment) Bill, 2019 (SB. 722) by Senator Francis Alimikhena.

Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe seconds that the Senate do receive and consider the report of the Ad-hoc Committee on the National Minimum Wage on the National Minimum Wage Act CAP N61 LFN (repeal and re-enactment) Bill, 2019 (SB. 722).

Senator Francis Alimikhena lays and presents the report.

“The Ad-hoc Committee promised to give a new minimum wage to Nigerians and they have fulfilled the promise. This gesture should be appreciated.”- Senator Ahmad Lawan.

“We do not have to wait until we are threatened with strike action before we take action. The Nigerian workers must show that the government is paying them and they are paying the government in service.”- Senator Ahmad Lawan.

“Despite all that has been happening, I believe the Committee has done well. We need to always do things smoothly so that productivity will be high. It is embarrassing to know that the minimum wage is not applied by all governments.”- Senator James Manager.

“What we have done is to give the people a minimum wage. It is not worth it if the states are unable to pay the minimum wage.”- Senator Biodun Olujimi.

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