IN THE SENATE TODAY: Full proceedings for Thursday, October 15, 2020

Nigerian Concord Newspaper

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

Senate President, Dr. Ahmad Lawan, Ph.D, CON led the Principal Officers into the chambers; took the official prayers; and began the
day’s proceedings at 10:27am.

VOTES AND PROCEEDINGS
Senator Tolu Odebiyi moved for the adoption of votes and proceedings for Wednesday, 14th October, 2020.
The motion was seconded by Senator Christopher Ekpeyong.

POINT OF ORDER
Senator Stella Oduah cited Order 43 to draw the attention of the Senate to the incessant flooding in Anambra North and the urgent need to establish an intervention fund for flood prevention to ensure that there is a permanent stoppage and to minimise threats of climate change.

Senate Leader rose to inform the Senate on the feedback of the dialogue with #EndSARS protesters who laid siege at the entrance to the National Assembly on Wednesday October 14th.

“SARS have been disbanded. I believe that once protesters’ demands are met, I think it is patriotic for them to go home andgive the government time for appropriate implementation. I will ask government including the National Assembly, that we should push to ensure that the demands of the protesters are implemented as soon as possible.” – Dr. Ahmad Lawan Ph.D, CON.

PRESENTATION OF BILLS
1. Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission Act CAP N108 LFN 2004 (Amendment) Bill, 2020 (SB. 291) by Senator Uche Ekwunife
Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission Act CAP N108 LFN 2004 (Amendment) Bill, 2020 (SB. 291) was read the First Time

2. Financial Privacy Bill, 2020 (SB. 508) by Senator Rochas Okorocha
Financial Privacy Bill, 2020 (SB. 508) was read the First Time.

3. 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (Alteration) Bill, 2020 (SB. 530) by Senator Abdulfatai Buhari
1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (Alteration) Bill, 2020 (SB. 530) was read the First Time.

4. Federal College of Education Act 1998 (Repeal & Re-enactment) Bill, 2020 (SB. 431) by Senator Babba Kaita Ahmad
Federal College of Education Act 1998 (Repeal & Re-enactment) Bill, 2020 (SB. 431) was read the First Time.

5. Labour Transportation Bill, 2020 (SB. 532) by Senator Jibrin Barau
Labour Transportation Bill, 2020 (SB. 532) was read the First Time.

PRESENTATION AND CONSIDERATION OF A REPORT
1. Report of the Committee on National Identity and National Population
Confirmation of the Nominations of the following persons for Appointment as Chairman and Commissioners of the National Population Commission by Senator Ahmed Saidu Alkali

Senator Abdu Kwari moved that the Senate do receive and consider the report of the Committee on National Identity and National Population on the Confirmation of the Nominations of the following persons for Appointment as Chairman and Commissioners of the National Population Commission

1. Nasir Isa Kwaraa – Nasarawa – Chairman
2. Ali Silas Agara – Nasarawa – Commissioner
3. Muhammed Chiso A. Dottoji – Sokoto – Commissioner
4. Gidado Razaq Folorunso – Kwara – Commissioner
5. Ibrahim Mohammed – Bauchi – Commissioner
6. Hon. Joseph Kwali Shazin – FCT – Commissioner
7. Ajayi Ayodeji Sunday – Ekiti – Commissioner
8. Garba A. G. Zakar K/Hausa – Jigawa – Commissioner
9. Mai Aliyu Muhammad – Yobe – Commissioner
10. Muhammad Muttaka Rini – Zamfara – Commissioner
11. Hon. Engr. Bala Almu Banye – Katsina – Commissioner
12. Mrs. Bimbola Salu-Hundeyin – Lagos – Commissioner

Senator Abubakar Kyari Seconded.

Senator Abdu Kwari laid and presented the report.

Senate dissolved into the Committee of the Whole to consider the Nomination of the aformentioned Nominees for confirmation as Chairman and Commissioners of the National Population Commission

Senate reverted to plenary and reported progress.

The nomination of Nasir Isa Kwaraa as Chairman of the National Population Commission was CONFIRMED.

The nomination of Ibrahim Mohammed as Commissioner of the National Population Commission was CONFIRMED.

The nomination of Ajayi Ayodeji Sunday as Commissioner of the National Population Commission was CONFIRMED.

The nomination of Hon. Joseph Kwali Shazin as Commissioner of the National Population Commission was CONFIRMED.

The nomination of Garba A. G. Zakar K/Hausa as Commissioner of the National Population Commission was CONFIRMED.

The nomination of Hon. Engr. Bala Almu Banye as Commissioner of the National Population Commission was CONFIRMED.

The nomination of Gidado Razaq Folorunso as Commissioner of the National Population Commission was CONFIRMED.

The nomination of Mrs. Bimbola Salu-Hundeyin as Commissioner of the National Population Commission was CONFIRMED.

The nomination of Ali Silas Agara as Commissioner of the National Population Commission was CONFIRMED.

The nomination of Mrs. Bimbola Salu-Hundeyin as Commissioner of the National Population Commission was CONFIRMED.

The nomination of Muhammed Chiso A. Dottoji as Commissioner of the National Population Commission was CONFIRMED.

The nomination of Mai Aliyu Muhammed as Commissioner of the National Population Commission was CONFIRMED.

The nomination of Muhammad Muttaka Rini as Commissioner of the National Population Commission was CONFIRMED.

“Congratulations to the Chairman and Commissioners. We pray for God’s guidance and we ask them to be very focused. Our country is due for census. The last census was conducted in 2006. We need to know how many we are excactly and that is goingto aid us in our planning for national development.” Dr. Ahamd Lawan, Ph.D, CON

CONSIDERATION OF BILL
1. A Bill for an Act to authorize the issue from the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Federation the total sum of
N13,082,420,568,233 (Thirteen Trillion, Eighty-Two Billion, Four Hundred and Twenty Million, Five Hundred and Sixty-Eight Thousand, Two Hundred and Seventy-Three Naira) only of which N484,488,471,273 (Four Hundred and Eighty-Four Billion, Four Hundred and Eighty-Eight Million, Four Four hundred and seventy-one thousand, twi hundred and seventy-three naira) only is for statutory transfers, N3,344,380,000,000 (Three Thrillion, Three Hundred and Forty-Four Billion, Three Hundred and
Eighty Million Naira) only is for Debt Service, N5,649,872,137,888 (Five Trillion, Six Hundred and Forty-Nine Billion, Eight-Hundred and Seventy-Two Million, One Hundred and Thirty-Seven Thousand, Eight Hundred anf Eighty-Eight Naira) only is for Recurrent (Non-Debt) Expenditure while the sum of N3,603,679,959,070 (Three trillion, six hundred and three Billion, six hundred and seventy-nine million, nine hundred and fifty-nine thousand, seventy naira) only is for contribution to the Development Fund for Capital Expenditure for the year ending on the 31st day of December, 2021 (SB. 523) – Second Reading by Senator Yahaya Abdullahi (Senate Leader)

“Going through all the discussions by my colleagues and the public, the budget has raised a lot of questions. With the reality of the Nigeria’s economy today, only God can help us to achieve this. We are just recovering from COVID-19,and the debt has risen to N4.28 trillions. We have to look very well into our revenue generating agencies. Let us look where we have revenue leakages so we can finance our budget. The more we borrow, the more we put our economy in trouble. We also have to improve more on agriculture so we can come out of borrowing. We also need to monitor our Niger Delta Commission. Government should look into the way we waste our mineral resources so we can generate more revenue to finance our Budget and reduce borrowing.” – Senator Francis Fadahunsi

“I want to say that the budget was presented timely and I want to commend the Federal government for that. I want to commendthe government also for executing projects especially from my zone, the Second Niger Bridge. The borrowing is becoming too
much. We need to curtail that. And as we borrow, we should also borrow knowledge from the lender. There should be provision on the budget for regional growth so that the pressure at the center will be reduced. We need to control kidnappings, Boko Haram, and killer herdsmen attack so as to attract investors.” – Senator Theodore Orji

“My dear Colleagues, I rise to make my humble contribution on the subject matter of our debate which is the 2021 proposed budget. So much has been said by my colleagues. The value of our currency is failing and couple with the COVID-19 which has really affected our economy. We should unanimously work hard to help grow our economy. I hereby lend my support to the passage of the budget.” Senator Abdullahi Adamu

My colleagues have spoken well on this budget. I want to speak on capital projects. N444 billion has been allocated to the Ministry of Works so I want to plead With the federal government to release funds to the Ministry on time so the Second Niger
Bridge will be completed before the end of the year 2021. And also the Enugu-Onitsha road should also be looked into. The Makurdi Express way which is a link between the South and the North should be dualized. The issues we have with our budget is that we have projects approved but funds are not released. It does not help our work. We have to also look into the Ministry of Interior. The money budgeted for the NSCDC Should be released so they can do their recruitment for the youths to be employed. One other issue I want to talk about is the power sector. Our people need light to do their business. The epileptic power supply is killing businesses in Nigeria.” – Senator Chukwuka Utazi

“I want to commend President Muhammadu Buhari for the timely presentation of the budget and also my dear colleagues for breaking record of January-December budget cycle. In the budget, what is allocated to Works and Housing is really commendable. Those that are supposed to monitor should see that the Abuja-Lokoja road, and the Kaduna roads is in bad shape. Those roads have been awarded for over ten years, the committee should look into that. Secondly, the capital expenditure for the previous years have not been utilized. Instead of borrowing, let us make do with what we have. Instead of budgeting and financing 50 per cent, we should budget what we can finance so that there will be 100 per cent implementation. We really need to look into this. Thank you for the opportunity.” – Senator Yakubu Oseni

“We need to take serious the issue of revenue to finance our budget. It is also important to comment on the sustainability of the deficit and the finance. The necessary Committees should look at Section 12 of the Fiscal Responsibility Act. Beyond the Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper, we can’t make our budget without a long term plan and Medium Term Plan on how we want our country to be. And without massive capital investment the question of expanding our revenue base will also be challenging. We must be able to monitor how this N120 billion for Social Investment Programmes will have effect on the vulnerable in the society. I will want the National Assembly working with the Executive to look at the structure of our governance.” – Senator Sirajudeen Ajibola

“Let me thank all of you for your contributions on the debate. Certainly the last three days we have witnessed various submissions raising issues about the budget estimate presented to us by Mr. president. We are going to urge the Executive to implement the 2020 budget up to 100 per cent. Like all of us, I also have some observations, firstly I think our revenue generation has to be better. There are many agencies of the government that supposed to collect revenue and they do so but they don’t remit all the revenues they generate. Probably we should have a monthly engagement with revenue generating agencies so that we keep tab with what they are doing. We should be able to work hard on generating the revenues. The issue for us is to diversify the financing of the budget. We may not do completely with borrowing but we could go for PPP so that we reduce the necessity to borrow. But whatever it takes, we have to provide infrastructure in this country otherwise we will not move beyond where we are. Yes we have COVID-19 challenge but we have to be ingenious and inventive. Let me emphasize that on the whole, this budget is aimed at consolidating what we are achieving. We need to look at the possibility of merging some of these agencies that have outlived their usefulness. It is necessary that we look into the possibility of getting some of them merged. That does not stop us from creating new ones because the new ones will address specific challenges of today. I want to urge the two Chambers to work together very closely especially the budget defense. I believe that we can pass this budget just like we did last year before we go on Christmas break. This is our baby that we have been able to reverse the budget cycle that is very unpredictable. On Tuesday next week, we will be taking the debate on the Petroleum Industry Bill. We will suspend plenary on Tuesday for budget defense processes to start immediately. We are waiting for the heads of Ministries, Departments and Agencies from next week and the programme will take the remaining part of October and the first week of November. If a Ministry is not able to defend its budget by the first week of November,
then that Ministry should forget about coming to National Assembly for budget defense. Nigerians have reacted to the situation of the SARS. Those of the SARS elements who did not perform their functions constitutionally should be investigated and prosecuted. Some SARS members killed young people and Nigerians protested. This is their right. Government has listened and will look into all issues. As for the continued protest, since the government has accepted to implement the demands of the protestors, there is no need to continue the protest. We should allow government to implement the demands that were presented by the protesters. I urge our youths to give government the chance to implement the demands it has accepted from the protesters. Lastly, we pray that things clam down. This is our country, we need to be together. Politics should be out of any issue at the moment. My hope and prayer of the National Assembly is that every leader in this country at any level should support government to make sure government delivers on the demands of the protesters.” – Dr. Ahmad Lawan, Ph.D, CON.

A Bill for an Act to authorize the issue from the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Federation the total sum of N13,082,420,568,233 (Thirteen Trillion, Eighty-Two Billion, Four Hundred and Twenty Million, Five Hundred and Sixty-Eight Thousand, Two Hundred and Seventy-Three Naira) only of which N484,488,471,273 (Four Hundred and Eighty-Four Billion, Four Hundred and Eighty-Eight Million, Four Four hundred and seventy-one thousand, twi hundred and seventy-three naira) only is for statutory transfers, 3,344,380,000,000 (Three Thrillion, Three Hundred and Forty-Four Billion, Three Hundred and Eighty Million Naira) only is for Debt Service, N5,649,872,137,888 (Five Trillion, Six Hundred and Forty-Nine Billion, Eight-Hundred and Seventy-Two Million, One Hundred and Thirty-Seven Thousand, Eight Hundred anf Eighty-Eight Naira) only is for Recurrent (Non-Debt) Expenditure while the sum of N3,603,679,959,070 (Three trillion, six hundred and three Billion, six hundred and seventy-nine million, nine hundred and fifty-nine thousand, seventy naira) only is for contribution to the Development Fund for Capital Expenditure for the year ending on the 31st day of December, 2021 (SB. 523) was read the Second Time and referred to the Committee on Appropriations and to report back within four (4) weeks.

ADJOURNMENT
Senate Leader moved that Senate do adjourn plenary to another legislative day.

Minority Leader seconded.

Plenary was adjourned to Tuesday, 20th October 2020.

Attachment