Today’s Proceedings of the Nigerian senate

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Welcome to a new Legislative Day in the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Senate President, Bukola Saraki took the official Prayer and led the Chambers into today’s proceedings at 10:58am.

Senator Abdulaziz_Nyako moved for the approval of votes and proceedings of Tuesday 7th November, 2017. Senator Duro Faseyi seconded.

PETITIONS Senator Ibrahim Gobir raised a petition about harassment and extortion of his constituents by officers of the Nigerian Customs. Senator Omo Agege raised a petition from a member of his constituency on unlawful expulsion from University of Abuja. Senator Mao Ohuabunwa on behalf of a member of his constituency raised a petition on how he went to exclusive stores in Abuja on 18th of October and was shot by a police officer. Senator Benjamin Uwajumogu raised 3 petitions on behalf of his constituents. Firstly, the outstanding contractual obligations of a constituent by Coca Cola Plc, secondly, the refusal to honour a contractual and legal obligation of a constituent by Nigerian Ports Authority and lastly, non payment of pension and other financial obligation to a constituent by Nigerian Immigration.

Senate President, Bukola Saraki referred the petitions raised to the Senate Committee on ethics and privileges. POINT OF ORDER Senator Rose oko cited orders 42 and 43 of Senate Standing rule and went further to read that she wants to raise motion another day of 26 Nigerian girls that were said to have been molested and murdered in The Mediterranean. MOTIONS Illegal extension of the tenure of the Board of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) by Senator Emmanuel Paulker. ‘Worried that contravention of Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) act portends grave danger to the relative peace we enjoy in the Niger Delta.’- Senator Emmanuel Paulker.

Senate resolved to: Mandate the Committee on Niger Delta to investigate the illegal renewal of the tenure of the present board of the commission. Senate mandated that the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) motion be moved to the committee on Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to liase with the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and Ministry of Niger Delta.

Monumental Fraud in the Power Sector by Senator Dino Melaye (Kogi West). Senate noted that in July 2013, the Federal Government raised a total sum of $1Billion through a Eurobond issue.

Also aware that, the sum of $350million was taken by the Federal Government out of the proceeds and released to the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Plc (NBET) as shareholder contribution to shore up its capitalization. Further aware that the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Plc (NBET) is a Federal Government owned public liability company that deals in electricity trading and management of associated liabilities.

Senate also observed that a lot of questions are begging for answers as regards the $29 million paid to @generalelectric and the $6 million paid to other consultants as to: Who were the consultants and how were they procured? Was there observance of due process in awarding the consultancy of $6million and in paying General Electric $29million for turbines? Why is the transaction cloaked in secrecy? What is the true value of Afam Fast Power? Why is the Ministry engaging in constructing new power plant while government has several idle plants that is seeking buyers for? Why is the Ministry that is supposed to be making policies, dabbling into constructing new power plants that we have all agreed is better handled by the Private sector? Senator Mohammed Hassan said ‘its a straight forward Motion but the Senate should be more concerned with the awarded contract of $29 million as consultancy fee and investigate the balance from the Eurobond transaction.’ Senator Gbenga Ashafa spoke on the alleged pretext of the Ministry acting under a purported presidential approval put forward by Senator Dino Melaye saying that the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing (FMPWH) should be allowed to further clarify on the issue before establishing such allegations. Senate resolved to: Mandate the Senate Committees on Power, Public Accounts to invite the Minister of Power, Works and Housing to render a detailed account in terms of public funds spent on the Fast Power Projects (Afam Fast Power Project) and the Committee to investigate and consider summoning the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA), Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Company (NBET) etc to generally establish the status of the funds ($350million) and to report back to the Senate within 2 weeks. Senator Mohammed Hassan added a prayer that the Senate mandates the Committee on Finance to investigate the actions of the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) inclusive of the issues raised in this Motion. Also to look into how decisions are made on policy making and the report is to be submitted in two weeks.

Senator Foster Ogola said ‘the Senate Committee on Public Accounts should be mandated to ascertain and Investigate balance of $650 million from the Eurobond transaction in the Treasury Single Account (TSA).’ Senator Mao Ohuabunwa said ‘the Senate Committee on Judiciary should be mandated to review the present Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) Act, Senator Aliyu Sabi seconded. Senate President, Bukola Saraki said the prayers should be handled by the Committee on Power and Public Accounts stating that this is not the first time issues on power and funding is being raised.

‘I really believe that the Committee on Public Account should lead the investigation to get down to bottom of the matter.’- Senate President, Bukola Saraki. PRESENTATION OF A REPORT Report of the Committee on Banking, Insurance and Other Financial Institutions on the Unscrupulous Violation of the Foreign Exchange (Monitoring and Miscellaneous ) Act by MTN. Presented by Senator Rafiu Ibrahim. The report was LAID. CONSIDERATION OF BILLS-Second Reading A Bill for an Act to establish the Federal Polytechnic Kabo to provide full-time courses in technology, applied science management and other fields of studies and to make provisions for the general administration of the Polytechnic and for other related matters, 2017 (SB. 407) by Senator Jibrin Barau. Senator Adamu Aliero said ‘the Senate should ensure equitable distribution of Tertiary Institutions across the country.’ The Bill for an Act to establish the Federal Polytechnic Kabo to provide full-time courses in technology, applied science management and other fields of studies and to make provisions for the general administration of the Polytechnic and for other related matters, 2017 (SB. 407) was read the Second time. Senate President, Bukola Saraki referred the Bill to the committee on tertiary education trust fund (TETFUND) to Report back in 4 weeks.

‘’We need to be very realistic in our approach and we need to be well guided as regarding the Bill before referring to the Committee.’- Senate President, Bukola Saraki. Senate President, Bukola Saraki said ‘the Committee on TETFUND should be mandated to come up with a report on how to handle such Bills in the future and that the report should contain how to distribute Polytechnics, Universities, and Colleges of Education equally across the country.’

A Bill for an Act to establish the Federal Polytechnic Ukana, Akwa Ibom State to provide full-time courses in technology, applied science management and other fields of studies and to make provisions for the general administration of such Polytechnic and for other matters connected therewith, 2017 (SB. 434) by Senator Godswill Akpabio. The Bill for an Act to establish the Federal Polytechnic Ukana, Akwa Ibom State to provide full-time courses in technology, applied science management and other fields of studies and to make provisions for the general administration of such Polytechnic and for other matters connected therewith, 2017 (SB. 434) was read the Second time. Senate President, Bukola Saraki referred the Bill to the committee on tertiary education trust fund (TETFUND) to Report back in 4 weeks. A Bill for an Act to establish the Federal College of Education, Omuma, IMO State and for other matters connected therewith, 2017 (SB. 480) by Senator Hope Uzodinma. Senator Mao Ohuabunwa commended the Senate for giving the Bill legal backing before they are established. The Bill for an Act to establish the Federal College of Education, Omuma, IMO State and for other matters connected therewith, 2017 (SB. 480) was read the Second time.

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