Proceedings of Nigerian Senate 10th October and Request for Debt Approval

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Tuesday, October 10, 2017 11:34 PM /  Office of The President of the Senate, Federal Republic of Nigeria

Senate President Bukola Saraki took the official Prayer and led the Chambers into today’s proceedings at 10.58am. 

Senator Abdulazeez Nyako moved for the approval of votes and proceedings of Thursday, 5th of October 2017. Senator Emmanuel Paulker seconded. 

Senate President Bukola Saraki read a letter from President Muhammadu Buhari requesting the Senate for approval of External borrowing to:

1. Finance 2017 Appropriation and

2. Refinance domestic debt. 

The Summary of the requests as follows

1. $2.5bn issuance in the international capital market through Eurobonds or a combination of Eurobonds and Diaspora Bonds for the financing of the deficit in the 2017 Appropriation Act and capital expenditure projects in the Act. 

II $3.0 billion external borrowing for the refinancing of maturing domestic debt obligations through the issuance of Eurobonds or through a loan syndication. 

Senate President Bukola Saraki welcomed people who were present in the gallery to observe Plenary. 

Senator Philip Aduda raised a point of order and told the Senate that the Ministers of Finance and Budget and Planning should clear the misconception that the Senate isn’t working by delaying the approval of the external borrowing. 

Senator Obinna Ogba cited an order and sought a motion to celebrate with the Super Eagles over their victory qualifying for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia. 

Senator Sam Anyanwu seconded and added that the team is to be commended for their effort and also thanked Senate President Bukola Saraki for his presence at the match. 

Senate resolved to:
i) Congratulate agencies and team members.

ii) To mandate the Federal Government for timely provision of funds.

iii) Ensure the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) commences early preparation for the team to ensure a successful outing. 

Senate President Bukola Saraki noted that it’s important that the Nigeria Football Federation judiciously manage funds when released. 

Senator Shehu Sani raised a Petition from a member of his constituency who was wrongly dismissed by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) where he worked. 

Senator Mao Ohuabunwa raised a petition regarding students on Presidential honours list sponsored to study abroad who have been abandoned. 

Senate President Bukola Saraki referred the petitions raised to the Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions to report back in 2weeks. 

1. Report of the Committee on Culture and Tourism by Senator Mathew A. Urhogide.

-That the Senate do receive the reports of the Committee on Culture and Tourism on:

a. National Institute for Hospitality and Tourism (Establishment, etc) Bill, 2017 (SB. 380), and b. Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation Act (Repeal and Re-enactment) Bill, 2017 (SB. 428). 

Senator Shaba Lafiagi seconded that the Senate do receive the reports of the Committee on Culture and Tourism on:

a. National Institute for Hospitality and Tourism (Establishment, etc) Bill, 2017 (SB. 380), and b. Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation Act (Repeal and Re-enactment) Bill, 2017 (SB. 428). 

The reports of the Committee on Culture and Tourism was laid. 

1. The need to check the rising menace of pharmaceutical drug abuse among youths especially in northern Nigeria by Senator Baba Kaka Bashir

Senator Matthew Urhoghide said drugs have been consistently abused and suggests that these drugs should be made unavailable over the counter. 

Senator Oluremi Tinubu added that women resort to intake of drugs as a result of emotional negligence from their male partners and urges the Nigerian men to work on being emotionally available for their spouses. 

Senator Ben Murray Bruce said to fix the issue of drugs, the economy must be fixed, also before rehab centers are established the cause of drugs abuse must be understood. 

Senator James Manager said we should be coming up with a solution to the not investigating what we already know of. 

Senate resolved to:
i. Mandate its Joint Committee on Drugs and Narcotics and Health to come up with a report back to the Senate on the needed Legislative interventions to combat this trend, 

ii. Urge the Federal Government to partner with relevant stakeholders, traditional rulers, pharmacists council of Nigeria, NGO’s to create a holistic framework in fighting this category of drug abuse especially in Northern Nigeria, and 

Senator Kwankwaso added that the State Government and Local Government be included to prayer (ii), Senator Abubakar Kyari seconded. 

iii. Urge the National Food and Drug Agency (NAFDAC) to embark on a vigorous sensitization campaign on the dangers of drug abuse and steps on achieving a successful rehabilitation for people with drug addiction. 

Senator Oluremi Tinubu added a prayer that the Federal Government should establish joint rehabilitation centers where victims of drug abuse can seek help when needed. Senator Magnus Abe seconded the prayer. 

Senate President Bukola Saraki commended the sponsor and all co-sponsors of the motion on considering the Socio-Economic state of the country and stated that a likely solution is for the two Committees on Health and Narcotics to come up quickly with the bill to be passed concerning this. 

2. Urgent need for pro-active steps to nip in the bud reported outbreak of Monkey Pox Disease in Nigeria by Senator Ali Wakili. 

Senator Emmanuel Paulker stated that this is a situation that calls for all forms of assistance across the Federation. 

Senator Magnus Abe noted that every machinery of the government should be mobilized to ensure that this does not become an epidemic. 

Senate resolved to:
i. Urge the Federal Government of Nigeria through the Federal Ministry of Health, the various States Governments, Local Governments and CBOs to be pro-active in containing and preventing the spread of Monkey pox disease from where it was reported to have occurred; 

ii. Aggressive enlightenment and education of the citizens about measures that can be taken to mitigate risk factors of exposure to the virus; 

iii. Sustained public health education messages via the conventional media- broadcast, electronic, print and the social media platforms; and 

iv. Proper liaison by the Federal Government with the World Health Organisation (WHO) and other relevant donor agencies for contingencies against eventualities. 

Senate President Bukola Saraki thanked Senator Wakili for the motion. 

1. Report of the Senate Committees.

2017 Budget of Corporations and Agencies of Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria by Senate Leader.

-That the Senate do consider the report of the Senate Committees on the 2017 Budget of Corporations and Agencies of Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. 

Committee: Finance.
Government Owned Enterprise: Federal Inland Revenue.

The Report of the Committee on Finance was approved as amended. 

Committee: Banking, Insurance and other Financial Institutions.
Government Owned Enterprise: Nigerian Deposit Insurance Corporation. 

Senator Sam Anyanwu presented the report on the Committee of Banking, Insurance and other financial institutions for Senate consideration. 

Senate President Bukola Saraki said we need to make sure the agencies aren’t just keeping money, we need to do a thorough job on the agencies. 

Senate Leader Ahmed Lawan cited order 13 and moved that Plenary be extended beyond 2pm. Deputy Minority Leader seconded. 

Committee: Marine Transport.
Government Owned Enterprises: National Inland Waterways Authority, Nigerian Shippers Council, National Maritime Authority, and Nigerian Ports Authority. 

The report on the Committee of Marine Transport was approved as amended. 

Senate Leader moves that other items on the Order paper be moved to another Legislative day. Minority Leader seconds. 

Plenary is adjourned to Wednesday, 11th October, 2017


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