Nigerian Senate, Politics, The Nation

Nigerian Senate Plenary of 29th June, 2021: Gets Petroleum Industry Bill (2021)

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Nigerian Senate Plenary of 29th June, 2021 received the Petroleum Industry Bill, 2021, to consider and pass it on Thursday, 1st July, 2021.

The Nigerian Senate Plenary of 29th June, 2021 kicked off with the announcement of the defection of a lawmaker from the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC) which further deflates the bragging rights of the former.

Furthermore, the Senate confirmed the nomination of Mr. Kolawole Oladipupo Alabi as the Executive Commissioner, Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission, while also passing the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Appropriation Bill, 2021.

Read on!

Proceedings

Senator Christopher Ekpenyong (Akwa Ibom Northwest, PDP) moved for the adoption of Votes and Proceedings for Wednesday, 23rd June, 2021 and was seconded by Senator Tokunbo Abiru (Lagos East, APC).

Senator Ahmad Lawan presiding
Senator Ahmad Lawan presiding. Photograph: @NgrSenate

Defection

Senate President, Dr. Ahmad Lawan, CON, Ph.D, read Zamfara Central Senator, Hassan Mohammed Gusau’s letter, which announced his defection from Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Petitions

1. Senator Ayo Akinyelure (Ondo Central, PDP) presented five petitions from the Office of the President of the Senate, which were laid and referred to the Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Privileges. The committee is to report back within four weeks.

Bills for first reading

The Nigerian Senate Plenary of 29th June, 2021 read the following bills for the first time.

These bills are Recovery of Premises Act 1945 (Repeal & Re-enactment) Bill, 2021 (SB. 746) by Senator Stephen Odey (Cross River North, PDP); and the Federal University of Technology Akwa-Ibom (Establishment) Bill, 2021 (SB. 755) by Senator Albert Bassey Akpan (Akwa Ibom North East, PDP).

The other bills that passed first reading are Federal University of Technology Jigawa (Establishment) Bill, 2021 SB. 756) by Senator Sabo Mohammed (Jigawa South West, APC); the Management Institutions and Allied Matters Act Cap M19 LFN 2004 (Amendment) Bill, 2021 (SB. 757) by Senator Ibikunle Amosun (Ogun Central, APC), and the National Research and Innovation Council (Establishment) Bill, 2021 (SB. 758) by Senator Frank Ibezim (Imo North, APC).

Consideration of reports

In the Nigerian Senate Plenary of 29th June, 2021, the Senate received five committee reports, which included one that confirmed Mr. Kolawole Oladipupo Alabi as the Executive Commissioner of the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission.

As usual, one of the bills of the workaholic senator, Senator Ahmad, Babba Kaita, was also considered and passed.

1. Senator Sabo Mohammed moved that the Senate do receive the report of the Joint Committee on Petroleum (Downstream); Petroleum (Upstream) and Gas Resources on the Petroleum Industry Bill, 2021 (SB. 510). He was seconded by Senator Albert Bassey.

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The report was laid. The Senate President, Dr. Ahmad Lawan, remarked: “Let me on behalf of all of us in the senate thank our Joint Committee for working so hard, selflessly and patriotically to produce the report of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB).

“Every Senator must have a copy today and we will be considering the report on Thursday,” he concluded.

Nigeria senators engaged in a heated debate. Photograph: @TopeBrown, @NgrSenate

2. Senator Francis Fadahunsi (Osun East, PDP) moved that the Senate do receive and consider the report of the Committee on Trade and Investment on the Confirmation of the Nomination of Mr. Kolawole Oladipupo Alabi for Appointment as Executive Commissioner, Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission. Senator Clifford Ordia (Edo Central, PDP) seconded.

The Nomination of Mr. Kolawole Oladipupo Alabi was confirmed as Executive Commissioner, Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission after the Senate reverted to plenary to report progress from the Committee of the Whole.

3. Senator Abubakar Kyari (Borno North, APC) moved that the Senate do receive and consider the report of the Committee on Federal Capital Territory (FCT) on the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Appropriation Bill, 2021 (SB. 596) and was seconded by Senator Tolu Odebiyi (Ogun West, APC).

The Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Appropriation Bill, 2021 (SB. 596) was read the Third Time and PASSED after the Senate in the Committee of Supply and Plenary approved Clauses 1-6 as recommended, Schedules A and B as recommended, Explanatory Memorandum as recommended, Short and Long Titles as recommended.

4. Senator Yahaya Ibrahim Oloriegbe (Kwara Central, APC) moved that the Senate do receive and consider the report of the Committee on Health (Secondary and Primary) on the Federal University of Health Sciences, Otukpo, Benue State (Establishment) Bill, 2021 (SB. 216). Senator Abba Moro (Benue South) seconded the motion.

The Senate in the Committee of the Whole and Plenary approved Clauses 1-29 as recommended, Schedules A and B as recommended, Interpretation as recommended, Explanatory Memorandum as recommended, Short and Long Titles as recommended.

Thus, Federal University of Health Sciences, Otukpo, Benue State (Establishment) Bill, 2021 (SB. 216) was read the Third Time and PASSED!

5. Senator Nora, Dadi Dadu’ut (Plateau South, APC) moved that the Senate do receive and consider the report of the Committee on Tertiary Institutions and TETFUND on the Institute of Information and Communication Technology Suleja (Establishment) Bill, 2021 (SB. 244).

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The bill was sponsored by Senator Ahmad, Babba Kaita (Katsina North, APC)

The Institute of Information and Communication Technology Suleja (Establishment) Bill, 2021 (SB. 244) was read the Third Time and PASSED after the Senate in the Committee of the Whole and Plenary approved Clauses 1-28 as recommended, Schedules 1-3 as recommended, Interpretation as recommended, Explanatory Memorandum as recommended, Short and Long Titles as recommended.

Bills for second reading

The Nigerian Senate Plenary of 29th June, 2021 considered three other bills for second reading.

1. Senator Yahaya Abdullahi (Senate Leader – Kebbi North, APC) sponsored a Bill for an Act to provide for a comprehensive legal and Institutional framework for the recovery and management of proceeds of crime or benefits derived from unlawful activities, harmonize and consolidate the legal provisions on the recovery of proceeds of crime and for related matters, 2021 (SB. 533).

The Bill was read the Second Time and referred to the Committees on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters, and Financial Crimes and anti-corruption to report back within two weeks.

2. Senator Sadiq Umar (Kwara North, APC) sponsored a Bill for an Act to provide for the management, administration, operation regulation and supervision of payment, clearing and settlement systems in Nigeria and for related matters, 2021 (SB. 148).

The Bill was read the Second Time and referred to the Committee on Banking, Insurance and other Financial Institutions to report back in Four weeks.

3. Senator Ike Ekweremadu (Enugu West, PDP) sponsored a Bill for an Act to establish the Federal University of Agriculture Mpu, Enugu State to make comprehensive provisions for its due management and administration and for related matters, 2021 (SB. 690).

The Bill was read the Second Time and referred to the Committee on Tertiary Institutions and TETFUND to report back within four weeks.

Senate President Ahmad Lawan exiting the red chambers. Photograph: @NgrSenate

Peoples Parliament

Reporting from the Nigerian Senate facebook page, Memorila gathered Nigerians’ views regarding the Nigerian Senate Plenary of 29th June, 2021.

Yoruba Ronu, for instance, believed the Nigerian Senate’s passing of bills for the establishment of new federal institutions of learning is akin to sponsoring nonsense when there are no jobs for graduates of existing ones.

“How many bills for industrialisation have ever been sponsored by this notorious Senate?” Ronu quipped. “Sponsoring University bills without place to work after graduation is nothing but frivolities.”

Acho Ebere echoed the same words of Ronu. He said, “Hmmmm! All these universities everywhere, without maintaining the existing ones is where Nigeria government is getting it wrong.”

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John Aondowase added, “The craze for establishment of institutions in this country is sickening. Even the already existing ones are in a messy state. There are many graduates roaming the streets without jobs, you’re busy passing bills that doesn’t make any sense.”

Lateef Shages Sanusi, Ogiomade Osarenren and Ibrahim A Hussaini, on their parts, asked about the progress of the Peace Corps Bill?

Osarenren pleaded, “Please give Peace Corp bill a chance. Nigerian youth are waiting to hear good news and also to write the name of the 9th Senate and Mr. President with a golden pen.”

On his part, Oku Mmonesi Oku Theophilus was vitriolic with his words. But he also asked why the Electoral Amendment Bill hasn’t been passed.

Hear his words, “Rubber stamp Senates. Rubber bands in the House. Imagine, the f**l senate president started with the defection of a PDP lawmaker to APC.

“You see those you elected to represent you Nigerians?

“Does it look like they’re representing you? Rejoicing over a defection from PDP to APC is the lowest of lows I’ve ever come across in my entire life of knowing government. This is really terrible. Kai!

“Nigerians, are you going out to register for your PVC because we have to change this government 2023 come rain or sun or fire.

“Lest we forget, when are you rubber stamp senate going to pass the Electoral Amendment Bill into law? Have you forgotten there’s election in Anambra state November or you want to give excuse again why it can’t be passed? Bunch of criminals!”

As an aside, the Electoral Amendment Act (2021) has been passed by the Senate Plenary of 15th July, 2021.

Adjournment

The Senate Leader, Senator Yahaya Abdullahi (Kebbi North, APC) moved that other items on the Order Paper be stood down till another legislative day and was seconded by the Minority Leader, Enyinnaya Abaribe (Abia South, PDP).

Hence, plenary was adjourned to Wednesday, 30th June, 2021.

Meanwhile, the Nigerian Senate Plenary of 13th July, 2021 passed the Electoral Offences Commission bill which prescribed a 20-year jail term for ballot boxes snatchers but a mere 5-year term for party officials.


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