The Speaker of the House, Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila presiding.

After leading the opening prayer and National Pledge, the Speaker approved the votes and proceedings for Wednesday, January 26th, 2022
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MOTIONS OF URGENT PUBLIC IMPORTANCE

1. Rep. Igariwe Enwo moved a motion on the need to check the activities of an armed militia group in Ebonyi State and it was seconded by Rep. Abubakar Hassan Nalaraba.

Rep. Igariwe in leading the debate stated that the armed militia was set up by the State government and is unleashing terror on citizens. He also lamented how these militiamen are also being used by influential individuals to harass perceived political enemies. Rep. Igariwe called on the Inspector General of Police to investigate the killings attributed to the militia. He also called on the office of the National Intelligence Agency to ascertain the constitutionality and authority of the militia to carry firearms and that the House Committee on Police Affairs should ensure compliance.

The motion was voted on and adopted.

2. Rep. Ahmed Maigari moved a motion calling on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to implement the provisions of the 2022 Appropriation Act which gives permission to Nigerian embassies and High Commissions abroad to spend a required portion of their funds for adequate service delivery and due facilities maintenance without seeking further permission from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It was seconded by Rep. Abubakar Yalleman.

Rep. Maigari stated that the delay in getting the permission is responsible for the poor quality of service delivery of the embassies and High Commissions for Nigerians, as well as the deplorable state of the structures and facilities in Nigerian embassies and High Commissions worldwide. He stated that provisions in the 2022 Appropriation Act assented to by the President carefully took care of this and that the Ministry should ensure full compliance. He also called on the House Committee on Foreign Affairs to ensure compliance.

Rep. Ndudi Elumelu worried whether the singular permission to different embassies would not be abused by officials of the embassies.

The Speaker of the House, Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila clarified that the monies have been appropriated and it is their right to utilize it for the uplifting of the Nigerian image abroad, but the Ministry of Foreign Affairs seems to be trying to truncate it. He however expressed his reservation over the issue, hence the motion to enforce what is now a provision of law.

Rep. Yusuf Buba Yakub who is the Chairman, House Committee on Foreign Affairs ascertained that the provision is now a law and commended the leadership of the House for including the clause as Nigerian embassies and High Commissions worldwide area a laughingstock due to their visible deplorable state of disrepair. Rep. Yakub lamented the bottleneck in getting repairs carried out abroad when the Ministry of Foreign Affairs have to give such approval. He however expressed optimism that this will change for the better, especially now that it has become Law. He called for the House to clean up the mess in the Foreign Affairs Ministry as they continue to hide under the provisions of the Public Procurement Act to starve the embassies and High Commissions of much-needed funds for upkeep and service delivery.

Rep. Herman Hembe called for the enforcement of the constitutional provisions of the 2022 Appropriation Act to bring the erring officials to book.

The motion was voted on and adopted.
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MOTIONS

1. Need to Ascertain the Actual Daily Consumption of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) in Nigeria.
Rep. Abubakar Hassan Fulata:
The House:
Notes the concerns of Nigerians over the re-occurring incidence of fuel scarcity;
Concerned about the huge sums of money being paid as subsidies and the controversies it has been generating;

Worried that it may not be possible to ascertain the actual sums of subsidy required and being paid without accurate data of the daily consumption of Premium Motor Spirit in Nigeria;

Acknowledges that when such data is generated, it will enhance effective planning, supply and distribution of the said product to Nigerians;
Resolves to:

Set up an Ad-hoc Committee to investigate the actual daily consumption of premium motor spirit in Nigeria and report back within eight (8) weeks for further legislative action.

Debate
After a personal explanation to the effect that he brought the motion before the Speaker of the House, Rep. Ndudi Elumelu moved the motion on the need to ascertain the actual daily consumption of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) in Nigeria and it was seconded by Rep. Abubakar Nalaraba.

The motion was voted on and adopted.

2. Need to Ascertain the Actual Cost of Rehabilitation of Nigerian Refineries.
Rep. Abubakar Hassan Fulata:
The House:
Notes the non-functionality and deplorable state of the nation’s Refineries;
Also notes that several billions of dollars of taxpayer’s money have been expended into the Turn Around Maintenance and Rehabilitation of the nation’s Refineries without any productive outcome;

Observes that past government efforts have been sabotaged by variation costs from partners or lack of proper project costing and analysis;

Cognizant of the government’s intention to commence another phase of rehabilitation of the refineries and if proper steps are not taken, the country may be plunged into repeating past mistakes;

Resolves to:
Set up an Ad-hoc Committee to ascertain the actual cost of rehabilitating the Nigerian Refineries and report back within six (6) weeks for further legislative action.

Debate
It was also clarified that the Speaker of the House, Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila called for the motion to ascertain the actual cost of rehabilitation of Nigerian refineries. In that light; Rep. Ademorin Kuye moved the motion on the need to ascertain the actual cost for the rehabilitation of Nigerian refineries and it was seconded by Rep. Henry Nwawuba.

The motion was voted on and adopted.

3. Need to Curb the Incessant Killings, Kidnappings, Burning of Properties in Billiri Local Government of Gombe State:
Rep. Victor Mela:

The House:
Notes that the recent illegal acts of herdsmen/bandits have ravaged numerous communities across the country ranging from killings, kidnappings, rape, burning of agricultural products which have resulted in the deaths of residents and loss of unquantifiable properties;

Also notes the ongoing systematic, carefully planned and executed annihilation of peace-loving people in Eleven villages of Kalmai, Baganje, Tanglang, Tal, and Todi Districts of Billiri Local Government Area of Gombe State by the bandits, an outlawed group;

Aware that the initial attack on those settlements was reported on December 6, 2021, and subsequent attacks were recorded on 12, 17, 27 and 29 December 2021 and January 20, 2022, respectively resulting in the death of 15 people, 20 people injured, 3 people kidnapped and properties worth millions of naira destroyed by fire thus rendering elderly, women, and children homeless;

Commend the Governor of Gombe State, His Excellency Alhaji Mohammadu Inuwa Yahaya for the prompt intervention when the communities were attacked by bandits;

Worried about the leaked intelligence report dated 17 December 2021 addressed to the Gombe State Commandant of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), which had warned on the impending attacks on Billiri Local Government and unfortunately two weeks after the leaked intelligence report, innocent people of Billiri were attracted by bandits;

Cognizant of roles as representatives of the people to rise to the occasion and condemn the acts of dehumanizing treatment meted on innocent citizens;

Also worried that since the heinous criminal act, no culprit has been arrested nor the sponsors of the bandits traced, creating a hopeless situation for the people of Billiri/Balanga Federal constituency;

Also cognizant of the need to ensure all resolutions passed on insecurity are fully and speedily implemented;

Resolves to:

(i) Observes a minute silence for the departed souls;

(ii) Urge the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and the North East Development Commission (NEDC) to, as a matter of utmost urgency, provide relief materials to the affected communities to ameliorate their sufferings;

(iii) also urge the Inspector General of Police to swiftly look into the possibility of establishing a Divisional Police Station in Tal District;

(iv) mandate the Committee on Interior to investigate the authenticity of the leaked intelligence report and the steps taken by the Gombe State NSCDC Command;

(v) also mandate the Committees on Internally Displaced Persons and Refugees, Emergency and Disaster Preparedness, North East Development Commission and Police Affairs to ensure compliance.

Debate
Rep. Victor Mela moved the motion on the need to curb the incessant killings, kidnappings, burning of properties in Billiri Local Government Area of Gombe State and it was seconded by Rep. Taiwo.

The motion was voted on and adopted.

4. Call on the Central Bank of Nigeria to Suspend the Implementation of the new Guidelines on the Introduction of E-Evaluator, E-Invoicing for Imports and Exports Businesses in Nigeria:
Rep. Leke Abejide:

The House:

Notes that on 21, January 2022, the Central Bank of Nigeria issued a circular on guidelines on imports and exports businesses in Nigeria, with reference number TED/FEM/FPC/PUB/01/001 to take effect from1, February 2022, 10 days after the issuance of the guidelines;

Also notes that sudden monetary/fiscal circular hurriedly or half-hazard implemented often leads to policy summersault hence major Policy change such as this a grace period of 90 days is usually expected for transactions to run its full course to avoid distortion in the economy and also to avoid price distortions of trade;

Worried that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has gradually deviated from its primary function of monetary policy measures and bankers to government and concentrating more on fiscal policy measure which is the function of the Federal Ministry of Finance;

Concerned if the guidelines are not given adequate time to sensitize and acquaint the major ports of entry in the country for stakeholders and the general public to study the policy it will distort prices of goods and services and create logjams for imports and exports, delay transactions and consequently cause ports congestion;

Recalls in 2020 the immediate implementation of FORM NXP as a mandatory statutory document required to be completed by all exporters for shipment of goods outside the country resulted in crisis as most exporters contracts were cancelled by their foreign buyers’ due to network issues and configuration of its portal which takes more than two to three weeks to resolve thus leading to massive financial loss by exporters;

Worried that importers and exporters in the manufacturing, mining and trading sectors would be affected because as the exceptions indicate that all exporters and importers with a cumulative invoicing value equal to or above $500,000 or its equivalent in foreign currency would be affected which is practically impossible to have anyone below this value cumulatively;

Disturbed that some issues in the guidelines are contradictory for instance, guidelines (c) and (d) contradict each other, while guideline (c) states that no importer/exporter may effect payment to the credit of any foreign supplier unless the electronic invoice has been authenticated by Authorised Dealer’s Banks presented together with the relevant documents for payment, but guideline (d) states that the content of the electronic invoice authenticated by Authorised Dealer Banks is only advisory for the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS);

Resolves to:

(i) Urge the Central Bank of Nigeria to suspends the policy with immediate effect to enable adequate sensitization on the workability of the policy in all major Ports of entry including Sea Ports, Airports, and Border Stations;

(ii) invite the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to brief the Committee on Customs and Excise with the assurances that the target revenue of N3.1 Trillion given to the Nigeria Customs Service by the Federal Government of Nigeria (which the NCS announced to the media that they are targeting N4.2 Trillion) will not be distorted by this sudden policy implementation;

(iii) also urge the Central Bank of Nigeria to give 90 days’ timeline for subsequent new Fiscal/Monetary policy implementation to allow for adjustment in order to stabilize the economy.

Debate
Rep. Leke Abejide moved the motion on the call on the Central Bank of Nigeria to suspend the implementation of the new guidelines on the introduction of the e-evaluator and e-invoicing for imports and exports businesses in Nigeria and it was seconded by Rep. Ahmed Jaha.

Rep. Babangida Ibrahim proposed an amendment to prayer 2 to add the House Committee on Banking and Currency to be present in the briefing by the Central Bank Governor for transparency’s sake.

The motion was voted on and adopted as amended.
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Adjournment:
The House at 12:45 adjourned plenary till Tuesday, February 1st, 2022 by 11:00 following a motion for adjournment moved by Rep. Abubakar Hassan Fulata and seconded by Rep. Ahmed Jaha.

Courtesy:
Media Unit, Office of the Speaker, House of Representatives.

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