Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu presides over Plenary. He takes the official prayers and leads the Senate into today’s proceedings.
Senanator Kabir Marafa moves for the approval of the votes and proceedings of Tuesday 10th January 2017 and Senator Adamu Abdullahi seconds.
Senators Ben Murray-Bruce and Foster Ogola in a Point of Order lay their petitions from their respective constituencies. The Petitions are referred to the Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions #EthicsPPPCttee for further legislative action.
*POINT OF ORDER*
1. Former Senate Leader, Ali Ndume rises to speak on the circumstances surrounding his replacement as Leader of the Senate.
Senator Ali Ndume says he was shocked that 38 of his colleagues in APC signed the documents passing a vote of no confidence on him. “Three times i offered to resign as Senate Leader, but you all wanted me to stay. But I believe God’s time is the best. If this happened to me today, it could be Ekweremadu tomorrow, we must protect the integrity of the Senate” – Ali Ndume
2. Senator James Manager in his Point of Order calls the attention of the Senate to the demise of Senator Francis Okposo.
Senate now observes a minute silence on the demise of Senator Francis Okposo. Burial arrangements & visitation to his family also announced.
3. Senator Marafa rises to speak on Order 41. He says due process was followed in the removal of Senator Ali Ndume as Senate Leader.
“I am a proponent of the Rule of Law. What we did yesterday was not a breach of the rule of law” – Senator Kabiru Marafa
*PRESENTATION OF REPORTS*
1. Report of the Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions on various petitions before it by Senator Obinna Ogba
*CONSIDERATION OF REPORT*
1. Report of the Committee on Public Account on the Screening of Mr Anthony Mkpe Ayine for appointment as Auditor General of the Federation. Senator Andy Uba (Anambra South) reads the committee’s reports and recommendations.
Senator Binta Garba speaks against the nomination saying Mr. Ayine is an Auditor General for a Local Government in Cross Rivers on Level 14 and ought to be on Level 17. She said the Head of Service is also from Cross Rivers and this negates the spirit of Federal Character.Senator Akpabio in disagreeing with Senator Binta Garba says “the position was advertised and many people applied. Mr. Ayine came first”.
Senate Leader Ahmed Lawan says the petitions brought against Mr. Ayine holds no water and that “fresh ideas are needed from an outsider”.
*CONFIRMATION OF NOMINATION*
Senate now resolves to the Committee of the whole to consider the report and nomination of Mr. Anthony Ayine as Auditor General of the Federation. Senate reverts to plenary and Mr. Anthony Ayine’s appointment as the Auditor-General of the Federation is confirmed.
DSP Ike Ekweremadu congratulates Mr. Ayine on his appointment and thanked the Public Ccounts Committee for doing a good job. “We believe he will strengthen that position now that the country is fighting corruption” – DSP Ekweremadu comments.
1. The Motion on the Ban on the Importation of Vehicles through the Land Borders into the Country sponaored by Senator Jbrin Barau and co-sponsorsed by Senators Kabiru Gaya, Shehu Sani, Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi and Ali Wakili.
Senate notes that the decision to stop importation of vehicles into the Country by #LandBorders will lead to the loss of about 500,000 jobs. Senate also notes that given the ramification of such a policy on the economy, it is not economically expedient to ban vehicle importation.
Senator Ali Ndume decries FG’s failure to engage stakeholders and says the policy will render small businesses ineffective. He adds that “Lagos is over congested, other ports are not utilised”. Senator Dino Melaye says “When formulating such policies, the welfare of the people and the socio-economic effect must be considered. Nigerian customs should show capacity in managing our border and enhance capacity to stop illegal movement of vehicles”.
“Government must put on its thinking cap and stop churning out policies that affect the masses negatively” – Senator Sam Egwu contributes. Senator Theodore Orji says “We don’t listen to public opinions. It is very difficult for anyone to purchase new vehicles now”. Senator Shehu sani in his own contributions say “Nigeria is not an ordinary Country, we have a duty to our continent and our sub-region. The policy favours those that have stakes in importation of Vehicle through the Sea. We are closing land border not to encourage Local production but to encourage importation through the Sea”.
Senators Olugbenga Ashafa, Kabiru Gaya, and Yusuf Abubakar all contribute to the ban on importation of Vehicles through the #LandBorders and Senate Accordingly resolves to:
i. Call on the Customs Service to suspend further action on its policy of an outright ban on the importation of vehicles through our land borders as from 1st January, 2017.
ii. Mandate the Senate C’ttee on Customs to investigate the circumstances that led to the sudden decision of the FG on Vehicle Importation.
iii. Urge the FG to consider the regulation of vehicle importation by approving an entry point in each of the geopolitical zones that have international land border(s) in the country.
Senator Ben Murray-Bruce says “people appointed to do this job are not qualified,” he appealed to President Buhari to relief or redeploy them as Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu thank his colleagues for their contributions & says that he hopes govt will respect the view and wishes of Nigerians.
2. The Motion on the need to resolve the Ladoke Akintola University Strike by Senator Monsurat Sunmonu #ReOpenLautech
Senate notes that workers of Ladoke Akintola University of Technology have been on strike since 9th June, 2016 over salary issues. Senate also notes that LAUTECH is jointly owned by Oyo and Osun, the two States that constituted the old Oyo State before Osun was excised. The challenges in fulfilling the shared funding responsibility caused workers to shutdown the institution. Senate is worried that the strike action is causing untold hardship and delay to the education, livelihood and future of the students.
Senate also notes that the students have become innocent victims of the collateral damage of the strike and their futures are at stake as Senate accordingly resolves to:
i. Implore Oyo and Osun states to expedite action towards resolving the issues and keep the public updated.
ii. Encourage staff of LAUTECH to return to work in the interest of the students; and
iii. Urge the students to be patient and not lose hope in public institutions
DSP Ike Ekweremadu thanked Senator Monsurat Sunmonu for the Motion to #ReopenLAUTECH and emphasises the need to look into the welfare of the students.
*CONSIDERATION OF BILL – SECOND READING*
1. A Bill for an Act to Amend the Motor Vehicles Third Party Insurance 2004 to facilitate the accomplishment of objectives of compulsory Third Party Insurance and for related matters, 2017 (SB. 276). By Senator Umaru I. Kurfi.
The Bill passes second reading and is now referred to the Senate Committee on Banking, Insurance and other Financial Institutions for further legislative action.
Senate Leader now moves that other items on the Order Paper be stood down to another Legislative day. Minority Leader seconds.
Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu puts the question and Senate is adjourned to Thursday 12th January, 2017.