The House of Representatives has called for inclusion of reconstruction of the bridge connecting Baruten Local Government Area of Kwara and the Republic of Benin in the 2023 Budget estimates.
This followed the adoption of a motion by Rep. Mohammed Bio (APC-Kwara) on the floor of the house on Wednesday in Abuja.
The house urged the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing to act accordingly.
The motion is titled,: “Need to Address the Effect of Rain Disaster in Baruten Local Government Area of Kwara .
” According to him, Chikanda is an international border community in Baruten local government area of Kwara.
He said the community was connected to the Republic of Benin through a bridge to ease the movement of people and transaction of business and services.
He explained that on Aug. 15, there was a torrential rainfall which resulted in a heavy flood, thus pulling down the only bridge connecting the Republic of Benin and Nigeria.
“The flood carted away livestock worth millions of naira, with over 70 farmlands washed away and rendered families homeless in Chikanda community in the LGA,’’ he explained.
The lawmaker stressed the need for urgent intervention by relevant government agencies to reconstruct the bridge connecting the two countries to ease movement of goods and services The house, however, urged the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development and the National Emergency Management Agency to provide relief materials for victims in the affected communities.
The house also mandated the Committees on Emergency and Disaster Preparedness and Legislative Compliance to ensure implementation and report back within eight weeks for further legislative action.
Mr Adekunle Abolade, the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) House of Representatives candidate for Federal Constituency in Osun, has promised to create jobs and empower youths in his constituency, if elected in 2023.
Abolade, who made this known while addressing a news conference on Wednesday in Osogbo, said he would also initiate poverty alleviation programmmes with specific focus on youth employment and empowerment.
The hopeful said his cardinal focus would be to assist the youth to realise their potential adding that the nation’s youth unemployment rate was alarming.
“The rate of unemployment in Osun and Nigeria as a whole is worrisome, and you know that an idle hand, they say, is the devil’s workshop,” he said.
According to him, the future belongs to the youth, who are innovative and industrious.
“The youth are also the bedrock for societal development, when they are adequately empowered.
“If elected as a representative of federal constituency, youth empowernent will be my focus.
“Making the youths self-reliant, resourceful, industrious and creative will be my focus, if elected ,and I will always welcome ideas that will give the desired leverage.
“I want to also state that, if given the opportunity to serve as a member of the Federal House of Representative, I will be accountable and responsive to the problems confronting my constituents,” he said.
Abolade also appealed to his constituents to vote for him and his party for the prompt delivery of the dividends of democracy.
Rep. Samuel Onuigbo (APC-Abia), has lauded the Federal Government for its commitment toward erosion control in the South-East.
Onuigbo, who represents Ikwuano,Umuahia North and South Federal conConstituency, said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja on Wednesday.
“This government has demonstrated that it is committed to fighting erosion in these areas.
“In my federal constituency, I think we have over 44 massive erosion sites, but I know that I have on my own paid for several engineering works, because I know it is a major problem.
“But I must also commend this government, because in 2015 and 2019, this government executed two massive erosion control works in my federal constituency.
“One was at a place called Amankwo Ezelike Amachala in Umuaiha South, that cost the federal government hundreds of millions of naira to cover,” he said.
Onuigbo, also a member of the House Committee on Ecological Fund, said the erosion was so strong, that it has displaced people from their ancestral homes.
“The second one was the road between Okwe and Obiofia that is also in Ikwuano local government area.
“It was over 42 meters deep and very wide, it also cost hundreds of millions of naira for the federal government to complete.
These projects were so successful, I facilitated them,” he said.
The lawmaker said that Buhari has remained consistent in tackling the effects of climate change, which had been a monumental challenge.
“In his speech at the UN general meeting, President Buhari devoted about three to four paragraphs in addressing the challenges and threats posed by climate change.
“Mr President during his inauguration in 2015 said he will fight climate change .
“I want to commend him for keeping faith with his promise, he has been consistent on issues of climate change and his actions have also been consistent.
“He has been consistent, because he appreciates the danger which climate change poses to the nation and to the world and that is why he has made that laudable and lofty declaration at the international fora,” he said.
According to him, the House of Representatives has enacted a law to tackle the issues of climate change in Nigeria.
The House of Representatives on Wednesday stepped down a motion to stop unruly behaviour of touts operating on major highways in the country.
The move followed the adoption of a motion by Rep. Lanre Edun (APC-Ogun) at plenary.
The motion is titled, ” Need to Curb the Incessant and Unruly Behaviour of Touts Operating on Major Highways in Nigeria.
” Edun said he would be stepping down the motion because of the need to consult widely, adding that such consultation was necessary to take the right step.
The motion had noted the increase in the number of touts and their nefarious activities on major highways.
He expressed worry that the touts had recently expanded their activities by positioning themselves at various locations on highways and bus stops.
This according to him, is to forcefully extort money from commercial drivers, tricycle and motorcycle operators.
He said that most touts were under the influence of alcohol and hard drugs and often resorted to violence in dealing with transport operators as well as private car users on bus stops and highways.
The Speaker of the House of Reps, Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila, however, asked the lawmaker why he wanted to step down the bill.
Edun told him that there was need to consult widely before going ahead with the motion.
Sen. Solomon Adeola (APC- Lagos) and Chairman, Senate Committee on Finance, has been honoured with the award of Commander of the Order of Niger(CON) by the Federal Government.
Chief Kayode Odunaro, his Media Adviser, said this in a statement in Abuja on Wednesday saying that the letter conveying the award with Ref. No. 00185 was dated Sept 16. According to Odunaro, the letter was signed by Sen. George Akume, the Minister for Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Affairs.
He said ceremony for conferment of the award was scheduled for Oct 11. Adeola is a Fellow, Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria, fellow of the Chartered Institute of Taxation and graduate of Federal Polytechnic, Ilaro.
Adeola, who has been a parliamentarian for over 19 years, was a two- term state legislator, one term member of the House of Representatives and currently in the 9th Senate.
The Senate has reassured that it will pass the Electoral Offences Bill for assent by President Muhammadu Buhari before the 2023 general election.
Sen. Kabiru Gaya, the Chairman, Senate Committee on Independent National Electoral Commission ( INEC), stated this on Tuesday at the screening of 19 nominees for INEC Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) in Abuja.
” The National Assembly is unswavering in making sure that the Independent National Electoral Commission ( INEC) , succeed in the conduct of the 2023 general election .
” It will interest you to know that the National Electoral Offences Bill is presently being worked on by a technical Committee in the House of Representatives, the legislative intent is to ensure that INEC concentrates on the administration of elections.
“To ensure that electoral offenders are brought to book to deter others and build a positive electoral culture for our nation,” he said.
He said preparation for the 2023 elections was in top gear as the National Assembly was committed to supporting INEC for credible election.
Buhari had in July forwarded the names of the 19 nominees to the National Assembly for confirmation as INEC RECs. Some of them included Ibrahim Abdullahi (Adamawa); Obo Effanga (Cross River); Umar Ibrahim (Taraba); Agboke Olaleke (Ogun); and Samuel Egwu (Kogi), Onyeka Ugochi (Imo); Muhammad Bashir (Sokoto) and Ayobami Salami ( Oyo State).
The lawmaker representing Badagry Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, Mr Babatunde Hunpe, on Tuesday empowered some 300 youths and market women with cash grants.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the empowerment programme facilitated by Hunpe was in conjunction with Cocoa Research Institute of Nigeria (CORIN) and Bamidele Engineering Nig. Ltd. Hunpe said that the initiative was to enable youths and market women in his constituency to upgrade their businesses.
“This is in continuation of our empowerment programme and part of our election campaign promises.
“The empowerment is part of what we promised our people that we will do for them.
“We are supporting their businesses with cash grants; the money is in three stages and we have over 300 people to collect it “The cash grants range from N20,000 to N50,000 and N100,000 all together,” he said.
Hunpe urged those that were yet to benefit to exercise some patience.
Mr Sunday Setonji, the Chief of Staff to the lawmaker, urged the beneficiaries to utilise the grants judiciously.
Setonji appealed to them not to use the money to buy clothes or enjoy ceremonies, as it was meant for their businesses.
He commended the lawmaker for the kind gesture, and urged him not to forget others in the next phase of the empowerment exercise.
Mrs Abosede Owolabani, a fish seller and one of the beneficiaries, said she would use the money to expand her business, urging other beneficiaries to use theirs judiciously.
She thanked the lawmaker for extending the cash grants to her, saying that the money would change her business.
NAN reports that the ceremony was graced by many All Progressives Congress (APC) chieftains, market men and women, and local government workers.
The Employees Unpaid Wages Prohibition Bill, (2019) on Tuesday, passed the second reading in the House of Representatives in Abuja.
The bill, which seeks to ensure timely remuneration of employees in the public or private sectors was sponsored by the Speaker, Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila.
The bill which was presented on the floor by Rep. Abubakar Fulata (APC-Jigawa) on behalf of the speaker also seeks to prohibit the withholding of payment due to employees by employers in the guise of using same to cover the cost of employee’s negligence.
The bill states that such ought rightly to be covered by insurance and emphasises the need for transparency of contract between employers and employees.
The bill prescribed penalties against employers for violations of the provisions of this Bill when passed into law.
“It provides for compensation for employees, improve the general welfare conditions of employment for labour in Nigeria,”he said.
In his ruling, the speaker referred the bill to the Committee of the Whole for accelerated legislative action.
The House of Representatives has urged the Ministry of Works and Housing to urgently direct the contractor, Julius Berger Plc. to immediately return to site and complete its reconstruction of Abuja-Kaduna road.
The house said that the reconstruction should start with the Jere–Kaduna stretch of the road.
This followed the adoption of an urgent motion of public importance by Rep. Garba Datti (APC-Kaduna) at plenary on Tuesday in Abuja.
The motion was co-sponsored by 38 other lawmakers.
Datti while reading the motion, said that in March 2021, the Minister of Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, SAN announced that the Federal Executive Council had approved the contract for the rehabilitation of the Abuja-Kaduna-Zaria-Kano expressway.
He said the concerning incessant and rampant incidents of banditry along the Abuja-Kaduna Highway, compelled the contractor to withdraw its workers from the road for security reasons He said that as at the time of the withdrawal by the contractor, at least one half of the stretch of road had been graded and covered only in laterite.
He said that after the intense rainfall of the past few months, it had given way to gorges and potholes that had left the road un-motorable and severely slowed down traffic.
He added that a journey that would ordinarily last one and a half hours now took three hours to complete.
He said because of the current condition of the road, it took for a vehicle or truck to breakdown on it for a few minutes and it would result in a build up of static traffic.
According to him, to worsen matters, the gridlock often left motorists and commuters stranded on the road.
This, he said, could sometimes take between six to nine hours on a journey that should last no more than one and a half hours.
He said there was a high probability that the gridlocks would become recurrent n the immediate future.
He said that circumstances had made it urgent that the contractor, Julius Berger Plc. be immediately brought back to site to complete the phase of the contract especially, the stretch between Jere and Kaduna.
The house, therefore, urged the Federal Government to deploy the military personnel and material resources as well as intelligence necessary to secure the Abuja-Kaduna Expressway This, he said, was to enable the contractor resume work without risk to personnel and equipment.
The house also mandated the House Committee on Works to liaise with the minister of works and housing as well as the heads of the relevant security agencies.
This is to ensure implementation of the above resolutions and report to the house within three weeks.
A bill for an Act to establish the National Religious Harmony Commission has passed second reading in the House of Representatives on Tuesday in Abuja.
The bill which sought to provide statutory framework for the protection of fundamental human rights as it related to matters of religious freedom and liberty, was sponsored by the Speaker, Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila.
The bill which was presented on behalf of the speaker by Rep. Abubakar Fulata, (APC-Jigawa) when passed into law, would give powers to the commission to ensure religious harmony.
It would also empower the commission to investigate cases of religious discrimination, victimisation and harassment in all sectors of Nigeria and prosecute offenders “It will monitor incidents of religious extremism, including hate speech and other actions and utterances intended to incite violent passions and prosecute offenders.
“Provide an early warning system for government and law enforcement to detect and prevent actions likely to incite religious violence and breakdown in law and order.
“Conduct research and advise the government and National Assembly on remedial measures to prevent religious extremism and the dangers that flow therefrom.
” In his ruling, the speaker referred the bill to the Committee of the Whole for accelerated action.