Ike Ekweremadu leads Senate plenary today

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ABUJA, OCTOBER 26, 2016 – It’s a new legislative day in the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu leads the Senate Leadership into plenary. DSP Ekweremadu takes the official prayers. Deputy Chief Whip, Senator Francis Alimikhena calls the Senate to Order for plenary to commence. Senator Suleiman Hunkuyi moves for the approval of the Votes and Proceedings of Tuesday 25th October 2016 and Senator Biodun Olujimi seconds.

DSP Ike Ekweremadu reads a letter from @NGRPresident Muhammadu Buhari requesting early approval for the Federal Government 2016 – 2018 borrowing plan. The borrowing plan covers different all sectors such as Agriculture, Health, Water, Employment Creation, Poverty Eradication et al

Senate now moves to the Presentation of Reports.

Report of the Committee on Communications on the 2016 Budget of Nigerian Communications Commission is laid by Senator Gilbert Nnaji.
Report of the Committee on Communications on the 2016 Budget of the Universal Service Provision Fund is laid by Senator Gilbert Nnaji.
Senate now moves to Consideration of Bills for Second Reading.

A Bill for an Act to Provide for the Management, Administration, Operation, Regulation and Supervision of Payment, Clearing and Settlement Systems in the Federal Republic of Nigeria and to provide for other related matters 2016 (SB. 05) by Senator Hope Uzodinma is stood down.
A Bill for an Act to provide for Effective and Transparent Administration, Management and Control of Payment, Clearing & Settlement processes in Nigeria and for related matters 2016 (SB. 268) by Senator John O. Enoh.

Senator John Enoh rise to lead the debate saying E – Commerce is on the rise all over the world with Nigeria Inclusive. “500Million tweets go out daily, with 1million YouTube users; over 45 million Nigerians are active daily on the Internet”- Sen. John Enoh. Senator Ibrahim Gobir adds that “E – Commerce has taken over the whole world and with that we can make billions daily”.

“E – Commerce is on the rise and has come to stay. This bill will address the legal lacuna that exists in E- Commerce.” – Senator Shehu Sani speaks. Senators Sam Egwu & Yahaya Abdullahi supports the bill saying that it is a very straight forward bill that will move the country forward.

The Bill for an Act to provide for Effective and Transparent Administration, Management and Control of Payment, Clearing and Settlement Processes in Nigeria and for related matters 2016 (SB. 268) by Senator John Enoh is passed for second reading.

DSP Ike Ekweremadu refers the bill to Committee on Finance to report back in 4 Weeks.

A Bill for an Act to Repeal the Consumer Protection Act and establish Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission and other related matters 2016 (SB. 257) by Senator Andy Uba.
Senator Andy Uba leads the debate on the Consumer Protection Bill. Senator Uba says the importance of the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Bill cannot be over emphasized as it will place consumers as Kings. This Bill is coming at a right time. It will place consumers where they belong especially in this time of economic challenges says Senator Mao Ohuabunwa. Senator Jibrin Barau speaking on the bill says “certain people have monopolized a section of the market. This bill will help all of us”.

The Bill for an Act to Repeal the Consumer Protection Act and establish Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission and other related matters 2016 (SB. 257) by Senator Andy Uba is read for the second time and passed. Deputy Senate President Ekweremadu comments that “this is a very important bill aimed at protecting consumers from indiscriminate actions of certain marketers and producers. When there is competition, prices are lower”. DSP Ike Ekweremadu appreciates Senator Uba the sponsor of the bill and refers the bill to the Committee on Trade & Investment to report back in 4weeks.

A Bill for an Act to Amend the Hydroelectric Power Producing Area Development Commission, 2016 (SB. 89) by Senator David Umaru.
Senator David Umaru leads the debate on the #HydroElectricPowerBill . “I rise to support this very straight forward bill and urge my colleagues to do the same” – Senator Sabi Abdullahi. Senator James Manager warns against the expectations of the #HydroElectricPowerBill. Senators George Akume and Barnabas Gemade in supporting the bill say that Benue State should be included as part of the Power Producing Areas.

Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu advises Senator Gemade to take that up as a separate bill. The Bill for an Act to Amend the Hydroelectric Power Producing Area Development Commission (SB. 89) is read and passed for second reading. DSP Ike Ekweremadu refers the #HydroElectricPowerBill to the Senate Committee on Power to report back in 4weeks.

A Bill for an Act to Repeal and Re – Enact the Prisons Act CAP P29 LFN 2004 Bill 2016 (SB. 125) by Senator Shaaba Lafiagi.
Senator Lafiagi leading the debate on the #PrisonsBill decries the appalling situations in major Nigerian prisons and the urgent need for improvement.

A Bill for an Act to Repeal and Re – Enact the Prisons Act CAP P29 LFN 2004 Bill 2016 (SB. 288) by Senator Babajide Omoworare.
Senator Omoworare now leading the #PrisonsBill debate says that he accepts the provisions of Senator Lafiagi but calls for rehabilitation. He adds that “prisoners come home even worse; we need to redirect appropriations already made and rehabilitate our prisons as correctional services”.

A Bill for an Act to Repeal and Re-enact the Prisons Act CAP P29 LFN 2004 (Amendment) Bill 2016 (SB. 191) by Senator Oluremi Tinubu
Senator Tinubu leads the debate on her own planned amendments of the #PrisonsBill. She laments the situation of nursing mothers and their children in Nigerian Prisons. She says “there is the need for a creche, nursery & a separate facility to improve conditions of Nursing Mothers and Children in Prison.”

Senator Shehu Sani says he has been OPPORTUNED to stay in over 5 Prisons across the Federation; Kaduna Prisons, Kirikiri Prisons, Port Harcourt Prisons, Owerri Prisons, Enugu Prisons and Aba Prisons. He adds that “the only thing that has changed in our prisons in recent times is the uniform of in – mates”. Senator Sani also adds that though no government wants to invest in Prisons but the conditions of these prisoners makes it a worthy investment.

Senator Gbenga Ashafa supporting the #PrisonsBill says that he is particular about the improvement and attitudinal change of inmates and he speaks on some of the measures taken while he served as a Permanent Secretary in Lagos State. Senator Utazi Chukwuka narrates the gory and deplorable state of Enugu Prisons. Senator Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso says modern prisons should be built to accommodate prisoners as there are so many challenges with the operators too.

DSP Ike Ekweremadu says “we are working towards moving Prisons from the Exclusive List to Concurrent. He appreciates the three sponsors of the #PrisonsBill adding that it will help improve conditions of Prisons and Prisoners in Nigeria.

The #PrisonsBill SB. 125, 288, 191 are read and passed for Second Reading. DSP Ike Ekweremadu refers the #PrisonsBill to the Senate Committees on Interior and Judiciary, Legal Matters and Human Rights to report back in 4Weeks.

Majority Leader moves that other contents of the order paper be stepped down to another legislative day. The Minority Leader seconds. Majority Leader also moves that Plenary be adjourned to Thursday 27th October, 2016. Minority Leader seconds.

Deputy Senate president Ike Ekweremadu puts the question and plenary is adjourned to Thursday 27th October, 2016.

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