Saraki Tasks GLOBE Nigeria on Climate Change Bill

Saraki Tasks GLOBE Nigeria on Climate Change Bill

Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, on Monday tasked the Global Legislators Organisation (GLOBE) Nigeria, to tackle the challenges of the climate change, gas flaring and other challenges of the sustainable development goals in Nigeria.

The Global Legislators Organization (GLOBE) is an international organization comprising national parliamentarians from over 80 countries committed to developing and overseeing the implementation of laws in pursuit of sustainable development.

According to a statement by the Special Assistant to the Senate President on Print Media, Chuks Okocha, Saraki urged the members of the organisation not to relent in their effort to address the challenges posed by the climate change, gas flaring and sustainable development in Nigeria through the provisions of purposeful legislations.

The Senate President urged the group to fashion out legislations that would address issues of climate change as is the situation all over the world.

He said: “A lot of pronouncements have been made by the government, and by the last National Assembly without legislative backing and we will just continue to see this as mere pronouncements. Am aware that as legislators that meet and discuss issues on Climate, we are the first country in West Africa and am happy with the kind of report the network is receiving.

“We want Nigeria to become the major hub of Globe Worldwide, to provide leadership in Africa. Some of the things we see here, even in the sub-Sahara Africa, countries have gone so far in some of these legislations on the Climate Change and sustainable developments.

“Am very happy of what I heard today on the close work between the Senate and the House of Representatives to see that Climate Change is addressed through legislative processes.

“In Nigeria, we need to know that we have lots of work to do and I think that it can only be done with an organisation like this which is non-political or seeking the interest of one party, so that we can do what is best for our country”, Saraki said.

Earlier, the President of the Globe Nigeria, Senator Bukar Abba Ibrahim, appealed to the Senate President to support the Climate Change Bill which will be introduced concurrently soon at both chambers of the National Assembly.

Ibrahim said: “You may recall our unique and desperate situation regarding the effect of Climate Change on our people. Very recently, Nigeria recorded more than 300 deaths as a result of meningitis outbreak; this epidemic cannot be unconnected to our worsening climate and heat waves.

“As a purpose-driven caucus of the Nigerian parliament, we have a responsibility to protect our people through effective legislation and oversight on climate-induced diseases, migration, conflicts and food insecurity.

“Climate Change is one of the flagship issues the GLOBE Organization has been advocating support for since its establishment and we will be happy to pull some political support from you for the upcoming Climate Change Bill”, he stated.

Other bills lined up for the Senate President’s support, he said, includes the Gas Flaring Prohibition Bill, Access to Clean Energy Services and Technology Bill as well as an intervention on natural capital and sustainable development.

Senator Ibrahim assured the Senate President that the vision with which he established GLOBE Nigeria would be pursued with utmost dedication and commitment.

He said that the GLOBE Nigeria would ensure that funds approved and released to the group is judiciously used and in the spirit of engaging with only the things that will uphold the Nigerian legislature and associated social impact on the lives of the people.

END

Meningitis: Senate Urges Health Ministry to Make Vaccines Free

Meningitis: Senate Urges Health Ministry to Make Vaccines Free

• “We will provide ample funding for healthcare”, Saraki Says

On Tuesday, the Senate urged the Federal Ministry of Health and the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to make meningitis vaccinations free in public healthcare facilities across the country.

The resolution followed a motion titled: “Outbreak of Meningitis and the Urgent Need to Curb its Spread & Stop Further Deaths” sponsored by Senator Gbenga Ashafa and 16 other Senators.

The Senate noted  the outbreak of Cerebrospinal Meningitis in five States, while also stressing the need for an increase in the budget of the Federal Ministry of Health, in order to ensure that the Ministry and its parastatals are able to better fund healthcare-related activities in the country.

The Senators also resolved that meningitis vaccinations should be made free across the country, citing the need for agencies of the federal government to continue to collaborate with the World Health Organization and UNICEF to make the scarce inoculations against meningitis readily available.

Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, the Senate President, noted that with Lassa Fever, Cholera and Meningitis outbreak in parts of the country, there was a need for increased coordination and funding for regular and specialized healthcare in the 2017 budget.

He assured Nigerians that the Senate is prepared to promptly pass any supplemental appropriation request to combat disease outbreaks.

For more information, follow the Twitter updates from the Senate on @NGRSenate.

END

Signed:
Media Office of the Senate President

 

Senate Passes Amendment To Electoral Act

Senate Passes Amendment To Electoral Act
…Approves Electronic Voting
…Says Collated Results to be Electronically Transmitted

The Senate Thursday passed amendments to the  Electoral Act 2010, approving the use of electronic voting in future elections.
It also approved that election results should be electronically transmitted to collation centers.

The passage of bill followed the consideration of the report of the Senate Committee on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on a Bill for an Act to amend the Electoral Act No. 6, 2010 and for other related matters (SB 231 and SB 234).

Major highlights of the new bill include provision for the use of electronic voting by INEC during future elections, use of Card Reader and also gives INEC power to modify the voting process if there is a challenge.

The Senate also approved a provision to enable INEC transmit the result of elections electronically in an encrypted and secured manner to prevent hacking.

To address the incident that happened in Kogi State, during last gubernatorial election, the amended Electoral Act provides that if a candidate dies before results of elections are declared, the results will not only remain valid but belongs to the political party that lost its candidate.

It also added that in such a scenario, the INEC should suspend the elections for 21 days during which period the affected political party will conduct fresh primaries to choose a new candidate.

The Bill also gives political parties power to adopt direct or indirect primaries in choosing their flag bearers, while qualification of disqualification of candidates for elections will be solely based on the Constitution.

In his comments after the adoption of the report by the Red Chamber, Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, thanked his colleagues for a job well done and expressed optimism that the Bill would further improve the nation’s electoral system and also contribute to good governance.

Saraki said: “Distinguished colleagues, let me thank all of you for this job well done. I want to particularly thank the members of the Committee on INEC and particularly the former chairman of the Committee, Abubakar Kyari,  Senator Ovie Omo-Agege and all the members of the committee who have worked very hard to ensure the passage of this very important bill which addresses our electoral process and goes on to strengthen our democracy.

“We have touched on new areas which I believe will improve the credibility of our elections and by so doing, definitely improve our democracy and good governance.

“Most importantly, I think, are some of the new sections we have added, in the area of technology, the smart card reader, and particularly the area of collation which has been an area of great concern.

“Collation of results after the polling units and some of the additions we put on the electronic way by which the compilation of results can be done, I think will go a long way to reduce some of the irregularities we have seen before.

“This is a great work you have been able to put together today and I want to commend everybody. I am also happy that we have passed the amendments very early. My concern has always been that if we don’t do it now, it will get more difficult as we get blowed to the 2019 elections.

“We hope that with this Bill that we have passed, very soon, we will sit together with the House of Representatives to be able to get the copy to the President for assent.

“I think when signed into law, it will enable INEC to have something to work early enough. I think what we have done today will really put our electoral law among the best that we have and it will go a long way in improving our electoral process,” he said.

END

Signed:

Sanni Onogu
Chief Press Secretary to the Senate President

Today, the Senate held a highly productive plenary session.

Today, the Senate held a highly productive plenary session.

Earlier in the day, we started out with a Ministerial Briefing by the Minister of Finance on the Monetary/

Fiscal Policies being adopted to salvage the current economic situation in the country.

Later on in the session, we passed the final clause-by-claus

e reading of the Repeal and Re-enactment of the Nigerian Railway Corporation Act of 1955, which is aimed at opening up Nigeria’s railway sector to private sector participation in order to make the service more affordable, effective and accessible to every single Nigerian.

 

Finally, in an effort to reflect the decisions reached in Executive Sessions of the 8th Senate, today I announced a reshuffling of the leadership of some key Senate Committees.

 

The following are the changes in Committee Chairmanships announced earlier today:

 

1. Senator Hope Uzodinma, Chairman, Senate Committee on Customs

 

2. Senator Adamu Aliero, Chairman Senate Committee on Aviation

 

3.Senator Oluremi Tinubu, Chairman, Senate Committee on Environment

 

4. Senator Kabiru Marafa, Chairman, Senate Committee on Downstream Petroleum

 

5.Senator Jibrin Barau, Chairman, Senate Committee on Tertiary Institutions and TETFUND

 

6. Senator Binta Marsi Garba, Chairman, Senate Committee on Women Affairs

 

7. Senator Joshua Dariye, Chairman, Senate Committee on Public Procurement

 

8.Senator James Manager, Chairman, Senate Committee on Solid Minerals

 

9. Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, Chairman, Senate Committee on Power

 

10. Senator Hunkuyi Suleiman, Chairman, Senate Committee on National Identity

 

11. Senator Suleiman Adokwe, Chairman, Senate Committee on National Orientation and Information

 

12. Senator Jide Omoworare, Chairman, Senate Committee on Legislative Compliance

 

13. Senator Baba Kaka Garbai, Chairman, Senate Committee on Rules and Business

 

14. Senator Tijani Kaura, Chairman, Senate Committee on Federal Character

 

15. Senator Ahmed Ogembe, Vice-Chairman, Senate Committee on Marine Transport

 

16. Senator Omo Agege, Vice-Chairman, Senate Committee on Land Transport

 

17. Senator Philip Aduda, Vice-Chairman, Senate Committee on Downstream Petroleum

Farmers, Herdsmen Conflict: Senate to Find Solutions, Says Saraki

Farmers, Herdsmen Conflict: Senate to Find Solutions, Says Saraki

 

Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki has appealed to herdsmen and farmers across the country to maintain peace as the National Assembly is ready to proffer lasting solution to the perennial clashes over grazing by cattle.

Speaking yesterday when a group of herdsmen from Kautal Hore Socio-Cultural Association, Jigawa State branch visited him, the Senate President who described the perennial clashes between the farmers and herdsmen as unfortunate, also appealed to the herdsmen to maintain peace at all times.

According to Saraki, “the National Assembly and all the stakeholders have been meeting on how to ensure that there is permanent peace between the two major groups in the nation’s agricultural system”.

He expressed concern over the recently frequent clashes, explaining that Nigeria is not the only country where farmers and herdsmen co-exist.

“There must be peace. There must be peaceful coexistence and there cannot be peace when human Lives are being wasted. The National Assembly will stop at nothing to ensure that there is peace. We will not stop working until there is peace between the farmers and herdsmen in this country. Please be patient”, Saraki said while promising that the Senate will soon come out with suggestions  on how to end the conflict.

Earlier, chairman of the group, Umar Kabir Hadejia in his speech titled, “Appeal for an intervention” said the Fulanis are traditionally a nomadic pastoral people who rear their cattle and sheep across the vast territory of Nigeria as the largest nomadic group in the world.

He lamented that due to urbanisation, there has been an increasing trend of conflict between farmers and the pastoralists largely due to the Fulanis seeking fertile grazing lands for their developmental purposes.

This action, he said has resulted in violent attacks and reprisal counter attacks between the herdsmen who feel that their way of life is being threatened on one hand and the farmers on the other hand who felt aggrieved that their farmlands and crops were lost due to the activities of the herdsmen.

Umar Hadejia lamented that leading politicians and presidential aspirants in the country during election had made promises to provide the cattle rearers with grazing land but they all failed to deliver on the promises.

He therefore said Fulanis believe that provision of grazing reserves would boost livestock population, lessen the difficulty of herding and reduce seasonal migration as well as enhance the interaction among farmers, pastoralists and other rural dwellers.

Umar Hadejia maintained that herdsmen were not belligerent and terrorists as they are branded in the media. He however called on the Senate committee on Agriculture to wade into the matter with a view to coming up with an enabling law that will protect the image and integrity of all Nigerians as well as the rights of herdsmen to tend to their livestock.

 

Signed:  Chuks Okocha

Special Assistant to the Senate President on Print Media.

Reaction on Bill on Sexual Harassment

Reaction on Bill on Sexual Harassment

Senate President, Dr Abubakar Bukola Saraki  Reacts to Bill On Sexual Harassment passing 2nd Reading

“Today at the Nigerian Senate, we passed a Bill to Criminalize Sexual Harassment in Nigerian Universities for its Second Reading.

Many young Nigerian boys and girls suffer at the hands of lecturers, fellow students and those in administrative positions of power when they seek to further their education in our universities.

This bill, once passed and signed into law, will help stamp out all forms of harassment to make our schools more conducive for our students.

I can attest to the fact that I have received anonymous emails and messages urging the Senate to make sexual harassment in our universities a criminal offence. In this regard, as we have taken this pivotal step to get this bill off the ground, I enjoin members of the civil society and students across the country to join in the process to make sure that this bill is passed and signed, so that students can receive the protection and backing of the law as they pursue their education.”

Comment lifted from facebook pagewww.facebook.com/Bukola.saraki

Nigerian Senate to launch Transparency and Delivery Commission

Nigerian Senate to launch Transparency and Delivery Commission

 

In line with the Legislative Agenda approved by the Senate, the President of the Senate today has announced the intention of the Senate to inaugurate an independent Transparency and Delivery Commission to review and improve the oversight systems and tools of the Senate.

 

The Commission will be led by a working group consisting of a world leading research institution and a partner institute in Nigeria and will be advised by an internationally acclaimed anti-corruption expert. The independent Commission will work closely with the Senate and the Senate Committee on Anti-Corruption & Financial Crimes to draw up a robust oversight scheme and strengthen the internal structuring and capacity of the National Assembly to fulfil its role as an anti-corruption institution.

 

The Commission’s work will be two-fold. Initially it will concentrate on analysing the processes and tools by which the Senate and the National Assembly in general can, using its legislative remit, assist the anti-corruption agenda of President Buhari and more specifically strengthen the institutions through legislative reforms.

 

The following medium-term goal is to then deliver recommendations for better ways of working within the Senate and to ensure that it meets the highest global standards including the newly announced Commonwealth Secretariat anti-corruption ‘kitemark’ system.

 

Specifically, the group will:

 

1. . Map out how the Senate could use its oversight tools to act as a catalyst for greater transparency and anti-corruption in other parts of the Nigerian state both at the Federal and State Levels.

 

2. . Assess how the Nigerian Senate functions as a scrutiny and policy making body and how it can improve in this role

 

3. . . Undertake a review of the mechanisms of the Nigerian senate and identify areas for improvement in senate efficiency in implementing its legislative agenda and itsanti-corruption capacity.

 

4. . Look at international and regional examples of best practice – such as the Commonwealth Secretariat ‘kitemark’ – and suggest tangible reforms the Nigeria Senate could implement to improve transparency and the policy delivery process internally and across government.

 

Signed Yusuph Olaniyonu Special Adviser (Media and Communication)

My Thoughts on the North East Development Commission Bill

Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, speaks on the No…

Yesterday, the Senate held a public hearing on the Bill to establish a North East Development Commission to help in the rehabilitation of areas affected by Boko Haram. These are my thoughts on this bill.

Posted by Abubakar Bukola Saraki on Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Saraki Applauds Senate’s Intervention in Agriculture; Pushes for Formalisation of the Sector

Saraki Applauds Senate’s Intervention in Agriculture; Pushes for Formalisation of the Sector

The Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, today applauded the Senate’s passage of 2nd reading of A Bill for an Act to establish the National Agricultural Credit Fund to Promote Commercial Agriculture in Nigeria.’

Saraki, in a statement on his social media pages, commended the effort by the Senate to establish the credit fund, saying that once established, the Agricultural Credit Fund would address the current lack of legal frameworks that limit funds meant for farming going to actual farmers.

The Senate President, further stated that the credit fund will also help ensure that local farmers are provided with implementable business plans, and systems that will guarantee that their products are purchased.

“This Credit Fund will also help ensure that local farmers are provided with business plans” Saraki said. “It will also help to ensure that agricultural products from our farmers get to larger companies that will purchase their products.

“Furthermore, the Agricultural Credit Fund will also help in our nation’s diversification plan and transition to seeing agriculture as a business, not just a social development program, as there will be clearly spelt out criteria for benefits, and fund administrators to guide the disbursement of the loans.”

It will be recalled that as the former Governor of Kwara State from 2003 to 2011, Dr. Saraki established the Shonga Farms scheme, which has been hailed as a revolutionary approach to addressing agriculture in Nigeria to promote job creation, improve efficiency, and enhancing food security.

Over 15 lawmakers who spoke in support of the bill, reiterated the essentiality of agriculture in economic development. They are: Senators Ibrahim Gobir, Ahmed Lawan, Aliyu Wammako, Emmanuel Bwacha , Abdullahi  Adamu, Abubakar.

Others include: Bukar Ibrahim, Abubakar kyari, Jibrin Barau, Dino Melaye, Abubakar Gemade, Buka Ibrahim and Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremmadu .

At Tuesday’s plenary, A Bill for an Act to Make Provisions for Freedom from Hunger was also passed for Second Reading. This bill is envisioned to make adequate food of acceptable quality the right of every Nigerian child’s basic nutrition passed its second reading. Working in-sync,  the agricultural lending fund bill and the Freedom from Hunger bill will be two critical pieces of legislation that address hunger and agricultural production, and will have significant positive impacts on commercial agriculture, food production and wealth generation.

 

Signed
Bamikole Omishore
Special Assistant New Media to President of the Senate

 

National Assembly Hosts Round-table Session on Economy

National Assembly Hosts Round-table Session on Economy

The inaugural National Assembly Business Environment Roundtable (NASSBER) will hold tomorrow (Monday) in Abuja with key stakeholders drawn from the executive, legislature and the private sector coming together to seek workable solutions to the nation,’s economic problems.

In a statement in Abuja, Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the Senate President, Yusuph Olaniyonu, said the session would deliberate on the recommendations of the Business Environment Legislation Review Report which was submitted by a team of experts on February 29.

He stated that ” as part of the activities leading up to the inaugural NASSBER, a Business Environment Legislative Review was conducted and the final peer-reviewed report was submitted to the National Assembly on 29th February 2016; which identified institutional, regulatory and legal instruments currently constraining and impeding business activity in Nigeria”.

The findings and recommendations of the Business Environment Legislative Review Report, according to him, “provides a framework for the assessment and improvement of legislation and policy affecting businesses in Nigeria and will direct the deliberations at the first NASSBER event.

“The discussions will cover Competition; Doing Business; Infrastructure (Public-Private Partnerships, Rail, Maritime and Roads); Finance and Investment; Intellectual Property and e-business; and taxation amongst others,” Olaniyonu stated.

A further aim of the NASSBER, he noted, is to ensure that the private sector plays an active and effective role in the formulation of public policy.

He added: “The National Assembly Business Environment Roundtable is a platform designed to ensure that through research and advocacy, the Private Sector, Legislature and Executive engage to promote relevant and sound public policy.

“The National Assembly Business Environment Roundtable hopes to achieve a number of specific objectives, including: Legislative reform as it pertains to improving the business environment in Nigeria; Strengthening the foundation of the Nigerian Economy by ensuring smart and effective regulation.

“Increasing competitiveness and private sector investment; Opening and expanding markets through infrastructure development; and, Creating Engagement, Advocacy and Consultation across key stakeholders”, he stated.

He said that the Roundtable will play host to top government and business leaders with the keynote addresses to be presented by Senate President, Dr Abubakar Bukola Saraki and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Honourable Yakubu Dogara.

The statement added that the roundtable event will be the first in a series of similar events aimed to drive forward the reforms in the national economy.

“The National Assembly Business Environment Roundtable (NASSBER) is the platform that will lead to the engagement of the private sector, legislature and executive to promote relevant and sound public policy. Through research, the National Assembly Business Environment Roundtable would convene to advocate and promote policies that strengthen the Nigerian economy and guarantee private sector investment,” he said.

Signed

Yusuph Olaniyonu

Special Adviser, Media and Publicity, to the Senate President