Dogara Urges Pharmacists To Contribute To Amendment Process

…charges them to be innovative

‎The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon Yakubu Dogara, has charged pharmacists to take up the opportunity available in the ongoing amendment of the nation’s extant laws to send bills for amendment of laws relevant to their field.

He also charged pharmacists in the country to be more innovative in their fields to create breakthroughs that will improve the country and elevate it in the comity of nations.

The speaker said these when he received a delegation from the Pharmaceutical Council of Nigeria in his office on Thursday.

In a press release issued by his special adviser on Media and Public Affairs,  Turaki Hassan, the ‎Speaker noted that it was high time the pharmaceutical council went ahead to be innovative, rather than rely on administration of products of research from other countries.

The Speaker said, “I want you to have a bigger vision and not just the traditional practice. The reason being that if we don’t innovate as a nation, there is no way we can develop as a country. I want to see a situation whereby members of your profession join the ranks of people who are discovering things and not just administering things that have been discovered in other climes.”‎

He charged them to avail themselves of the opportunity available in the current amendment of statutes of Nigeria laws going on in the House of Representatives to ‎make relevant changes to the ones that relate to their field.

The Speaker said, “Look at how we can streamline these laws, amend them and then quickly pass them into law so that we can incorporate changing dynamics of our society into our laws.”

He also pointed out that 80 percent of 130 bills seeking to amend law statutes have scaled through second reading on the floor of the House, while consideration of the budget will delay the passage of others before the end of the quarter.

“Your association should look at the laws and I believe that there are some aspects of the amendment that will concern the law regulating your profession. Very soon the relevant committee will convoke public hearings so that stakeholders will buy in into what we are trying to do.”

In his address earlier, president of PSN, Ahmed Yakasai‎, who led the executive council of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria on the visit, commended the House on the passage of the‎ National Health Act 2014, while promising to partner with the Ministry of Health to see that it is properly implemented alongside the National Drug Distribution Guidelines by the Ministry of Health aimed at reducing fake drugs.

He also urged the Speaker to ensure that prompt consideration is given to a bill on Pharmaceutical Laws and Regulation which will soon be forwarded to the House for passage. The bill, according to him, is aimed at making the profession more effective and up to global practice.

@SpeakerDogara Seeks Permanent Solution To IDP Crisis

…calls for deliberate planning by government to check displaced persons

The speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt Hon Yakubu Dogara, has stated that violence across the country must be put to an end if the crisis of internally displaced persons is to be contained.

The speaker said this yesterday when he received a delegation from the National Commission For Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons led by its federal commissioner,  Hajiya Hadiza Kangiwa in the National Assembly‎.

He told the delegation, “On the part of the House, we believe in permanent solutions.

There is this challenge that we need to tame the tide of violence that resulted in the displacement in the first place. I guess that is the biggest challenge we are facing. If we are able to resolve that and they go back to their communities, then we would have depopulated the camps.”

Dogara noted that until the issue of Boko Haram insurgency is no longer viewed as a regional problem but treated with the same national gloves with which Niger Delta militancy was addressed, the solution may not be near.

The speaker explained that in view of the recent challenges in the world which have presented cases of challenges of authority and o‎ther forms of rebellion, it has become imperative for the government to be proactive to issues related to addressing displaced persons who are affected by such crisis by making adequate preparation for catering to their needs.

Dogara said, “Whether we like it or not, the problem of refugees and internally displaced persons are problems that we cannot just wish away. The world is changing in a fashion or in a manner that no one could have predicted. Some of those things we thought were traditionally impossible for Nigerians to do; in those days we used to say no Nigerian could blow himself up but we’ve come to say that they are a lot of our citizens who are motivated to embark on such missions.

Calling for the commission to be proactive, he noted that “If care is not taken, it is a problem which we may be stuck in for quite some time. That therefore calls for deliberate planning and not just adhoc measures on the part of government, because if we resort to emergency situations that we alluded to; it is only when the thing happens to that we begin to think about what we intend to do, then that will not take us anywhere.”

The speaker also recounted his experience during his visit to an IDP camp in the FCT and encouraged the agency to provide basic  facilities to such camps such as schools to provide basic education, health services to provide at least maternity services and portable water.

While urging the commission to begin profiling and issuance of identification cards to IDPs, he said, “I don’t know who is in charge of processing who is an IDP because you can’t really identify who an IDP is but in other countries, I know that they are processed, identified and profiled and even ID cards given, but I don’t know if that the case with Nigeria.”

Earlier, Hajiya Kangiwa commended the National Assembly for its efforts at providing durable solutions to the ‎issue of IDPs and refugees in the country, while advocating for the adopting of measures that will decongest the camps.

The national commissioner said, “We are very encouraged by the way the National Assembly; Senate and the House are approaching this durable solutions thing. By now, all of us have come to realise that displacement issue is not all about emergency.”

She also commended ‎the principal officers for thir commitment, while commending the speaker for his oversight trips to the camps which gave him first hand knowledge of what’s on ground.

“Everybody is aware by now that camps are not solutions to the problem of refugees and internally displaced persons; state governments, federal governments, everybody. We have developed a number of strategies at approaching the displacement, especially solutions in the short term, in the middle term and the long term,” she informed the speaker.

@SpeakerDogara Inaugurates 49 Member Constitution Review Ad-hoc Committee

…Promise to look into National Conference Report

Speaker of Nigeria’s House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Yakubu Dogara today formally inaugurated a forty nine (49) member Constitution Review Ad-hoc committee at the national assembly. The speaker also promised to look into some of the recommendations of the national conference organised by former president Goodluck Jonathan.

An elated Speaker Dogara told the gathering members of the committee consist of one representative from each State of the Federation and the FCT, Nine Principal Officers, and special representatives of women.

Since the coming into effect of the 1999 Constitution, and the convocation of the National Assembly in 1999, varying efforts were made in the 4th, 5th, 6th, and 7th Assembly to alter some sections of the Constitution. Indeed the 6th Assembly (2007-2011) enacted the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Alteration Acts. The 4th Alteration Act was successfully carried out at the level of the National Assembly and the State Houses of Assembly, by the 7th Assembly (2011-2015) but was unfortunately not assented to by the then President, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, GCFR.

Recalled that the 8th House of Representatives in its Legislative Agenda had vowed to revisit the issue of the constitution amendment. Part of its legislative agenda reads: “The laudable efforts of the 7thNational Assembly that led to far reaching alterations to the 1999 Constitution was not assented to by the former President, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, GCFR. The House of Representatives will revisit the Constitution Reform achievements of the 7th Assembly with a view to achieving its passage. Since Constitution Alteration is a continuous process, any further proposals to amend the Constitution would receive support of the House. On the whole, the Constitution amendment process will be expedited and concluded within a given and early time frame”.

Speaker Dogara said he did not want to dwell on the reasons President Jonathan did not assent to the Bill as it will distract the 8th house from moving forward.

He however listed the jurisdiction and mandate of the Ad-Hoc Committee on Constitution Review as the following:
a. To conclude work on the 4th Alteration Bill, started by the 7th Assembly.
b. To process all other proposals for further alteration of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as may be necessary on behalf of the House of Representatives, or as referred to it by the House.

“In carrying out your assignment, we would recommend a two-track approach. Firstly, we need to conclude the 4th Alteration Bill, which is pending. Secondly, we need to process all the other new Bills referred to the Committee by members, including new proposals from the general public. We may also sift ideas from the CONFAB Report of 2014, in a possible 5th Alteration Bill.”

“We must avoid the temptation of starting afresh. A lot of public funds were spent in processing the botched 4th Alteration Bill and we think that it would be a disservice to this country if the work of the 7th Assembly on this matter is completely jettisoned. The House of Representatives, in particular consulted the Nigerian people widely, leading to the Peoples’ Public Sessions that took place in 360 Federal Constituencies of Nigeria, in conjunction with relevant stakeholders.”

The rest of his speech reads:
Honourable colleagues, you are all aware that at the twilight of the 7th Assembly, the House amended its Standing Orders by introducing a New Order XIII, Rule 98, Clause 12 and 13 as follows –

Notwithstanding the provisions in these Rules, the process of passage of a Constitution Alteration Bill, shall continue from one session to the other, and from one Assembly to another as if the tenure of the preceding session or Assembly had not come to an end”.

When all requirements of Sub-Rules (1-10) have been met, the Bill shall be forwarded to the President for his assent. Where the President either withholds his assent or fails to communicate the withholding thereof, or any circumstances arises which makes it impracticable for the National Assembly to consider the issue of overriding the President’s veto before the end of the tenure of the Assembly, the succeeding Assembly may upon such Bill being gazetted again and circulated, resolve to the commence the process of veto override under Section 58 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999”.

My advice however is that we should not proceed on the path of veto-override but should take steps to re-gazette the agreed aspects of the Bill. This should be subjected to the appropriate legislative processes required by the Standing Orders of the House and the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

As a House and a Committee, we should work together with and consult fully the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria on the procedure, process and activities of this Constitution Review in order to achieve the necessary synergy and save parliamentary time.

Furthermore, we must also consult fully the State Houses of Assembly who have shown remarkable unity of purpose whenever they are called upon to partner with the National Assembly in this regard.

Finally, I wish to re-iterate that the House places a lot of confidence in the ability of members of this Committee to rise to the occasion and deliver on your assignment in the shortest possible time.

May I, therefore, formally inaugurate the Ad-Hoc Committee on Constitution Review and to wish you success in this important national assignment.

The full names of members of the 8th Assembly House of Representatives Ad-hoc committee on constitution review are:
i. Hon. Yussuff Suleiman Lasun
(Deputy Speaker) – Chairman
ii. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila – Member
iii. Hon. Ado Garba Alhassan – Member
iv. Hon. Umar Buba Jibril – Member
v. Hon. Pally Iriase – Member
vi. Hon. Leo Ogor – Member
vii. Hon. Umar Barde Yakubu ¬- Member
viii. Hon. Chukwuka Wilfred Onyema – Member
ix. Hon. Binta Bello – Member
x. Hon. Sunday Karimi – Member
xi. Hon. Funke Adedoyin – Member
xii. Hon. Zephaniah Jisallo – Member
xiii. Hon. Gyang Istifanus Dung – Member
xiv. Hon. Abubakar Chika – Member
xv. Hon. Emma Udende – Member
xvi. Hon. J. G. Gaza – Member
xvii. Hon. Sani M. Abdu – Member
xviii. Hon. Aisha Jibir Dukku – Member
xix. Hon. Zakari Y. Galadima – Member
xx. Hon. Mohammed Nur Sheriff – Member
xxi. Hon. Sadiq Ibrahim – Member
xxii. Hon. Rimande Kwewum Shewulu – Member
xxiii. Hon. Alhassan Bala Abubakar – Member
xxiv. Hon. Abubakar Hussaini Moriki – Member
xxv. Hon. Sunday Marshall Katung – Member
xxvi. Hon. Rabiu Garba Kaugama – Member
xxvii. Hon. Mohammed Ali Wudil – Member
xxviii. Hon. Adullahi Umar Faruk – Member
xxix. Hon. Murtala Isah – Member
xxx. Hon. Nkem Uzoma Abonta – Member
xxxi. Hon. Eucharia Azodo – Member
xxxii. Hon. Nwazunkwu Chukwuma – Member
xxxiii. Hon. Kingsley Ebenyi – Member
xxxiv. Hon. Jerry Alagbaoso – Member
xxxv. Hon Diri Douye – Member
xxxvi. Hon. Henry Okon Archibong – Member
xxxvii. Hon. Bassey Eko Ewa – Member
xxxviii. Hon. Daniel Reyenieju – Member
xxxix. Hon. Nnam Obi Uchechukwu – Member
xl. Hon. Akpatason Peter  Ohiozojeh – Member
xli. Hon. Babajimi Benson – Member
xlii. Hon. Yinka Ajayi – Member
xliii. Hon. Isiaka Ayotunre Ibrahim – Member
xliv. Hon. Kehinde Agboola – Member
xlv. Hon. Olemija Stephen – Member
xlvi. Hon. Segun Ogunwuyi – Member
xlvii. Hon. Asabe Vilita Bashir – Member
xlviii. Hon. Onyemaechi Joan Mrakpor – Member
xlix. Hon. Stella Ngwu – Member

Speaker Dogara Mourns Olubadan Of Ibadanland

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt Hon Yakubu Dogara, has expressed sadness over the passing on of the Olubadan of Ibadan land, Oba Samuel Odulana Odugade 1.

‎In a press statement issued by his special adviser on Media and Public Affairs, Mr Turaki Hassan, the Speaker extended his condolence to the family of the deceased monarch, the people of  Ibadan and Oyo State as a whole.

He noted that though the late revered monarch could be said to have lived to a ripe old age, his death is a loss to Ibadan, Oyo State and Nigeria ‎as a whole, as his wise counsel can no longer be sought in matters related to moving the nation forward.

The Speaker prayed for God to grant the late monarch eternal rest and his family the fortitude to bear the loss.

The monarch, who died aged 101, passed away Tuesday evening. He mounted the throne in 2007 as the 39th Olubadan of Ibadan land.
He was the 17th Olubadan since the title was elevated from Baale Ibadan to the Olubadan in 1930.

Probing NNPC’s Crude Oil Swap Not A Witch Hunt – @SpeakerDogara

…says FG can’t afford to fail Nigerians

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon Yakubu Dogara, has stated that the ‎House of Representatives investigation of the Oil Swap Agreement contract of the NNPC‎ is not aimed at witch-hunting any person but aimed at reviewing and repositioning the oil sector to make it more productive.

Speaking while declaring a public hearing by‎ the House Ad-Hoc Committee investigating the Oil Swap Agreement contract of the NNPC open at the National Assembly, Dogara said it has become imperative, with the free fall of price of crude oil in the international market, to improve on the available resources‎ and utilise the oil to drive the economy in order to stimulate development in the country.

He explained, “Our goal here is not to witch-hunt, no! It is essentially a diagnostic review with the aim of repositioning the oil sector to perform its role as a major primer of the nation’s development. ‎The issue of transparency in the management of the oil sector considering its significance to the economy of Nigeria is at the very heart of our nation’s development challenge, especially at this time of dwindling revenue resulting from the continued drop in oil prices. As at yesterday, oil, I understand, was trading at $28 dollar from about $114 it traded as at September, 2014. You don’t have to be an economist to observe that if we do not improve on the management of available resources and effective utilsation of oil/petroleum resources to drive the economy, our developmental aspirations will continue to emaciate. It is in recognition of this pivotal role which the oil sector plays in aiding development that the present House of Representatives decided to place enormous emphasis on the improvement of the sector especially, and to insist on the transparent, professional, and efficient management of all resources. This is the only way the Change Agenda of this administration can be actualise.”

‎He further explained that the essence of the investigation is to expose abuses and losses to the Nigerian nation with a view to revitalise the sector to make it more efficient and transparency driven, against the backdrop that public investment that has been made in the oil sector and the returns Nigerians have enjoyed from the sector between 2010 to date do not tally and other issues surrounding the nation’s oil management company, the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

‎”It is hard to put in words the level of frustration Nigerians have had to face with the NNPC and indeed the oil industry; the impact of this on the wider economy and the level of inefficiency in the entire energy value chain. We have an opportunity now to right the wrongs of the past. It starts from our doing a thorough job of this assignment.

“If we could pause to imagine for one moment what the effect of a vibrant oil sector driven by efficiency and innovation, would mean to the Nigeria energy sector, power, textile industry, rice mills, the manufacturing start-ups, assembly plants, manufacturing, agribusiness development in general, aviation, communication, cost of doing business, insecurity, service delivery, technology adoption, life expectancy of Nigerians both in the rural and urban areas, SMEs and unemployment, etc. The implications and ramifications are immense, indeed they are enormous. Therefore, we cannot afford to fail, Nigerians will not afford half measures.”