The Deputy Speaker of the House of Representative Hon Ahmed Idris Wase took to his facebook to share the house proceeding as he wrote below
Plenary proceedings of the House of Representatives for Wednesday, February 19th, 2020, The Speaker of the House, Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila presiding.
After leading the opening prayer and the National Pledge, the Speaker went on to examine and approve the votes and proceedings for Tuesday, February 18th, 2020
MOTION OF URGENT PUBLIC IMPORTANCE
1. Rep. Ben Igbakpa moved a motion on the need for the Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF) and other government agencies using the possession of the national identity card as a precondition for awarding scholarships to stop the practice and it was seconded by Rep. Benjamin Kalu.
Rep. Igbakpa in leading the debate stated that the registration process of the national identity card is slow, burdensome and constraining, which is ordinarily not supposed to be. He stated that people seeking these scholarships should not pay the price for the procedural failure of government agencies.
Rep. Igbakpa stated that the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) had to also suspend the same requirement for its examination process as is practical considering the prevailing conditions. He stated that there are other forms of identification and data management such as the BVN or Driver’s license that can serve the same purpose if the need arises. He called on the Federal government to also ensure more Nigerians are duly registered in the national identity scheme.
Rep. Ahmadu Jaha stated that since most Nigerians haven’t been captured in the scheme, it is unfair to use it as a precondition for Nigerians enjoying the benefits and privileges from Nigerian agencies. He also decried the porous manner in which the identification scheme is being done where people who come in through the porous borders can begin the process of getting the identification cards, this he said is also a security risk.
Rep. Nkeiruka Onyejeocha by way of an amendment to the prayers of the motion called for an investigation into why people are not getting their identity cards, even when they make themselves available for registration. She also called for a timeline for the process to be more effective than it is now. Rep. John Umanah shared the same view.
Speaking against the motion, Rep. Nkem Abonta stated that the primary need to prove one’s citizenship of a nation makes it mandatory for individuals seeking scholarships in Nigeria to be verified as Nigerians. He stated that while it is not right for the individuals to be denied their scholarships, the need to secure Nigeria should be of more importance.
Rep. Toby Okechukwu stated that any nation without a strict citizen identity management system is a recipe for disaster. He also called for an investigation into why the identity management scheme is not working optimally even when the required resources, means and funds are available, he called on the appropriate House committee to handle the investigation and report back to the House within 2 weeks for further legislative action. Rep. Okechukwu called for the relevant agency to ensure all such candidates are duly registered so that they can fulfill the requirements of their scholarship grant.
Rep. Ademorin Kuye stated that there is the urgent need for Nigerians to be duly registered and verified for effective planning. He also bemoaned the porosity of Nigerian borders that fails to ensure the national and territorial integrity of the nation. Rep. Kuye also expressed sadness at the attitude of Nigerians towards the identity registration process, as it shows lack of seriousness, he stated that making it a precondition for examinations and scholarships would propel Nigerians to carry out the registration process.
Rep. Ndudi Elumelu stated that the debate of the motion seemed to have been derailed, the base of the motion was that the provision of the scholarship has a limited timeline and the candidates should not be denied their privilege due to no clear fault of theirs. He called on PTDF to suspend the precondition due to the timeline.
The Speaker of the House, Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila, however, wondered if a Nigerian be allowed to pursue the scholarship process without the identity card, or there should be a means of ensuring that those awarded the scholarships are truly Nigerians.
Rep. Gbajabiamila also stated that if it was the fault of the citizens not to be duly registered, they could be denied the scholarships, but if it is the fault of the process surrounding the issuing agency, the individuals seeking the scholarships should not be made to suffer unduly.
Rep. Igbakpa in exercising his right of reply called for other verifiable forms of identification to be used for verifying the applicants.
Rep. Onofiok Luke proposed an amendment for the harmonization of all forms of existing individual data from banks, telecommunication firms and others when such requirements are needed to make the processes less cumbersome for Nigerians to meet such requirements.
Rep. Ben Mzondu also proposed an amendment that the Local government indigene certificate can suffice where there is no national identity card.
Rep. Tolulope Akande-Sadipe expressed worry that Nigerians in the diaspora are being disenfranchised from being part of the identification process and urged the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) to accommodate Nigerians living abroad too.
Rep. Mohammed Tahir Monguno also made a case for the internally displaced persons, that they too should also enjoy the right of being duly registered in the scheme.
The motion was voted on and adopted as amended.
ALL OTHER ITEMS ON THE ORDER PAPER (BELOW) WERE STOOD DOWN DUE TO TIME CONSTRAINT AND OTHER ENGAGEMENTS OF REP. MEMBERS
The House at 14:58 PM adjourned plenary till Thursday, 20th, February 2020 by 11:00 A.M following a motion for adjournment moved by Rep. Hassan Fulata