Basking in the euphoria of Nigeria’s qualification to the 2018 FIFA World Cup billed for Russia next year, the Senate on Tuesday, October 10, 2017 deliberated upon and passed a Motion titled the Qualification of Nigeria’s Super Eagles to Russia 2018 FIFA World Cup, moved by Sen. Obinna Ogba. The Motion stemmed from a point of order 43 which sought and obtained the leave of the Senate to present and debate the issue under matters of urgent public importance. It scaled through with three resolutions below:
i) Senate Congratulate the Super Eagles of Nigeria on their qualification to the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.
ii) Urge the Federal Government to ensure timely disbursement of funds to the team.
iii) Urge the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) to commence early preparation for the team.
Similarly, the Upper Legislative Chamber has also debated and passed the following Motions:
1) The need to check the rising menace of drug abuse among youths especially in Northern Nigeria, sponsored by Sen. Baba Kaka Garbai (Borno Central) and 37 others.
Sen. Garbai noted the alarming menace of drug abuse plaguing the teeming population of youths in Northern Nigeria. He expressed regret over the abuse of drugs especially cannabis and cocaine that has been a long time problem among Northern male youths while codeine cough syrup and other prescribed drugs have been termed as “the new cancer ravaging women and girls in the North”. The Motion sailed through with four prayers below:
i) Mandate the Senate Joint Committee on Drugs and Narcotics and Health to bring to the Senate the needed legislative intervention to the growing menace of cough and other prescribed drugs abuse and report back to the Chamber on the needed legislative intervention to combat the trend.
ii) Urge the Federal Government to partner with other relevant stakeholders, traditional rulers, Pharmacists Council of Nigeria and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) to create a holistic framework in fighting this category of drugs abused especially in Northern Nigeria.
iii) Urge the National Food, Drugs Administration and Control Agency (NAFDAC) to embark on a vigorous sensitization campaign on the dangers of drug abuse and steps to achieving a successful rehabilitation for addicted persons.
iv) Mandate Government to provide drug addicts rehabilitation centres and clinics across the country.
The Senate President, Bukola Saraki urged the Senate Joint Committee on Drugs and Narcotics and Health to present to the Chamber a propose amendment to the NDLEA and NAFDAC laws for amendment to be in tune with present day challenges.
2) Urgent need for proactive steps to nip in the bud the reported outbreak of Monkey Pox Disease in Nigeria, sponsored by Sen. Malam Ali Wakil (Bauchi South).
The Senate is aware of the outbreak of Monkey Pox disease in some parts of Nigeria. The Monkey Pox virus was first identified in Denmark in 1958 during an investigation into a pox like disease amongst monkeys and later identified in humans in 1970 in Zaire (Democratic Republic of Congo) in a nine years old boy. The disease infection results from direct contact with the blood, bodily fluids, cutaneous or mucosal lesions of infected animal. Similarly, human infections have also been documented through the handling of infected monkeys, rats, squirrels with other rodents being the major reservoir of the virus.
Sen. Wakil also expressed worry that there are no specific treatments in the provision or availability of vaccine for Monkey Pox infection and Nigerians have been thrown into panic as the country’s health sector is faced with myriad of challenges. He added that since there is no vaccine or specific treatment, the only way to reduce the infection in people is through the awareness of risk factors, enlightenment about measures to be taken to reduce exposure to the virus, reduction of the possibility of animal to human transmission and through cooking of all animal products before consumption. The Motion was passed with four resolutions below:
i) Urge the Federal Government of Nigeria through the Federal Ministry of Health, the various State Governments, Local Governments and CBOs to be proactive in containing and preventing the spread of Monkey Pox disease from where it was reported to have occurred.
ii) Aggressive enlightenment and education of the citizens about measures that can be taken to mitigate the risk factors of exposure to the virus.
iii) Sustain public health education messages via the conventional media – broadcast, print media and the social media platforms.
iv) Proper liaison by the Federal Government with the World Health Organization (WHO) and other relevant Donor Agencies for contingencies against eventualities.
Meanwhile, the Senate has received an Executive Communication from President, Muhammadu Buhari requesting for Senate’s approval to borrow $2.5 billion to finance the 2017 budget and $3 billion for the financing of domestic debts. The request has been referred to the Senate Committee on Local and Foreign Loans.