Legislative session of the Senate on Tuesday, February 13, 2018 started on a sober note as the Chamber was thrown into mourning as a result of the death of a former Senator. Accordingly, Sen. Mathew Urhoghide (Edo South), sponsored a Motion titled “Demise of Sen. Prof. Sunday Osarumwense Iyahen”. He was born on October, 3, 1937 in Benin City, Edo State.
According to Sen. Urhoghide, late Prof. Iyahen began his educational pursuit at St. Mathew’s C.M.S. and St. Peters C.M.S. both in Benin City from 1944 – 1951. He proceeded to Edo College, Benin City and Government College, Ibadan from 1952 – 1958. He studied Mathematics at the University College, Ibadan and came out with a First Class Degree, thus becoming the prize winner in 1963.
Prof. Iyahen proceeded to the University of Glasgow, Scotland and then University of Keele, England and graduated as a Doctor of Mathematics and became a Professor in 1976. He was elected a Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to represent the then Bendel State from October – December 1983 and October 1992 – November 1993.
The Motion scaled through with three resolutions below:
i) Observe a minute silence in his honour.
ii) Send a delegation of the Senate to pay a condolence visit to his wife, Children, family members, people and government of Edo State.
iii) To accord his burial all official rites due to such a national figure who served with diligence.
The Upper Legislative Chamber also deliberated upon and passed a second Motion titled “Urgent need to halt the importation of Palm Oil and its Allied Products to protect the Palm Oil/Kennel Industry in Nigeria”, sponsored by Sen. Francis Alimikhena (Edo North).
The Motion sailed through with four prayers below:
i) Urge the Federal Government to urgently place a ban on the importation of Palm Oil/Kennel, inject needed funds through the Federal Ministry Agriculture to aid the production of this cash crop.
ii) Urge the Private Sector to partner State Governments to embark on revolutionary transformation of the Palm Oil production and creation of Allied Industries through backward integration.
iii) Mandate the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development to invite the Nigerian Institute for Oil Palm Research (NIFOR) on why it has failed to deliver on its mandate.
iv) Urge the Federal Government to establish additional Agricultural Research Centres across the country.
Also, the Red Chamber has considered and passed a third Motion titled “Scarcity of Lower Denomination Currency Notes”, sponsored by Sen. Peter Nwaoboshi (Delta North). According to the law-maker, the scarcity of 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 Naira notes poses a severe threat to the economy of the nation which is just recovering from recession, as it is worsening inflationary trends, with attendant consequences. The Motion scaled through with one resolution below:
i) Mandate the Senate Committee on Banking, Insurance and other Financial Institutions to investigate with a view to proffer lasting solution on the matter and report back to the Senate within two weeks.
Nevertheless, a fourth Motion titled “The need for the Establishment of a National Assembly Museum and Archives”, sponsored by Sen. Fatimat Raji-Rasaki (Ekiti Central) and Eight Co-sponsors was passed by the Senate.
Sen. Rasaki noted the urgent need to establish a Parliamentary Museum and Archive for the National Assembly of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. She recalled that the legislature serves as the only key symbol of democracy particularly in the Presidential System of Government. She stressed that Section 47 of the 1999 Constitution as amended states that the National Assembly of the Federation shall consist of a Senate and the House of Representatives.
The law-maker expressed worry that much has not been documented about the history of Nigerian Legislature due to long years of Military rule. She noted that the few years of the existence of democracy in the country has been eventful for the legislature in the areas of Executive and Legislative Relationship and the Challenges of Oversight Function by the legislature without adequate documentation for the use of incoming generation. The Motion was passed with four prayers below:
i) Urge the Senate in collaboration with the House of Representatives to establish a Joint Committee on Culture and Tourism on National Assembly Museum and Archives.
ii) Direct the Joint Committee on Culture and Tourism on the National Assembly Legislative Museum and Archives to study the Resolutions of the 7th Senate and House of Representatives of the Federal Republic of Nigeria on the Report of Ad-hoc Committee on Immortalization for Implementation and Continuity to enrich the achievements of the National Assembly for the sake of posterity.
iii) Direct the Joint Committee on Culture and Tourism to harmonize the position of the Senate, House of Representatives and the Management of the National Assembly on the National Assembly Legislative Museum and Archives in order to ensure efficient and effective take off as well as to generate revenue for the legislature.
iv) Urge the President of the Senate to collaborate with the Speaker of House of Representatives by supporting the establishment of a Joint Committee of Culture and Tourism on National Assembly Legislative Museum and Archives.