Bills To Address Poverty, Stop
Intellectual Property Theft & More Scales Second Reading
In exercise of its mandate, the
Senate, on Tuesday, July 26, 2022 considered two critical Bills seeking to
tackle poverty and put a stop to intellectual property theft in the
One of the Bills sought to provide
for the establishment of the National Poverty Alleviation Management Commission;
while the other intended to re-enact the Patent and Design Act 2021 to revise
the existing Intellectual Property Law to Prohibit Theft. Both Bills
scaled through second reading during plenary session.
The Bill to establish the National
Poverty Alleviation Management Commission Sought to empower the Commission to
coordinate and regulate all forms of poverty alleviation funds. The Bill
was sponsored by Sen. Kabir Abdullahi Barkiya (APC - Katsina Central).
Leading debate on the general
principles of the Bill, Sen. Barkiya said the Bill when passed into law, will
have tremendous as well as vital impact in reducing poverty that is ravaging
the majority of citizens in the country.
The lawmaker added that the proper
and efficient management of poverty alleviation funds through sufficient
regulation would drastically cut down the poverty rate in Nigeria.
He stressed that it is imperative to note,
that the passage of this Bill will effectively and efficiently regulate all
forms of funds provided to alleviate poverty in the land, especially in
addressing the suffering of our citizens.
Sen. Barkiya disclosed that the aforementioned
fund could be generated by the government, or international and local donations
in order to minimise the high level of hardship that people go through within
Contributing to the debate, Sen.
Christopher Ekpenyong (PDP - Akwa-Ibom North West), described the Bill as
“bi-partisan”. He lamented that resources allocated for poverty alleviation
most times do not get to the poor as a result of mismanagement.
He observed that having a Commission
in place as intended by the Bill would see to the realisation of the objectives
of the Federal Government in the aspect of poverty reduction.
Lending his voice to the debate, Sen.
Ibrahim Gobir (APC - Sokoto East) recalled that a similar Bill was passed into
law by the eighth Senate but was declined presidential assent.
He, therefore urged the President to
sign the Bill into law when passed. He added that putting in place a management
models to determine the level of impact made through programmes targeted at
poverty alleviation would, to a large extent, complement the Bill.
The Bill scaled through Second
Reading after its debate and referred to the Committee on Poverty Alleviation
for further legislative inputs to report back in four weeks.
In a related development, the Bill
seeking to review the nation’s intellectual property law scaled second reading
in the Red Chamber.
The Bill titled, “Patent and Design
Act 2004 (Repeal and Re-enactment) Bill, 2022, was sponsored by Sen. Ibikunle
Amosun (APC - Ogun Central).
Leading the debate, the lawmaker said
the bill seeks to protect intellectual property rights by setting up a
framework for civil/judicial procedures. He added that upon passage and
assent into law, same would give Nigeria the opportunity as a member of the
International Union for the Protection of Industrial Property, to secure
maximum benefits from being part to the Patent Co-operation Treaty, 1970, to
which it is a signatory.
The Bill on conclusion of its debate
scaled through Second Reading and referred to the Committee on Trade and
Investment, to report back in four weeks.
Meanwhile, a third Bill seeking to
amend the Federal High Court Act 2004, to increase the number of Judges of the
Federal High Court from 100 to 172; and Repeal the Federal High Court
(Amendment) Act 2013 was stood down.
The Bill was stood down due to the
absence of its sponsor, Sen. Ovie Omo-Agege (APC - Delta Central), during
However, a fourth Bill seeking to
amend the Hydroelectric Power Producing Areas Development Commission (HYPADEC)
Act 2010, also scaled through Second Reading.
The Bill which was sponsored by Sen. Sadiq
Umar (APC - Kwara North), was referred to the Committee on Power to report back
Dr. Ezrel Tabiowo, FAI, FIMC, CMC,
Special Assistant (Press)
To President of the Senate
Tuesday, July 26, 2022.