Health minister’s appearance, YabaTech name change, others top Nigerian Senate activities last week

Chambers of the Nigerian Senate used to illustrate the story.
Chambers of the Nigerian Senate used to illustrate the story.

Although legislative activities at the Senate were not much this past week, the lawmakers considered and passed many bills.

The health minister was present at the upper chamber following the Senate’s invitation on May 9.

Below are some major activities from the Senate in the past week:

Tuesday:

-The Minister of Health, Isaac Adewole, appeared before the Senate in plenary to discuss the poor state of teaching hospitals and other tertiary health institutions across the country.

During the session, the minister explained that Nigerian teaching hospitals will not function optimally until adequate attention is given to primary and secondary healthcare facilities.

-He also listed 14 states that are yet to access the Basic Health Care Provision Fund (BHCPF).

He listed the states yet to access the fund as Kebbi, Jigawa, Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Gombe, Rivers, Borno, and Zamfara.

Others are Ondo, Benue, Taraba, Nasarawa, Ogun and Sokoto.

Wednesday:

-A lawmaker, Andrew Uchendu, raised alarm about killings in Rivers State.

He led the debate on a motion about killings in the country. He said the killings in Rivers had taken a new dimension as killers no longer only take lives but dismember and burn their victims.

During the debate, another senator, Victor Umeh, accused the Zamfara State Governor, Abdulaziz Yari, of abandoning citizens in his state amidst insecurity.

Mr Umeh said the governor has fled the North-west state to live in Abuja due to insecurity.

-The lawmakers also passed some house bills which were brought for concurrence.

Thursday:

-Among the many bills passed by the Senate on Thursday was a bill to convert the Yaba College of Technology (YABATCH) to City University of Technology.

The bill seeking the conversion was sponsored by Gbenga Ashafa (Lagos-APC). It was read the first time on November 16, 2016.

In his lead debate, Mr Ashafa argued that Nigeria’s march towards providing education for all in the shortest possible time informed his introduction of the bill.

-The Senate also passed five bills seeking the establishment of tertiary institutions.

The bills are Mines and Geological Studies, Guyuk, Adamawa State Bill, 2019 sponsored by Ahmad Abubakar and Federal College of Education (Technical), Aghoro, Bayelsa State Bill sponsored Foster Ogola.

Others are Federal University of Aquatic Studies, Ogbaru, Anambra, State sponsored by Stella Oduah and Federal University Uga Bill sponsored by Andy Uba.

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