Posted by Mayowa Okekale, Abuja | 6 April 2017 | 1,175 times
Nigerian Senate has resolved to punish severely, those engaging in criminal acts of piracy and terrorism in the country, saying it has caused national embarrassment.
This resolution followed deliberation on a Bill for an Act to make Provisions for the suppression of Piracy and to provide for punishment for the offence of Piracy, 2017 (SB.254), sponsored by Senator Nelson Effiong.
The Senate has given much attention to the Bill and promised to ensure development in Science and Technology to monitor Maritime activities, and therefore referred the bill to the Committee on Navy to report back in four weeks’ time.
While contributing to the debate, Lawmaker representing Delta South, Senator James Manager, while saying that there is need to implement laws to punish Piracy and matters connected with it, said "It's a criminal activity, relief debate is very exclusive."
Senate Minority Leader, Godswill Akpabio, in his reaction, called for a gradual minimization of Piracy which will lead to total eradication.
Senator Jibrin Barau of Kano North, while speaking, explained that it's a trend that is causing serious damage and the cost goes directly to the consumers
“I suggest very severe punishment for the culprits of this act because it is not a pardonable offense,” he said.
Senator Yahaya Abdulahi also pleaded that the National Assembly should reach out to the Ministry of foreign affairs and also consult all the relevant stakeholders.
Lawmaker representing Bayelsa West, Senator Foster Ogola suggested that the Bill be amended to read “Suppression of River Piracy and Maritime Crime”.
Also speaking on the debate, Senator Abdullahi Adamu of Nasarawa West said: “For years we have been engulfed in Acts of terrorism, we are starting to witness kidnapping then river piracy. We should take appropriate measures so as to curb this. It could destabilise our economy and become a threat to national security.”
“You don’t have to be a habitant of the communities involved in order to feel the impact,” he added.
Senator Ibn Na’allah of Kebbi South, who remarked that the Senate should look at empowering Maritime Police, said it is not the job of the Navy to provide protection. He however, craved for a robust public hearing on the subject matter.
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