The House spokesman dismissed the narrative that the speaker balkanized the ‘traditional Standing Committees’ for political patronage.
The House of Representatives has since its inauguration in June 2023, passed over 1,800 bills for first reading and received over 100 petitions brought by Nigerians.
This is even as it will consider the report of the Legislative agenda and Amended House Standing Orders next week.
The Chairman of the House Committee on Chairman of the Rules and Business, Rep. Francis Waive, disclosed this at a joint media briefing organised by the Rep. Akin Rotimi-led Committee on Media and Public Affairs on Friday.
Giving an overview of the activities of the House, Chairman of the Rules and Business Committee, Rep. Francis Waive, revealed that over one thousand, eight hundred (1,800) bills have scaled first reading, while ten (10) pieces of legislation have so far been passed by the House.
“From June 13th to date, up to 200 members have had the opportunity to present over 300 motions. This is due to several factors- there is a vibrant membership in the House and the leadership is also desirous to allow every member to contribute.
“1,800 bills have been passed through first reading. 10 bills have been passed including the audit bill are are awaiting concurrence from the Senate. I am excited because before now, the audit was running on the 1958 ordinance,” he stated.
Waive described the passage of the Nigeria Audit Service Bill which repealed the Audit Ordinance of 1956 as one of such landmark bills, just as he listed a key achievement of the Committee to include innovations in the areas of the Notice and Order Papers to enable a seamless distribution process and allow effective contributions by Members during plenary.
The lawmaker also stated that details of the Amended House Standing Orders and the Legislative Agenda which is a product of extensive consultations including engagement with citizens, key civil society actors, and other stakeholders, will be considered and adopted by the House next week.
On the petitions before the House, the Chariman, Public Petitions Committee, Rep. Michael Etaba, informed that over one hundred (100) petitions have been received by his Committee since the inauguration and are currently being considered.
Etaba said about ten of those petitions were under consideration in the outgoing week, adding that they bordered on allegations of fraudulent practices by public institutions amounting to billions of dollars, and one lodged by the Apo Market Traders Association against the Federal Capital Territory Authority (FCTA).
Responding to questions from journalists, the House Spokesman debunked the narrative that the ‘traditional Standing Committees’ were ‘balkanised’ by the Speaker based on political patronage.
He explained that the current Committees which have largely been inaugurated this week, were constituted in line with present realities in the polity to create the right structure for its envisioned strengthening of oversight functions and to ensure seamless engagement.
This position was further corroborated by Rep. Waive, who noted that the House Leadership should be commended for taking a bold step towards carrying Members of such a politically diverse parliament along while dismissing the claim that the newly-reformed 70 Parliamentary Friendship Groups were a duplication of both the House Committee on Foreign Affairs and that on Diaspora.
Rotimi further disclosed that two new members; Zango Baba Abubakar (Yola North/Yola South/Girei Federal Constituency) and Magaji Jaafar Abubakar (Maiha/Mubi North/Mubi South Federal Constituency) took the Oaths of Allegiance and Membership respectively, following recent judgments by the Court of Appeal on their election petitions.