OrderPaperToday– Senators from the south-south geopolitical zone of the country place fourth in terms of bills sponsored on a zonal basis.
The region has a combined total of 18 senators representing their respective senatorial districts in the 9th National Assembly. Thus far, the senators have been able to muster a total of 105 bills, with Cross River and Rivers States leading with 27 bills each.
Delta, Edo, Akwa Ibom and Bayelsa have a bills tally of 24, 12, 11 and 4 bills, respectively. In terms of the overall, the 105 bills by the south-south senators amount to 14.8% of the total number of bills sponsored in the senate at midterm.
Considering the importance of affirmative action; female representation in politics and governance, the region has produced three out of the eight female senators that have made it to the 9th Assembly so far. It is the highest for any of the six geopolitical zones. Previously there was Sen. Rose Okojie Oko (PDP, Cross River-North), who sadly passed in March 2020. She was then replaced by Sen. Stephen Adi Odey (PDP, Cross River-North). Before Rose Okojie Oko’s death, she had sponsored eight bills.
Currently, the two female south-south representatives in the Senate are Sen. Apiafi Jocelyn Betty (PDP, Rivers West), who has 11 bills and Sen. Akon EtimEyakenyi (PDP, Akwa Ibom South), who has one bill. They appear fourth and seventh respectively on the female senators’ bills chart.
Thus, in terms of bills productivity, Sen. Omo-Agege (APC, Delta-Central), the deputy senate president, flies the flag high for the region. Two have been passed out of the 20 bills he has sponsored thus far; ten are at the committee stage, while eight have passed the first reading. Besides his establishment bill, the sexual harassment bill, which seeks to redress and prevent the sexual harassment of students in tertiary institutions, among other related matters, has also been passed.
When it comes to the trend of ex-governors transitioning straight into the National Assembly once their tenure has ended, the south-south region has only one ex-governor thus far in the 9th Senate. This makes it one of the lowest (alongside the south-west) compared to the other four geopolitical zones. Former governor Henry Seriake Dickson (PDP, Bayelsa West) interestingly replaced former Sen. Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, who is now the deputy governor of Bayelsa. Seriake Dickson came into the Senate in December 2020 and is yet to sponsor a bill. As a result, he rounds up the ex-governors bills chart at the seventeenth spot. The south-south also boasts seven other new members who, just like Dickson, did not make the newbies’ bills chart.
Finally, the region has one of the longest-serving senators in the person of Sen. James Ebiowou Manager (PDP, Delta-South). He has been in the Senate since 2003. He has sponsored two bills thus far in the period under review. One of his bills on the establishment of a maritime university in Okerenkoko has been passed, while his second bill is at the first reading stage.
Recall that besides bills sponsorship, OrderPaper Nigeria has mapped out other interesting dynamics on the NASS midterm performance reporting. These include bills productivity, the standing of newbies, ranking members, ex-governors and principal officers, amongst others.