OrderPaperToday – Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Benjamin Kalu, has explained the issues surrounding the abrupt end of Thursday’s plenary.

Briefing journalists at the National Assembly shortly after the adjournment, Kalu explained that it was beyond the unavailability of Order paper reported in the media. He noted that other necessary arrangements which constitute plenary proceedings were not in order before the House leadership was ushered into the chamber for the day’s sitting.

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He further noted that after the adjournment, he had an engagement with the bureaucrat comprising the Clerk of the House, the House Committee on Rules and Business, and the House leadership on reasons behind the disorganisation before the commencement of plenary.

Here’s an excerpt of his statement before journalists at the Green Chamber:

“You’re looking at the Order paper both hard and soft copy as the cause, but we’re looking beyond that. In constituting the plenary, there’s what we called the Clerk of the table.

If the Clerks at the table are not seated before the Speaker works in, it is improper and very disrespectful for the presiding officer to be seated waiting for the Clerk at the table,” he explained.

Expressing himself is to send the right message out there that the delivery of the parliament should not be hinged on the four walls of the bureaucrat. When we look at it differently, we see from another perspective,” he said.

READ ALSO: Gbajabiamila adjourns plenary over unavailability of order paper 

 “The Speaker is saying it should be the order of the day that plenary should start late even when prior notice is given for us to start earlier. The Speaker is saying the bureaucrat should be seated and in plenary what is constituted before his arrival.

“Whether it’s soft or hard copy, it’s not the issue here. The issue is that the House was not properly constituted because as you know we stand on a tripod i.e the Senate, the House of Representatives, and the management.

Under the management, we have the bureaucrat, the Clerk of the House of Representatives who works with his team to take records of the proceedings of the House. It is in the nature of the work [of the House] that when pronouncements are made from the presiding officer’s seat, it must be recorded.

Who does that? The Clerk at the table. And if they’re not there, the House is not ready to commence,” the spokesman added.

READ ALSO: House of Reps adjourns plenary session abruptly

“I can assure you that it is all about the efficiency and drive towards the effectiveness of all those who work for Nigerians with Nigeria tax payers money. If you are being paid to do your job, please come early and do your job.

If they’re tools you need to do your job, present it early so that there will be smooth running of a target set by the parliament in achieving those expectations of Nigerians as placed before us to take care of.”



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