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Bill to compel future presidents to appoint ministers within 8 weeks passes second reading

By News Express on 09/12/2015

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The House of Representatives yesterday passed for the second reading a bill seeking for a timely composition of the cabinet by any President who has duly won his elections and has taken the oath of office.

The bill which was sponsored by Rep Omoregie Ogbeide-Ihama is not only seeking that eight weeks should be the stipulated time to which the President forms his cabinet but upon announcement of nominees, portfolios should also be known before they are sent to the Senate for screening.

Leading the Debate, Rep Ogbeide-Ihama said: “The primary objective of the Act is to prescribe a time frame within which the President shall constitute and inaugurate his cabinet.

“The Act also aims at ensuring that a ministerial nomination list sets out the proposed portfolio which every nominee is intended to be assigned.”

Contributing to the debate, Hon. Zakari Mohammad said that if the portfolios are known before the nominees appear before the Senate it would assist questioning of the Senators.

According to him, it will create value for the workings of the government and give it meaning anytime there is the screening process and formation of cabinet by a new government.

“During screening Senators are restricted as regards the questions they ask the nominees, if portfolios would be attached to each nominee it will guide them in questions and save time,” he said.

While giving support to the Bill, Hon. Aminu Shehu Shagari said that when the bill gets to public hearing and inputs are being made it should be considered if the President will like to shuffle his cabinet for optimal performance.

Leader of the House Reps Femi Gbajabiamila argued that the screening exercise was not quite efficient due to not knowing where the ministerial nominees will eventually over see.

He said that in drafting the legislation, it should not be put in a way where it would be compulsory for the President stating that if made compulsory it will contravene section 147 of the constitution.

“It will give the Senate an efficient screening process,” Gbajabiamila told the House.

The Bill also contains that in the event a new nominee is submitted to replace a rejected nominee; such appointment must be made within a maximum period of two months after the date the former nominee is rejected.

The House approved that Bill be read the second time after it was put to a voice vote by the Speaker, Hon. Yakubu Dogara.

•Text courtesy of Peoples Daily. Photo shows House of Reps in session.

Source News Express

Posted 09/12/2015 6:15:47 PM


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