Ekweremadu warns incoming Buhari against imposition of officers on National Assembly

Posted by News Express | 28 April 2015 | 3,325 times

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Nigeria’s Deputy Senate President has urged the incoming administration to learn from the mistakes of previous governments and avoid imposing principal officers on the National Assembly.

Senator Ike Ekweremadu gave the warning on Monday at the opening of an induction seminar for incoming legislators holding in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

He urged the presidency to allow federal lawmakers choose their presiding officers.

At the induction venue were men and women who will make up the 8th Assembly come June this year.

Nearly 70 per cent of federal lawmakers in the 7th Assembly were unable to win elections and get a return ticket. This means that the majority of lawmakers in the 8th Assembly would be new lawmakers inexperienced in legislative work.

This is why the National Institute for Legislative Studies put together the induction course to equip the new legislators with skills and knowledge needed to navigate legislative work.

The first task, which the incoming lawmakers would have to contend with, would be electing its principal officers.

Already, the major contenders in the race for the seat of the Senate and Deputy Senate President and the Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives are already lobbying their colleagues for these seats.

The election of principal officers had often been acrimonious in the past.

Previous administrations are said to have influenced the decisions of the National Assembly in the choice of the leadership of both the upper and lower house, a practice that the Deputy Senate President sought to end by urging the incoming administration and political parties not to interfere in the elections of principal officers.

Besides electing principal officers, the new lawmakers have a huge task ahead of them.

With the dwindling oil prices, which has led to a deficit budget, and austerity measures being put in place, federal lawmakers in the 8th Assembly have to ensure that funds are efficiently appropriated and utilised to meet the needs of Nigerians.

Some of the incoming lawmakers are already setting an agenda for the major issues they intend to address on resumption of office.

Channels Television’s correspondent, Linda Akhigbe, says actualisation of the plan was necessary. “It is one thing to speak on grand plans but it is another to actualise them.”

Lawmakers in the 7th Assembly had said they would pass the Petroleum Industry Bill before the expiration of the 7th Assembly, but sadly it is unlikely that this would happen, as they have just a month and few days to wind down.

In the next four years, Nigerians would be monitoring the federal legislature closely to see if they would match their words with actions.

•Sourced from Channels TV. Photo shows Ekweremadu.


Source: News Express

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