As the 8th National Assembly marks its one year anniversary, members have been challenged to collectively work together for the realisation of its legislative agenda.
The Speaker House of Representatives, Mr. Yakubu Dogara gave the charge in a speech delivered at the plenary to mark the first year of the 8th Assembly.
Mr. Dogara said that the lawmakers have, in the last one year, laid a solid foundation for effective and positive legislation for the benefit of all citizens.
He said “It is clear that the House has performed creditably in the implementation of its legislative Agenda in the 1st Session. We must collectively ensure that in the remaining Sessions of our tenure, greater attention is paid to implementing those aspects of the Agenda that are not fully or yet to be implemented. A strong foundation has been laid in the first Session and we have three more sessions to make a positive impact on the lives of Nigerians through relevant and effective legislation.”
Reeling out the achievements of the 8th Assembly in the last one year, the Speaker recalled that a Legislative Agenda (2015-2019) was drafted and approved after debate by the legislators to guide their legislative activities for 4 years but within one year, a lot of its goals have already been achieved.
Highlights of the successes according to Mr. Dogara, includes setting up committee on Legislative Needs Assessment of the National Assembly, successful selection and placement of members into various committees, which were inaugurated on 9th November 2015.
The House, in implementing its agenda to making e-voting a regular feature of House proceedings, introduced procedures for electronic voting for members.
The House also set up an Ad-Hoc Committee to investigate alleged misuse, under-remittance/non remittance and expenditure of Internally Generated Revenue by Ministries, Departments and Agencies to block revenue leakages.
Others include Legislative initiative on the North-East, Resolution on Rehabilitation, Reconstruction, Recovery and Development of the North East of Nigeria, request to Mr. President to set up the machinery for the establishment of a North East Development Commission, and also to facilitate the convening of an International Donor Conference or Summit as soon as possible for the Reconstruction, Rehabilitation, Recovery and Development of the North East Zone of Nigeria.
On Law making, Dogara assessed the past legislative session as very high, compared to earlier periods.
“During the legislative session, June 9, 2015 – June 9, 2016, a total of 685 bills was received in the House. The bulk of these bills, indeed, about 98 percent, 675 were members’ bills, 10 executive bills. Out of the bills, 416 are awaiting 2nd Reading; 130 Bills have been referred to Committees; 3 bills are awaiting consideration. It is instructive to observe that 94 of these bills have been passed by the House so far. The number of Bills introduced in the last one year, which have all passed first reading, represents the highest annual consideration of bills by the House since the return to democratic governance in 1999,” the Speaker added.