Goje, Jang, Yarima, others have no bills in 2 years

Daily Trust - - FRONT PAGE - By Is­mail Mu­dashir

For­mer Gover­nors Ahmed Sani Yarima (APC, Zam­fara), Ge­orge Akume (APC, Benue), Dan­juma Goje (APC, Gombe), Jonah Jang (PDP, Plateau) and Bukar Abba Ibrahim (APC, Yobe) are among the sen­a­tors with­out a sin­gle bill to their names in the last two years.

Other sen­a­tors in this league are for­mer Deputy Speaker of the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives, Bayero Nafada (APC, Gombe), Muhammed Sabo (APC, Ji­gawa), Mustapha Sani (APC, Niger), Yele Omo­gunwa (APC, Ondo), Jeremiah Useni (PDP, Plateau) and Ibrahim Ab­dul­lahi (APC, Sokoto).

Of­fi­cial record from June 2015 to July 2016 showed that 16 out of the 108 Sen­a­tors (Anam­bra va­cant) are yet to have a bill to their names, less than 23 months to the ex­pi­ra­tion of their ten­ure.

The list of sen­a­tors who didn't spon­sor a sin­gle bill dropped from 28 in June, 2016 to 16 this year as the likes of Se­nate Pres­i­dent Bukola Saraki (APC, Kwara), his pre­de­ces­sor David Mark (PDP, Benue), and the Deputy Se­nate Pres­i­dent Ike Ek­w­ere­madu (PDP, Enugu) have now pre­sented one each.

Saraki's bill on the es­tab­lish­ment of the Nige­rian Academy of Science was passed on July 5, 2017, while Mark's on the es­tab­lish­ment of the Fed­eral Univer­sity of Health Sci­ences, Otukpo had scaled through first read­ing on June 13, this year.

The Se­nate is so far con­sid­er­ing 552 draft laws since the in­au­gu­ra­tion of the 8th As­sem­bly on June 9, 2015.

The three sen­a­tors from Rivers State who were sworn-in De­cem­ber 15, 2016, namely Ge­orge Sek­ibo (PDP), Mag­nus Abe (APC) and Osi­nakachukwu Ideozu (PDP) had zero bills.

Others in this group are Shuaibu Lau (PDP, Taraba North) and Se­na­tor Ade­mola Adeleke (PDP, Osun) who were sworn in July, this year, days be­fore the fed­eral law­mak­ers em­barked on their an­nual re­cess.

The re­view showed that only 33 of the sen­a­tors had some of their bills passed with Ali Ndume (APC, Borno) top­ping the list with 47 bills, ac­cord­ing to of­fi­cial doc­u­ments an­a­lysed by Daily Trust.

Aside from hav­ing the high­est num­ber of bills passed, Ndume who was the Se­nate Leader un­til Jan­uary this year topped the chart of bills spon­sor­ship with 64 bills. Ndume is serv­ing a 6-month sus­pen­sion slammed on him by the up­per cham­ber.

In terms of spon­sor­ship of bills, next to Ndume was the Deputy Leader, Bala Ibn Na'Al­lah (APC, Kebbi) who had 19 bills, fol­lowed by Ade­ola Olamilekan (APC, La­gos) 16 and Andy Uba (APC, Anam­bra) with 15 bills.

Stella Odua (PDP, Anam­bra), Dino Me­laye (APC, Kogi), and Ah­mad Ibrahim Lawan (APC, Yobe) have 14 bills each.

Ba­rau Jib­rin (APC, Kano) and Bio­dun Olu­jimi (PDP, Ek­iti) had 13 bills each, fol­lowed by Baba­jide Omoworare (APC, Osun) who spon­sored 12 bills.

For­mer Anam­bra State Gov­er­nor Theodore Orji (PDP, Abia), Mao Ohuabunwa (PDP, Abia), and Obinna Ogba (PDP, Ebonyi) spon­sored 11 bills each.

While Isah Misau (APC, Bauchi) and Philip Aduda (PDP, FCT) have 10 bills each, the trio of Ben Mur­ray-Bruce (PDP, Bayelsa), Umaru Kurfi (APC, Katsina) and David Umaru (APC, Niger) spon­sored nine bills each.

Ek­w­ere­madu who had no bill last year has eight bills now, while Ibrahim Go­bir (APC, Sokoto) also has eight bills.

Sen­a­tors Sa­muel Egwu (PDP, Ebony), Shehu Sani (APC, Kaduna), Ab­dul­lahi Adamu (APC, Nasarawa), Olaren­waju Te­ju­osho (APC, Ogun), Buhari Ab­dul­fa­tai (APC, Oyo) and Ades­oji Akanbi (APC, Oyo) spon­sored seven bills each.

Others with seven bills are Barn­abas Ge­made (APC, Benue), Rose Oko (PDP, Cross River), Fran­cis Alimikhena (APC, Edo), Matthew Urhoghide (PDP, Edo), Chukuwuka Utazi (PDP, Enugu), Hope Uzod­inma (PDP, Imo), Kabiru Gaya (APC, Kano), Olug­benga Ashafa (APC, La­gos) and Ti­j­jani Ya­haya Kaura (APC, Zam­fara).

Those with five bills each are: Aliyu Wa­makko (APC, Sokoto), John Enoh (PDP, Cross River), Peter Nwa­boshi (PDP, Delta), Gil­bert Nnaji (PDP, Enugu), Sa­muel Anyanwu (PDP, Imo), Bu­ruji Kashamu (APC, Ogun), Robert Bo­rof­fice (APC, Ondo), Rafiu Ibrahim (APC, Kwara) and Joshua Dariye(APC, Plateau).

The sen­a­tors with four bills are Nel­son Ef­fiong (APC, Akwa Ibom), Suleiman Nazif (APC, Bauchi), Ovie Omo-Agege (APC, Delta), Duro Faseyi (PDP, Ek­iti), Joshua Li­dani (PDP, Gombe), Bukar Mustapha (APC, Katsina), Shaaba Lafi­agi (APC, Kwara) and Oluremi Tin­ubu (APC, La­gos).

Sen­a­tors Ali Wak­ili (APC, Bauchi), Baba Kaka Bashir Gar­bai (APC, Borno), Bassey Al­bert Ak­pan (PDP, Akwa Ibom), Clif­ford Or­dia (PDP, Edo), Muham­mad Shitu (APC, Ji­gawa), Abu Ibrahim (APC, Katsina), Adamu Aliero (APC, Kebbi), Ali Sabi Ab­dul­lahi (APC, Niger), Gbo­la­han Dada (APC, Ogun), Tayo Ala­soadura (APC, Ondo), Mon­surat Sun­monu (APC, Oyo) and Muhammed Has­san (PDP, Yobe) had spon­sored three bills each.

Law­mak­ers with two bills are: Ab­dul Aziz Nyako (APC, Adamawa), Ah­mad Abubakar (APC, Adamawa), Godswill Ak­pabio (PDP, Akwa Ibom), Foster Ogola (PDP, Bayelsa), James Man­ager (PDP, Delta), Fa­tima Raji-Razaki (PDP, Ek­iti), Abubakar Gumel (APC, Ji­gawa), Dan­juma La'ah (PDP, Kaduna), Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso (APC, Kano), Ahmed Ogembe (PDP, Kogi), Olu­sola Adey­eye (APC, Osun), Em­manuel Bwacha (PDP, Taraba) and Kabir Marafa (APC, Zam­fara).

The re­view showed that Saraki, Mark, Enyin­naya Abaribe (PDP, Abia), Binta Masi Garba (APC, Adamawa), Paulker Em­manuel (PDP, Bayelsa), Abubakar Kyari (APC, Borno), Ger­shom Bassey (PDP, Cross River), Sonni Og­buoji (PDP, Ebonyi), Ben­jamin Uwa­ju­mogu (APC, Imo), Suleiman Hunkuyi (APC, Kaduna), Ya­haya Ab­dul­lahi (APC, Kebbi), Atai Ai­doko Us­man (PDP, Kogi), Philip Gyunka (PDP, Nasarawa), Suleiman Adokwe (PDP, Nasarawa), and Yusuf Abubakar Yusuf (APC, Taraba) spon­sored one bill each.

Bills not qual­i­ta­tive -Civil so­ci­ety

The Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor, Friends in the Gap Ad­vo­cacy Ini­tia­tive (FGAI), Chief Ge­orge Oji said, un­like in the present as­sem­bly, bills and mo­tions were thor­ough, painstak­ingly re­searched, de­bated and pre­sented in most ro­bust man­ner.

He noted that the 8th Na­tional As­sem­bly has “a very in­tim­i­dat­ing cre­den­tial” so far “with a to­tal of 96 bills and 72 mo­tions to the credit of the se­nate and 126 bills in the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives dur­ing the first half of their four-year ten­ure.”

"How­ever, when com­pared with the con­tent and qual­ity of the bills and mo­tions passed by the present 8th ses­sion viz-a-viz the ones un­der­taken by the pre­vi­ous ses­sions, the ad­van­tage of num­ber eas­ily dis­ap­pears into in­signif­i­cance,” he said.

“This is, of course, a reflection of the cal­i­bre and qual­ity of the elected rep­re­sen­ta­tives in the Na­tional As­sem­bly then. It is doubt­ful if the same can be said of the present law­mak­ers,” he said.

He said in the current par­lia­ment, the role of the op­po­si­tion law­mak­ers ap­pears not to be very well de­fined but rather fused with the ma­jor­ity rul­ing party.

Why Ndume got high­est bills - Gar­bai

Speak­ing, Chair­man of the Se­nate Com­mit­tee on Rules and Busi­ness, Gar­bai said Ndume had the high­est bills be­cause he was the Se­nate leader for about two years.

“All the bills that are coming to the Se­nate from the House for con­cur­rence come in the name of the leader. Also, all the bills from the ex­ec­u­tive are in his name. This is be­cause of the po­si­tion he oc­cu­pied," he said.

On the Se­nate pres­i­dent, Gar­bai said, “Our rules al­low the pre­sid­ing of­fi­cers to spon­sor bills but since 1999, no Se­nate pres­i­dent has done so. It's in the House that Ghali Umar Na'Abba spon­sored bills and now Speaker Yakubu Dog­ara has done so with his bill on the North East De­vel­op­ment Com­mis­sion."

Ex­plain­ing the pro­ce­dures for spon­sor­ship of bills, he said, "the spon­sor writes to the Se­nate Pres­i­dent, then we write to the Na­tional In­sti­tute for Leg­isla­tive Stud­ies (NILS), they will an­a­lyze it and make an in­put. Af­ter this, they will send it back to us; we will then send it for gazetting.

“Af­ter it is gazetted, we will list it for first read­ing, then the spon­sor would be asked to sub­mit his lead de­bate, then the bill would be listed for sec­ond read­ing. If it scales through, it would be re­ferred to rel­e­vant com­mit­tee. The com­mit­tee will or­ga­nize a pub­lic hear­ing for stake­hold­ers to make an in­put.

"Then the com­mit­tee re­port on the bill would be laid, con­sid­ered dur­ing a com­mit­tee of the whole. If it is passed, it would be sent to House for con­cur­rence. Then, it would be sent to the le­gal unit of the Na­tional As­sem­bly. Af­ter this, it would be sent to the Pres­i­dent for as­sent," he said.

Photo: NAN

Senor Min­is­ter of State, Min­istry of Trade, In­dus­try and Na­tional De­vel­op­ment, Sin­ga­pore, Mr Kon Poh-Koon (left) with the Min­is­ter of Fi­nance, Mrs Kemi Adeo­sun, at the sign­ing of Me­moran­dum of Un­der­stand­ing (MoU), be­tween Nige­ria and Sin­ga­pore on dou­ble tax­a­tion in Abuja yes­ter­day.

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