National Assembly in dilemma over Committee allocation


Both Chambers of the National Assembly are in entropy over the distribution of committees following the agreement to share the committees 50/50 with opposition in turn for support of Akpabio and Abbas.

The agreement was for ruling (majority) party to share the senate and house committees equally with the opposition parties in PDP, LP, NNPP and others in return for their support. This includes both Grades A, B and C committees of the senate and the house.

Members and Senators of the ruling party are registering displeasure over this arrangement as it has never been done this way in the NASS. Some attribute this to the decision of the party to endorse unpopular candidates that needed extra effort and promises to be accepted.

Some feel this arrangement automatically eradicates the need to strive and work hard to be in the ruling party if a ranking opposition member or senator can get a committee better than a ranking ruling party member. This also empowers the opposition through influence and resources to make it hard for the ruling party in dispensation and during upcoming elections.

Recall that the Senate Chamber has 57 standing committees (Grade A, B and C) and the House of Reps has 89 standing committees (Grade A, B and C) in that order. The committees may increase or decrease depending on the ministerial structure of the executive. The above arrangement means if there are 10 committees in grade A, APC will get 5 and opposition will get 5. Similarly for the Grades B and C.

Grade A committees are those with ministries or major policy thrusts like aviation, petroleum, transportation or education. While those with subsidiary jurisdictions or parastatals are in Grade B or C. The grade of committees are categorized based on the structure of ministry and mode of dispensation by the executives.

The committees are shared among lawmakers based on their geopolitical zones, contribution to the emergence of the NASS leadership, their allegiance or relationship to the power buttons.

Nigeria Senate President

Senate has 109 Senators

North West- 21
North East- 18
North Central- 18
South West- 18
South South- 18
South East- 15
FCT- 1

Speaker House of Representatives

House of Reps has 360 Rep Members

North West- 92
South West- 71
South South- 55
North Central- 51
North East- 48
South East- 43

The main functions of the NASS committees are to investigate, legislate, review and draw attention to any important matter that are referred to them and give advice. Another important function of the committees is to scrutinize government activities including legislation, the conduct of public administration and policy issues through oversight on the Ministries, Departments and Agencies under their jurisdiction.

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