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CSO urges Abbas to jettison alleged plan to create 145 standing committees




The African Parliamentary Advocacy and Reform Group (APARG), a civil society organisation , has called on the leadership of the House of Representatives to jettison the alleged plan to create 145 Standing Committees.

The Director of the group, Amb. Chibuzo Okereke, in an open letter on Wednesday, urged the Speaker Tajudeen Abbas to “strongly resist“ the alleged plan and to reduce the committees to 60 for effectiveness and easy management of legislative work.

According to him, APARG has credible information suggesting that the 10th House of Representatives may increase the committees from the 109 in the 9th House to 145.

“Over the years, especially since 1999 and the 4th National Assembly, the House of Representatives Standing Committees have been progressively fragmented, proliferated and balkanised with each new assembly.

“This is largely due to political considerations and patronage over legislative effectiveness and productivity.

“The trend in political decisions to progressively increase the quantity of the standing committees rather than the quality of the committees has resulted in a serious decline in legislative assertiveness, effectiveness, productivity and value for money.

“This has led to weak oversight design, low participation of members in the numerous perceived low-grade committees, conflicts in the exercise of legislative oversight powers on executive agencies.

He said it had also led to “committees’ incapacity, distress on the limited infrastructure for committee meetings and continuous low perception of citizens on the significance of the governance role of the National Assembly to Nigerians.

“What is worst, Mr Speaker, is that most of the committees due to the scarce resources of the institution of the National Assembly, are overburdened and risk nearly 100 per cent dependence on the executive agencies which they oversight as a source for operational survival in performing their constitutional functions,” he said.

Okereke said that the committee system was the engine room and the life-wire of any productive legislature globally.

According to him, it has been rightly stated that the legislature at plenary is the legislature in an exhibition, while the legislature at the committees is the legislature at work.

He said that the “excessive fragmentation“ and the proliferation of the committee system without consideration of the important principles of robustness and effectiveness weaken the House of Representatives.

Okereke said that an empirical analysis of the 109 standing committees of the 9th House of Representatives showed that several of the committees did not hold any meetings nor performed any significant legislative activities throughout the life span of the 9th Assembly.

According to him, some of them held meetings only about three times in the entire four years.


He urged the speaker to change the tide to engender an effective and productive oversight system and improve the image and perception of the National Assembly.

Okereke said that parliaments in countries such as Germany, France, US, India, Thailand, Romania, Canada, Argentina, Portugal, Senegal, Australia, Japan, UK, Ghana and Kenya have between eight and 48 standing committees.

“Our professional advice is for Mr Speaker and the leadership to jettison the alleged plan to create 145 standing committees.

“Rather, Mr Speaker should drastically reduce the existing 109 committees to about 60 standing committees for effective management, efficiency and measured productivity,” he said.


I’ll Turn Ondo Into Another Lagos, Says Wale Akinterinwa Ahead Of APC Primaries




Wale Akinterinwa, a governorship hopeful on the platform of All Progressives Congress (APC), says he will turn Ondo into another Lagos, the country’s commercial capital, if elected governor.

The Ondo APC governorship primary election is scheduled for April 20 while the state-wide election will be held on November 16.

Speaking during his official declaration at the ruling party’s secretariat in Akure, the state capital, on Tuesday, Akinterinwa said he will make Ondo an industrialised state.

The governorship hopeful who had worked in Lagos civil service, said he would utilise the natural resources in the state to attract investments.

“We will turn Ondo into another Lagos state in terms of development because we have what it takes, in terms of coast. We must ensure that the port comes alive and that will be a game changer,” Akinterinwa said.


“But, beyond that, we also have the landmass and ought to be an agrarian state. So, we are going to take agriculture to the next level while we encourage and support the local farmers.

“We will also attract investors who will invest in agriculture so that we will be exporting finished products. We will not just be producing for the table but we will be producing for export.”

On security, Akinterinwa said his economic initiatives would get most youth employed and lead to reduction in the rate of insecurity in the state.

“For security, part of our challenges today is because today is because we have many unemployed youths. So, Amotekun founded by our late governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu and other South West governors will be strengthened so that with appropriate security in place, we can have development,” he said.

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Why I Ignored Labour Party National Convention — Peter Obi



Peter Obi


Peter Obi, the presidential candidate of the Labour Party for 2023 elections has declared his stance on the recent national convention of the party that saw Barr Julius Abure emerge as Julius Abure emerge as national chairman.


Addressing Nigerians on X Space hosted by Parallel Facts on Friday, Peter Obi said he ignored the convention because the party leadership under Abure failed to do wide consultation with key stakeholders of the party before embarking on the said convention.

The former Anambra Governor emphasised the need for the right thing to be done to salvage the party, adding that he is more passionate about building a new Nigeria than building a new Labour Party.

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