Reps passed 510 bills, 2000 motions as 2,232 bill processed by NASS in 4 years - NEWS FRONTIER DAILY


Wednesday, June 7, 2023

Reps passed 510 bills, 2000 motions as 2,232 bill processed by NASS in 4 years


The 9th House of Representatives said it passed a  total of 510 bills and 2000 motions.

The bills however stemmed from a whopping number of 2,232 processed by the National Assembly within the same period. 

The Chairman, House Committee on Rules and Business, Abubakar Fulata made the disclosure at the valedictory session of the House on Wednesday.

Fulata while taking the stock of the legislative activities of the House said boasted that the 9th House was the most productive of all assemblies in the history of the National Assembly.

He said that the Assembly processed 2,232 bills, out of which 52 emanated from the executive, 163 also came from the Senate and 2,017 were members' bills.

He said: "Out of these figures still, bills awaiting second reading are 1197. Bills refered to committees are 581. Bills reported by the Committees are 275. Bills pending in the committee are 308. Bills within the Committee of the Whole, 106. Bills laid on table awaiting consideration are 64. Bill so far passed are 510. Bills killed (negatived) are 13 and bills withdrawn by their sponsors are 5.

"The House also passed 2000 motions in total. Mr Speaker, all these could not have been achieved without your able leadership and that of your Deputy, Ahmed Idris Wase who is also Chairman, Committee of the Whole."

In his valedictory speech earlier, the speaker of the House, Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila who has since been appointed as the Chief of Staff to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu in an emotion laden voice said he will miss the House.

Gbajabiamila who had been a member of the House, rising through the minority leader, majority leader and peaked his career with the speakership of the House in 2019 said "I will miss all of you and miss this house, you have enrich my life and I cannot express how much you have impacted the house. We have come, we have seen and while we are yet to conquer, my enthusiasm to serve remained undiminished."

Reading through the speech, the speaker also reeled out the achievements of the 9th House to include the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA); the electoral act, the police reforms amongst others.

He said: "While the strategic importance of the oil and gas sector to Nigeria’s socioeconomic well-being has long been apparent, successive administrations failed to put in place a functional statutory regime to allow that sector to function optimally.  We ended that legacy of lethargy with the passage of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA).  With the Deep Offshore and Inland Basin Production Sharing Contracts Act, we went even further to put the sector on the right footing.  These statutory reforms rightfully ought to have happened a long time ago.  

"We passed the Police Act to change the nature of relations between the police and citizens in our country and ensure that police officers who fall short of their responsibilities can be quickly held accountable."

Gbajabiamila also rated the 9tu House higher saying "Beyond legislative interventions, the 9th House of Representatives will be remembered for our efforts to change how we do the business of parliament, most notably for introducing information technology tools through the e-parliament project and establishing the National Assembly Library Trust Fund.  

"This 9th House, with unwavering courage and determination, defended the rights and dignity of the Nigerian people abroad from every attempt to dehumanise and victimise our people.  Our interventions on behalf of Nigerians in China during the pandemic put an end to recurrent incidents of abuse, just as our efforts on behalf of Nigerians in South Africa and Ghana caused the governments of those nations to step up action to protect the lives and property of our citizens in those countries.  

"We convened a Summit on National Security to examine our national security and defence infrastructure and identify critical areas of improvement.  I hope that work to ensure our borders are secure and our people are safe will continue in the next assembly and throughout government.  Through the Conference of Speakers and Heads of African Parliaments (CoSAP), we have initiated a new and promising framework for interparliamentary cooperation across the continent to address our shared challenges and build better networks for collaboration, progress, and prosperity.  This effort should continue in the best interests of our country and continent."

Gbajabiamila who later informed his colleagues of his new appointment asked for their prayers.

He said that Nigeria was still an unfinished story.

"Nigeria is an unfinished story, a long tale of promise and peril, and our final chapters have not been written yet.  Some persist in believing that this grand nation is a victim of history, that our destiny has already long been written, and that we cannot escape from it.  I do not subscribe to this view.  In fact, I reject it entirely. Indeed the world today is being remade by profound and powerful forces, and it may seem our destiny no longer lies within our control", he said.

In his remarks, Hon. Julius Ihovhre (APC-Edo) asked the speaker to be a good ambassador of the House.

"In you new roles as the Chief of Staff to the President, the challenges you will face is more than here, we plead with you not to abandoned the spirit of excellence, " he said 

Similarly, Hon. Luke Onofiong (PDP-Akwa-Ibom) said members had made relationship that would last forever.

On his part, Hon. Yusuf Gadgi (APC-Plateau) emphasized the need for forgiveness.

 "In my constituency Muslims are 30 per cent while Christian constitute 70 per cent but they have always sent me here and for using me as a good example of how Nigeria should behave. 

"What I want to say is the message of forgiveness, I want to on your behave and other members to forgive one another. In this assignments we must have offended one another", he said.

But his comment on forgiveness generated some uproar amongst the members.

But he added "Irrespective of the grumbling, what is right is right and people must learn to forgive others."

On his part, Hon. Aisha Duku (APC-Gombe) expressed gratitude for the opportunity to serve as the first woman to represent her constituency 

"Mr Speaker you have blessed me to bless other, I have change the perspective of politics in my area because this is the first time that a fulani woman and a Muslim will come out from that area. I have been able to enlightened people and bring out the women to vote which hitherto they have not.

"I have participated in Bills assented to by the president and today they are law, I commend my committee as the Chairman, House Committee on INEC for support me. I have traveled a lot of places in the country but my only regret is that no gender bills has been able to pass", she said.

In his remarks, the deputy speaker, Hon. Ahmed Idris Wase expressed gratitude to Gbajabiamila for finding him worthy of the service he rendered in the last 4 years.

He however added that he would be speaker of the 10th assembly.

"Words cannot explain my gratitude to you when you chose me to be here and to serve in the capacity of deputy speaker. It's only God that will reward you abundantly. Solomon Lar prophesied that I will be deputy and that the next one I will return, I will be speaker", he said.

Speaking on behalf of the past speakers and principal officers, former speaker, Mrs. Patricia Etteh when said she had always wanted a president of Nigeria with a legislative background urged the members to be resolute in their activities.

She said: "I have the singular honour of addressing you this afternoon on behalf of my other colleagues that are here and those that are not here to share with your joy for bringing this 9th Assembly to the end. I want to wish you the very best. You have really contributed your own quota to the progress of this Honourable House and Nigeria at large. But let me say some few points. 

"First and foremost, I have always been praying that God should give us a president of this nation, someone that has passed through the legislative arm of government. Who says God is not answering prayers. God answered my prayers and the prayers of others, for giving us somebody who has really passed through this national assembly, not only one. I asked for one, but God gave us three. He gave us three because he knows we have been yearning it for it. We want somebody that really appreciates Nigerians. There is no one that would pass through the National Assembly or any legislative arm of government that would not appreciate Nigerians because we are the people that listen to the yearnings of this nation. 

"Give me one trillion naira, I would still prefer to come to the legislative arm anytime. What else do we need? Having got these people at the helm of affairs of this country, we need to support them. At a time they were one of us and we must work together without compromising your prestige and position. But you must work with them. God did not stop at that point. He gave your Speaker the Chief of Staff, which means God did not stop at the Senate, but still brought that gift to us in the House and gave our Speaker that exalted position and I know that on getting to that place, he would represent you and represent you well. 

"Mr Speaker, may I tell you today, my own interpretation of your going to the executive wing of the government. It is not by your power, but it is simply because God sees your heart. You are a loyal person. I want to say it is through your loyalty and the way you have accepted Nigerians during your tenure as a speaker. You know when you are dealing with the poor masses, God has a way of paying people back. Those are the calibre of people, you cannot close your door to. I appreciate you for your open door policy, for taking Nigeria the way they are and you are every listening to their yearnings and today God has answered your prayer. 

"I remember when you first lose your election. It is only emotional for somebody to feel bad. But God is telling you it is never late. God will come at the appropriate time and pay your dues. God pays you by your kindness to the poor masses and also for your loyalty. So when you get there, continue to be yourself and continue to remember Nigeria and put them first before any other thing and I wish you the very best in your new office.  

"My dear colleagues it is only simple when an election is held, some people are bound to win, some people are bound to drop. I don't want to use the world, lose. Those of you that won the election either to the senate, remember that the House of Representatives is the House of the representatives of Nigeria. And when you go there, please still behave the way you are behaving here. Continue to keep the flag flying. For those of you that are coming back, I pray God Almighty would continue to hold you and you must always represent the House very well. For those of us that didn't make it back, may I advise you that this is not the end of the world. I heard one of our brothers when he said they don't know what tomorrow holds, I can only tell you that you should not lose hope. The God of yesterday is God of today and tomorrow. And I want to pray for you that as you are going into the world, your tomorrow would be better than today in Jesus name. Mr Speaker and people that are coming for the 10th assembly, I want to give you a little assignment, which I believe maybe during my tenure I would have been able to achieve. We should not forget that we are practicing the presidential system of government where your major job is the budget of the nation. You must do everything humanly possible to make sure that you achieve that and you take it and you work on it. It is the only work of the House of Reps, not the Senate. The Senate has their own. Therefore stamp your authority and make sure we do what is needful. It is never too late. Anytime you start something please ensure you see it to the end. Ensure you fight for your right. Nobody can fight for you. It is only you that can fight for yourself. 

"So ensure that you do that. Then, secondly, I am still looking for the opportunity when I would see a female sitting on the chair of Mr Speaker. I have some capable hands here. Please if they are applying for this seat, support them. I know that they would do well. But I know that God will be with all of you. The simple logic about this House is we must work together. Forget about the fact that you are from a constituency or you are from a state. Once you are here, you have become a national body and you must act like that. You must work together as a team. You must ensure that what belongs to A gets to A.  That is the only way you can become one person. Not only that. The issue of first among equals is very important. Yes, the Speaker is your Speaker. I was once your Speaker and we were just first among equals.  Cooperate with the incoming speaker to ensure that at least, you achieve your goal. If you cannot start on the ....and peacefully not, it is a little bit difficult for you to achieve anything. Why you are so happy today and thanking God is because you have a very good leader who believes in unity and teamwork and he did that throughout his tenure. 

" I really congratulate you and I want to welcome the new ones that are coming too, that you should do the same. You that that you have been here, I am aware you have some that have even stayed here up to 24 years. So it is not about the responsibility of the speaker alone. It is the responsibility of all of you that have been here to put the due commas through all the workings of the parliament. But don't take advantage of them. You should realize that when they are coming like that, they are usually in numbers more than some of us that are returning. Therefore  just take it upon yourself to make sure that you train them fast, so they can get to then destination. And also ensure that the workings of the NASS is very important and you must do it diligently with integrity in such a way that you would be able to raise your head and say that I belong to the number of people they counted as representatives of the NASS. 

"I want to appeal to  each and every one of you that you remember those ones that are leaving. Don't leave them behind. They have no other ministry than the NASS. Make sure they remember them when you come back, accommodate them and ensure they are well taken care of. That is the only way you would not not be losing people fast.  I remember when we finished. Some of our colleagues were even coming and begging for one thing or the other. It is not too good. We must be our brothers' keepers. We must work together. We must accommodate them and please ensure you do your legislative job diligently. I wish you the very best".

Amongst other dignitaries that attended the valedictory session were former speaker, Gali Na'abba, House leader, Mulikat Akande and some former Clerks of NASS.

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