In a feat of legislative activism, the 8th National Assembly introduced 1064 bills, and addressed 610 Public Petitions in the last 2 years, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon Yakubu Dogara, has said.
He has also assured that Budget 2017 will be signed into law next week.
He expressed delight that the House has kept to its promise to carry out a Budget reform that will ensure that the 2017 Appropriations Bill is processed in a transparent manner.
The Speaker said, “On issue of Budget, we kept our promise to Nigerians at the beginning of the legislative session to ensure transparent deliberation and passage of the 2017 Appropriations Bill which will be signed into law early next week.
“We have also carried out significant Budget Reforms. For the first time in the history of Nigeria, a Public Hearing was conducted in the National Assembly to get the input of Nigerians in the budgetary process. Further reforms introduced include the details of the Appropriation Act being available to all members before passage in plenary; the requirement that members of each Committee should sign the Report of their Committees before being sent to the Committee on Appropriations.
“All these novel measures are unprecedented in the history of our Parliament. These proactive measures ensured that the House’s debate and consideration of the 2017 budget proposal presented by the President was evidence based and geared towards galvanizing the economy for greater growth.”
In addition to these, he continued, “the House has considered and passed several Bills designed to stimulate economic growth and promote competition. These include: The Bill for an Act establishing Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission, etc. This legislation has the potential to engender innovation and efficient allocation of resources, eliminate barriers to entry and restrictive trade practices in our market. It will have a hugely positive impact on the quality of goods and services and their prices in the interest of the Nigerian consumer. Several Bills and Resolutions aimed at improving ease of doing business in Nigeria have been passed and more are in the works.” Giving an appraisal of the activities of the 8th Assembly under his leadership in the last 2 years, he stressed that this achievement surpassed those recorded by previous assemblies.
“In terms of core mandate of lawmaking, we have remained a bastion of legislativze activism. Indeed, members of the 8th House of Representatives are in keen competition with one another in fashioning out legislative solutions to myriad of problems facing the nation. That is why in all facets of law-making, we can comfortably and conveniently assert that we have broken all records,” he said.
Relying on available statistics, Dogara reeled out the figures as “total number of Bills introduced so far are 1064 out of which Executive Bills are 50, Senate Bills transmitted to the House – 21 and Private Members Bills – 993. A total of 126 Bills have been passed by the House and the others are at various stages in the legislative mill. 27 Bills have received Presidential assent and a lot more are in the pipeline.
Public Petitions received in the last two years are over 610 in number and the Committee on Public Petitions conducts Public Hearings on these petitions almost every week to ensure citizen access to the legislature.
Each of the achievements highlighted above is unsurpassed by any previous Assembly.”
The Speaker also noted the sheer volume of the bills attests to the vibrancy of the House in its attempt to legislate on key areas of the national life at a very trying time, saying whereas it is immediately difficult to measure the impact of these Bills, a thorough examination of them shows the interest of the House in getting the economy out of the current recession that has affected both large and small businesses as well as families across Nigeria.