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Eighth House of Reps bow Out,Presents Scorecard

The eighth House of Representatives officially ended yesterday but it scored itself well.

The Outgoing honourables claimed that the house surpassed previous parliaments in discharging its legislative duties.

According to Yakubu Dogara, at the valedictory session of the House, said the life of the House terminates at midnight on June 9.

The outgoing Chairman of Rules and Business Committee, Edward Pwajok, who presented the score card of the eighth House, said many live-touching motions and bills were passed by the lawmakers, including a successful alteration of the Constitution.

Besides, the lawmaker said a number of corruption cases were uncovered through comprehensive oversight of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).

He said: “In the first session, 685 bills were introduced and 68 were passed. In the second session, 379 bills were introduced and 41 were passed. In the third session, 446 bills were introduced and 94 were passed.

“In the fourth session, 143 bills were introduced and 63 were passed. In total, I repeat, 1,643 bills that we presented and 352 were passed.

“For motions, 1,413 were resolved, 1,137 were referred to various committees, 17 were withdrawn and one was deferred, leaving a total of 1588.

“The House received and lay on the table 1,192 petitions, lay and yet to be consider 22, considered on the floor of the House 205 and rejected two.

“One hundred and eight of the bills came from the Senate and 1,465 of the bills were private members bills.

“The eighth Assembly made history by altering our constitution. Given our history and circumstances, it is not an easy thing to do. From the Second to the Third Republics, it is only the sixth Assembly that succeeded in amending the constitution with the first, second and third alterations. This Assembly successfully altered many sections of the constitution, including giving the state legislature and Judiciary financial autonomy.

“We also lowered the age limit for those contesting in the not-too-young to run bill, which opened up the space for our younger citizens to offer themselves to be voted for offices.

“We also amended the constitution so that if there is any vacancy or something happens to Mr. President, the Vice-President will not only step in but retain power, and the same thing too for governors.

“It is through this House that private members’ bill changed Democracy Day from May 29 to June 12. It is this Assembly that increased the minimum wage to N30,000 as against the 27,000 proposed by the Executive.

“There are many progressive bills passed, which are awaiting assent. There is one to remove age discrimination because we have earlier declared state of emergency on unemployment so that our employed youths and graduates will receive favourable attention by the public service.

“Abolition of first degrees and HND dichotomy, granting married women in the public service options of citizenship, either citizenship of their father or husbands, repel and enactment of new company and allied company act, which has not been amended since 1990 to ease doing business in Nigeria.

“Prohibition of estimated billing by electricity distribution companies, establishment of the Northeast Development Commission and we have passed the Southeast Development Commission Bill.

“Apart from bills, which is the core function of the Legislature – which is to make law – the eighth House pursued its representational role as elected representative of the people to speak for the people of Nigeria, passed many resolutions covering all areas of our national life that concerned the people, from insecurity to terrorist attacks, murder, kidnapping, killings, education, health, Nigeria in diaspora, unemployment, youth, women, among others.

“In terms of oversight responsibility of the House, we investigated many of the ministries to expose corruption, in line with Section 58 of the Constitution.

“It is the deliberations of the House on members’ motion that get the police and other government agencies to embark on using local governments as a basis for recruitment, using Federal Character principles.”

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