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RECORD: Reps pass over 95 bills in one year

House of Representatives

No fewer than 95 bills have been passed through third reading by the 8th session of the House of Representatives.

Meanwhile, the House will on Monday, 13th June, 2016 hold a stakeholders summit on Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) in Abuja.

The summit, according to the leadership of the House was part of efforts initiated to get inputs of relevant stakeholders on the legislative framework which seeks to regulate the country’s oil and gas industry.

“The primary objective of this workshop is to bring all Stakeholders in the industry together to afford them the opportunity of discussing relevant issues pertaining to the reform of the Petroleum Industry in Nigeria and contributing to the development of an appropriate legal framework for petroleum industry Reform.

“It is expected that the deliberations at the workshop will enhance the quality of any Bill that will in due course be considered by the House, and enhance the quality of debate thereto and hopefully facilitate its smooth passage,” the statement contained by BusinessDay stated.

While giving the stewardship report of the 8th session of the House, Speaker Yakubu Dogara who presided over the Thursday plenary session which marked the first anniversary of the Assembly, disclosed that a total number of 685 bills were received and scaled through firs t reading out of which 675 (98%) were sponsored by members and 10 executive bills.

He explained that 416 of the bill are awaiting second reading, 130 bills have been referred to various standing and Adhoc committees while bills are awaiting consideration.

Dogara who observed that the number of bills introduced in the last one year represents the highest annual consideration of bills by the House since the return to democratic governance in 1999.

“By this achievement we have demonstrated to the country and the world out there that indeed change can only be achieved by positive action and not by mere talk.

“The major factor in the heightened bill introduction in the House relates to the implementation of one of the elements of the legislative agenda. Early in the session, a committee was inaugurated to review current laws of the country with a view to updating them.

“This has resulted in the unprecedented introduction of 130 bills which scaled first reading on a single day in 2015,’’ Dogara said.

On issue of House resolution, Dogara said that more motions were proposed in 2015/2016 legislative year than any other legislative year since 1999.

He said that by June 8, 530 motions were introduced out of which 15 were withdrawn.

“Significantly also the bulk of the motions moved were considered and resolutions passed accordingly,’’ Dogara said.

Dogara added that 306 petitions were introduced in the session and many have been processed.

Shortly before the Speaker’s speech, the House passed a bill to repeal the Legislative Houses (Powers and Privileges), 2004.

In its place the House enacted the Legislative Powers and Privileges Act, 2016 which intends to give the legislature the desired powers and immunity to be able to carry out its legislative responsibility.

It could be recalled that the House on June 8, adopted the report of the committee of the whole on the bill.

While reflecting on the take-over of governance from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) by the All Progressive Congress (APC), Dogara described the election as a ‘common sense revolution’.

“Permit me to request that we cast our minds back to that historic day when we were sworn in as members of the House of Representatives in this hallowed chambers.

“That event was greeted with a lot of hope and expectations from Nigerians after a common sense revolution swept aside the ruling party and ushered in the opposition into office for the first time in Nigeria’s modern political history.

“There was not just a change of guards at the executive level, but also at the legislature as well. The change involved both political parties and personnel, “the Speaker said.

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