National Assembly Fiddling While Nigeria Burns

Amid the many troubling socio-economic challenges facing Nigerians, especially rising insecurity, prolonged strike action by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), and deplorable unemployment level, the National Assembly closed for rest.

May Nigeria never experience this 9th NASS again -By Michael Owhoko

Citizens have expressed concern that despite the enormous remuneration, the federal lawmakers have formed the habit of embarking on recess during national emergencies, or when their attention is most required.

For instance, in one legislative year spanning June 2021 through June 2022, the 9th Senate lost a total of 27 weeks to holidays and recesses.

With just 24 weeks left on the legislative calendar to sit in the chamber, and with only two sittings per week, the Senate achieved only 48 sittings instead of 181, even as the recesses have been partially responsible for its failure to achieve the constitutionally stipulated number of sittings per legislative year.

Senate spokesman, Ajibola Basiru, had repeatedly explained that the COVID-19 pandemic accounted largely for this failure to attain the 181-day legislative sitting threshold, but investigation reveals that regular recesses and holidays by the legislators were to blame for the shortfall.

The report found out that within the legislative year, the Senate embarked on, at least, five different recesses, which propelled the lawmakers into spending 27 weeks at home during those periods.

It could also be remembered that the Senate reduced its number of sittings from three to two per week to curtail the spread and impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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