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HOUSE OF REPS END OF YEAR REPORT

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By: IBRAHIM SHEHU

From January 1st, 2023, political reporting was dominated by primary elections and campaign activities, resulting in a relatively quiet period in the House of Representatives, where most members were focused on their political careers in their respective constituencies.

On February 25, the National Assembly election brought about the highest turnover in the history of the house, with 277 out of 360 House members losing their bids for re-election.

This shift in the composition of the House introduced a large number of new faces into the legislative body, altering the political dynamics.

From March to May, the race for leadership positions, particularly the Speakership, took center stage, while Intense debates and negotiations ensued as different candidates vied for this influential role.

In May, the 9th House witnessed a flurry of legislative activities, including the last-minute passage of bills, presentation of motions, and other legislative duties.

Notable amongst these included the Electric and Student Loan bills, which were then sent to the President for assent before the transition to the new 10th assembly.

On June 7, 2023, the ninth House concluded its term, paving the way for the transition to the tenth assembly.

Inauguration of the Speaker Dr Tajudeen Abbas and his deputy Benjamin Kalu, who emerged victorious in the election through an open ballot system, took place, followed by the inauguration of the remaining 359 House members.

In his inaugural address, the Speaker expressed dedication to serving the interests of the Nigerian people.

“Honourable colleagues! Under my watch, the 10th house shall sustain and even surpass the gains of the 9th Assembly. We shall carry out the task before us jointly. We shall introduce reforms and innovations for the benefit of Nigerians. In the few weeks we shall be feeling out the legislative agenda that would shape the 10th house of Representatives.

The House wasted no time in appointing its principal officers, after which the House amended its Standing Rules and established 137 standing committees, a notable increase compared to the 103 committees of the ninth assembly.

Throughout the year, the house intervened in several disputes between the Federal Government and various entities, especially the role it played in resolving the crisis between organized labor and the Federal Government over palliatives to alleviate the hardships faced by Nigerians due to subsidy removal.

The 10th House also introduced new initiatives, such as sectorial debates for Ministries, Departments, and Agencies of government.

The Speaker disclosed that since inauguration six months ago, the house has Considered 962 bills, 500 motions and 153 petitions

During the year, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu submitted a proposed budget of 27.5 trillion Naira to the House for the 2024 fiscal year.

To promote transparency and inclusivity, the House organized a Budget Town Hall meeting, allowing stakeholders to contribute their insights and suggestions to the budget process.

To conduct a comprehensive budget review, the House temporarily suspended plenary for two weeks, enabling the MDAs to defend their budget proposals, demonstrating the House’s commitment to thorough scrutiny and ensured that budget allocations aligned with national objectives and priorities.

The house however, increased the budget by 1. 27 trillion naira and passed it, bringing it to 28.7 trillion naira.

Mr Abubakar Bichi is the Chairman House committee on Appropriation.

” The executive arm proposed 750 naira to the US Dollars, but after we studied it carefully, we realized it is unrealistic. And because at the black market it’s one thousand two hundred, even officially it’s nine hundred, so we increased from 750 to 800. Also we had a meeting with the GOEs. We believe that there submission is not enough and they have agreed to increase their revenues to 700 billion, so when they increase that we were able to get that one point two trillion naira, which we applied in the Capital.

With the passage of the 2024 budget, the House adjourned until January 23rd, 2024, signaling a brief recess before resuming legislative duties.

 

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