Senate to reshuffle committees in emergency ‘clean-up’ operation

Members of the Nigerian Senate PHOTO: TWITTER/ NIGERIAN SENATE

The Senate announced on Thursday that it would carry out a ‘clean up’ exercise that would entail a major rejigging of its committee system.The Senate currently has a total number of 68 committees.

Senate President Abubakar Bukola Saraki, who made the announcement, said that the exercise would go a long way in assisting the upper chamber to clean up its committee system.The clean up, according to Saraki, would be done before the Senate proceeds on its end of session holiday in August.

Saraki was responding to an observation made by the Deputy President, Ike Ekweremadu that the structure of committees at the moment had become very unhealthy.Ekweremadu drew his observation from the report presented by the Senate committee on Tertiary Education, during which he noted that of the 22 members of the committee, only 12 signed the report.

He said that it was unusual and unwieldy for the Senate to continue to tolerate the development.“We must ensure that Senators are placed in the number of committees that they can handle,” he said.Saraki said: “We are going to clean it up before we go on recess. We have discussed this at the leadership level and we are going to ensure that the right thing is done.”

The last time the Senate reshuffled its committees was in 2016 when many Senators who hitherto were not accommodated in ‘juicy’ committees were appointed as chairmen. The committee system was subsequently in January 2017 slightly adjusted when it created three new committees and reshuffled the chairmanship of two others.

A source disclosed that contrary to the Senate Standing Rule which pegged the maximum membership of committees at 11, many committees particularly those considered as ‘juicy’ now have as many as 22 to 25 members.

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