House Leadership Criticizes Absentee Reps, Tasks Lawmakers to be More Dutiful

House Leadership Criticizes Absentee Reps, Tasks Lawmakers to be More Dutiful

  • The leadership of the House of Representatives is not satisfied with the way and manner its members are conducting themselves
  • In reaction, the House leader has reacted angrily at members who sponsor bills but are absent during plenary
  • These set of lawmakers have been urged to respect their office and be more dutiful going forward

Abuja- The leadership of the House of Representatives has berated members who sponsor bills or have reports to lay but are absent from plenary on days the items have been listed on the Order Paper.

According to the leadership, this leads to a waste of legislative time and resources.

The Majority Leader of the House, Alhassan Ado-Doguwa, raised the issue at the plenary on Thursday when bills scheduled for a second reading were stepped down due to the absence of their sponsors, The Punch reported.

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House Leadership charges Reps to be more dutiful, shun absenteeism
The Leadership of the House wants lawmakers to be time conscious especially during sessions. Photo credit: House of Representatives, Federal Republic of Nigeria
Source: Facebook

Out of the eight bills scheduled for a second reading, five were stepped down.

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Items 2, 3, 4, 6 and 7 were stepped down.

Ado-Doguwa's position

Ado-Doguwa said:

“I rise with due respect and all sense of responsibility and obligation as Leader of this very important House (to say) that rampant cases of bills being taken for second reading and eventually, the member is not on the floor to take it up; I think it is of serious concern.”

The Deputy Speaker's position

The Deputy Speaker, Ahmed Wase, who presided over the session, however, explained the reason for stepping down the ‘Bill for an Act to Provide for Upgrade and Conversion of Iron and Steel Company Clinic, Ajaokuta to Federal Teaching Hospital, Ajaokuta to Provide Facility for Healthcare Services and Medical Training for Students of Federal University, Lokoja; and for Related Matters’ sponsored by Lawal Idirisu.

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Wase said:

“I want to, and in line with what he has said, urge our colleagues that we should please save our legislative businesses and time. It is important so that we will be able to make progress. I have stepped down a number of bills and particularly reports of committees.
“I want to beg that chairmen of committees, in the event they are not around, their deputies should always be handy so that we will be able to do justice and deliver what we are expected to Nigerians.”

The Minority Leader, Ndudi Elumelu, also noted that notices are usually sent to lawmakers, urging them to check their email boxes regularly.

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