Lawan Canvasses Support For Bi-cameral Federal Legislature In Nigeria


BY SEGIUN ADEBAYO, ABUJA – President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, on Monday canvased support for the retention of a bi-cameral legislature at the Federal level consisting of the Senate and House of Representatives.

Lawan, who canvassed the position at the third University of Benin/National Institute for legislative and Democratic Studies (NILDS), Convocation ceremony which held at the National Assembly, Abuja, stressed that a bi-cameral legislature was intended to address the country’s diversity and ethnic composition to ensure justice, equity and fairness for all Nigerians irrespective of whether they are minority or majority ethnic groups.

The Senate President insisted that a unicameral legislature may create problems of non-representation and exclusion from governance for minority ethnic groups in the country, as well as inefficient representation for groups in the majority.

According to him; “Nigeria has consciously adopted to have a bi-cameral National Assembly. It is because of who and what we are. The diversity of Nigeria and ethnic composition of the country requires that we have a system that provides Justice, Equity and Fair play.

“It is a conscious decision and designed to ensure that everybody is represented in the country. We need bi-cameral legislature in Nigeria.”

The Senate President noted that the quality of governance in Nigeria can only be improved by ensuring productivity on the part of lawmakers as against demanding for a unicameral legislature.

 “What we should insist on is productivity. Members of the National Assembly must justify the expenditure on us. That is what we should be concerned with. We must be productive and we are on the way. We are on the way to proving that we are going to be productive.”

He said that the Senate last week passed an amendment to the Production Sharing Contracts Act of 1993, adding that the development make Nigeria to earn about $1.7 billion annually.

Lawan explained that this is part of efforts by the National Assembly to shore-up Nigeria’s revenue as well as improve on the country’s economy in the overall interest of Nigerians.

According to Lawan; “Before the passage of that Act, which should have been done in 2003, up till date Nigeria gets only $216m from the PSC. Nigeria from next year alone will get $1.7 billion. That is to say we are conscious of who we are representing. We will represent Nigeria truthfully and patriotically.

“All hands must be on deck to ensure that we take 10 million Nigerians out of poverty within the next 10 years. This requires that we work with the same passion and commitment,”

The Senate President also charged the Federal Government to take the lead in returning about 14 million out-of-school-children back to school.

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