Silent protest by members of the House of Representatives following a publication by a national newspaper that 161 lawmakers did not have their names on the bill sponsorship list may have forced an update of the official record.
In the just updated version of the records obtained by Independent over the weekend shows that six additional members of the House now have bills in their names, reducing the number of members without bills to 155.
According to the official record quoted in the Daily Trust report, 161 members of the House did not sponsor bills for 26 months, indicating that the House considered a total of 1066 bills in two years before heading for its annual recess.
However, the report sparked outrage from lawmakers who felt hard-done-by, having sponsored bills which had gone through first and second readings on the floor, with some making it as far as public hearing.
Speaking to Independent on the development in Abuja, Rep. Munir Dan Agundi (APC, Kano) expressed disappointment in the fact that he has sponsored 3 bills out of which one has been passed and concurred by senate awaiting presidential assent.
Rep Agundi who initially expressed dismay on the publication by the newspaper later found out that his bills and those of others like him were actually not gazetted by the House committee on Rules and Business.
The lawmaker blamed the oversight on the committee, promising to take it up with the chairman, Rep Emmanuel Oker Jev (APC, Benue).
Agundi said his bills include: A Bill for an Act to Repeal the National Agricultural Seeds Act Cap. N5 LFN 2004 and Enact the National Agricultural Seeds Council 2016 and for Other Related Matters;
A Bill for an Act to Establish the Nigerian Agricultural Quarantine Service, and for Other Related Matters which passed second reading on June 2nd, 2016; and
A Bill for an Act to Establish the National Agricultural Development Fund and for Other Related Matters.
According to sources within the House, other members who felt aggrieved by the publication were also said to be reaching out to their colleagues in the committee with a view to causing an update to the official records that would reflect their efforts.
A few days later the updated record as seen by Independent indicated that six members, whose names appeared as part of those who did not sponsor bills, have at least a bill to their names.
It also showed that the number of bills currently in the House has risen to1096
The record also indicated that most of the updated bills were presented for first reading on the floor of the House late July, just before the lawmakers embarked on annual recess, while a few others actually came since last year.
According to the updated record, the lawmakers who were omitted in the initial record are Reps: Munir Babba Dan-Agundi (Kano, 3); Olowookere Ajisafe (Ondo, 5); Owoidighe Ekpoatai (A/Ibom, 1); Chris Azubogu (Anambra, 1); Albert Abiodun Adeogun (Osun, 1) and Jafaru Mohammed (Nasarawa, 1).
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