• Saturday, April 13, 2024
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Akpabio’s 10th Senate breaks tradition, operates without legislative agenda

Akpabio’s 10th Senate breaks tradition, operates without legislative agenda

The 10th Senate, under the leadership of Godswill Akpabio, has veered away from a longstanding parliamentary tradition by operating without a legislative agenda for nearly nine months since its inauguration.

This departure from the norm raises concerns about the direction and focus of the legislative body.

A legislative agenda usually contains social program of proposed legislations to support policies and programs of government that would help speed up development and reforms that will better the lives of citizens.

Traditionally, each Senate raises an ad-hoc committee that formulates a comprehensive four-year legislative agenda, outlining policies and actions that guide their legislative initiatives.

However, Akpabio’s Senate has not established an ad-hoc committee, or shown any inclination to create one, leaving it without a defined focus and objective.

The absence of a legislative agenda is particularly notable given that both the 10th House of Representatives and the previous dispensations of the parliament have adhered to this practice.

The Senate and House of Representatives were inugurated on June 13, 2023. In November of the same year, the House of Representatives, under the leadership of Abbas Tajudeen, unveiled an eight-point agenda titled ‘The People’s House,’ with priority focus on electoral act amendment, insecurity, redirecting Nigeria’s foreign policy, climate change, among others.

This has been the tradition in the last few years, where every dispensation of the parliament outline a clear roadmap for their term. The 9th Senate led by Ahmed Lawan unveiled its agenda after it was inaugurated in 2019 with a focus on agriculture, industrialisation, power generation, Petroleum industry bill, among others.

Also the 8th Senate led by Bukola Saraki and the 7th Senate led by David Mark had legislative agendas. This is also the same for previous Houses of Assembly.

Analysts anticipated the release of a formal legislative agenda when the Senate returned from recess in September 2023, in line with global best practices as adopted by the US Congress, the UK Parliament, and others.

However, the 10th Senate has shown no indication of formulating any agenda, raising questions about its commitment to strategic planning and public accountability.