The Senate on Tuesday amended its standing orders to prevent senators elected for the first time from contesting for the position of Senate President (SP) and Deputy Senate President (DSP).
The Senate also amended its rules to accommodate the creation of an additional nine Standing Committees.
The new nine Standing Committees are Committee on Atomic and Nuclear Energy, Committee on Federal Capital Territory Area Council and Auxiliary Matters, Committee on Federal Capital Territory and Committee on Sports Development.
Others are, Committee on Youth and Community engagement, Committee on Mines and Steel Development, Committee on Tourism and Committee on Culture and Creative Economy.
The amended rule stipulates that any senator contesting for the position of the Senate President and Deputy Senate President must have spent a minimum of one term in the Senate.
The amendment is a sequel to a motion sponsored by the Majority Leader, Opeyemi Bamidele which was seconded by the Senate Minority Leader, Senator Simon Mwadkwon and was passed to the Senate Committee of the Whole for immediate consideration which majority of the senators supported the motion.
Senator Bamidele while presenting the motion claimed that there are a number of rules that require amendment to give legislative support to more Committees.
He said the amendment notice has been circulated to the senators in accordance with the existing Order 109 Rule 2 of the Senate standing orders.
The Senate President, Godswill Akpabio announced the amendment of the Senate Standing Orders after a majority of the senators supported it through a voice vote at the plenary including the amendment to create additional committees.
Meanwhile, the Senate resolved that the Committee on FCT would oversee matters affecting the FCT, Planning and Development of the new Federal Capital Territory and control of development within the Federal Capital Territory and its annual budget
The upper chamber also resolved that the Committee on FCT Area Councils would oversee Area Council Mandate, Area Council Service Commission, Area Council Staff Pension Board, Auditor-General for the Area Council and other agencies or departments under FCT.
The Senate divided the Committee on Sports into two standing committees to now reflect the Committee on Sports Development as well as Committee on Youth and Community Engagements.
According to the Senate, the jurisdiction of the Committee on Sports Development shall include Federal Ministry of Sport Development, National Lottery Commission, National Institute for Sports, Nigeria Football Federation, Sport Arena Development, national and international sporting activities, sports administration and annual budget estimates.
The Senate said the jurisdiction of the Committee on Youth and Community Engagements should include Federal Ministry of Youth Development, National Youth Service Corps, Citizens and Leadership Training Centre, Offices of the Senior Assistant to the President on Community Engagement in the six geo-political zones, youths movements activities and associations and its annual budget estimates.
The Senate also divided the Committee on Solid Minerals, Steel Development and Metallurgy into the Committee on Solid Mineral Development and the Committee on Mines and Steel Development.
The Senate said the Committee on Solid Mineral Development “shall oversee Federal Ministry of Solid Mineral Development, Nigerian Geological Survey Agency, Mining Cadastre Office and Council of Nigerian Mining Engineers and Geoscientist, Nigerian Metallurgical Training Institute, Solid Minerals Development Fund, Nigeria Institute of Mining and Geoscience, National Metallurgical Development Centre, exploration of minerals extraction and quarry, geological survey and minerals investigation as well as explosives.
“The Committee on Mines and Steel Development shall oversee Federal Ministry of Mines and Steel Development, Aluminum Smelting Company of Nigeria, Ajaokuta Steel Development Company, National Iron Ore Mining Company, National Steel Raw Material Exploration Agency and their budgets