Senate Inaugurate Committees This Week– Senate Leader Ndume

Some senators’ insistence on serving in juicy committees appeared to have delayed the announcement of the panels by the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, last week, investigation has revealed.
Ashiwaju.org  learnt that most of the members of the upper chamber filled in the forms distributed to them, the juicy panels, thereby leaving the leadership the herculean task of redistributing the 65 committees among the 109 senators.

Some of the committees, where about half of the senators had shown interests included Niger Delta; Petroleum Resources (Upstream, Downstream and Gas); Works; Federal Capital Territory; Finance;   Appropriation; Health, Education, Defence (Army, Air Force and Navy); and Communication.
Also preferred by the senators are committees on Trade and Investment; Agriculture; Aviation; Environment and Ecology; Sports and Social Development; Solid Minerals; Power; and Special Duties.
Ashiwaju.org learnt further that few senators offered to serve in committees such as Culture and Tourism; National Planning; Drugs, Narcotics and Financial Crimes; Media and Public Affairs; Establishment and Public Service; and Foreign Affairs, among others.
Confirming the development in an interview in Abuja on Monday, Senate Leader, Ali Ndume, said the leadership of the upper chamber had successfully redistributed the committees equally among the senators.
Ndume said, “The Senate will announce its committees before the end of this week. It has not been an easy work. Being the Senate leader, I am involved in the setting up of the committees.
“I must be frank, I thought it was a day’s job initially but honestly, it is not easy when you have about 60 committees and there are 109 members. What we did was to give out forms to members to indicate the committee they would be interested to serve in.
“By the time we complete the tabulation, there are some committees that were not selected by members. That may be because they don’t have the knowledge of the existence of these committees or their importance.
“On the other hand, we have traffic or congestion of traffic, with members selecting what some people call juicy committees. We have huge concentration of members showing interest in that.
“We have between 40 and 50 members selecting such committees. So, what we had been doing is that we have been carefully balancing the composition of the committees so that there won’t be any case of lopsidedness.”
A principal officer of the red chamber, who pleaded anonymity, had hinted our correspondent last week that additional eight committees had been created in addition to the 57 which the current leadership inherited from the Seventh Senate.
The Senator also explained that the Senate Committee on Rules and Business will, as from Wednesday, start work on a new Standing Order that would replace the current controversial one in circulation with a view to accommodating the new committees.
He said, “The new rule book will accommodate the new newly created eight committees and insert their functions, roles and responsibilities.”
Spokesperson for the Senate, Senator Dino Melaye, also confirmed in an interview with our correspondent on Monday that the new committees would be announced soon but refused to give the specific day that the exercise would be carried out.
He said, “I can confirm that the new committees will be made public very soon but I can’t confirm the specific day.”
It will be recalled that three committees have so far been constituted, which are Rules and Business; Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions; and Public Accounts.


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