With 222 bills in three years… Senators, Reps gulp N159bn

NASS

The 109 senators and 360 members of the House of Representatives have passed a total of 222 bills in the last three years after pocketing N159.1 billion as monthly salary and allowances, Daily Trust reports.

The 222 bills passed by the lawmakers were out of a total of 2,153 bills introduced in both chambers within the three-year period.

Over 20 of the bills passed by the two chambers were signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari.

A total of 680 bills were introduced on the floor of the Senate, while 1,473 bills were presented in the House.

Out of the amount the lawmakers received within the period, senators got N52.9bn, while reps took N106.2bn.

The N159.1bn the lawmakers received as salary and allowances excludes the salary, allowances and other expenditures of the National Assembly bureaucracy.

So far in the life of the current National Assembly, the federal legislature has received at least N240bn budget. Their 2016 and 2017 budgets were N115bn and N125b respectively.

That excludes the part of the 2015 budget that the lawmakers met at the time and the 2018 National Assembly budget of N139bn, which is yet to be signed into law.

Daily Trust could not immediately ascertain the actual amount that the lawmakers spent from the 2015 budget as they came in on June 9, almost midway into the year with the budget passed by the previous assembly still in existence.

The 469 members of the 8th National Assembly were inaugurated on June 9, 2015, thus marking three years in office last Saturday.

Daily Trust reports that each senator got about N486 million within the 36-month period from the monthly N13.5m individual senators take as salary and other allowances.

When multiplied by the 36 months senators spent so far in the National Assembly, the amount totals N52.974bn.

As for members of the House of Representatives, Daily Trust findings showed that in the past three years, each of them may have received a total of N295.2m as salary and other allowances amounting to N106.272bn.

Each rep gets N7.6 million as running/overhead cost and an additional N660,000 as salary monthly, which amounts to N8.26m monthly.

However, our correspondents report that a few of the lawmakers replaced others, hence they could not have collected the whole sum.

The number of bills passed also showed that the lawmakers passed an average of 74 bills each year.

In terms of days, the lawmakers have spent 1,095 days so far, and they now have 365 days to go.

Daily Trust had in August last year exclusively reported that over 150 reps failed to sponsor bills after gulping N32bn within 26 months.

Senate Bills

A breakdown of bills passed by the Senate showed that out of the 680 introduced, 190 were passed, 180 at committee stage, 250 awaiting second reading, 15 were Executive bills, four were withdrawn, while 7 were negatived.

There are also 125 bills awaiting first reading at the Senate.

The breakdown also showed that 160 bills came for concurrence from the House out of which 92 were passed, while the rest are awaiting concurrence.

The Senate also received a total of 187 motions and 513 petitions within the period with 91 of the petitions adopted.

House Bills

Giving the breakdown of the bills passed by the House in three years, House spokesman, Abdulrazak Namdas (APC, Adamawa), said out of the 1,473 bills introduced in the House, 90 were on constitution amendment.

He said a total of 284 bills are still pending at various committees, while 519 bills are currently awaiting second reading.

He said 112 bills are awaiting considerations with 22 negatived bills 22 and 23 withdrawn bills.

He said the House received about 2,000 motions in the last three years.

“No Assembly has ever achieved this. Within the three years, we were able to work with the Executive and got the country out of recession.

“The ‘Not Too Young to Run Bill’ also got assented to so that young people can join the space and run for office. The North East Development Commission (NEDC) bill was also signed into law.

“We’ve passed the constitution amendment bill and sent to the president for assent. This administration has tried so much in signing bills. The good thing about this president is that if he declines to sign any bill, he gives reasons,” Namdas said.

A session-by-session breakdown of the bills passed for both chambers indicated that in the first session, which was June 9, 2015 to June 9, 2016, the Senate passed 35 bills, while House passed 43, with a total of 78.

In the second session (June 9, 2016 – June 9, 2017), the Senate passed 51 bills, while that of the House was 47, totaling 98.

The record showed that Senate passed 22 bills this year, while House passed 14, with 36 as the total.

Bills signed into law

Out of the 222 bills passed by the National Assembly in three years, some of those signed into law included the Appropriation Bill 2016; Appropriation Bill 2017 (signed on his behalf by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo); Prevention of Crime Amendment Act,‎ 2016; the National Crop Varieties and Livestock Breeds (Registration) Amendment Act‎, 2016.

There were also the North East Development Commission (NEDC) Act; Telecommunications and Postal Offences Amendment Act,‎ 2016; the National Agricultural Land Development Authority Amendment Act‎, 2016; the Produce Enforcement of Export Standards Amendment Act‎, 2016.

Others are the Agricultural and Rural Management ‎Training Institute Amendment Act‎, 2016; Bee Import Control and Management Amendment Act‎, 2016; Water Resources Amendment Act‎, 2016‎; the Federal College of Dental Technology and Therapy (Establishment) Bill, 2017

The president also signed National Intelligence Agency Pensions (Establishment) Bill, 2017; The Legislative Houses (Power and Privileges), Act, 2018; the National Institute of Legislative Studies (Amendment) Act, 2018; the National Senior Citizens Centre Act, 2018; Avoidance of Double Taxation Agreement between the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Kingdom of Spain (Domestication and Enforcement ) Bill 2018.

The bills signed into law also included the recent Not Too Young to Run Act; Rail Loan (International Bank) (Repeal) Act, 2018; Chartered Institute of Project Managers of Nigeria (Establishment) Bill 2018 ;Chartered Institute of Local Government and Public Administration Act, 2018; Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Service (Establishment) Act, 2018.

The latest bills the president signed into law included some of the Constitution Amendment (Fourth Alteration) bills.  (Daily Trust)

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