The member representing Ovia Federal Constituency, Denis Idahosa (APC-Edo), on Sunday, called for the scrapping of the senate and the introduction of a unicameral legislature to reduce costs.
Mr Idahosa said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja.
He said the senate, one of the two chambers of the National Assembly, should give way if the country is serious about cutting the cost of governance.
He said: ‘’I strongly believe that the senate should be scrapped, not because I’m a House of Representatives member, but because most of the legislative jobs are done by the lower house, which is the House of Representatives.
“And then to reduce the spending. We have limited resources now as a nation. So having these two houses, I don’t think it’s a smart thing.
“If we are going to cut our expenses or spending, I think one of the houses should be scrapped, which I suggest should be senate.
“This is because we only sit three times in a week. We are being paid salaries to work for Nigerians; we can extend the three days to five days, while we have one house taking care of both jobs.
“So I think to reduce the unnecessary spending that we are actually involved in, the best thing to do is to reduce it to one for more accountability.”
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On the performance of the 9th Assembly, Mr Idahosa, who is the chairman of the House Committee on Legislative Compliance, said the assembly had done remarkably well.
“I’m pleased with what I have experienced so far, though this is my first term in the house,’’ he said.
He noted that the first major milestone achieved by the 9th Assembly was the passing into law of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB).
“That was a significant one because the oil and gas industry was becoming a mess, and that is our major source of revenue as a country.
“The PIB, I believe will be able to address some of the loopholes ravaging our source of revenue as a country,” he said.
He said the second significant milestone achievement by the assembly was the Electoral Act amendment.
Mr Idahosa expressed hope that it would address the irregularities in the electoral process of the country.
“We have done other bills that are also significant in this country and I give kudos to the leadership of the house for providing leadership that counts,” he added.
In May, the presidential candidate of the African Action Congress (AAC), Omoyele Sowore, in a post on Twitter, said he would abolish the Senate and divert the public resources saved from there to the education sector of the country.
Last year, Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State, advocated the scrapping of the Senate with each zone having an equal number of four representatives at the National Assembly.
Mr Akeredolu made the call at the Akure Centre of the Southwest Zonal Public Hearing, organised by the House of Representatives Committee on Constitution Review.
He said the country should consider dropping the current bicameral structure of the National Assembly and adopting a
“The membership of the Assembly should be part-time. No member should earn allowances not known to the Revenue Mobilisation and Allocation Committee, and the people they claim to serve.
“Legislators should earn under a uniform salary structure. Allowance peculiarities must not be about obscenity. The Senate should be scrapped.
“The House of Representatives too should not be unwieldy. A maximum of four representatives should come from each zone,” he said.
Senate President warns
However, the President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, had warned those clamouring for the scrapping of the Senate that the country risks falling into anarchy if it happens.
He said rather than clamour for the scrapping of the upper chamber, those not comfortable with the senators in the current Ninth Senate should vote them out in 2023.
“If you don’t like the set of members in the Ninth National Assembly, change all of us in 2023. Get better people and let’s support the system to function,” Mr Lawan said.
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