The crisis in the House of Representatives escalated today as the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, Monday, inaugurated 96 special and standing committees of the Nigerian lower legislative body.
The crisis became evident as the inauguration ceremony was boycotted by Key members of the House of Representatives. The Majority Leader Femi Gbajabiamila led his loyalists in the ruling All Progressives Congress to boycott the ceremony.
APC legislators loyal to the Bola Tinubu axis have complained that the nature of the composition of the committees favored the opposition of Peoples Democratic Party and such was capable of the “change mantra” that President Muhammadu Buhari espouses.
Yakubu Dogara in his statements defended the number of the committees which Nigerians criticized as bloated saying;
“Some commentators have decried the large number of Committees as being unwieldy and non-cost effective,”
“This criticism, even though, apparently well intentioned, misses the point. Experience gained from the operation of Committees since 1999, shows that some ministries’ functions and mandates are very wide indeed and cannot be effectively supervised and overseen by a single Committee.
“For instance, the House split the Committee on Education into two, namely: Basic Education and Services and Tertiary Education and Services. The old Committee on Education had a mandate to oversight the budget and policy issues of the following institutions:
“Unity Schools, 22 No. Federal Colleges of Education, 36 No. Federal Universities and 24 No. Federal Polytechnics.”
“There is no way a single Committee can adequately oversight all these agencies with House members also attending to other issues in Plenary Sessions, like lawmaking and other representational responsibilities,”
APC got 48 committees of the 96 committees, PDP got 46, Social Democratic Party and All Progressives Grand Alliance also got one committee chairmanship seat each.