A cross section of political scientists in Nsukka, Enugu State, have advocated unicameral legislative system for Nigeria to reduce cost of running governments.
The political scientists, who are senior lecturers in the Department of Political Science, University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN), said this in separate press interviews in Nsukka on Monday.
They said adopting unicameral system would not only reduce cost of running government but quicken legislative processes in passing bills into laws.
Prof Jonah Onuoha, Head of Department (HOD) Political Science in UNN, said bicameral legislative system was capital intensive especially in a country like Nigeria where federal lawmakers received bogus salaries and allowances.
“It takes huge amount of money to maintain bicameral legislative system especially in a country like Nigeria where federal lawmakers received bogus salaries and allowances monthly.
“Bicameral legislative system is not only capital intensive but delays legislative processes of passing bills into laws since the bill will pass through the two chambers.
“In Nigeria, we have two chambers comprising the Senate (Upper Chamber) and the House of Representatives (Lower Chamber) but if the country adopts unicameral, it will choose either the Senate or House Of Representative,” he said.
The HOD, who is also the Director of American Studies in UNN, urged the country to adopt unicameral legislative system as money used to run two chambers could be used to carry out other developmental projects.
He said that if the country insisted on running bicameral legislative system, number of lawmakers, both in Senate and House of Representatives must be cut down to half as a way of reducing cost.
Contributing, Prof Aloysius Okolie, former Chairman of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) in UNN said that it was as result of bicameral legislative system in the country that every year the budgetary allocation to National Assembly had remained the highest.
“The country is spending much to pay salaries, allowances and maintaining of the two chambers.
“In Senate there are 109 senators and in the House of Representatives, there are 360 members, all of them are paid jumbo salaries and allowances,” he said.
Okolie also said that as part of measures to reduce cost of running government, the country should return to regional government as was obtainable in 1960s.
“If we have one federal parliament and one regional parliament in the six geopolitical zones, it will go a long way in cutting down cost of running government in the country,” Okolie said.
Bayelsa Assembly Committee on Environment To Curb Unlawful Sand Dredging Activities.
With various complaints and pettitions by communities impacted by the activities of illegal sand dredging and mining in the Bayelsa State, the state House of Assembly has organised a public hearing on a bill to regulate the operations of sand dredging to ensure that the environment is not adversely impacted on.
The bill tagged ” Regulation of Sand Dealing and Dredging Operations Bill 2019″ according to the House Committee on Environment is aimed at gathering inputs from experts, technocrats and the public in order to formulate a people-friendly bill that will serve the best interest of Bayelsans.
The House Committee Chairman on Environment and member representing Nembe Constituency one, Hon. Ebi Ben Ololo noted that the public hearing became necessary on the need to remediate the environment and tackle the challenges posed by sand dredging operations in the state.
” The importance of this bill cannot be overemphasized because it can save lives. You are aware a number of times so many communities and their representatives have sent pettitions to this House, specifically the Chairman House Committee on Environment as per the environmental degradation that has taken place as regards the illegal sand dealing and dredging activities in various communities all around the state”, he said.
“With those number of complains and pettitions we thought it wise to put up a bill to take care of those issues. Most important thing is that we all know that public hearing is a mechanism by which parliamentary Committees obtain information, deal with the information obtained and also exchange views with experts and the public so as to fine-tune whatever bill there is for the public hearing to come up with a top class bill that will be people- friendly and also save lives of the people in Bayelsa”, he added.
” Lots of suggestions, contributions, opinions and interactions have been made as regards this very important bill, like we have assured the representatives of the various groups that we will go back in our committee, look at those very important areas where they have suggested and also fine tune the bill. So that in no distant time we will come up with a very formidable bill that will stand the test of time. That the people will benefit from”, Ololo reassured.
He lauded participants for their insightful contributions and opinions during the public hearing, promising that the Committee would do justice to come up with a bill that would meet the expectations of Bayelsans.
In her contribution, House Chief Whip and member representing Yenagoa Constituency 2, Hon. Ebiowu Koku Obiyai lamented the deliberate connivance between communities and the sand dealers, warning that if nothing is done to regulate the activities of sand dredgers Bayelsa communities will be eroded away.
The House Whip also expressed concerns on the activities of companies carrying out dredging business near bridges and sued a delibrate efforts by all in order to save the bridges from collapse.
By Ariwera Ibibo-Howells, Yenagoa.
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