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Group against deferment of National Assembly sitting

20 July 2015, 13:49Augustine Osayande

Abuja - Friends of the Gap Advocacy Initiative (FGAI), a legislative advocacy, monitoring and lobby group, has raised concern at the postponement of the resumption of the National Assembly.

It argued the postponement was without tangible explanation.

The resumption, initially scheduled for Tuesday, has been deferred by a week.

FGAI Executive Director, George Oji, said this was the third time that the 8th National Assembly would be embarking on a recess since its inauguration on June 9.

“We recall that shortly after its proclamation on June 9, the lawmakers sat only for three days and embarked on its first break on June 11, which lasted till June 23. The rumoured reason for the break was to enable the management of the Assembly sort out the issue of accommodation and other logistics for the legislators,” he said.

“Three days after the resumption of the lawmakers on June 23, our legislators again on June 25, took another three week break, that would have seen them resuming work on July 21, before this most recent extension,” Oji added.

He said that the lawmakers had only put in six days of work in some two months.

Also Read: Dogara assures of NASS resolution

“For us in FGAI, in real terms, the lawmakers have not achieved anything in terms of meaningful legislative work since their inauguration about two months ago.”

Oji said the lawmakers would eventually reconvene on July 28, they would most probably spent three legislative days before embarking on their annual six weeks long vacation, which would last until the end of September.

“No doubt, this is not the change Nigerians voted for. Nigerians voted for change; change from bad to good governance, with the lawmakers as key agents of the change initiative. Nigerians voted the lawmakers for effective, efficient and hands-on legislative work,” he said.

“Unfortunately, we dare regret that the legislators have disappointed the electorates thus far. No doubt, Government is expending huge Nigeria tax payers' resources to sustain the lawmakers in office.  The legislators are paid to work on full, and not part time basis.  What Nigerians expect from the lawmakers is nothing short of value for money.”

It is believed the postponement of the sitting follows the crisis rocking the National Assembly, especially the House of Representatives, over the choice of legislators that will secure the principal positions of the Nigerian legislative arm. 

- CAJ News


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