Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara, has been cautioned to be fair to all members in the appointment of chairmen of House standing committees.
Nigerian Pilot Sunday had earlier reported that many rep members had been scrambling to chair some of the ‘juicy committees’ in the House of Representatives as the National Assembly resumed plenary last Tuesday.
Investigation by our correspondent revealed that some of these lawmakers, especially newly elected members, go through their state governors and senators to plead to the speaker on their behalf, while returning members are daily pestering him with the request of heading such lucrative committees.
Currently, the lower chamber has 89 standing committees out of which 25 are considered as ‘juicy committees’.
They are: Army, Appropriations, Aviation, Banking and Currency, Custom and Excise, Defence, Education, Environment, Federal Capital Territory, Finance, Gas Resources, Health, House Services, Interior and Justice.
Others include: Land Transport, Marine Transport, Navy, Niger Delta Development Commission, NNDC, Niger-Delta, Petroleum Resources (Down Stream), Petroleum Resources (Up Stream), Power, Public Accounts and Works.
Reacting on the scramble for the so-called ‘juicy committees’, Hon. Iduma Enwo-Igariwey, said Dogara should rise above political party leanings and ensure fairness in the allocation of committee chairmen in a bid to sustain the current peace in the 8th House.
The lawmaker representing Afikpo North and South of Ebonyi state in the Green Chamber was of the view that there will be crisis if the appointment of committee chairmen was not fair.
“If there is unfairness in committee selection, then you can be sure that all may not be well.
“I draw strength from what the speaker said about being guided by fairness. I want to believe that if the speaker is fair in the distribution of various offices, I think the prediction of doomsayers may not come to pass.
“I have a lot of trust that he will be fair to all manner of people- People’s Democratic Party, PDP and All Progressives Congress, APC,” the lawmaker stated.
There were serious indications that the selection of lawmakers into the various committees will present a litmus test on how Dogara settles the several political and regional camps in the House.
Nigerian Pilot Sunday gathered that the self-styled APC ‘loyalist group’ in the House is insisting on a right to chair most of the lucrative committees.
On the economy, Enwo-Igariwey lamented that Buhari’s government lacks policy direction.
The lawmaker said the economy had been on a free fall and Nigerians had been on the receiving end.
According to him, “If you look at the economic sector, economists and other commentators will tell you that there has not been any form of policy direction by the administration and it is impacting heavily on virtually every aspect of our economic life.
“You see the economy is almost on a free fall; people will tell you that the economy is heading towards recession. We have not seen much in terms of policies, direction and bringing in any serious focus on the economic issues that bedevil us presently.
“Corruption is a structural thing; it is not something you fight by mere talks and if you want to confront it, it is not what you fight with a tainted weapon.”

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