BARRING ANY unforeseen circumstances, all the standing committees of the Senate will be reshuffled in August this year to accommodate more lawmakers for chairmanship positions and membership of committees considered to be juicy. Senate President Bukola Saraki, who dropped the hint yesterday while responding to an observation made by his deputy, Ike Ekweremadu, during plenary, said the “clean up” exercise would go a long way in assisting the upper chamber to clean up its committee system. Presently, the Senate has a total of 68 standing committees. According to Saraki, the planned reshuffling of the committees will be done before the Senate proceeds on its end of session holiday in August. The Deputy President had observed that the structure of committees of the Senate at the moment had become very unhealthy and needed to be reorganised. Ekweremadu drew his observation from the report being presented by the Senate Committee on Tertiary Education, during which he noted that of the 22 members of the committee, only 12 signed the report. While declaring that it was unusual and cumbersome for the Senate to continue to tolerate the development, the deputy senate president said “we must ensure that Senators are placed in the number of committees they can handle.” Responding, Saraki said: “I agree with you. We are going to clean it up before we go on recess. We have discussed this at the leadership level and we are going to do something about it to ensure that the right thing is done.” It was learnt that the Senate leadership had become uncomfortable with a development where many Senators forced themselves into membership of committees they were not originally posted to. A Senate source disclosed that contrary to the Senate Standing Rule which pegged the maximum membership of committees at 11, many committees particularly those considered as ‘juicy’ now have as many as 22 to 25 members. The last time the Senate reshuffled its committees was in 2016 when many Senators who hitherto not accommodated in ‘juicy’ committees were appointed as chairmen. The Senate had in January 2017, slightly adjusted the composition of the standing committees during when it created three new committees and reshuffled the chairmanship of two others. The development then brought the number of committees in the Senate to 68.

READ ALSO  NJC Suspends Three Judges

Loading...
loading...
SHARE