Hon. Mulikat Akande-Adeola has been officially announced as the leader of the seventh session of the House of Representatives. It marked the end of the lower chamber’s resistance to the ruling PDP that had desired to impose her, first, as the speaker and later as House leader.
Her emergence was announced by the speaker, Hon Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, who said that she was unanimously endorsed by the PDP caucus which met shortly before the plenary session began.
Presenting her to the House, he said: “As announced yesterday, the PDP caucus meeting held and, unanimously, the caucus is hereby presenting to the House, Hon Mulikat Akande-Adeola, as the House leader”.
The speaker thereafter congratulated her and welcomed her to “join the leadership board of the House”.
Also, during the Thursday sitting, Tambuwal announced the names of committee chairmen, while adding that six new committees were added to the already existing 83. He called for closing of ranks and understanding among all members.
The new committees are those of the Federal Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA), Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), Lake Chad, ICT, Local Content and Reform of Government Institutions.
Tambuwal explained that the idea behind setting up additional committees was to serve as a driver for the actualisation of the constitutional brief of any parliament and for the implementation of the legislative agenda, stressing that no committee is bigger than the other.
Explaining the procedure that led to selection of lawmakers to head committees, the speaker said the leadership put the roles played by bipartisanship in its emergence into consideration, hence the need for members to unite and shun “regressive conventionality”.
Addressing the new chairmen, he pleaded for maturity and courage in achieving the goals of the legislative agenda in the areas of accountability and transparency.
A good number of returned members retained their chairmanship positions: They include Farouk Lawan, Education; Patrick Ikhariale, Power; Beni Lar, Human Rights; Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, Maritime; Nicholas Mutu, NDDC; Abiodun Akinlade, Science and Technology; Khadijat Bukar Ibrahim, Privatisation; Eziuche Ubani, Climate Change ; and Yakubu Dogara, House Services.
Other members had their roles switched: John Enoh who was chairman of the Finance committee is now in charge of Appropriation while Ndudi Elumelu, former Power committee chairman was returned as chairman of Health, while the chairman of Finance committee went to Abdumumuni Jibrin from Kano State.
Another re-elected member who was moved to another committee is former spokesman of the House, Hon Eseme Eyiboh. He is now chairman of Civil Society and Donor Agencies committee, while Jerry Manwe is chairman of Electoral Matters committee.
Former chairman of Banking and Currency, Ogbuefi Ozomgbachi, is now chairman, Works; Aminu Shagari, Judiciary; Nnenna Ukeje (formerly of Donor Agencies), Foreign Affairs. Umar Bature was moved from Foreign Affairs to committee on Interior while Warman Ogoriba oversees the committee on Niger Delta Ministry.
Opeyemi Bamidele, Mansur Owolabi and Razaq Adewusi - all of opposition parties - were given Legislative Budget and Research, Anti Corruption, and State and Local Governments committees respectively. Muraina Ajibola, who was also considered for the position of the speaker when it was zoned to the South-West by the ruling PDP, was compensated with the position of chairman of Committee on Petroleum, Upstream.
Meanwhile, the Senate yesterday finally constituted 56 standing committees with the creation of two additional committees: Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and Special Duties after over three months into 7th session. The committees were previously 54.
Out of the 56, the opposition parties took 11: ACN three; CPC one; ANPP four; APGA one, and Labour Party two.
Senate president David Mark, who announced names of the chairmen, said the exercise would strengthen its oversight function and directed them to be steadfast in the performance of their legislative duties.
The Senate president announced himself as chairman of the selection committee and his deputy, Ike Ekweremadu, as vice-chairman. The selection committee includes members of the Senate leadership in the opposition.
Senator Suleiman Adokwe (PDP, Nasarawa) emerged chairman, Senate services committee responsible for procurement and management of Senate infrastructure and other welfare services; Senator Ita Enang (PDP, Akwa Ibom) is chairman, Senate Rules and Business Committee. He handled a similar committee in the House of Representatives.
Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe (PDP, Abia) is the new Senate spokesman as chairman of the Media, Information and Public Affairs committee. He is taking over from former spokesman Ayogu Eze (PDP, Enugu State) who was named chairman of the Senate Committee on Works.
Senator Smart Adeyemi (PDP, Kogi) was named chairman of the Senate Committee on Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Senator Olusola Saraki (PDP, Kwara State), ex-governor of Kwara State, is chairman, Environment and Ecology committee. Senator Danjuma Goje (PDP, Gombe State), former Gombe State governor, was made vice-chairman of the Petroleum (Downstream) committee. Senator Magnus Ngei Abe (Rivers State), a first-time senator, is the chairman of the Petroleum Committee (Downstream).
Others are Senator Nkechi Nworgu (PDP, Abia State) , chairman, Senate Committee on Gas; she chaired the Banking committee in the last session. Andy Uba (PDP, Anambra State) is chairman, Senate Committee on Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC); Senator Philip Aduda (PDP, FCT) is chairman, Committee on Power, while Senator Emmanuel Paulker (PDP, Bayelsa) was named chairman, Petroleum Committee (Upstream).
Also, Senator James Manager (PDP, Delta State) emerged as chairman, Committee on Niger Delta; George Thompson Sekibo (PDP, Rivers State), chairman, Committee on Defence (Army);, and Senator Gilbert Nnaji (PDP, Enugu State), chairman, Committee on Communications.
Uche Chukwumerije (PDP, Abia) will continue to chair the Committee on Education while Gyang Daylop Dantong is the new chairman, Committee on Health. Senator Ahmed Maccido (PDP, Sokoto State) is the new chairman, Appropriation Committee; he was the vice-chairman in the last session. Ayo Ademola Adeseun (ACN, Oyo) is the new chairman, Senate Committee on Banking, Insurance and Other Financial Institutions. He headed the Appropriation committee in the House of Representatives in the last session.
Other chairmen are: Aviation, Hope Uzodinma; Capital Markets, Abdu Yando; Trade and Investment, Odion Ugbesia; Communication, Gilbert Nnaji; Cooperation and Integration in Africa and NEPAD, Simeon Ajibola; Culture and Tourism, Hassan Barata; Drugs, Narcotics and Financial Crimes, Sen. Victor Lar; Employment, Labour and Productivity, Sen. Wilson Ake; Federal Character and Inter-governmental Affairs, Dahiru Kuta; Gas, Sen. Nkechi Nworgu; Housing, Sen. Bukkar Abba Ibrahim; Industries, Sen. Esther Nenadi Usman; Interior, Sen. Atiku Bagudu; Inter-parliamentary Affairs, Sen. Abdulaziz Usman; Land Transport, Sahabi Alhaji Ya’u;, Local and Foreign Debt, Ehigie Uzamere; Marine Transport, Sen. Zainab Kure; National Identity and National Population, Maina Ma’aji Lawan; and Navy, Sen. Chris Anyanwu.