There were three most important issues in the legislative agenda when the 9th Assembly was inaugurated on 11 June 2019.
The agenda was prioritised based on the yearnings of Nigerians. Among some of the critical aspects of the 9th Senate’s legislative agenda was the much talked about Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), 2010 Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill and the Amendment of the 1999 Constitution.
While unveiling the agenda, the President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan specifically, disclosed that they are working for a National Assembly that works for the people.”
During the celebration of their two years anniversary, Lawan said the Senate fared well and had passed the Deep Offshore and Inland Basin Production Sharing Contract (PSC) Amendment Bill among 58 others out of 742 bills introduced at that time.
On the first day of July, 2021, the PIB was passed but not without drama and a call for a division.
If a Senator calls for division, the Clerk will call the members by their names to get their position on a matter in the event where compromise fails.
Also, the Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill has been passed, providing for direct primary elections for political parties and also allowing the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct elections electronically and transmitting the results electronically.
This laid to rest the mode of primaries to be adopted by the various political parties for the emergence of their candidates in the 2023 general election.
A total of 21 clauses as presented by the leader of the Senate Committee on Harmonization , Senator Yahaya Abdullahi ( APC Kebbi North) , were harmonized by either adopting the one earlier adopted by the Senate or House of Representatives.
Out of the 21 clauses, 52 and 87 are the most controversial being the ones dealing with conduct of elections, transmission of results and mode of Primaries for political parties.
While the Senate in July when the Bill was passed, made electronic transmission of election results by INEC to be subjected to approval of Nigerian Communications Commission ( NCC) as regards coverage and effectiveness of National Network, they finally adopted provision that the mode of Conduct of elections and transmission of results are to be decided by INEC.”
For clause 87 which deals with mode of primary elections for political parties , the amended version of the Senate which compelled all political parties to use direct primaries, was adopted.
The only remaining serious legislative work by the 9th Assembly’s legislative agenda is the Amendment of the 1999 Constitution which is critical to so many agitations in the country. Nigerians await to see how the National Assembly will conclude the fifth alteration of the 1999 Constitution in which some of them are asking for State creation, resource control, community policing and other important issues.