Lawmakers in the House of Representatives are engaged in a scramble for coveted positions within the committees as they anticipate the unveiling of the House committees on July 27. Speaker Tajudeen Abbas will announce the committees and their chairpersons, who will be responsible for steering the legislative agenda of the 10th Assembly.
Intense lobbying is taking place among lawmakers to secure leadership roles in what they consider “juicy committees.” Some highly sought-after committees include Appropriation, Army, Defence, Navy, FCT, Finance, Public, Air Force, Police Affairs, and Niger Delta Development Commission.
On June 15, shortly after he emerged as speaker, Mr Abbas constituted seven special committees. These committees include the Internal Security Committee, Selection Committee, Media Committee, Legislative Agenda, Rules and Business, Welfare and Ethics, and Privileges Committee. However, some lawmakers appointed to these special committees are now seeking more desirable committee positions.
Khadijat Buka-Abba, the head of the ad hoc committee on Media and Publicity, expressed her reluctance to continue as the chairperson once the speaker unveiled the standing committees. During an interactive session with the House of Reps press corps on July 12, she referenced her previous experience chairing the same committee in 2019.
According to an unnamed source, the official announcement of the committees and their chairpersons will take place on July 27, as planned by the speaker.
In a related development, lawmakers prepare to receive their official cars, enabling them to carry out their legislative work and oversight responsibilities. The official vehicles’ distribution will occur once the standing committees are constituted. These cars will be utilized for committee work and oversight activities.
A lawmaker, who preferred to remain anonymous, clarified that members are responsible for the cost of these cars, and at the end of their term, they either purchase them through auction or return them. The lawmaker emphasized that contrary to assumptions, there are instances where members reject certain items listed on the invoice if they deem them unnecessary.
Currently, the Nigerian Senate has 57 standing committees, while the House of Representatives has 89.