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Market Digest Nigeria

Politics

Okorocha Calls For Scrapping House Of Assembly, Reduce Senators To 36

Rochas Okorocha, the senator representing Senator representing Imo West, has called for a drastic reduction the number of legislative representatives from states of the federation in the National Assembly as part of efforts to reduce cost.

Okorocha, who is also the immediate past governor of Imo State, who made the call while contributing to debate on the Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper (MTEF/FSP) at plenary, said stated can make do with one senator and three House of Representatives members each. The immediate past governor of Imo State stated this on Thursday, October 3, 2019 while addressing members of the Senate press corp shortly after he raised in the issue at the floor of the red chamber. Okorocha lamented that the nation can no longer generate adequate to fund its development, hence the need to reform the country in unusual terms.

He said he would sponsor a bill to that effect when there is a favourable mood to help it sail through in the Senate. Okorocha said: “I do not know what we are doing differently today in the ninth senate from what you did in the eighth Senate and the seventh Senate and other previous Senates. “If what we are doing today is similar to what have been doing in the past then be rest assured that the product will be the same. “Mr Senate President, change your ways, change your style, let’s change our style and if we change our style, we get a new result. How do we change our style?

“We are the pivot upon which the wheel of government must rotate. Sometimes we blame the executive and judiciary but it is what we give to the executive they will do. They are waiting for us. “The failure of the budget or the success of the budget depends on this. “What do we have differently? The problem that we have now is money but we do not have money for our needs and to support the needs of Nigeria which is to create jobs and put food on the table. “This arises from the fact that we depend on one source of income called oil, this same oil constitute over 60 per cent of our revenue apart from Customs and 90 per cent of our foreign reserve.

“This same oil is static and fast reducing while the population of Nigeria is increasing in geometrical progression. So oil cannot meet it. “A people like us should look inward so, let us cut our coats according to our materials available not according  to our size. “What we need is number one Chief Whip you have no whip in your hands and you cannot whip “Let me give you a typical example on how to run this year’s budget to achieve our target equal.

“Here we have three Senators per state. In that National Assembly over there (House of Reps) there are over 360 eligible human beings in this small building. “This country must begin to make sacrifices and cut down on the cost of governance we must start it, painful as it may be. “Now our Constitution provides that we have three Senators per state. What will the three Senators per state be doing that one Senator per state cannot do? “What are we doing in the House of Representatives with over 360 members and each of these persons create demands on the system. We must cut down on the cost of governance. “What we need to have under the present ugly situation which our Constitution forced on us is to have one Senator per state and three members of the House of Representatives per state. “And secondly the budget should be skewed to fund the productive sector of the economy. Government is business,” he said

In his response, the President of the Senate l, Ahmad Lawan said: “Your contribution could be translated into a bill if you want a state to have only a senator, it requires a constitutional amendment. “So, you have the opportunity to present a bill for the amendment of the relevant sections of the Constitution which provides for three Senators per state. “I think my personal opinion is that the  National Assembly and the legislators are tasked to think deep and wide on how we can increase revenue no matter how big or small and prudently and efficiently applied. “That requires total, comprehensive and  holistic oversight of the executive arm of government. This we must do and we must not fail in that,” he said.

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