Senate President, Ahmad Lawal, recently released the list of Senate committee leadership. The announcement was made shortly before the senate sittings were adjourned for the annual two months break. This has been met with varied reactions. The list contains names of chairmen and deputy chairmen of 69 standing committees.
In line with this action, lots of senators are not satisfied with their appointments while the rest are either elated or indifferent about their appointments.
Looking at the way the appointments of the committee chairmen and deputies were issues out, the effort of the ruling party APC to distribute the positions fairly with the opposition party APC. This effort though, as thought by many, is not satisfactory and commendable. It was clear that the appointments were used as a compensation tool amongst the senators. There was also little consideration of equality amongst the six geopolitical zones in Nigeria with the southeast having only nine of its senators as committee chairmen.
With the adverse reaction that met the release of the senate committee list, one will begin to wonder why they are worried about the committee they get to head. Are there hidden benefits in these committees that Nigerians are not aware of? Does the committee they head affect their political ambitions? Are there more to these appointments than meets the eyes?
From this end, one would think that the goal of the mandate given to them by the voters would be to deliver quality leadership and service. It is okay to think that they would be more concerned with delivering desired positive change and sustainable development and growth in whatever sector they are mandated to monitor and oversee.
It is so disheartening that these people do not take public mandate seriously and they derive pleasure in enriching only their pocket as against national interest.
We hope this administration will prove us wrong and that they find a way to restore the hope of citizens in the Nigerian government.
MEET THE SENATE COMMITTEE CHAIRMEN.
The opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, got 20 chairmanship positions, while the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, got 49.
The Geopolitical zone distribution of chairmen of committees has North West with the highest of 16; South-West, 13; North-East, 11; South-South, 10; North-Central, 10 and South East,-9.
Interestingly, Lawan’s only contender to the position of Senate President, former Senate Leader, Senator Ali Ndume (APC, Borno South), was made the chairman, Defence; Senator Barau Jibrin, APC, Kano North, got Appropriations, while Senator Adamu Abdullahi (APC, Nasarawa West) retained his former position as Chairman, Senate Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development.
Similarly, Marine Transport has Danjuma Goje (APC, Gombe Central) as Chairman; former Deputy Senate Leader, Bala Ibn Na’Allah, APC, Kebbi Central, got the Chairman, Committee on Air Force; Senate Services went to a new senator, Musa Sani, APC, Niger East; while Banking, Insurance and other Financial Institutions went to a new senator, Uba Sani, APC, Kaduna Central, among others.
National Security and Intelligence is chaired by Senator Abdullahi Gobir, APC, East; Navy – George Sekibo, PDP, Rivers East; Police Affairs has Dauda Jika, APC, Bauchi Central as Chairman; Poverty Alleviation and Social Investment Programme, Lawal Gumau, APC, Bauchi South, and Power has Gabriel Suswam, PDP, Benue North East as Chairman.
Former Governor of Sokoto State, Aliyu Wamakko, APC, Sokoto North was made the Chairman, Defence; Senator Adamu Aliero, APC, Kebbi South got Works; Senator Sabo Mohammed, APC, Jigawa South West got Petroleum( Downstream); Senator Francis Alimikhena, APC, Edo North is Chairman, Customs and Excise; Senator Bassey Albert Akpan, PDP, Akwa Ibom North-East; Senator Solomon Adeola, APC, Lagos West, Chairman, Finance; Senator Oluremi Tinubu, APC, Lagos Central, Chairman, Committee on Communications and Senator Dino Melaye, PDP, Kogi West, Aviation; and Abubakar Kyari, APC, Bor no North is Chairman, Committee on FCT.
The immediate past President of the Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu is Chairman, Senate Committee on Environment; Senator Barau Jibrin Chairs Appropriations Committee; Senator Peter Nwaboshi, PDP, Delta North retained his Niger Delta Committee; Senator Matthew Urhoghide, PDP, Edo South retained the Committee on Public Accounts, Senator James Manager, PDP, Delta South is Chairman, Committee on Gas Resources while Senator Rochas Okorocha, APC, Imo West is chairman, Culture and Tourism Committee.
Others are Senator Ibikunle Amosun, APC, Ogun Central, Chairman, Committee on Capital Market; Corporation and Integration in Africa and NEPAD is chaired by Senator Chimaroke Nnamani, PDP, Enugu East; Senator Clifford Ordia, PDP, Edo Central chairs Committee on Local and Foreign Debt; Drugs and Narcotics, Hezekiah Dimka, APC, Plateau Central; Climate Change has Senator Mohammad Gusau, PDP, Zamfara Central as Chairman; Education (Basic and Secondary) has Ibrahim Geidam, APC, Yobe East as Chairman; Anti-corruption and Financial Crimes has Suleiman Kwari, APC, Kaduna as Chairman; Diaspora and NGOs, has Bashiru Ajibola, APC, Osun Central as Chairman.
Employment, Labour and Productivity has Ben Umajumogwu, APC, Imo North as Chairman; Establishment and Public Service has Senator Ibrahim Shekarau, APC, Kano Central as Chairman; Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions has Patrick Akinyelure, PDP, Ondo Central as Chairman; Federal Character and Intergovernmental Affairs – Danjuma Laah, PDP, Kaduna South; FERMA, Gershom Bassey, PDP, Cross River South; Foreign Affairs – Mohammed Bulkachuwa, APC, Bauchi North; Health (Secondary and Tertiary) – Ibrahim Oloriegbe, APC, Kwara Central; Housing – Sam Egwu, PDP, Ebonyi North; ICT and Cybercrime – Yakubu Useni, APC, Kogi Central; INEC – Kabiru Gaya, APC, Kano South; Industries – Adebayo Osinowo, APC, Lagos East; Information and National Communication – Danladi Sankara, APC, Jigawa North West; Interior -Kashim Shettima, APC, Borno Central and Interparliamentary Affairs – Godiya Akwashiki, APC, Nasarawa South.
Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters – Michael Bamidele Opeyemi, APC, Ekiti Central; Land Transport – Abdulfatai Buhari, APC, Oyo North; Legislative Compliance , Oriolowo Adeyemi, APC,Osun West; Local Content – Teslim Folarin, APC, Oyo Central; Media and Public Affairs – Adedayo Adeyeye, APC, Ekiti South; National Identity and National Population – Sa’idu Alkali, APC, Gombe North; National Planning – Olubunmi Adetunmbi, APC, Ekiti North.
Primary Health Care and Communicable Diseases – Chuwkuka Utazi, PDP, Enugu North; Privatisation – Theodore Orji, PDP, Abia Central Oriolowo Adeyemi; Public Procurement – Shuaibu Lau, PDP, Taraba North; Rules and business – Sadiq Umar, APC, Kwara North; Science and Technology – Uche Ekwunife, PDP, Anambra Central Robert Boroffice; Solid Minerals, Mine, Steel Development and Metallurgy – Tanko Almakura, APC, Nasarawa North; Sports and Social Development , Joseph Obinna Ogba, PDP, Ebonyi Central; State and Local Government – Lekan Mustapha, APC, Ogun East; Special duties Yusuf Yusuf, APC, Taraba Central; SDGs – Aisha Dahiru, APC, Adamawa Central; Tertiary Institution and TETFUND – Ahmed Baba Kaita, APC, Katsina North; Trade and Investment – Rose Oko,PDP, Cross River North; Water Resources – Bello Mandiya, APC, Katsina South; and Women Affairs and Youth Development – Betty Apiafi, PDP, Rivers South Aishatu Dahiru.
The Senate President says, “the membership is at the moment undergoing formations for our committees to be properly constituted by the time we are back from recess in September.
“With this, we are set to engage with the executive arm of government and we will start our legislative work as soon as we are back.”
MEET THE SENATE COMMITTEE DEPUTIES
1.Agriculture – Abdullahi Adamu, Bima Enagi.
2. Airforce – Bala Ibn Na’Allah, Michael Nnachi.
3. Anti-corruption and Financial Crimes – Suleiman Kwari, Aliyu Wamakko.
4. Appropriation – Barau Jibrin, Stella Oduah.
5. Army – Ali Ndume, Abba Moro.
6. Aviation – Dino Melaye, Bala Na’Allah.
7. Banking, Insurance and other Financial Institutions – Uba Sani, Orji Uzor Kalu.
8. Capital Market – Ibikunle Amosun, Binos Yero
9. Communications – Oluremi Tinubu, Ibrahim Bomai.
10. Corporation and Integration in Africa and NEPAD – Chimaroke Nnamani, Yusuf Yusuf.
11. Culture and Tourism – Rochas Okorocha, Ignatius Longjohn.
12. Customs, Excise, and Tariffs – Francis Alimekhena, Francis Fardausi.
13. Defense – Aliyu Wamakko, Istifanus Gyang.
14. Diaspora and NGOs – Bashiru Ajibola, Ibrahim Oloriegbe.
15. Downstream Petroleum Sector – Sabo Mohammed, Philip Aduda.
16.Drugs and Narcotics – Hezekiah Dimka, Chimaroke Nnamani.
17. Climate Change – Mohammad Gusau, Olubunmi Adetunmbi.
18. Education (Basic and Secondary) – Ibrahim Geidam, Akon Eyakenyi
19. Employment, Labour and Productivity – Ben Umajumogwu, Kabiru Barkiya.
20. Environment – Ike Ekweremadu, Ibrahim Hadejia.
21. Establishment and Public Service – Ibrahim Shekarau, Barinadas Mpigi.
22. Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions – Patrick Akinyelure, Ahmed Babba-Kaita.
23. FCT – Abubakar Kyari, Tolu Odebiyi.
24.Federal Character and Intergovernmental Affairs – Danjuma Laah, Yahaya Gumau. 25. FERMA – Gershom Bassey, Kabir Barkiya.
26. Finance – Adeola Olamilekan, Isa Jibrin.
27. Foreign Affairs – Mohammed Bulkachuwa, Ignatius Longjohn.
28. Gas Resources – James Manager, Biobaraku Wangagra.
29. Health (Secondary and Tertiary) – Ibrahim Oloriegbe, Betty Apiafi.
30. Housing – Sam Egwu, Lola Ashiru.
31. ICT and Cybercrime – Yakubu Useni, Abdulfatai Buhari.
32. INEC – Kabiru Gaya, Sahabi Ya’u.
33. Industries – Adebayo Osinowo.
34. Information and National Communication – Danladi Sankara, Aishatu Ahmed.
35. Interior -Kashim Shettima, Diri Douye.
36. Interparliamentary Affairs – Godiya Akwashiki, Abba Moro.
37. Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters – Michael Bamidele, Emmanuel Oker-Jev.
38. Land Transport – Abdulfatai Buhari, Nicholas Tofowomo.
39. Legislative Compliance – Oriolowo Adeyemi, Sabi Abdullahi.
40. Local Content – Teslim Folarin, Sabi Abdullahi.
41. Local and Foreign Debts – Clifford Ordia, Bima Enagi.
42. Marine Transport – Danjuma Goje, Adebayo Osinowo.
43. Media and Public Affairs – Adedayo Adeyeye, Akwashiki Godiya.
44. National Identity and National Population – Sa’idu Alkali, Suleiman Kwari.
45. National Planning – Olubunmi Adetunmbi, Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo.
46. National Security and Intelligence – Abdullahi Gobir, Chukwuka Utazi.
47. Navy – George Sekibo, Elisha Abbo.
48. Niger Delta – Peter Nwabaoshi, Bulus Amos.
49. Petroleum Upstream – Albert Akpan, Ifeanyi Ubah.
50. Police affairs – Dauda Jika, Abubakar Tambuwal.
51. Poverty Alleviation and Social Investment Program – Lawal Gumau, Michael Nnachi.
52. Power -Gabriel Suswam, Enyinnaya Abaribe.
53. Primary Health Care and Communicable Diseases – Chuwkuka Utazi, Sadiq Umar. 54. Privatization – Theodore Orji, Oriolowo Adeyemi.
55. Public Accounts – Mathew Urghohide, Ibrahim Hassan.
56. Public Procurement – Shuaibu Lau, Lola Ashiru.
57. Rules and business – Sadiq Umar, Yahaya Abdullahi.
58. Science and Technology – Uche Ekwunife, Robert Boroffice.
59. Senate Services – Sani Musa, Lawal Hassan.
60. Solid Minerals, Mine, Steel Development and Metallurgy – Tanko Almakura, Oriolowo Adeyeye.
61. Sports and Social Development – Joseph Garba
62. State and Local Government – Lekan Mustapha, Francis Onyewuchi.
63. Special duties – Yusuf Yusuf, Biobaraku Wangagra.
64. SDGs – Aisha Dahiru, Lekan Mustapha
65. Tertiary Institution and TETFUND – Ahmed Baba Kaita, Sandy Onor.
66. Trade and Investment – Rose Oko Francis Fadahunsi.
67. Water Resources – Bello Mandiya, Christopher Ekpeyong.
68. Women Affairs and Youth Development – Betty Apiafi, Aishatu Dahiru.
69. Works – Adamu Aliero, Emmanuel Bwacha.
From the above breakdown of the committee chairmen and their deputies, one can see clearly that this does not portray the nations true definition of federal character as it acclaims.
Let us hope that these committees do not become just ceremonial as in the past when we never get to hear of any of their activities or reforms.