In whose interest are the National Assembly making those laws?

by Tosin Adesina

The recent happenings at the National Assembly in Abuja, Nigeria, has called to question the role that Arm of Government is playing and whose interest is being protected by its actions.

The National Assembly is the law making arm of the government and is made up of the Senate and the Federal House of Representatives; with members voted into the two chambers from the thirty-six states of the federation and the FCT.

The National Assembly is expected to represent the interest of the electorates by making laws that will accelerate development and progress in every nook and cranny of Nigeria.

The Minister of Power, Works and Housing Babatunde Raji Fashola on June 21, 2017, had accused the National Assembly of reducing the budget for the reconstruction of Lagos-Ibadan expressway from thirty-one billion to ten billion Naira, while approving the 2017 Appropriation bill.

The National Assembly through its spokesman, Sabi Abdullahi justified its actions by saying lawmakers “voted N40 billion for the expressway, which is the busiest in the country, in 2016, only for the administration to release N26 billion and divert the rest” – an allegation rejected by the Honourable minister.

The resultant effect of the reduction by the National Assembly action was the withdrawal of contractors from Lagos-Ibadan expressway construction site due to non-payment of debt running into Billions of Naira.

As if that was not enough the National Assembly during its ongoing review of the 1999 constitution rejected devolution of power to states from the central.

The devolution would have provided a soft landing for the proponents of restructuring and accelerate development at the states but the National Assembly wasn’t interested in that. They will rather grant legislative immunity to their members so that they can evade justice while in office as legislators.

Also, the decision of the National Assembly to approve 35% affirmative action for women after 18 years of democracy while rejecting their freedom to choose their state of origin for the purposes of election shows the premium placed on women in Nigeria by our National Assembly and the earlier we address the anti-people stand of the National Assembly on critical issues that affect Nigerians such as the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway the better for us all.

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