Distinguished Senator Ahmed Ibrahim Lawan
The Senate President Federal Republic of Nigeria
And Chairman of the National Assembly
Three Arms Zone
3rd July 3, 2020
Open Letter to the Leadership of the National Assembly: Call Your Committees to Order
We have closely monitored the activities of some committees setup by the leadership of National Assembly. The purpose of these committees is of benefit to all of us, but when these functions affect the smooth running of government agencies; it should be a cause for concern.
Section 88 of the Nigerian constitution gives the Legislative arm powers to only investigate the activities of government agencies and in no way interfere with how these agencies are run. The recent conduct of some of these committees is not only irresponsible but an embarrassment to our democracy.
Nigerians are aware of the recent conflict between the National Assembly and the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC). It got so messy that at some point a top executive of the NDDC exposed names of National Assembly members who are beneficiaries of the alleged corruption carried out in the past. It is an open secret that majority of the National Assembly members are contractors in the NDDC and other government agencies/ministries. Even as this agency is currently being audited, the committee that oversees their activities has constantly bullied the staff and leadership of the agency.
Recently the Minister of State for Labor and Productivity, Barrister Festus Keyamo (SAN), was caught on camera, engaged in a heated argument with members of the House Committee on Employment and Productivity. The junior minister complained that the members of the committee were pressurizing him to concede the selection process of the workers who the ministry engaged in all the 774 Local Government Areas. The workers were engaged to coordinate the process of employing 774,000 Nigerians. This task is the sole task of the executive.
We call on the Leadership of the National Assembly to call its members to order, to avoid further embarrassment. The National Assembly lifted its budget from 150 Billion Naira to 190 Billion Naira; no arm of government interfered. The National Assembly uses many months to carry out functions that should normally take a couple of days; no arm of government interfered. Committees in the National Assembly engage numerous consultants to carry out tasks a single individual can handle; no arm of government interferes. Members should please focus on their legislative duties and seize to take-over the roles of the executive.
National Association of Unemployed Graduates