The House of Representatives has drawn the battle lines with Senate over stalled Bills sent for concurrence.
The House, yesterday, received two bills from the Senate for concurrence but they were stepped down. One of them is a Bill for an Act to Establish Chartered Institute of Directors of Nigeria to Provide Professional Training to Directors and Promote Effective Governance, Public Accountability and Professional Efficiency and the other a Bill for an Act to provide for the Establishment of Federal University of Agriculture and Technology, at Aboh, Delta.
Miffed by the attitude of the Senate towards Bills sent to it by the House of Representative, members became agitated, claiming that the Bills should be stepped down.
About 69 Bills passed by the House were awaiting concurrence by the Senate.
Osai Osai (PDP-Delta) in his opinion said that the two Bills should be given concurrence, adding that if there was any grey areas to be sorted with the Senate, the principal officers should handle such.
According to him, stopping Senate’s Bill will amount to building a clash that is not needed in a democracy and trying to stop enactment of law that is within the powers of the lawmakers will not augur well.
Reacting to the development, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, decried the refusal of the Senate to give concurrence to Bills sent to it by the House.
Responding to Osai’s submission, Gbajabiamila said “If you have a Bill you have laboured hard to work on and it has been in the Senate for six months, you won’t be saying what you are saying.
“Bills that come to this House from the Senate for concurrence should be given the same treatment as is done in the Senate.
“As I speak, we have only four Bills from the Senate awaiting concurrence in the House, while we have 69 bills awaiting concurrence in the Senate.’’
Gbajabiamila said stepping down the Bills did not suggest that there was a rift or problem between the Senate and the House of Representatives.
He said the issue could be due to administrative challenges and ordered the Clerk of the House to liaise with the Clerk of the Senate to resolve the logjam.
Benjamin Kalu, spokesperson of the House had on September 24 said there was no frosty relationship with the Senate over delays in concurrence on Bills passed by either of the two chambers.
“There is no friction between us; we should stop building mountain out of a molehill. There is no supremacy contest,’’ he had said.
When contacted, Senate spokesman, Basiru Ajibola, said he was not in a position to criticise a decision taken by the House of Representatives.
He said they were at liberty to decide, insisting that the Senate cannot interfere in their personal dealing.
“You don’t expect me to comment on that. The House of Representatives is an independent chamber. They’re at liberty to take any decision. I’ve nothing to say,” he said.
Meanwhile, the House has set up a seven-member Conference Committee on the Electoral Act Amendment Bill.
Gbajabiamila who announced this said the conference Committee would work with that of the Senate on the electoral Act to achieve concurrence.
The members are Akeem Adeyemi as the Chairman, James Faleke, Chris Azubogu, Abdullahi Kalambaine, Blessing Onuh, Aisha Dukku and Unyime Idem.