Abuja (NAN) Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, on Monday urged members of the house’s standing committees to be committed to the anti-corruption fight of the present administration.
Dogara gave the charge while the inauguration the committees in the green chamber in Abuja. He said that each committee was expected to lead the fight through their legislative actions.
“The Constitution has specifically reposed in the National Assembly, not the Executive, the duty and responsibility to “expose corruption, inefficiency or waste in the execution or administration of laws within its legislative competence.
“This also includes the disbursement or administration of funds appropriated by it and the committees remain the most important mechanism for carrying out this solemn constitutional mandate,’’ he said.
He said that the leadership of the house would be ‘’very sensitive to any report of wrongdoing or corrupt practices by any member or leadership of a committee’’.
“By choice we have declared in our Legislative Agenda that ours is a people-centred house, ’’ he said, adding that the implication was that ‘’in this season of change, our people must be at the centre of our committees’ oversight assignment.’
He added that ‘’in this season of change, members have lost the liberty to engage in the pursuit of self. The unbridled pursuit of self may justly be pronounced the very definition of poverty.’’
Dogara, expressed the hope that the committee would afford members the opportunity to serve and empower the people and not themselves, reminded all of the need to work together as a team.
He said that a committee that worked together had better chance of executing its mandate successfully and urged of leadership of committees to involve every member in their activities.
He also said that related committees should hold ‘’joint policy oversight and investigative hearings’’, where convenient.
“Effort should be made to involve your counterparts in the Senate where the same issues are being investigated, to avoid dissipation of parliamentary energy. Committees should be guided by the relevant Standing Orders, the Constitution, existing Laws, judicial precedents and our Legislative Agenda document in the discharge of their duties.
“Finally, I congratulate you all for your appointment into these committees both as members and as leaders and wish you all a successful tenure. The leadership of the house will continue to monitor the performance of the leadership of the various committees and will conduct a mid-term review,’’ he said.
The speaker told those not appointed as leaders of committees that it was not a reflection of their capacity or competence, assuring that there would be other avenues for them to render service to the house and the nation.
“In any case, if any member in a leadership position fails to justify the confidence reposed in him or her, other persons will be given the responsibility. May I, therefore, formally inaugurate all the special and standing committees of the house to begin the great task of working with the executive in bringing ‘change’ to Nigeria,’’ he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Chairman of the National Assembly and President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, was at the event as well as some former principal officers of the house.