TNG Review: Factors that’ll shape NASS in 2020
…full fledge rubber stamp legislature loading
…as N37bn renovation money may wear NASS toga of a rubber stamp legislature
…Bills against Nigerians such as anti-social media, anti-Hate speech may sail through
By Emman Ovuakoorie
As Nigerians count hours into the incoming 2020, one major factor among so many other factors is the issue of the N37billion renovation money for National Assembly complex.
It’s a major contributory factor as anything from the executive will be treated with the speed of light be it good, bad or ugly.
Before now, NASS management as an annual ritual spends several millions on renovation annually on the complex from its purse.
Giving NASS such a huge sum in the name of renovation smirks a lot of suspicion which definitely will transform the Nigerian legislature into a department of the executive arm of government.
Once this is accomplished, Nigerians need not to expect the usual legislative business but a complete rubber stamp legislature.
The Senate President, Ahmad Lawan had made it abundantly clear even before the renovation money came to limelight that President Muhammadu Buhari cannot send anything harmful to NASS because he has Nigerians at heart.
So in the year 2020 Nigerians must swallow anything Buhari sends hook, line and sinker since the president has the interest of Nigerians at heart.
This is one ugly factor that will properly help to either shape or unshape the National Assembly in 2020.
The anti-social media Bill despite its massive condemnation may just be the first acid test for Nigerian federal lawmakers before the end of the first quarter.
If it’s finally passed then the voice of opposition and the media will kiss the dust.
The first quarter of next year too has a lot of role to play in the life of the anti-Hate speech Bill. If both chambers touch it with a long spoon then bye bye to the voice off opposition in Nigeria.
These two Bills have an overriding role to play in the national legislature if not properly managed it may turn Nigeria into a one party state.
In the outgoing year the Senate in all sincerity tried to maintain the speed of the immediate past assembly led by Dr Bukola Saraki and Yakubu Dogara who demonstrated that things can still work in NASS.
Several Bills were treated and passed by the Senate but all may not be too well as till date the constitution review committee expected to be chaired by the Deputy Senate President, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege is still hanging in the balance.
The House of Representatives had gone beyond that as the committee has been constituted and the deputy speaker properly seated.
Since the inception of the ninth Assembly, Omo-Agege has never presided even for a second, this is not a good sign.
Femi Gbajabiamila the omo Eko lawmaker is still massively reconstructing his House filled with many inexperienced committee chairmen where fifth term lawmakers remain largely floor members.
His reconstruction campaign may just continue snowballing till 2023 another election year.
He is also lucky to have a ttothless opposition bench led by Hon Ndudi Elumelu from Delta state.
Opposition in the House is far quieter than the graveyard and to say the least this is not good for democracy.
Gbajabiamila’s House may continue this trend as 2020 approaches.
While the opposition in the senate is still a little bit vibrant because Eynnaya Abaribe has refused to be cowed, he says it as it is without mincing words.
Now that a full fledged rubber stamp legislature is loading, Nigerians should expect that the $27bn loan request and other many loans will seamlessly scale through.
The Ota oracle has warned that Nigeria is heading towards bankruptcy and with the signals of a rubber stamp NASS loading Nigerians should not expect miracles from the praise and worship federal legislature.