Northern Nigerian Breaking News

Senate bars fresh members from contesting as presiding officers

The Senate on Tuesday amended its standing orders to prevent senators elected into the upper chamber for the first time to contest for the positions of senate president and deputy senate president.

The amended rule stipulates that any senator contesting for the position of the senate president and deputy senate president must have spent a minimum of one term of four years in the Senate.

With the amendment, only ranking senators can contest for the positions.

The senate also amended its rules to accommodate the creation of additional nine standing committees.

The Senate President, Godswill Akpabio, announced the amendment of the standing orders after majority of the senators supported it through a voice vote at the plenary.

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The amendment is sequel to a motion sponsored by the Senate Leader, Opeyemi Bamidele.

When the motion was raised, it was passed to the Senate Committee of the Whole for immediate consideration. Majority of the senators supported the motion.

In the 13 June contest for the position of senate president, a first-time member and former governor of Zamfara State, Abdulaziz Yari, contested against Mr Akpabio. Mr Yari was, however, a member of the House of Representatives before becoming governor.

The new committees

Mr Bamidele, while presenting the motion on amendment of the senate standing order said there were some rules of the upper chamber that required amendment in order to give legislative support to more committees.

He said the amendment notice has been circulated to the senators in accordance with the existing Order 109 Rule 2 of the Senate standing orders.

The Senate subsequently amended its rules to create additional committees.

The new committees are Committee on Atomic and Nuclear Energy, Committee on Federal Capital Territory Area Council and Auxiliary Matters, Committee on Federal Capital Territory and Committee on Sports Development.

Others are Committee on Youth and Community engagement, Committee on Mines and Steel Development, Committee on Tourism and Committee on Culture and Creative Economy.

Before the Senate proceeded on its annual recess in August, Mr Akpabio announced the composition of 72 committees. He, however, announced only the names of the chairmen and vice chairmen.

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