The Senate and House of Representatives has announced the leadership of its standing Committees. While the 9th Senate has 69 Standing Committees (an increase from the 68 inaugurated in the preceding Senate), the House has 105 Committees (an increase from the 97 inaugurated in its last Assembly).
The move which improved on the timing from the last Assembly where standing Committees were announced in October and November 2015 respectively, also saw the House of Representatives take a step further to constitute the full membership of its Committee on Appropriations and its special Committees. However, in a departure from the usual, the House has designated its Committee on Constitution Review as a Standing Committee rather than retaining its ad-hoc status. Other noteworthy observations include the House of Representatives splitting of the Committee on Political parties and Electoral Matters into two separate Committees. While the Committee on Political Parties will be chaired by Hon. Gudaji Kazaure (APC:Jigawa) , Hon. Aisha Dukku (APC:Gombe) ,who chaired the Committee on Political Parties and Electoral Matters in the 8th Assembly will now chair only the Committee on Electoral Matters. It is however unclear whether the House of Representatives’ recent expansion of Committees in the 9th Assembly is driven by political considerations or the need for more effective oversight as Committees play a crucial role in the appropriation of public funds and the scrutiny of government policy. In the 8th National Assembly for instance, Rt. Hon. Yakubu Dogara (PDP: Bauchi) severally gave ultimata to Committees that had failed to report on the status of Bills after noting that many Committees had failed to report Bills outside the six months time frame laid out in its Standing Rules.
Chairmen of some key Committees in the Senate include Sen. Matthew Urhogide, (PDP: Edo, Public Accounts), Sen. Jibrin Barau (APC: Kano, Appropriations) and Sen. Kabiru Gaya APC: Kano, Independent National Electoral Commission). Similarly, Hon. Wole Oke (PDP: Osun) has been selected to head the Public Accounts Committee in the House of Representatives while Hon. Muktar Betara (APC: Borno) chairs the Committee on Appropriations.