Former Governors Ahmed Sani Yarima (APC, Zamfara), George Akume (APC, Benue), Danjuma Goje (APC, Gombe), Jonah Jang (PDP, Plateau) and Bukar Abba Ibrahim (APC, Yobe) are among the senators without a single bill to their names in the last two years.
Other senators in this league are former Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Bayero Nafada (APC, Gombe), Muhammed Sabo (APC, Jigawa), Mustapha Sani (APC, Niger), Yele Omogunwa (APC, Ondo), Jeremiah Useni (PDP, Plateau) and Ibrahim Abdullahi (APC, Sokoto).
Official record from June 2015 to July 2016 showed that 16 out of the 108 Senators (Anambra vacant) are yet to have a bill to their names, less than 23 months to the expiration of their tenure.
The list of senators who didn’t sponsor a single bill dropped from 28 in June, 2016 to 16 this year as the likes of Senate President Bukola Saraki (APC, Kwara), his predecessor David Mark (PDP, Benue), and the Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu (PDP, Enugu) have now presented one each.
Saraki’s bill on the establishment of the Nigerian Academy of Science was passed on July 5, 2017, while Mark’s on the establishment of the Federal University of Health Sciences, Otukpo had scaled through first reading on June 13, this year.
The Senate is so far considering 552 draft laws since the inauguration of the 8th Assembly on June 9, 2015.
The three senators from Rivers State who were sworn-in December 15, 2016, namely George Sekibo (PDP), Magnus Abe (APC) and Osinakachukwu Ideozu (PDP) had zero bills.
Others in this group are Shuaibu Lau (PDP, Taraba North) and Senator Ademola Adeleke (PDP, Osun) who were sworn in July, this year, days before the federal lawmakers embarked on their annual recess.
The review showed that only 33 of the senators had some of their bills passed with Ali Ndume (APC, Borno) topping the list with 47 bills, according to official documents analysed by Daily Trust.
Aside from having the highest number of bills passed, Ndume who was the Senate Leader until January this year topped the chart of bills sponsorship with 64 bills. Ndume is serving a 6-month suspension slammed on him by the upper chamber.
In terms of sponsorship of bills, next to Ndume was the Deputy Leader, Bala Ibn Na’Allah (APC, Kebbi) who had 19 bills, followed by Adeola Olamilekan (APC, Lagos) 16 and Andy Uba (APC, Anambra) with 15 bills.
Stella Odua (PDP, Anambra), Dino Melaye (APC, Kogi), and Ahmad Ibrahim Lawan (APC, Yobe) have 14 bills each.
Barau Jibrin (APC, Kano) and Biodun Olujimi (PDP, Ekiti) had 13 bills each, followed by Babajide Omoworare (APC, Osun) who sponsored 12 bills.
Former Anambra State Governor Theodore Orji (PDP, Abia), Mao Ohuabunwa (PDP, Abia), and Obinna Ogba (PDP, Ebonyi) sponsored 11 bills each.
While Isah Misau (APC, Bauchi) and Philip Aduda (PDP, FCT) have 10 bills each, the trio of Ben Murray-Bruce (PDP, Bayelsa), Umaru Kurfi (APC, Katsina) and David Umaru (APC, Niger) sponsored nine bills each.
Ekweremadu who had no bill last year has eight bills now, while Ibrahim Gobir (APC, Sokoto) also has eight bills.
Senators Samuel Egwu (PDP, Ebony), Shehu Sani (APC, Kaduna), Abdullahi Adamu (APC, Nasarawa), Olarenwaju Tejuosho
Tejuosho (APC, Ogun), Buhari Abdulfatai (APC, Oyo) and Adesoji Akanbi (APC, Oyo) sponsored seven bills each.
Others with seven bills are Barnabas Gemade (APC, Benue), Rose Oko (PDP, Cross River), Francis Alimikhena (APC, Edo), Matthew Urhoghide (PDP, Edo), Chukuwuka Utazi (PDP, Enugu), Hope Uzodinma (PDP, Imo), Kabiru Gaya (APC, Kano), Olugbenga Ashafa (APC, Lagos) and Tijjani Yahaya Kaura (APC, Zamfara).
Those with five bills each are: Aliyu Wamakko (APC, Sokoto), John Enoh (PDP, Cross River), Peter Nwaboshi (PDP, Delta), Gilbert Nnaji (PDP, Enugu), Samuel Anyanwu (PDP, Imo), Buruji Kashamu (APC, Ogun), Robert Boroffice (APC, Ondo), Rafiu Ibrahim (APC, Kwara) and Joshua Dariye(APC, Plateau).
The senators with four bills are Nelson Effiong (APC, Akwa Ibom), Suleiman Nazif (APC, Bauchi), Ovie Omo-Agege (APC, Delta), Duro Faseyi (PDP, Ekiti), Joshua Lidani (PDP, Gombe), Bukar Mustapha (APC, Katsina), Shaaba Lafiagi (APC, Kwara) and Oluremi Tinubu (APC, Lagos).
Senators Ali Wakili (APC, Bauchi), Baba Kaka Bashir Garbai (APC, Borno), Bassey Albert Akpan (PDP, Akwa Ibom), Clifford Ordia (PDP, Edo), Muhammad Shitu (APC, Jigawa), Abu Ibrahim (APC, Katsina), Adamu Aliero (APC, Kebbi), Ali Sabi Abdullahi (APC, Niger), Gbolahan Dada (APC, Ogun), Tayo Alasoadura (APC, Ondo), Monsurat Sunmonu (APC, Oyo) and Muhammed Hassan (PDP, Yobe) had sponsored three bills each.
Lawmakers with two bills are: Abdul Aziz Nyako (APC, Adamawa), Ahmad Abubakar (APC, Adamawa), Godswill Akpabio (PDP, Akwa Ibom), Foster Ogola (PDP, Bayelsa), James Manager (PDP, Delta), Fatima Raji-Razaki (PDP, Ekiti), Abubakar Gumel (APC, Jigawa), Danjuma La’ah (PDP, Kaduna), Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso (APC, Kano), Ahmed Ogembe (PDP, Kogi), Olusola Adeyeye (APC, Osun), Emmanuel Bwacha (PDP, Taraba) and Kabir Marafa (APC, Zamfara).
The review showed that Saraki, Mark, Enyinnaya Abaribe (PDP, Abia), Binta Masi Garba (APC, Adamawa), Paulker Emmanuel (PDP, Bayelsa), Abubakar Kyari (APC, Borno), Gershom Bassey (PDP, Cross River), Sonni Ogbuoji (PDP, Ebonyi), Benjamin Uwajumogu (APC, Imo), Suleiman Hunkuyi (APC, Kaduna), Yahaya Abdullahi (APC, Kebbi), Atai Aidoko Usman (PDP, Kogi), Philip Gyunka (PDP, Nasarawa), Suleiman Adokwe (PDP, Nasarawa), and Yusuf Abubakar Yusuf (APC, Taraba) sponsored one bill each.
Bills not qualitative -Civil society
The Executive Director, Friends in the Gap Advocacy Initiative (FGAI), Chief George Oji said, unlike in the present assembly, bills and motions were thorough, painstakingly researched, debated and presented in most robust manner.
He noted that the 8th National Assembly has “a very intimidating credential” so far “with a total of 96 bills and 72 motions to the credit of the senate and 126
bills in the House of Representatives during the first half of their four-year tenure.”
“However, when compared with the content and quality of the bills and motions passed by the present 8th session viz-a-viz the ones undertaken by the previous sessions, the advantage of number easily disappears into insignificance,” he said.
“This is, of course, a reflection of the calibre and quality of the elected representatives in the National Assembly then. It is doubtful if the same can be said of the present lawmakers,” he said.
He said in the current parliament, the role of the opposition lawmakers appears not to be very well defined but rather fused with the majority ruling party.
Why Ndume got highest bills – Garbai
Speaking, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Rules and Business, Garbai said Ndume had the highest bills because he was the Senate leader for about two years.
“All the bills that are coming to the Senate from the House for concurrence come in the name of the leader. Also, all the bills from the executive are in his name. This is because of the position he occupied,” he said.
On the Senate president, Garbai said, “Our rules allow the presiding officers to sponsor bills but since 1999, no Senate president has done so. It’s in the House that Ghali Umar Na’Abba sponsored bills and now Speaker Yakubu Dogara has done so with his bill on the North East Development Commission.”
Explaining the procedures for sponsorship of bills, he said, “the sponsor writes to the Senate President, then we write to the National Institute for Legislative Studies (NILS), they will analyze it and make an input. After this, they will send it back to us; we will then send it for gazetting.
“After it is gazetted, we will list it for first reading, then the sponsor would be asked to submit his lead debate, then the bill would be listed for second reading. If it scales through, it would be referred to relevant committee. The committee will organize a public hearing for stakeholders to make an input.
“Then the committee report on the bill would be laid, considered during a committee of the whole. If it is passed, it would be sent to House for concurrence. Then, it would be sent to the legal unit of the National Assembly. After this, it would be sent to the President for assent,” he said.