OrderPaperToday – The 9th national assembly has clocked one year in its four-year tenure. Since the senate started off its legislative race in June 2019 with many expectations from Nigerians to tackle several issues of national concern, it has become expedient to consider its record of achievements thus far. In doing so, the quantity and quality of bills produced within the year comes into focus.

A document exclusively obtained by OrderPaperNG showed that 418 bills have been introduced in the 9th Senate as of 12th of May, 2020. A thorough examination of the bills showed that 175 of these were establishment bills – proposed legislations seeking to create one new agency or institutions in diverse sectors of the economy. Most of these are educational institutions proposed to be situated in senatorial districts of senators who sponsored them.

This is despite calls to cut the cost of governance by either merging or abolishing some existing Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) as recommended by the Stephen Oronsaye Report which the Muhammadu Buhari administration is revisiting.

However, some of these establishment bills are worthy of attention: Constitutional Court (Est, etc) Bill; Families of Fallen Service Men Support Fund (Est, etc) Bill 2020; Nigeria Peace Corps (Est, etc) Bill 2019; National Agency for Education, Rehabilitation, Deradicalization, and Integration of Insurgents (Est, etc) Bill 2020; National Commission for the Prohibition of Hate Speeches (Est, etc) Bill 2019; Unemployed Youth, Elderly and Indigent Sustainability Allowances Trust Fund (Est, etc); among others.

Social services bills…

Closely following establishment bills are bills to cater for the social sector covering health, education, and the environment which are 123 in number. Most of these bills are also either establishment-related or seeking to amend existing laws.

Some of them in this category include: Open Defecation (Prohibition) Bill 2020; Plastic Bags (Management and Prohibition) Bill 2020; Prohibition of Discrimination Between First Degrees and Higher National Diplomas Bill 2020; Mental Health Bill 2019; National Land Drainage Bill 2019; Sickle Cell Anaemia (Prevention and Management) Bill 2019; etc.

Constitutional and other amendment bills…

A total of 97 legislations are currently (or have been) being amended in the 9th red chamber. Top of these bills are: Criminal Code Act (Amendment ) Bill 2019; Deep Offshore and Inland Basin Production Sharing Contract Act; Oil Terminal Dues Act (Amendment) Bill 2019; Oil Pipelines Act (Amendment) Bill 2019; Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill 2019; Nigeria Oil and Gas Industry Content Development Act (Amendment) Bill 2020; Finance Act 2020 (Amendment) Bill 2020; Marketing (Breast-Milk Substitute) Act (Amendment) Bill 2019; etc.

As the federal chambers gear towards amending the 1999 constitution, there are at least 60 bills in the red chamber seeking alteration of certain provisions.

Some of the constitution amendment bills sought for financial autonomy of Local Government Councils, right to food and food security, pre-election disputes, gender inclusion, establishment of state police, provision for minimum qualification for election into legislative, presidency and governorship seats, timeline for presentation of the appropriation bill before the National Assembly or House of Assembly of a State, establishment of state police, among others.

Social welfare and protection…

17 bills in the red chamber seek to provide social protection, welfare, and inclusion for Nigerians. Such bills are: Unemployed Youth, Elderly and Indigent Sustainability Allowances Trust Fund (Est, etc); Social Assistance Bill 2019; Pension Reform Act (Amendment) Bill 2019; Sexual Harassment Bill 2019; Gender and Equal Opportunities Bill 2019; Rape and Insurgency Victims Stigmatisation (Prohibition) Bill 2019; Older Persons (Rights and Privileges) Bill 2019; Corporate Social Responsibility Bill 2019 etc.

Energy and extractive industries…

The Extractive Industry and the power sector was equally covered with 12 bills from Petroleum, Solid Minerals and Energy. Some of the bills are Deep Offshore and Inland Basin Production Sharing Contract (Amendment) Act, National Energy Reform Bill 2019, the controversial Generating Sets (Prohibition/Ban) Bill 2020, Nigeria Oil and Gas Industry Content Development Act (Amendment) Bill 2020, among others.

Political and electoral reforms…

For political and electoral reforms, 11 bills were introduced in the 9th upper legislative chamber. Bills in this category include: National Assembly Inauguration Bill 2019, Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill 2019, Electoral Offences Commission (Est, etc) Bill 2019, Presidential Inauguration Bill 2020 ETC.

Justice and judiciary reforms…

11 bills were birthed to reform the justice and judiciary arm of government. They are: Criminal Code Act (Amendment) Bill 2019, Criminal Justice (Release from Custody) (Special Provisions) Act Cap C40 LFN 2004 (Amendment) Bill 2019, Special Anti Corruption Court (Est, etc) Bill 2020, Anti-Corruption Court (Est, etc) Bill 2020, Constitutional Court (Est, etc) Bill 2020, Administration of the Criminal Justice Act 2011 (Amendment) Bill 2020 etc.

Commerce, industry and business reforms…

To restructure the country’s economic environment and boost businesses and commerce in Nigeria, 10 bills were introduced including Electronic Transactions Bill 2019, Constituency Projects (Budgetary Provisions) Bill 2019, Trade Mark Act (Amendment) Bill 2019, Companies and Allied Matters Act, Cap C20 LFN 2004 (Repeal & Re-enactment) Bill 2019, FCT Appropriation Bill 2019, Finance Act 2020 (Amendment) Bill 2020, etc.

There are 8 agricultural-related bills in the red chamber seeking to provide food security, modernise the agriculture industry, update research councils, etc.

Security sector governance…

To address security challenges and inadequacies in protecting lives and property, 10 bills were sponsored in the red chamber. Some of them include: Private Detectives and Investigators Bill 2019, Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps Act 2003 (Amendment) Bill 2019, Vigilante Group (Est, etc) Bill 2019, Nigeria Peace Corps (Est, etc) Bill 2019, etc.

Anti-corruption, civic space and others…

On Anti-corruption and financial crimes, 4 bills have been introduced thus far addressing issues such as Dormant Accounts Fund, Money Laundering, and Unclaimed Funds.

Similarly, Sports, Infrastructure & Amenities, Science and Technology sectors have four bills each.

Finally, four bills hovered around the media, civic space and civil liberties. They are: Protection of Personal Information Bill 2019, Communication Tax Bill 2019, Protection from Internet Falsehood and Manipulations Bill 2019, and National Commission for the Prohibition of Hate Speeches (Est, etc) Bill 2019.


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