BY EMMAN OVUAKPORIE
ABUJA—Chairmen of 57 of the 89 standing committees of the House of Representatives, stand the risk of losing their positions following allegations of laxity, including failure to submit reports on the pace of budget implementation in their oversight Ministries, Departments and Agencies, MDAs.
The slacking committees which represent 64 percent of all committees in the House, according to Vanguard investigations, could be slammed by Speaker Aminu Tambuwal for non-performance in their legislative duties.
Sources close to the House leadership told Vanguard that the 57 committees failed to submit their reports despite repeated warnings in the public and in private and by their action constituting a clog in the avowed stance of the House to put the 2014 budget under proper scrutiny.
Leading figures in the House of Representatives including the presumptive Majority Leader, Rep. Femi Gbajabiamalia, have pledged to put the 2014 budget proposals of the Federal Government under thorough scrutiny using the performance of the 2013 budget as a yardstick.
However, some associates of Speaker Tambuwal while lamenting frustrations arising from the failure of the 57 committee chairmen to properly file their reports were careful to push for the removal of the chairmen in the face of the imminent shakeup in the House leadership and the nearness of the 2015 general election.
Vanguard sources in the House disclosed that as at yesterday only 57 of the standing committees of the House had submitted their reports to the Committee on Business and Rules.
A source privy to the frustration of the House leadership said the leadership would not tolerate such acts of negligence again.
“Yes in the past things were treated with kid gloves but in this last phase of the 7th Assembly, Tambuwal may use iron fists to achieve results because his reputation is at stake.”
He explained that “things may take a different shape if he sanctions the committees but if nothing is done, this is the year preceding election and by June you will no longer see lawmakers here.”