• NASS passes 676 bills in 20 years
• A bill costs N2.959 billion
•Nigeria loses N118.343 billion on 40 rejected bills since 2015
By Clifford Ndujihe, Acting Political Editor
BY the end of 2019, Nigeria would have spent the sum of two trillion naira on the National Assembly, going by budgetary allocations since 1999.
The two trillion naira is 2.22 per cent of the N90.218 trillion appropriated since Nigeria returned to civil rule in 1999, Saturday Vanguard’s checks indicate.
Within the period, the National Assembly passed 676 bills into law. Although, the legislature, which is the symbol of democracy, performs other functions including oversight on the other arms of government especially the executive arm, and passes motions and resolutions, lawmaking or passage of bills, is arguably the primary duty of the legislature.
Thus, if the two trillion naira allocated to the National Assembly since 1999 is accounted for by the number of bills passed, it means a bill costs N2.959 billion. Taken further, it means the country has lost N118.343 billion to the 40 bills that President Muhammadu Buhari refused assent since 2015, which the legislators could not use two-third majority to override as constitutionally provided.
In the 4th National Assembly, 1999 -2003, the Senate passed 65 bills while the House of Representatives passed 112 bills but the lawmakers had concurrence on 65. Then, there was much leadership instability in the National Assembly on account of frosty relations with the executive arm among other issues.
There was a marked improvement in the 5th Assembly when 129 bills were passed (see table). The figure plummeted to 72 bills in the 6th Assembly, rose to 128 in the 7th and all time high of 282 bills in the current 8th Assembly that will expire next month.