Worried by the delay of appointment of ministers and commissioners, the House of Representatives yesterday moved to impose time limit of not less than 30 days for their nomination after taking oath of office by the President and the Governors.
A Bill to that effect sponsored by Hon. Solomon Adaelu, (PDP, Abia State), passed second reading on the floor of the House of Representatives.
The Bill, which seek to alter Sections 147 and 192 of the 1999 Constitution as amended, would also allow the President and Governors attach the portfolios of their nominees when their names are sent to the parliament.
This, according to Hon. Adaelu, while leading debate on the Bill would improve efficiency in governance.
The lawmaker noted that Sections 147 and 192 of the Constitution are not explicit as to when the President or governors are to make the nominations for appointment of ministers and commissioners.
According to him, “Preferably a 30-day time limit after swearing in will be ideal as it provides sufficient time for the President to settle down into governance and carry out final vetting of his nominations. And also ensure that the running of governance is not necessarily delayed or held up by the absence of ministers to run the various government departments.”
Adaelu, who explained how it is being done in other climes, noted that Chief Executives already had clear nomination list prior to swearing in, which is forwarded to the parliament within a short time of inauguration.
He said: “This practice should be constitutionally mandated in Nigeria to improve the efficiency of governance upon a change in government.
“The experience of 2015 whereby it took almost four months after swearing in for the President to forward nominated names to the legislature resulted in a serious setback for governance. And adversely affected the serious handling of pressing national issues in the country; this must be prevented by constitutionally imposing time limit.”
On attachment of portfolio to nominees, the lawmaker said, “this will greatly reduce the fixing of round pegs in square holes which is the bane of governance in Nigeria. The discretion of the President to assign people to whatever department he deems fit after screening by the legislature is unhealthy as the legislature will not be able to adequately assess his suitability for that role.”
The Speaker of the House, Hon. Yakubu Dogara, who presided over plenary referred the Bill to Special Ad-hoc Committee on Constitution Review.
…By Bethel Tunde