Sunday, May 18, 2014 4:07 pm
Lagos – Some members of the Lagos State House of Assembly (LAHA) said on Sunday that the present bicameral legislature operating at the Federal level was strengthening political checks and balances in the system.
The lawmakers who spoke to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), said there was nothing wrong with the present system, adding that the bicameral system brought growth to the country’s democracy.
The Deputy Speaker, LAHA, Mr Taiwo Kolawole, told NAN that there was nothing wrong with the system but urged the Senate to improve on its performance.
Kolawole said that the roles of the Senate in Nigeria’s democracy could not be overemphasised as the house had many functions as stipulated in the constitution.
“A bicameral legislature increases the standard of our democracy in the country because the senate plays constitutional roles in the nation’s democracy.
“It is when we change to a unicameral system that we will know the function and quality of the state representation.
“The only thing the upper house needs to work on is that of their performance,” he said.
Mr Bisi Yusuf, another lawmaker representing (APC-Alimosho I), also told NAN that the problem Nigeria has was not that of a bicameral or unicameral system, but effective governance.
Yusuf, the Chairman, Committee on Transportation, Commerce and Industry, said that if the country changed to the unicameral system, without good governance, it would not bring any change to the nation.
Mr Lanre Ogunyemi, another lawmaker, who represents (APC-Ojo I), told NAN that the current legislative structure suited the presidential system of government practised in the country.
Ogunyemi said that there was nothing wrong with the system as the current constitution could be amended to allow the senate operate on a part-time basis, in order to cut the costs of governance.
“I don’t support scrapping the senate because the two houses check the excesses of the executive, in other words they help to make our democracy stronger,’’ he said.
In his own contribution, Mr Ahmed Omisoore, the Chairman, House Committee on House Services and Special Duties,, said that the parliamentary system of government would be suitable for Nigeria’s democracy.
Omisoore (APC-Ifako-Ijaiye II), said that if the country could change to a parliamentary system, the problem of high cost of governance would be resolved.
The lawmaker said the problem the country was running an expensive presidential system, with a bicameral legislature.
“We should streamline with one legislature and go for a parliamentary system. I will be happy if the confab recommends such a system by going back to the parliamentary system of government,” Omisoore said.
NAN reports that the National Conference Committee on Political Restructuring and Forms of Government, on May 13, recommended a unicameral legislature for the country.
The committee said that the current bicameral set up was unwieldy and had not made for effective legislative process in the country.