The House of Representatives has responded to public criticism regarding its ever-expanding number of standing committees, which has now reached 134, even in the face of economic challenges affecting the country.
Appointed by the Speaker back in June, these 134 committees had been tasked with managing the affairs of the 10th House of Representatives.
Chairman of the House Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Akin Rotimi, has stepped forward to defend the house’s actions in a conversation with the House of Reps Press Corps in Abuja.
He addressed concerns about potential duplication of functions among these committees, noting that the 10th assembly’s approach was different from previous ones.
In the ninth assembly under former speaker, Mr Femi Gbajabiamila, the standing committees numbered 109. Former Speaker Yakubu Dogara constituted 96 such committees in the eighth assembly, while in the seventh assembly, there were 89.
However, in the 10th assembly under Abbas, the number of standing committees had surged to 134.
Some Nigerians have voiced concerns over what they perceived as an excessive number of committees, contradicting President Bola Tinubu’s commitment to reducing the cost of governance, especially in light of rising fuel prices and the associated economic challenges.
Rotimi, who also serves as the house’s spokesperson, emphasised that the speaker’s decision to form 134 standing committees was a well-considered one.
He pledged to continue the house’s weekly press briefings with parliamentary reporters, emphasising the importance of transparency in the leadership of the 10th assembly.
Furthermore, Rotimi highlighted that the house had processed bills and motions, with over 300 motions considered and around 1,800 bills at various stages of progress.