Top guns in the Senate have no bills to their names as the 8th Assembly celebrated its first year last week.
Senate President, Bukola Saraki, his Deputy, Ike Ekweremadu; his predecessor, David Mark and 27 others, among them ranking senators fall within that category of senators who have not sponsored a bill.
An analysis of the bills progression chart of the eighth Senate from June 2015 to June 2016 obtained from the Rules and Business Committee also showed that many familiar names did not feature among senators that presented bills in the past year.
Eight former Governors including Ahmed Sani Yarima (Zamfara), Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso (Kano), George Akume (Benue), Danjuma Goje (Gombe), Adamu Aliero (Kebbi), Jonah Jang (Plateau), Bukar Abba Ibrahim (Yobe) and Godswill Akpabio (Akwa-Ibom) have no bills to their names.
Also without bills to their names are ranking senators like Abu Ibrahim, Bayero Nafada, Jeremiah Useni, the spokesperson of the Senate Ali Sabi, Suleiman Hunkuyi, Muhammad Hassan, Abdul-Aziz Murtala Nyako and Ahmed Lawan.
Out of the 103 senators 73 have sponsored bills. Six seats at the Upper Chamber are still vacant as the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is yet to complete rerun polls in the affected Senatorial Districts.
The review showed that Senator Andy Uba led the chart with 13 bills, followed by Senator Biodun Olujimi and Senator Theodore Orji who had 11 bills respectively. They were followed by Senator Babajide Omoworare and Senator Dino Melaye who had 10 bills to their names.
Our correspondent reports that while Senator Ben Murray-Bruce and Senator Philip Aduda sponsored 9 bills each, Isa Hamma Misau has 8 bills and Jibrin Barau had 7 bills to their credit.
The review also showed that Senator Stella Oduah, Tijjani Kaura, David Umaru, Obinna Ogba, Sam Egwu, Ibrahim Gobir and Rose Oko had six bills each.
Also, it revealed that Peter Nwaoboshi, Senator Ali Ndume (Senate Leader), Rafiu Ibrahim Adebayo, Joshua Dariye, Robert Boroffice , Buhari Abdulfatai, Gilbert Nnaji, Kashamu Buruji had five bills each.
In the category of Senators that had four bills each are Lanre Tejuoso, Umaru Kurfi, Hope Uzodinma, Barnabas Gemade, Francis Alimikhena, Shaaba Lafiagi, Mathew Urhoghide, Duro Faseyi, Suleiman Nazif and a former Governor of Nasarawa state, Abdullahi Adamu.
The Senators that sponsored three bills each in the year under review are Clifford Ordia, Dada Gbolahan, Shehu Sani, Oluremi Tinubu, Kabiru Gaya, Chukuwuka Utazi, Joshua Lidani, Bala Ibn Na’Allah and John Enoh.
Senators who sponsored two bills are Aliyu Wamako, Bassey Akpan, Isiaka Adeleke, Emmanuel Bwacha, John Enoh, and Mallam Ali Wakili.
Our correspondent reports that Senators who sponsored a single bill are Foster Ogola, Banta Garba Masi, Baba Kaka Bashir Garbai, Ubali Shittu, Donald Alasoadura, James Manager, Sonni Ogbuoji, Adeola Solomon, Kabiru Marafa and Abaribe Harcourt.
Others who had one bill are Sam Anyanwu, Danjuma Laa, Olusola Adeyeye, Nelson Effiong, Ovie Omo-Agege, Emmanuel Paulker, Mustapha Bukar and Gbenga Ashafa.
Our correspondent reports that of all the bills sponsored in the year under review, only seven have been passed. Four Appropriation bills from the executive were also passed.
A Senator said Saraki and Ekweremadu were free to sponsor bills in line with the Senate standing orders and constitution of the country.
“There is no law stopping the presiding officers from sponsoring bills. If the Senate President has a bill, he will only leave his seat for his Deputy to preside over so that he can lead the debate on the bill, “he said.
In the House of Representatives, 187 out of the 360 members sponsored at least a bill within the last one year. The remaining 174 did not sponsor any bill.
A total of 85 bills were passed out of the 685 bills presented on the floor of the House. While 130 were referred to committees, six bills were rejected. Six other bills were withdrawn by their sponsors. Of the 685 bills, 416 are currently awaiting second reading. Ten of the bills are executive bills, while 675 are private member bills.
Among those that sponsored bills is Speaker Yakubu Dogara, who has nine bills to his name. Some of the bills he sponsored are the federal competition commission (establishment) bill, data processing bill, public interest disclosure bill, subsidiary legislation bill, northeast development commission bill, etcetera.
However, his deputy Yussuf Suleimon Lasun is one of those members that did not sponsor any bill in the last one year.
Six out of the eight other principal officers of the House sponsored some bills. They are House Leader, Femi Gbajabiamila, 8; Deputy House Leader, Buba Jibril, 5; Deputy Whip, Pally Iriase, 1; Minority Leader, Leo Ogor, 3; Deputy Minority Leader Chukwuma Onyeama 5 and Deputy Minority Whip, Binta Bello, 1.
House Chief Whip, Alhassan Ado Doguwa, and Minority Whip, Yabubu Barde did not sponsor any motion in the last one year.
Our correspondents observed that most of those that sponsored bills during the period are members of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Leading those that sponsored bills is Rep Uzoma Nkem-Abonta (PDP, Abia), who has 43 bills to his name, followed by Rep Ossai Nicholas Ossai (PDP, Delta), with 39 bills.
Rep Gyang Edward Pwajok (PDP, Plateau) came third with 25 bills, while Betty Apiafi (PDP, Rivers) and Gideon Goni (PDP, Kaduna) sponsored 19 and 15 each.
Others are Istifanus Dung Gyang (PDP, Plateua), 13; Lynda Chuba-Ikeazu (PDP, Anambra), 12; Sunday Karimi (PDP, Kogi), 12; Joan Onyaemachi Mrapkor (PDP, Delta), 11; Busayo Oluwole Oke (PDP, Osun), 9; Emmanuel Orker-Jev (APC, Benue), 8; Zaphaniah Jisalo (PDP, FCT), 8; Gaza Jonathan Gbefwi (PDP, Nasarawa), 8; Nkeiruka Onyejoecha (PDP, Abia), 7; Oghene Emma Egoh (PDP, Lagos, 7; Gabriel Onyenwife (APGA, Anambra), 7; Mohammed Tahir Monguno (APC, Borno), 6; Peter Akpatason (APC, Edo), 6; Musa Sarkin Adar (APC, Sokoto), 6 and Jagaba Adams Jagaba (APC, Kaduna). Other lawmakers sponsored between one and five bills.
Speaking on their performance, Senator Abu Ibrahim, urged Nigerians to see the performance of the National Assembly beyond making laws.
He said the passage of budget and oversight functions should be considered when assessing them.
The high ranking Senator who represents Katsina South Senatorial District, said it was not that making laws and passing motions are not important, but that other aspects of the legislation must be considered in order to properly assess the performance of the legislature.
“If I’m to assess, the performance of National Assembly, I will give law-making 40 percent and others 60 percent, if you go to America, committees are more important’’ he said.
He said unfortunately Nigerians have put up a system whereby they assess the performance of the National Assembly in terms of bills, but forgot that there are other functions of the parliament.