National Assembly Adjourns to March 12 for Lack of Quorum

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Shola Oyeyipo in Abuja

The two chambers of the National Assembly yesterday adjourned plenary until March 12, for lack of quorum.

In the Senate, its President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, presided at the plenary, which was attended by only eight senators.

It was the first general sitting of the upper legislative chamber following its resumption from one-month election break.

A major item on the Order Paper was the National Minimum Wage Bill, which passed second reading on January 24.

The bill is undergoing further legislative work by a seven-member ad hoc committee, which was given two weeks to conclude its assignment.

Before the adjournment, chairman of the committee, Senator Olusola Adeyeye, told his colleagues that work on the bill was hampered by members’ engagement in the just-concluded elections.

He explained that the committee could not form quorum, and all efforts to hold their sittings electronically failed.

Adeyeye said he would traveling for treatment, but in the event he was not able to return, a member of the committee would take charge.

Others in attendance at yesterday’s plenary were Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu; Leader of the Senate, Ahmed Lawan, and the Minority Whip, Philip Aduda.

Senators Andrew Uchendu, Abu Ibrahim and Fatimat Rasaki were also present.

In the House of Representatives, Speaker Yakubu Dogara who presided over the brief sitting, said that the House could not form a quorum as only 12 lawmakers were in attendance at the plenary.

Dogara who was re-elected to the House for a fourth term represents Bogoro/ Dass/Tarawa Balewa Federal Constituency of Bauchi State, was at the plenary with the Deputy Speaker, Lasun Yussuf and House Leader, Femi Gbajabiamila.

Other members present at the plenary were chairman, Rules and Business Committee, Edward Pwajok (PDP-Plateau), Chika Adamu (APC-Niger) and Bashir Adamu (APC-Kano).

The House therefore, stood down all the items in the order paper for the day’s proceedings.

Bills listed for deliberation include: A Bill for an Act to Amend the Federal Colleges of Education Act F8, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004; and for Related Matters (HB 1452)

Others are A Bill for an Act to Amend the Trafficking in Persons (Prohibition) Enforcement and Administration Act, to Establish Special Trafficking Court, among others.

The House had earlier adjourned plenary to February 19, to allow members participate in the presidential and National Assembly elections.

The National Assembly however, rescheduled the resumption by one week
after the election was post-poned by the Independent National Electoral Commission
(INEC).