House to Initiate Law against Biased Reporting of Legislative Affairs

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Adedayo Akinwale ín Abuja

The House of Representatives has vowed to put in place a law that will position media practice in Nigeria in line with global best practices, as well as discourage the dissemination of propaganda and biased reporting of legislative affairs.

The Chairman, House Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Hon. Ben Kalu, disclosed this yesterday at the inaugural meeting of the committee.

He said that the mandate of the committee is clear, as stated in Order 18, Rule 8 of the

Standing Orders of the House, which included; promoting the image of the House; curb press speculation on House activities; and effectively manage House publicity.

The committee chairman noted that over the past two decades, the reputation of the Nigerian legislature had been shrouded in controversy, with many citizens sceptical of the role of the legislature in national development.

Kalu stressed that many Nigerians hold the view that the legislature has not shown a significant and genuine commitment to the social, economic and political wellbeing of the country.

He said that the Nigerian public is consistently inundated with fake news about the renumeration and allowances of legislators and have been conditioned to appraise the National Assembly with the same terms of reference as it would, the executive without regard to the distinctive nature of

legislative duties under the constitution.

He noted that this undesirable reputation stemmed from an acute lack of understanding of the workings and role of the legislature in national development.

Against this background, he stated, “we will work closely with other committees in the House, including the Committee on Information, National Orientation, Ethics and Values; and the Committee on Freedom of Information in pushing for laws that will position media practice in Nigeria in line with global best practices to discourage the dissemination of propaganda and biased reporting of legislative affairs.

“We will also work in lockstep with all the standing committees of the House ensuring that we are, at all times, abreast of their oversight activities to enable us adequately represent and defend the overall interest of the House.”