Senate President Abubakar Bukola Saraki challenged the Senator Babajide Omoworare-led Committee on Rules and Business to evolve an e-parliament for the country which would open a new chapter in legislative business in the nation.
Saraki while inaugurating the committee in the National Assembly complex noted that the Vice Chairman of the Committee who is also the Senate Leader, Senator Ali Ndume, and other members of the Committee including Senators Barnabas Gemade, Kabiru Marafa, Joshua Lidani, David Umaru, Clifford Ordia, Chukwuka Utazi and Uche Ekwunife were specially chosen to make a difference in managing the day to day business of lawmaking by the 8th Senate.
Saraki said: “The challenge to us particularly is how do we take Eighth Senate to the issue of e-parliament. I think that is my charge to the members of this important Committee.
“You must start this new page in the history of the Senate and I believe those who are members here have the capacity to do that and that is where we begin to say that the Eighth Senate did make a difference and started to do something innovative and useful”.
“I know that being led by the chairman, the majority leader and also distinguished senators, you must be the one that will change operational modalities of the Senate because that is one of the things that we want you to do as you prepare the Order Paper of the Eighth Senate on a daily basis.
He added that the composition of the committee also show that the 8th Senate is operating a policy of inclusiveness having put politics behind it to face the real work of legislating for the country.
The Senate President said: “I think what we are also doing here is showing the world what we have always said that this is an inclusive Senate. This is the Senate that is here to serve the people and leave politics behind and I think that having someone like Senator Babajide Omoworare as the Chairman of the Committee also goes to confirm that we are beginning to work our talk about composition of committee and allocation of responsibilities based on competence, experience and qualification.”
Earlier, Omoworare while thanking the Senate President for the honour, pledged that the committee would be innovative and proactive in the execution of its mandate.
He said: “We will carry out our mandate diligently, passionately and resolutely. We will ensure that there is fairness in the scheduling of the business of the Senate.
“The committee notes that after 16 years of democracy in Nigeria, there should be a near uniformity and standard in the Standing Orders of the Legislature in Nigeria. We will strive to accomplish this.
“The committee is committed to the early realization of your vision to implement as a matter of urgency, the e-parliament technology that will enable Senators access to Order Paper, Notice Paper, Legislative Calendar and other operational legislative information online and real time. It will also enable us to properly monitor oversight, committee works and other legislative chores”, he said.
He stated that in addition to facilitating Senate Legislative Business, the e-parliament would align the Senate with international best practice as well as enable members of the public have advance information with respect to Senate activities, “thus enlarging the frontiers of legislative participation by the public, ensure robust contribution by Senators, deepen our democracy and strengthen the Legislature as an arm of government.”
Media Office of the Senate President