House of Reps Introduces Controversial Bills in 10th Assembly Session


Since the inauguration of the 10th assembly on June 13, 2023, the House of Representatives has introduced over 1000 bills covering diverse subject matters, including the establishment of tertiary institutions, federal medical centers, and constitutional alterations.

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Among these bills, five have garnered significant attention due to their controversial nature, including the NGO bill, hijab bill, water resources bill, and a bill to raise the minimum educational qualification for elective offices.

NGO Bill:
The NGO bill, previously introduced in past assemblies, resurfaced in the 10th assembly. Sponsored by Sada Soli of the APC, the bill aims to establish a Non-Governmental and Civil Society Agency to regulate NGO activities, with proposed fines and imprisonment for non-compliance.

Hijab Bill:
Introduced by Saidu Abdullahi, the hijab bill seeks to allow citizens to wear religious emblems in educational institutions and public places. This bill has stirred controversy, particularly within the Christian community, despite claims of promoting religious harmony.

National Water Resources Bill:
This bill, transmitted by President Buhari in 2017, empowers the Federal Government to control water resources. After facing rejection in previous assemblies, efforts to reintroduce it have sparked debates and intense lobbying among lawmakers.

Minimum Qualification for Elected Officials Bill:
Sponsored by Adewunmi Onanuga, this bill proposes raising the minimum educational qualification for elected officials to a first degree or its equivalent. The proposal led to divisions within the House, with concerns over discrimination and qualifications based on religious knowledge.

Bill on Absolute Majority for Presidential and Gubernatorial Polls:
A proposal requiring candidates to achieve absolute majority to win presidential and gubernatorial polls was rejected outrightly, yet it may resurface during the ongoing constitution review exercise.

These bills reflect ongoing debates and engagements within the House of Representatives, highlighting significant legislative discussions shaping Nigeria’s political landscape.

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Gbenga Samson
Gbenga Samson
Samson Gbenga Salau [Editorial Board Adviser] Gbenga Samuel Salau is a professional journalist with over 17 years experience in journalism, he is a graduate of Communication and Language Arts, University of Ibadan. On completion of his youth service, he joined The Guardian as a freelance journalist and was later absorbed as a staff. While in the University, he was a campus journalist reporting for the Independence Hall and Faculty of Arts Press Clubs. As a campus journalist, he won the following awards; Independence Hall Press Best News writer; University of Ibadan Union of Campus Journalists’ Best News Reporter/Writer; First Runner-up, Reuben Abati Award for Investigative Journalism; Association of Faculty of Arts Students’ Press Best Reporter; University of Ibadan Union of Campus Journalists’ Best Political Writer; Winner, Reuben Abati Award for Investigative Journalism, and University of Ibadan Union of Campus Journalists’ Best Interviewer. He served the Association of Communication and Language Arts Students, as the Public Relation Officer, the same year he was appointed the News Editor of the Association of Faculty of Arts Students Press. The following session, he was made the General Editor, and a member of the 13-man University of Ibadan Students’ Union Transition Committee. As a reporter in The Guardian, in 2014, he won the Promasidor Quill Award Best Report on Nutrition and DAME Business Reporting category. In the 2015 edition of the Promasidor Quill Award, he won the best Report on Nutrition and Brand Advocate Categories, while in 2016, he won the NMMA Print Journalist of the Year, first runner-up Golden Pen Reporter of the Year and SERAs CSR Awards. Gbenga Salau loves traveling, reading, and listening to songs with good lyrics no matter the genre.

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