The much vaunted Parliamentary Government Bill, said to be the ultimate antidote to Nigeria’s socio-political and economic problems, if enacted, has got stuck in the House of Representatives five months after its first reading and few days to the expiration of the 8th Assembly.
The bill, claimed to be sponsored by 71 lawmakers across party lines, was read for the first time at the lower chamber on December 13, 2018.
Since then, however, no further action had been taken on the bill, according to independent findings by Daily Trust.
Although Nicholas Ossai (PDP, Delta) who was one of the frontline sponsors of the bill, alongside Chukwuka Onyema (PDP, Anambra), said they were still working on the bill, but it was gathered that the bill might have hit a brick wall.
“That does not really matter because the major people piloting the bill are still there. We will push it again. That’s our focus, and we know that’s what is best for Nigeria,” Ossai said when reminded that the legislative session of the 8th Assembly would soon end.
With less than a month to the inauguration of the 9th Assembly, the implication is that the bill will have to be re-introduced again into the house even as most of the sponsors will not be returning.
The bill is one out of over hundreds that await such fate in the green chamber as curtain draws over legislative activities of the 8th Assembly.
Introducing the bill in December, 2018, Ossai, who spoke on behalf of the other 71 lawmakers, had argued that parliamentary system of government would be more beneficial to Nigerians than the current presidential system.
“Our position in this legislation clearly points to compelling advantages of parliamentary system of government to economic growth and development.
“Studies have shown that countries run by presidential regimes consistently produce lower output growth and more volatile inflation. Political and economic instability also pervades and there are countless empirical records which show that output growth under presidential regimes are in zero point (negative).
“While our growth under parliamentary system clocks from one point and above (positive), in countries run by presidential system, inflation is on average six per cent point higher than those under parliamentary regime.
“Income inequality under presidential system is worse when compared with that of parliamentary or hybrid system of government,” the lawmaker claimed.
The introduction of the bill, no doubt generated heated interest among lawyers, intellectuals and political analysts who took sides in favour and against the bill.
But that was short-lived as further action was stalled on the bill, and nothing again has been heard about it till date.
It thus remains to be seen if it can be resuscitated in the 9th Assembly.
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