Abuja – Standing committees of the National Assembly enhance efficiency and performance of the legislature in the discharge of its constitutional responsibilities, former Deputy Speaker, House of Representatives, Chibudom Nwuche, has said.
Nwuche made the statement on Monday in Abuja at the inauguration of 97 standing committees of the House by the Speaker, Yakubu Dogara.
In a presentation on the theme: “The Role of Committees in a Presidential System of Government,’’ Nwuche stated that committees provided conducive forum where legislators could tackle certain matters.
He said that globally, parliaments relied more on committees to discharge their functions as it provides the opportunity where lawmakers could operate in an efficient manner.
According to him, the constitution of committees by parliament will enable lawmakers develop specialised knowledge of matters under their jurisdictions.
He added that it also provide them the opportunity to monitor on-going governmental operations as well as identify issues for legislative review.
The former deputy speaker said that constitution of committees also assist lawmakers gather and evaluate information and make recommendations.
He said: “when committees are properly organised and constituted, they become vital tools for oversight functions.
“This is because committees are the right channels for executing oversight functions by the legislature.
“Again, committees promote informal discussions of issues among committee members and makes parliamentary debate less cumbersome and manageable.
“It is equally an access for building consensus on major policy matter.’’
Nwuche said that in a presidential system of government, committees serve as avenues to scrutinise the credentials of potential public officers.
He added that it also serve as avenue to look into petitions against candidates before they are appointed.
“This is to ensure that only clean hands are appointed into public offices by the government.
“It is the duty of committees of the National Assembly to initiate moves and encourage genuine investigative public hearings; receive petitions from the public on critical issues pertaining to economic sabotage and corruption,’’ he said. (NAN)