The Senate of Nigeria has made significant amendments to its standing rules, resulting in the creation of nine new committees. These changes also introduce eligibility criteria for senators seeking the positions of Senate President and Deputy Senate President.
The motion for these amendments, titled “Amendment of the Standing Orders of the Senate Pursuant to Order 109 of the Senate Standing Orders, 2022, as Amended,” was sponsored by Senator Opeyemi Bamidela, a member of the APC representing Ekiti.
Senator Bamidela highlighted that the Senate’s standing rules had previously been amended on August 5th to allow for the formation of committees and other necessary adjustments. However, new developments necessitated further revisions to accommodate the creation of additional committees and define their roles within the Senate’s procedures.
The following newly established committees have been introduced:
Atomic and Nuclear Energy Committee: Responsible for overseeing the Nigeria Nuclear Energy Regulatory Commission, Nigeria Atomic Energy Commission, and their annual budget estimates.
FCT Committee: Focuses on matters concerning the Federal Capital Territory, planning and development of the new Federal Capital Territory, and the control of development within the Federal Capital Territory, along with its annual budgets.
FCT Area Councils Committee: Oversees Area Council Mandate, Area Council Service Commission, Area Council Staff Pension Board, Auditor-General for the Area Council, and other agencies or departments under the Federal Capital Territory.
Committee on Sports Development: Manages matters related to the Federal Ministry of Sport Development, National Lottery Commission, National Institute for Sports, Nigeria Football Federation, Sport Arena Development, national and international sporting activities, sports administration, and annual budget estimates.
Committee on Youth and Community Engagements: Focuses on the Federal Ministry of Youth Development, National Youth Service Corps, Citizens and Leadership Training Centre, Offices of the Senior Assistants to the President on Community Engagement in the six geo-political zones, youth movements activities and associations, and their annual budget estimates.
Committee on Solid Mineral Development: Oversees the Federal Ministry of Solid Mineral Development, Nigerian Geological Survey Agency, Mining Cadastre Office, Council of Nigerian Mining Engineers and Geoscientists, Nigerian Metallurgical Training Institute, Solid Minerals Development Fund, Nigeria Institute of Mining and Geoscience, National Metallurgical Development Centre, exploration of minerals extraction and quarry, geological survey, minerals investigation, and explosives.
Committee on Mines and Steel Development: Responsible for the Federal Ministry of Mines and Steel Development, Aluminum Smelting Company of Nigeria, Ajaokuta Steel Development Company, National Iron Ore Mining Company, National Steel Raw Material Exploration Agency, and their budgets.
Committee on Tourism: Focuses on matters related to tourism.
Committee on Culture and Creative Economy: Manages issues concerning culture and the creative economy.
To implement these amendments, the Senate has directed the Rules and Business Committee to update the Senate standing orders accordingly. These changes reflect the Senate’s commitment to adapting its rules and procedures to address emerging legislative needs and ensure effective governance.