In a significant development, the Nigerian Senate made an amendment to its rule on Tuesday, which now prohibits first-time senators from vying for the positions of Senate President and Deputy Senate President.
The amendment to Senate Standing Order 3 was introduced by Senate Majority Leader, Opeyemi Bamidele, and was unanimously adopted through a voice vote. Previously, all 109 senators, regardless of their ranking, had the freedom to contest for the presiding officers’ positions.
According to the previous Rule 3 of the Senate Standing Order, nomination for the presiding officers’ positions was determined based on ranking, considering factors such as the number of times re-elected, previous membership in the House of Representatives, and being elected as a senator for the first time.
However, with the new amendment, any senator aspiring to become Senate President or Deputy Senate President must have served at least one term in the Senate.
In addition to this rule change, the Senate also amended its regulations to accommodate the creation of nine new standing committees, bringing the total number of panels to 83.
Senator Bamidele, while presenting the motion for the amendment of the Senate standing order, emphasized the need for these changes to provide legislative support for a greater number of committees.
He further highlighted that the amendment notice had been circulated to all senators in accordance with the existing Order 109 Rule 2 of the Senate standing orders.
During the plenary session, the Senate carried out nine other amendments aimed at accommodating the new standing committees. These newly formed panels include the Committee on Atomic and Nuclear Energy, Committee on Federal Capital Territory Area Council and Auxiliary Matters, Committee on Federal Capital Territory, Committee on Sports Development, Committee on Youth and Community Engagement, Committee on Mines and Steel Development, Committee on Tourism, and Committee on Culture and Creative Economy.