Lobby for the chairmanship of grade A or what is termed juicy committees by National Assembly lawmakers is heightening, LEADERSHIP gathered yesterday.
A lawmaker, who spoke on condition of anonymity, stated that lawmakers who do not have large warchest may not be able to get chairmanship or even membership of juicy committees.
It was also gathered that governors have also joined in pushing for lawmakers in their states to have strategic committees, while heads of some sensitive and influential institutions are also lobbying to have preferred lawmakers head committees that would oversee them.
Some of the key committees are Appropriation; Works; Finance;
Defense; Banking and Currency; Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC); and Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
The National Assembly, among its other legislative functions, oversights the ministries, departments and agencies.
It was however gathered that some committees including Agriculture, Water Resources, North East Development Commission (NEDC), and Humanitarian, are likely going to be chaired by persons from the North.
Another lawmaker, who does not want to be mentioned, confirmed that there is intense lobbying for chairmanship of the juicy committees even as work is still ongoing on the constitution of the standing committees.
The ranking member of the House of Representatives, however, added that he was not aware of financial inducements. He said lawmakers who worked for Hon Tajudeen Abbas’ emergence as Speaker would be considered to head juicy committees, hence there might not be financial inducement.
The parliamentarian said the only challenge is that the Speaker was elected by 353 out of 359 members that participated in the election, so it is challenging to choose who to reward and with what positions.
The source said an example of how intense the lobby has become was seen when about 100 lawmakers accompanied the Speaker to pay homage to the Emir of Zazzau, His Royal Highness, Amb. Ahmed Nuhu Bamalli on Saturday.
“The truth is members are intensifying their lobbying to head or at least be a member of the Juicy Committee. No doubt about that. What I doubt is financial inducement because the Speaker knows those who worked for him and what each member deserves. The support was not in vain so it can not go to the extent of paying to chair a juicy committee.”
“Remember also that, apart from the member-elect from Taraba who died before inauguration, out of the 359 members that were there, 353 all voted for the Speaker. There is now challenge for who to reward.
“If you watch, more than 50, almost 100 members followed the Speaker to Zaria on Saturday when he visited the Emir of Zauzau. Apart from solidarity, it was an avenue to lobby more for a good deal when the committees are finally formed,” the lawmaker stated.
The chairman, Deputy chairman, House Ad-hoc Committee on Media and Publicity, Ikenga Ugochinyere was yet to respond to inquiries directed to him at the time of this report.