(File Photo) The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Fem Gbajabiamila.
Honourable Femi Gbajabiamila, the Speaker of the House of Representatives has explained why the chamber did not adopt electronic voting for the clause-by-clause consideration and passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill and the Electoral Act 2010 (Amendment) Bill.
Gbajabiamila on Thursday said it would be difficult to deploy e-voting for such huge legislations.
The Speaker, in his valedictory speech at the plenary, noted that the 9th House of Representatives has carried on its constitutional duty to make laws for the good government of the country.
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“After multiple failed attempts over two decades, the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) has passed both House of the National Assembly and will shortly be transmitted to the President after proper harmonization with the Senate.
“It has been mentioned to me that landmark legislation such as the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) and the Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill ought to have been considered using the electronic voting system in the House. While I agree with this suggestion, e-voting usually in most parts of the world is meant for single item pieces of legislation not 400 clause considerations, except on reports that contain the limited number of clauses. As such, it is not ideal for this bill,” the Speaker stated.
Gbajabiamila however assured that the lawmakers will make sure that the system is fully deployed in advance of the House’s resumption, even as the legislative year comes to an end.
While stressing that the work of the legislature never ends, the Speaker said even though the legislators will not be in the chambers making laws and advocating for the people, still, their attention will be required in their constituencies on other engagements relating to their service in the House of Representatives.
He urged the congressmen to endeavour to use this recess to spend time with their families, as well as use them for deep reflection, to examine themselves and assess the quality of the service they have each provided in the year under review. as to determine those areas where improvements are needed, and where they need to do better than was done in the past year.