Nigeria has a legislative body known as the National Assembly, which is made up of several chambers. The House of Representatives has the least legislative authority of the three chambers.
The Nigerian House of Representatives
The House of Representatives is made up of 360 members who are responsible for making legislation, performing oversight tasks, and advocating for their constituents’ concerns. This House of Representatives is led by a person known as the “speaker,” who is elected freely and fairly by members of the house. The speaker is supposed to supervise and lead the proceedings of the house, to maintain law and order, and to ensure that all functions are carried out in accordance with due process.
Furthermore, the House of Representatives is divided into districts based on population size. That is, the number of MPs assigned to each state is proportional to its population. The reason for this is to ensure that states with a larger population have adequate representatives in the House of Representatives, while states with a lesser population have fewer representatives. Taking this technique ensures that representatives are distributed evenly among the states.
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Duties Of The House Of Representatives
- To make laws, debate on suggestions, and vote on bills and resolutions.
- Address all issues affecting the nation at large.
- Advocate the needs and concerns of the people within the constituency.
- Making Inquiries, conducting hearings and investigations to address actions and policies of the government.
- Run committee work which includes assessing laws and supervising several government agencies.
- Engages with other legislative national bodies to foster a tactful relationship.
- Identifying and executing community projects.
- Confirm nominees for different positions and appointments.
- Discuss and deliberate on pressing issues.
- Sharing of information and collaboration between the federal and state level of government.
Positions Of Power In The House Of Representatives
Certain members of the house hold various leadership positions. Among these roles are:
The Speaker of the House of Representatives is the highest-ranking member of Congress, with substantial responsibilities such as presiding over the chamber. The speaker must also maintain law and order, as well as interpret and implement the house’s laws. If any member desires to speak or make ideas on points of order, the speaker recognizes them and allows them to do so, believing that their suggestions will benefit the legislative body.
In addition, the speaker can designate members to other committees and delegate certain duties to them. The house’s overall functionality is dependent on the speaker’s availability and presence.
2. Deputy Speaker
A deputy speaker supports the speaker on the majority of their duties and is the house’s second-highest ranking officer. In the speaker’s absence, the deputy speaker is supposed to fill in. As agreed by the two leaders, the deputy speaker assumes the speaker’s duty and ensures that the house is in order even while the speaker is absent.
However, the deputy speaker’s responsibility is not limited to the speaker’s absence. Even when the speaker is present, the deputy speaker oversees committees, represents the house in external engagements, and participates in various decision-making processes.
3. Majority Leader
The majority leader coordinates the actions of the majority party and coalition within the house. They collaborate with party leaders to formulate and carry out the party’s agenda. In addition, the majority leader serves as a spokesman for the party during discussions and decisions.
Similarly, for all legislative activities and initiatives, a majority leader mobilizes support and communicates with other party members in order to develop an alliance, gain support for bills and resolutions, and ensure that party members are kept up to date on current and impending legislative issues.
4. Minority Leader
Just as the majority leader is in control of the dominant party, the minority leader is in charge of the minority’s operations within the house. They take the lead in oppositions and explain the minority party’s suggestions, concerns, interests, and conclusions. On numerous times, the minority leader joins forces with other leaders within the party to negotiate, agitate, and influence the legislative process in order to guarantee that the minority party’s concerns are emphasized.
5. The Chief Whip
“Whip” already seems like a tool for calling people to order, therefore the job of “Chief Whip” is not out of the question. A Chief Whip is in charge of maintaining discipline and tact among party members. When it comes time to cast key votes, they organize and motivate party members and guarantee that members vote in accordance with the party’s agreement. It is also the Chief Whip’s role to keep track of party members’ attendance at meetings and legislative sessions.
6. Deputy Chief Whip
A Deputy Chief Whip assists with the heavy workload that a Chief Whip may have at times throughout his tenure. A deputy chief whip’s responsibilities also include supporting the Chief Whip in preserving discipline and order inside the party house.
House of Representatives Structure
The Nigerian House of Representatives is organized into three major sections:
This category has the most representative seats, and as a result, they are the majority group. Members of the majority group have the authority to create and shape the law, determine the legislative agenda, and make key party decisions. They are responsible for coordinating and advancing the party’s plan, gaining support, and working toward a shared goal for all members. The All Progressive Congress Party now holds the majority in Nigeria, with 176 lawmakers.
The minority group has fewer representatives than the main group. Although they are few in number, they play important responsibilities in the House, such as expressing alternate opinions, thoroughly scrutinizing the party’s policies, and presenting opposition to the majority’s party beliefs. In Nigeria, the People’s Democratic Party is currently regarded as the minority party, with 118 representatives.
People in this category do not belong to either the majority or minority parties because they are members of smaller or independent political parties that do not have a sufficient number of seats to create a party. Despite the fact that they have a small number of members, they contribute to legislative debates, offer laws, and perform other important responsibilities in the House. This category includes around 64 political parties.
All three of the parties mentioned above explain the composition and flow of political parties and organizations in the House of Representatives.
Members Of The House Of Representatives’ Monthly/Annual Salary
A member of the House of Representatives’ pay is typically established by the Revenue Mobilization, Allocation, and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC), which is in charge of awarding allowances and generations to public officeholders. Salaries do not follow the same pattern all year since numerous factors such as the economic environment and cost of living might influence the amount given to members. However, based on many studies, here is a glimpse into how House of Representatives members are compensated:
A member of the House of Representatives earns around NGN9.6 million per year, which equates to N800,000 naira each month.
However, individuals sometimes confuse the office operating costs of each member of the household with the wage. The monthly office operating costs for one member are typically around 8.5 million naira.
These salaries and prices, however, may change over time since RMAFC continuously examines and adjusts the salary package.
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