National Assembly of Nigeria (NAss)
The National Assembly of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is a bicameral legislature established under section 4 of the Nigerian Constitution and comprises a 109-member Senate and a 360-member House of Representatives. The body, modelled after the federal Congress of the United States, is supposed to guarantee equal representation of the states irrespective of size in the Senate and proportional representation of population in the House. The National Assembly and other main government buildings are located in the federal capital Abuja.
The Senate is chaired by the President of the Nigerian Senate, the first of whom was the Rt. Hon. Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe who stepped down from the job to become the country's first Head of State, while the House is chaired by the Speaker of the House of Representatives. At any joint session of the Assembly, the President of the Senate presides and in his absence the Speaker of the House presides.
|President of the Senate||David Mark||2007–present|
|Speaker of the House of Representatives||Dimeji Bankole||2007–present|
The Assembly has broad oversight functions and is empowered to establish committees of its members to scrutinise bills and the conduct of government officials. Since the restoration of democratic rule in 1999, the Assembly has been said to be a "learning process" that has witness the election and removal of several Presidents of the Senate, allegations of corruption, slow passage of private member bills and the creation of ineffective committees to satisfy numerous interests.
In spite of a more than two-thirds majority control of the Assembly by the ruling People's Democratic Party (PDP), the PDP government led by Olusegun Obasanjo and the Assembly have been known more for their disagreements than for their cooperation. President Obasanjo has been accused of interference in the Assembly's affairs while the Assembly's PDP members have actively supported two impeachment attempts by opposition legislators. While the Assembly has made strong and often popular efforts to assert its authority and independence against the executive, they are still viewed generally in a negative light by the media and a majority of population. The Assembly sits for a period of at least four years after which the President is required to dissolve it and call a new Assembly into session.
The Senate has the unique power of impeachment of judges and other high officials of the executive including the Federal Auditor-General and the members of the electoral and revenue commissions, the power is subject however to prior request by the President. The senate also confirms the President's nomination of senior diplomats, members of the federal cabinet, federal judicial appointments and independent federal commissions.
The House and Senate must agree before any bill is passed as law, which in turn must receive the President's assent. Should the President delay or refuse assent (veto) the bill, the Assembly may pass the law by two-thirds of both chambers and overrule the veto and the President's consent will not be required. This Assembly has not hidden its preparedness to overrule the executive where they disagree.
National Assembly State Delegations
- Nigerian First Republic (1963-1966)
- Nigerian Second Republic (1979-1983)
- Nigerian Third Republic (1993)
- Nigerian Fourth Republic (1999-present)
- Elections in Nigeria