Thursday, June 8, 2023

Bill to scrap ‘honourable’ title for Rep. members scales second reading

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tiamin rice

A bill seeking to have members of the House of Representatives formally addressed as “representatives” against the current title of “honourable” has scaled second reading.

The bill, which was sponsored by the Speaker of the House, Femi Gbajabiamila, and co-sponsored by Mohammed Monguno, secured a majority voice vote during the House plenary on Thursday.

Members of the lower legislative arm currently bear the title, ‘Honourable’, the same prefix that is also used by many other office and non-office holders in Nigeria.

The long title of the amendment bill reads, “A Bill for an Act to Amend the Legislative Houses [Powers and Privileges] Act, 2017; and for Related Matters [HB.2149].”

Mr Monguno, while leading the debate on the bill in the absence of Mr Gbajabiamila, explained that the title, ‘Representative’, appropriately reflected the work of the lawmakers, being that they were representatives of their constituencies at the National Assembly.

He also said “Representative” was the title used in addressing House members in the United States of America, where Nigeria copied its presidential system of government.

The Chief Whip added that “honourable” had become more generously used these days, as appointees in the executive arm of government, local government chairmen, councilors, among others, also used the title.

It was referred to the Committee of the Whole for further legislative work.

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