THE Speaker of House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, yesterday, announced the Chairmen and Vice Chairmen of the 96 House Committees, but the Ministry of the Niger Delta Affairs was yet to get its chairman.
In the composition of the new committee heads, the Speaker’s key men clinched headship of juicy committees such as Appropriation which is chaired by Abdulmunin Jibrin, Rima Shawulu Kwewum heads Army, Nkeiruka Onyejeocha, Aviation, Zakari Mohammed, Basic Education, Chike Okafor, Healthcare Services and Aminu Shehu Shagari, Federal Judiciary.
Also not left out were the core supporters of the House Leader, Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila as they were also compensated with juicy committees such as Customs headed by James Faleke, and Rufa’i Chachangi as the Vice Chairman of the committee, Sani Zoro heads the newly created Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs, and Garba Muhammed as the committee chairman on Solid Minerals.
There was also a balance between the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, and the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, as the ruling party APC, heads 48 committees, PDP 45, while All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA and the Social Democratic Party, SDP got one chairmanship slot each.
In the composition, the South heads 46 committees while the North heads 50.
The House also compensated the South East APC members, who were completely sidelined in the composition of the principal officers in line with the spirit of federal character as the two members Chike Okafor and Austin Chukwukere were made chairman Healthcare Services and Vice Chairman, Finance respectively.
Despite the lobbying and bickering among members to head juicy committee, only six members retained the position they headed in the 7th Assembly.
Those, who retained the headships of their previous committees are: Jones Onyeriri, Banking and Currency, Nkeiruka Onyejiocha, Aviation, Nnenna Ukeje, Foreign Affairs, Mohammed Munguno, Agriculture, Shehu Shagari, Judiciary, Nicholas Mutu, NDDC, and Aminu Suleiman, Education.
It was also surprising that one of the key men of the Speaker Rep. Nnanna Igbokwe was neither considered for chairmanship position nor vice chairmanship.
The new committees announced by the Speaker were Agricultural Colleges and Institutions chaired by Linus Okorie, Basic Education and Services, chaired by Muhammed Zakari, and Delegated Legislation, headed by Simeon Arabo,
Others are: FCT Judiciary, Laori Kwamoti, Health Institutions,Betty Apiafi, IDPs Refugees and Initiatives on North East, headed by Sani Zoro, Insurance and Actuarial Matters, Olufemi Fakeye, and Tertiary Education and Services, which is chaired by Aminu Suleiman.
Because of the numerous institutions and parastatals in the health and education committees, the Speaker split them into two each for effective oversight.