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Today's Leaders Forum 2019: BICAMERAL SYSTEM OF GOVERNMENT; CURSE OR BLESSING TO NIGERIA - ADETONA ADEKUNLE CORRECT

THE Today's Leader's forum marked her annual anniversary from December 1st to 31st 2019 with an online presentation and dialogue, tagged: Praise 2019, VAM News Reports.


SPEAKER : ADETONA ABDULRASAQ ADEKUNLE (CORRECT)


INTRODUCTION
Let me begins by first and foremost define bicameralism. It is a system that has two separate Assemblies, Chambers or Houses. It is a system of government in which the legislature comprises two houses. Nigeria bicameralism comprises of both House of Senate and House of Representatives. 


In Nigeria the composition for the two houses are 109 senators and 360 for house of Representatives respectively.


THE HISTORY DEVELOPMENT OF BICAMERAL LEGISLATURE
The history of bicameral legislature can be trace to British, where the English parliament became bicameral in recognition of the distinction between the nobility and clergy and the common people. After the Declaration of Independence of America in 1776, bicameral systems were established in all the states except in Georgia, Pennsylvania, and Vermont. 


However, with the extension of constitutional government throughout the world, most countries setup BICAMERAL legislatures on the English or United States models. 


Therefore, the BICAMERAL plan is usually found in Federal governments such as those of U.S, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Germany, India and of course Nigeria is not exempted.


BICAMERAL SYSTEM IN NIGERIA
The National Assembly of the  Federal Republic of Nigeria is a bicameral legislature established under Section 4 of the Nigerian Constitution. It consists of a Senate with 109 members and 360 member of House representatives. The body modelled after the Federal Congress of U.S, is supposed to guarantee equal representation with 3 senators to each 36 states respectively of size in the Senate plus 1 senator representing the FCT, Abuja and proportional representation of population in the House.


The Present Composition of Nigeria BICAMERAL  System
House of Senate’s has 109 members. Where A.P.C recorded 63 seats. While P.D.P recorded 45 seats. Young Progressive Party recorded 1 but  the said 1 is an outside seats. Imo North Senatorial District, awaiting supplementary election.The House of Representatives comprises of (360). 


Where APC recorded 204, PDP recorded 118, other party recorded 15. Outstanding (23) awaiting supplementary elections or due to court others.



BICAMERAL SYSTEM VERSUS UNICAMERAL SYSTEM
Theoretically, this dualism in BICAMERAL system is justified as an application of the principle of check and balances. Bicameral systems is desirable, it has been argued, to avoid hasty and harsh legislation, limit democracy and secure deliberation among others. 


While Unicameralism is not too expensive to run i.e it requires low financial outlay. It reduces or totally abolish unnecessary delay in legislative process which is dangerous in emergency situation and it does avoid duplication of legislation.


After all said, the question that is needed to ask is SHOULD NIGERIA CONTINUE WITH BICAMERAL LEGISLATURE?

 
Of course yes? 

The issue is not whether or not a BICAMERAL legislature is good or bad, that is not the problem of Nigeria. I believe the  bicameral system should remain because it has been proven to be sustainable and necessary. The process of law-making is very serious business which cannot start and end within a short time. The problem  with the unicameral system which we have at the state level is that bill can be introduced and passed the same day and sent to the governor for assent. Take for example what happened in Edo state. The process for passing a bill for the retirement benefits for (former Governor Adams Oshiomole) was started in one day. Before Edo people knew what was happening, the state law makers had Concluded it. This is not the case in National assembly. The two Chambers must meet and possibly form a joint committee to look at the bill before sending it for President assent. The rigorous process a piece of law has to pass through forms part of the beauty of democracy.
    
ADETONA ABDULRASAQ ADEKUNLE (CORRECT)

CONCLUSION
I think Nigerians should stop looking at the legislature each time there is a slight challenge and asking if we really need BICAMERAL legislature.
 

The judiciary often doesn’t respond to executive excesses, except there is a case it initiates but in the legislature especially this type of legislature, a member can raise it as a matter of urgent public importance, national importance of ethics and privileges and the attention of the parliament can be brought to it.


RECOMMENDATION
I will love to recommend UNICAMERALISM but the problem is that for a country to embrace a unicameral legislature there is need to review the constitution. 

How possible is that? 

The people who are to review it are the beneficiaries of the BICAMERALISM. 

Will they have the political will to discard it? 

This is where the problem lies.
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However, BICAMERAL legislature is the best for the sustainable democracy.


God bless FRN!
God bless TLF!
God bless you! 


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