It was time for stock taking yesterday in the Senate.
Senators took turns to review their activities in a special session to mark the one year anniversary of the inauguration of the eighth Senate.
The 8th Senate was inaugurated on June 9, last year after the Proclamation by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The House of Representatives also took a similar step.
Although Senators who spoke were upbeat in their comments, it was curious that leaders of the Senate Unity Forum, a group of Senators who opposed the emergence of Senator Bukola Saraki as Senate President, kept mum.
In all, the Senate passed only 11 bills in one year.
Committee on Rules and Business Chairman Senator Babajide Omoworare, said the 11 bills were among the 300 bills brought before in the Senate.
Omoworare said 189 bills were at the first reading stage; 54 have been read second time and referred to committees.
He noted that several others were awaiting publication in the journal; three withdrawn to be represented by sponsors while one was negatived.
The Osun East senator listed the passed bills as .Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act CAP B2 LFN 2011 (Repeal and Re-enactment Bill, 2015
.National Centre for Cancer and Treatment Bill 2015, Electronic Transaction Bill, 2015, 2015 Appropriation Act (Amendment) Bill 2015, Supplementary Appropriation Bill 2015, High Court of the Federal Capital Territory Abuja (Amendment) Bill 2015, Federal Capital Territory Appropriation Act (Amendment) Bill 2016, 2016 Appropriation Bill 2015, Commercial Agriculture Credit Scheme Bill 2016, Environmental Health Officers (Registration etc) Act 2002 (Amendment) Bill and Nigeria Institute of Soil Science Bill, 2016.
Omoworare also said the Senate passed 96 landmark resolutions, confirmations and received 159 petitions.
In the House of Representatives, Speaker Yakubu Dogara said the House passed 85 bills out of the 685 bills received.
“About 98 per cent (675) of them were members’ bills, 10 executive bills and out of the bills, 416 are awaiting second reading.
“One hundred and thirty bills have been referred to committees; three are awaiting consideration and it is instructive to observe that 85 of these bills have been passed by the House so far,’’ he said.
Dogara said the number of bills introduced in the last one year represented the highest annual consideration of bills by the House since the return to democratic governance in 1999.
Saraki, in his seven-page speech, traced the twists and turns of the eighth Senate and concluded that the upper chamber achieved a lot to cheer.
He said the Senate had continued to emphasised matters that directly touch on Nigerians.
Saraki added: “We must find a way to bring the best brains in our country on board wherever they may be found. If we are able to mobilise the best human resources that God has bountifully blessed our country with, I have no doubt that with God on our side; we shall overcome.”
The Senate President congratulated President Muhammadu Buhari, on the one-year anniversary of his administration and also for the great achievements he has recorded on several fronts. He said the President should continue to run an inclusive government.
Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu said: “We were divided along the lines of Unity Forum, Like Minds and Non-aligned, but today we are united as one indivisible Senate, working for the progress of our nation.
Senate Leader Mohammed Ali Ndume said: ”We had one year we can proudly say we have achieved a lot.”
But Chief Whip Senator Olusola Adeyeye sounded a note of caution: “Before we know it, we will be buried in the activities of 2019 and if we have to be honest to ourselves, next year must not be like the past one year.
”How do we ensure that before the end of this tenure that we no longer import fuel? How can we ensure that unemployment is dealt with. Every part of the country is doing badly, the earlier we do something about it the better.”