Home » Aisha Yesufu Calls for Senate Abolition to Cut Costs

Aisha Yesufu Calls for Senate Abolition to Cut Costs

Activist Proposes Unicameral Legislature for Nigeria

by Adenike Adeodun

Renowned political and civil rights activist Aisha Yesufu has called for the scrapping of the Nigerian Senate to reduce the cost of governance.

Yesufu, co-founder of the Bring Back Our Girls Movement, made this call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN). She was responding to growing calls for Nigeria to adopt a unicameral legislature, eliminating one of its two legislative chambers to cut costs.

A unicameral legislature features a single chamber, unlike the current bicameral system with both the Senate and House of Representatives. Countries like China, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and Portugal operate with unicameral legislatures.

Yesufu suggested that Nigeria could alternatively consider reintroducing the parliamentary system to reduce the heavy funds spent on the National Assembly. “Until something is done about the cost of running the government and corruption, Nigerians will not feel the dividends of democracy,” she said.

Yesufu criticized the Senate for becoming “a retirement home for a lot of incompetent and failed governors.” She argued that these former governors, now senators, continue to draw large salaries and pensions, placing an undue financial burden on the country. “It is a joke ground; we cannot say what the Senate does is really different from what the House of Representatives does,” she added.

Yesufu highlighted that Senegal practices a unicameral legislature, having abolished its Senate for the second time in 2012. She argued that Nigeria’s House of Representatives could adequately handle the nation’s lawmaking needs. “Unicameral legislature should be adopted in Nigeria because bicameralism is too expensive and slows down the business of lawmaking,” she said.

Yesufu also suggested that Nigeria consider adopting the parliamentary system to reduce governance costs. “This will also benefit us in terms of reducing the cost of governance because whoever is leading the country is the first among equals,” she noted. In a parliamentary system, ministers are selected from elected members of parliament, which reduces overall governance costs.

Yesufu lamented that Nigeria’s current bicameral legislature and presidential system place excessive pressure on national resources. “We can have a parliamentary system of government; we shall be reducing the cost of governance drastically well,” she argued. She emphasized that the Prime Minister in a parliamentary system would not wield as much power over appointed ministers, who are also members of parliament.

Yesufu’s call to scrap the Senate and consider a parliamentary system reflects a growing demand for cost-effective governance in Nigeria. Her proposals aim to address the financial burdens imposed by the current legislative structure, promoting a more efficient and accountable government.


Source: The Guardian

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