Some Senators on Saturday in Abuja, said that there is nothing like `juicy committee’ in the 8th national Assembly under the government of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The Senators, who spoke in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), likened the perceived juicy committees to corruption that characterised the past administration.
Deputy Leader of the Senate, Sen. Ibn Na’Alla, said that he did not understand what they meant by juicy committees, especially with the fight against corruption by the APC government.
“I am saying it with all degree of responsibility that Senator Na’Allah does not understand what is a juicy committee or what is not juicy committee.
“It is even more so under the present dispensation, where there is going to be zero tolerance against corruption.
“So what existed before the coming of this government and what can be referred to as juicy committee; I am absolutely sure will cease to exist in this administration.
“What I know will be are committees that should rededicate themselves to the service of their fatherland through doing those oversight functions that have been conferred on them,” he said.
Na’Allah said that while he was a federal representative, he had as a matter of policy avoided membership of any committee charged with probe of government agencies or those considered as `juicy.’
According to him, the work of a senator is that of service to humanity, to his constituency and to the nation.
“I had been member of committees such as House Committee on Judiciary, House Committee on Justice and House Committee on Rules and Business.
“Today I am a member of the Ethics and Privileges Committee because I have passion for ensuring that code of conducts is maintained.
“It is degrading, it does not show seriousness, and it does not portray service to humanity, when we begin to say some committees are juicy.
“Let me be honest with you; this thing is only known to this country and it is only known to Nigeria’s democracy.
“I have never heard in any parliament anywhere in the world where committees are referred to as Juicy and none Juicy,” he said.
In his view, Sen. Kabir Marafa (APC Zamfara Central) said that he had no idea of what makes a committee to be juicy except if juiciness is synonymous with work.
He said that he had been privileged to work in number of committees and they were all juicy as far as work was concerned.
“ Now, if you are talking of juicy in terms of making money, then you are in the wrong government.
“If juicy means a committee that will engage you 24 hours and bring the best out of you, I think all committees have that potential.
“There is no single committee that is not juicy in terms of input, if you want to work.
“But if it is in terms of making money, I don’t know which committee is juicy.
“Committee ‘A’, ‘B’ or ‘C’, wherever you are asked to go and serve you should go and serve there and there is ample work and you can impact on the lives of Nigerians from any committee,” he said.
Also speaking, Sen. Mao Ohuabunwa (PDP Abia North) said that it does not matter the distribution of the committees between the PDP and the APC.
“What is important is that whatever committee you find yourself do your best and work for the enhancement of the committee and the senate.
“What will be beneficial to Nigeria is what is important, it is not about the committee or its chairmanship but the performance is what is important,” he said.
Ohuabunwa, who is the chairman Primary Health Committee, said that he will focus more on enhancing preventive medicine rather than curative.
According to reports, Nigerians have been reacting to the constitution of the committee announced on Wednesday by the President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki.