Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Memo to Nigerian Senators: How to conduct a Ministerial Hearing next time

The next time Nigerian Senators have a meeting with their American counterparts, they might want to pick up a few points on how to conduct confirmation hearings. I say this in light of recent events.

Event One was yesterday's confirmation hearing by the US Senate's Foreign Relations Committee for Hillary Clinton. Compare that with the strange 'tradition' in Abuja where past or Senators or Congressmen who are nomited for ministerial office are not asked any questions, but told to 'bow and go'. This is a world away from the thorough process followed by Mrs Clinton's senate colleagues yesterday.

Secondly, in a related event, recent newspaper reports on the performance of the Nigerian Senate over the last year revealed that it sat for only 90 days last year. The minimum allowed by the constitution is 181 days. During this period, they passed 8 out of 120 bills brought before them.

So what are they doing with the rest of their time? If they won't pass laws at least let them do a thorough job when next they have a confirmation hearing.

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