House of Representatives Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila on Tuesday expressed reservation over the refusal of stakeholders in the nation’s economy to attend public hearings in the National Assembly whenever Bills that have direct impact on their operations are being considered for passage.
The Speaker spoke at beginning of a three-day public hearing on six Executive Bills affecting agencies under the Federal Ministry of Aviation.
He said more often, private sector stakeholders and other Nigerians fail to attend public hearings which will enable them make input to bills being considered before they are passed.
Gbajabiamila was shocked that there was no representation from the organised private sector at the public, even though the Minister of Aviation said they were present at a similar hearing in the Senate a couple of weeks ago.
Before reading his address to declare the event open, the Speaker said: “Just out of curiosity, let me ask how many people are appearing for this public hearing from the private sector? Please, indicate by the raise of hand.”
When nobody indicated presence from the private sector, he said: “I asked that question because often times, you have Bills that are critical to the economy and the aim of public hearing is for interested parties to be present, contribute their own quota to whatever Bill is being worked on. Yet, the stakeholders won’t show up from the private sector.
“At the end of the public hearing, and after the passage of the law, you will begin to hear a lot of things. That is why I asked the question.”