Starting from Tuesday, February 6, members of parliament will inaugurate sessions by reciting the National Pledge, as part of the newly implemented standing orders.
This notable modification in the standing orders mandates heads of state institutions to personally appear before Parliament to address queries related to their agencies. This marks a departure from the previous standing orders, which allowed Ministers of State to represent heads of institutions during questioning.
Under the updated rules, Members of Parliament will undergo a roll call and participate in reciting the national pledge at the beginning of proceedings. Ahmed Ibrahim, the First Deputy Minority Whip in Parliament, provided insights into the changes, highlighting that independent bodies such as the Electoral Commission, CHRAJ boss, BoG governor, NCCE, and the Auditor General will now undergo questioning on the parliamentary floor similar to ministers.
“Impartial bodies like the Electoral Commission, the CHRAJ boss, the BoG governor, NCCE, and the Auditor General are going to be questioned just as we question ministers on the Floor, and the mode of answering questions on the Floor has also been provided in the new Standing Orders.
“Previously, if you wanted to invite the EC, they would say they had no audience on the Floor, and if the Common Fund administrator needed to come, unless the discussion was led by the Minister. But this time around, it is not going to be the same. The administrator can come and be interrogated by a committee and can be asked questions, and he will respond to the questions, and the mode of answering the questions has been catered for in the new Standing Orders.”