If you are a Nigerian, especially a student, you must be current with the affairs of the country. For example, you should be aware of how many Senators are in the country and get familiar with those from your states, and others, if possible.
When we talk about Nigerian senators, it might seem like they are unlimited but they are not. They are finite. This fixed number enables better planning for the continued growth and development of the country.
The Nigerian Senate House which is the Upper House in the National Assembly is situated in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory. All Senators assemble here regularly to plan on how to move the country forward.
There are only 109 seats in the Senate House, meaning there are equally 109 Senators in the Senate of Nigeria. How is this number gotten? How did we arrive at this number?
Since there are thirty-six states in the country, each state is allowed to divide itself into three senatorial districts each, therefore there are 108 senators from the whole 36 states. The Federal Capital Territory, Abuja elects only one Senator, unlike the other states.
For this reason, you might be hearing people talk about Senatorial districts when talking about the senators representing them. For example, Lagos State has three Senatorial districts namely;
- Lagos East
- Lagos West, and;
- Lagos Central
Division of the Nigerian Senate
Remember I said the Nigerian Senate House consists of 109 senators, 3 representing each state of the federation and 1 senator representing the Federal Capital Territory. All these Senators are headed by the Senate President.
The Senate President is assisted by the Deputy Senate President. Every Senator in the house belongs to a particular political party. The political party with the highest number of Senators will have a leader, known as the Majority Leader, while the others will be led by the Minority Leader.
Presently, there are 69 members of the Majority, which are the All Progressives Congress (APC), 39 members of the Minority, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), and the other one is the Young Progressives Party (YPP).
The Senate President of Nigeria is Senator Ahmed Ibrahim Lawan. His Deputy is Senator Ovie Omo-Agege. The duty of the Senate President is to guide and regulate the proceedings of the Senate. But what is even the function of the Senate in the first place?
The primary function of the Nigerian Senate, and the National Assembly at large, is legislation, which is to make laws. Passage of bills can be done by either house of the National Assembly. They do this based on the number of votes of Senators in the house.
Another function of the Nigerian Senate is Checks and Balances. The Nigerian constitution gives the Senate the right to check and balance other elements of the Federal Government. This includes the impeachment of executives of other arms of the government.
Just like the Executive arm of government, senators are given a term of 4 years to serve whichever district they are representing. The Senators are elected in their district while the Senate Leaders are elected inside the house.