The first legislative period of the Senate ended on March 31, 2018 with its pioneer President Marcel Niat Njifenji presenting a positive balance sheet.
The pioneer President of the Senate during the closing plenary sitting of the first legislative period of the House on March 31, 2018 summed up the achievements of the House. “From 2013 till date, the Senate has met the expectations of Cameroonians by comfortably fulfilling its duties of voting the law, controlling government action and representing Regional and Local Authorities,” Marcel Niat Njifenji said.
He chaired the closing plenary sitting for the March 2018 ordinary session of parliament that was also the last plenary sitting for the first legislative period of the Senate in the presence of cabinet ministers led by Prime Minister Philemon Yang and other state dignitaries.
Niat Njifenji traced the evolution of the Senate that started with the election of pioneer Senators on April 14, 2013, the holding of the first statutory session of the Senate on May 4, 2013 and the election of its very first Permanent Bureau on June 12, 2013. The March 2018 plenary sitting in the Senate was punctuated by the election of Senators for the second legislative period on March 25, 2018.
Five-year Balance Sheet Senate President Niat Njifenji disclosed that “Senators worked on the bills tabled before them for scrutiny and in all 96 laws were adopted, with four on the initiative of Senators.”
The laws on the initiative of Senators include the Standing Orders of the Senate adopted in 2013, Parliamentary Commissions of Inquiry and Standing Orders of the Congress of Parliament. Concerning the control of government action, the President said, “about 200 oral questions and about 10 written questions were put to members of government, in a bid to closely monitor its actions and draft recommendations seeking to safeguard the interest and well-being of the populations.”
For the five years, there were about 100 meetings of Chairmen’s Conference, more than 100 plenary sittings, with about 20 dedicated to oral questions and more than 200 meetings of General Committees. Niat Njifenji disclosed that, “ In all, this amounted to millions of working hours with effective support of the administrative and technical services, led by the Secretary General of the Senate.”
On the Senate’s mission of representing Regional and Local Authorities, the President said several reflections were held to provide it content.
Senators either individually or collectively also supported the councils within the jurisdiction. He also cited inter-parliamentary cooperation, stating that he “undertook more than 10 trips abroad with the unique objective of brining our Parliament into the limelight.” He used the occasion to laud the full commitment of all Senators for causes of general interest.
In this light, he cited the preservation of national unity and territorial integrity, consolidation of living together, fight against Boko Haram and secessionists and issues of climate change.
In all, Niat Njifenji said, “The Senate is in place, it is operational, moving steadily and carry out its duties at the pace of the history of our country under the stewardship of H.E. Paul Biya, President of the Republic, Head of State.”