Mode of Operations

There are constitutional provisions for the operation of the House of Assembly. These cover the mode of exercising its legislative powers and regulation of its procedures.

Constituency

A constituency is an electoral district from which a representative of the people to the House of Assembly is elected.

In Lagos State, there are forty (40) constituencies which cut across the twenty (20) Local Governments and thirty-seven (37) Local Council Development Areas.

Allowances

Allowances are sums of money paid by the Lagos State House of Assembly to its members in place of a salary, to help cover their work-related costs.

A Member of the House of Assembly receives salary and other allowances as prescribed by the Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission.

Dissolution

The end of a legislature, typically after a four-year term. A general election follows dissolution.

Debate

A formal discussion in the Assembly or committees referring to a motion or a Bill.

Mace

A gold-plated ceremonial staff symbolizing the powers and privileges delegated to the Assembly. At each sitting of the Lagos House of Assembly, the Sergeant-At-Arms carries the mace into the Chamber and places it on the Table. The mace always remains before the Speaker when he or she presides in the Assembly.

Naming a Member

Members are referred to in the Assembly by the name of their constituency. If a member disregards the authority of the Speaker in some manner, the Speaker may “name” the member by using his or her personal name and then suspending the member for the rest of the sitting day. The Assembly can extend the period of suspension.

Votes

When members vote in the Assembly or in a committee, they formally declare their position for or against a question raised by the Speaker or committee Chair. Decisions of the Assembly are referred to as votes

Whip

Each party chooses a member who acts as the Whip. Whips keep party members current with Assembly business, ensure that members attend meetings where important votes are taken, and supply lists of members to serve on various Assembly committees.

Resolution

When a motion is adopted, it becomes a resolution or order of the Assembl

Speaker (Deputy Speaker, Acting Speaker)

The Speaker is an elected Member of the House of Assembly who presides over the Assembly. The Speaker is entrusted with maintaining the traditions of Assembly, but he or she does not participate in any debate. The Deputy Speaker or the Acting Speaker performs these duties in the Speaker’s absence.

Quorum

The required quorum for the sitting to commence is at least one-third {1/3} of all Members of the House; and the House of Assembly is expected to sit for a period not less than one hundred and eighty-one (181) days in a year.

If quorum is not maintained, the Assembly cannot conduct business and ends for the day. In standing committees, quorum is the majority of members.

Petitions

A document signed by a group of citizens appealing to the Legislative Assembly to take action on some issue. Petitions cannot directly ask for public money and must be submitted by a member.

Parliamentary Calendar

A calendar which presents a fixed timetable of sittings and adjournments of the Assembly for a given year, sometimes referred to as the sessional calendar.

Chamber

The room where Members of the Legislative Assembly meet to conduct business.

Appropriation Bill

A Bill that authorizes the government to spend public money.

Act (statute, law)

A Bill becomes an Act after passing three readings and receiving royal assent.