Parliamentary Network Africa is a parliamentary monitoring civil society organisation promoting open parliament across Africa. The Accra-based organisation begun as an advocacy newspaper (Parliamentary News) in 2015 intended to bridge the communication gap between legislators and citizens across Africa.


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Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa. It is officially known as the Federal Republic of Nigeria which is situated between the Sahel to the north, and the Gulf of Guinea to the south in the Atlantic Ocean.  Nigeria borders Niger in the north, Chad in the northeast, Cameroon in the east,  and Benin in the west.

Nigeria has a population of over 200 million people with Lagos and Abuja being the major capital cities. Due to the large and populous nature of Nigeria, the federal republic consists of 36 states with different capital cities and governments.

Nigeria in 1954 gained some level of self-rule from its colonial master – the British and in 1960 got full independence to become a federation.

The legislative body of Nigeria is bicameral which consists of two separate chambers, the House of Representatives and the Senate.

The House of Representatives is composed of 360 members who are directly elected to serve a 4-year term of office. Out of the total number of members of the house, women make up 20 (5.56%).

Candidates are elected through the Single-member plurality system (“first past the post”). In between general elections, vacancies that arise are filled through by-elections. Nigerian citizens must be 18 years before voting and 30 years for candidates belonging to a political party.

The Head of State, Members of the other Chamber, and Ministers of State are incompatible.

In the 2015 House of Representatives elections, 28 parties contested and 5 out of the number won. All Progressives Congress (APC), People’s Democratic Party (PDP), and All Progressives Alliance (APGA) winning the majority of seats respectively.

The Senate on the other hand is composed of 109 members who are directly elected with 7 (6.48%) being women to serve a 4-year mandate.

Members of the Senate are elected through the Multi-Member Plurality Systems. Unlike the House of Representatives, candidates must be 35 years and above before they can contest for seats in the Senate.

The contested parties in 2015 were 28, out of which 2 parties won – All Progressives Congress (APC) and People’s Democratic Party (PDP).

Source: (House of Representatives) (Senate)

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