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This page contains the full text of the PARLINE database entry on the selected parliamentary chamber, with the exception of Specialized bodies modules which, because of their excessive length, can be only viewed and printed separately.


Parliament name National Assembly
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Structure of parliament Bicameral
Chamber name Senate
Related chamber (for bicameral parliaments) House of Representatives
Affiliation to the IPU Yes
Affiliation date(s) 1961 - 1966
1980 - 1984
1993 - 1994
1999 -
President Olubukola Abubakar Saraki (M) 
Notes Elected on 9 June 2015.
Secretary General Mohammed Ataba Sani-Omolori (National Assembly) (M) 
Nelson Ayewoh (Senate) (M) 
Notes Mr. Mohammed Ataba Sani-Omolori, Clerk to the National Assembly, appointed on 15 Aug. 2016.
Members (statutory / current number) 109 / 108

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Women (current number) 7 (6.48%)
Mode of designation directly elected 109
Term 4 years
Last renewal dates 28 March 2015
(View details)
Address Senate
P. M. B. 141, Abuja
(Export mailing lists)
Phone (234) 816 500 9426 (Clerk's Office)
E-mail msaniomolori@yahoo.com


Parliament name National Assembly
Structure of parliament Bicameral
Chamber name Senate
Related chamber (for bicameral parliaments) House of Representatives
Electoral law 5 August 1982
Mode of designation directly elected 109
Constituencies - 36 multi-member (3 seats) constituencies corresponding to the country's states
- 1 single-member (the Federal Capital Territory)
Voting system Majority: Multi-Member Plurality Systems
Vacancies arising between general elections are filled through by-elections.
Voting is not compulsory.
Voter requirements - 18 years old
- Nigerian citizenship
Eligibility Qualified electors:
- 35 years old
- Nigerian citzenship
- School certificate
- Membership to a political party
- Employees in the public service
- Persons acquired citizenship of another country
- Persons convicted and sentenced for a criminal offence
- Persons declared bankrupt
- Members of Secret Societies (secret cults)
- Persons indicted for fraud by an administrative or a judicial commission of inquiry
- Persons adjudged of unsound mind
Incompatibilities - Head of State
- Members of the other Chamber
- Ministers of State
- Holders of public posts
- Holders of judicial offices (judges)
- Civil servants
- Executives and members of the Electoral Commission
*The incompatibilities above are valid during the term of office
Candidacy requirements - Deposit of 30,000 naira per candidate
- Candidature must be submitted by political parties


Parliament name National Assembly
Structure of parliament Bicameral
Chamber name Senate
Related chamber (for bicameral parliaments) House of Representatives
Dates of election / renewal (from/to) 28 March 2015
Timing and scope of renewal The All Progressives Congress (APC), established in February 2013 by four opposition parties (see note), won the parliamentary and presidential elections, defeating President's Goodluck Jonathan's People's Democratic Party (PDP), which had ruled the country since the end of military rule in 1999. The APC took 212 seats in the House of Representatives and 60 seats in the Senate. Mr. Muhammadu Buhari (APC) - a retired Major General in the Army who ruled Nigeria between 1983 and 1985 - was sworn in as the new President on 29 May.

The 2015 elections were held against the background of the Boko Haram insurgency. On 7 February, one week before the planned polling day, the election commission announced the postponement of the elections by six weeks. It stated that voters' safety could not be guaranteed when the country's security forces were fighting against Boko Haram. It added that the postponement would also allow it to distribute more voters' cards. The major electoral issues included the fight against Boko Haram, tackling corruption and reviving the economy, which had been hit by slumping oil prices.

Note :
The APC comprised the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) and a faction of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA). These parties had separately won a total of 132 seats in the House of Representatives and 33 seats in the Senate in the 2011 elections. In December 2013 37 PDP members in the House of Representatives defected to the APC, followed in January 2014 by 11 PDP senators and in October 2014 by House Speaker Aminu Tambuwal. At the time of the 2015 elections, the APC reportedly held over 180 seats in the House of Representatives, against 160 for the PDP.
Date of previous elections: 9 & 26 April 2011

Date of dissolution of the outgoing legislature: 4 June 2015

Timing of election: Upon normal expiry

Expected date of next elections: April 2019

Number of seats at stake: 109 (full renewal)

Number of candidates: 747 (619 men, 128 women)

Percentage of women candidates: 17.1%

Number of parties contesting the election: 28

Number of parties winning seats: 2

Alternation of power: Yes

Date of the first session of the new parliament: 9 June 2015

Name of the new Speaker: Mr. Olubukola Abubakar Saraki (All Progressives Congress, APC)
Voter turnout
Round no 128 March 2015
Number of registered electors
Blank or invalid ballot papers
Valid votes
29'432'083 (43.65%)

Notes Turnout figures for the presidential elections.
Distribution of votes
Round no 1
Political group Candidates Votes % of votes
All Progressives Congress (APC)
People's Democratic Party (PDP)
Distribution of seats
Round no 1
Political Group Total of seats
All Progressives Congress (APC) 60
People's Democratic Party (PDP) 48
Distribution of seats according to sex


Percent of women


Distribution of seats according to age
Distribution of seats according to profession
As at 23 July 2015, there was one vacant seat.
IPU Group (18.06.2015, 23.07.2015)


Parliament name National Assembly
Structure of parliament Bicameral
Chamber name Senate
Related chamber (for bicameral parliaments) House of Representatives
Title President of the Senate
Term - duration: 4 years (term of House)
- reasons for interruption of the term: resignation, death, dissolution
Appointment - elected by all the Senators
- election is held at the first sitting of the newly elected Senate or when a vacancy occurs
- after validation of mandates
- before Members are sworn in
Eligibility - only a Senator can be elected
- candidatures must be submitted by a third party who is himself a Senator
- candidatures must be supported by another Senator
Voting system - if only one candidature is submitted : the candidate is elected without a vote or debate
- if two candidatures are submitted : a vote by secret ballot is held. Simple majority is required
- if more than two candidatures are submitted : a vote by secret ballot is held. The candidates who obtains the majority is elected. In case of a tie, the candidate with the fewest vote is eliminated and new round voting is held
Procedures / results - the Clerk presides over the Senate during the voting
- the Clerk announces the results without any delay
Status - in the absence of the President, the Vice President can assume his/her role and functions
Material facilities
Organization of parliamentary business - convenes sessions, in exceptional case only
- organizes the debates and sets speaking time
Chairing of public sittings - can open, adjourn and close sittings, in the framework of the Standing Orders
- ensures respect for provisions of the Constitution and Standing Orders
- makes announcements concerning the Senate
- takes disciplinary measures in the event of disturbance, and lifts such measures
- establishes the list of speakers, gives and withdraws permission to speak
- calls for a vote, decides how it is to be carried out, verifies the voting procedure and cancels a vote in the event of irregularities
- checks the quorum
- interprets the rules or other regulations governing the life of the Senate
Special powers - is responsible for safety, and in this capacity, can call the police in the event of disturbance in the Senate
Speaking and voting rights, other functions - takes part in voting, only in a case of a tied vote

This page was last updated on 12 January 2018
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