Prof. Abubakar Sulaiman, the Director-General, National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies (NILDS), has emphasised the need to strengthen the legislative arm of the government to boost the nation’s democracy.
Sulaiman disclosed this on Friday during the closing ceremony of a two-day capacity-building training for lawmakers from Ogun, Oyo, Ondo and Lagos states, held at TCC Resort Centre, Ogere Remo.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the training was organised by NILDS in partnership with a German donor agency, Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS)
Sulaiman said that an independent legislature would make Nigeria better and also strengthen its democracy.
The DG decried a situation where lawmakers were not given the opportunity for a second term in office, saying that ‘the instability usually has a way of affecting the performance of the legislature’.
“It also means that more funds are required to build the capacity of new legislators.
“These factors leave the legislature relatively weaker than other arms of government. We must find a way to de-emphasise all of these for our country to move forward,” he said.
The DG described the legislature as the stronghold of democratic government the world over.
He explained that understanding the rudiments of lawmaking usually take time, hence series of capacity building training were usually organised for the lawmakers to give quality representation for their people.
Sulaiman said that it became imperative to strengthen the legislative arm of government, so that it could perform better its constitutional mandate of lawmaking, oversight and representation.
He said many of the constitutional alteration bills sent to the State Assemblies were all targeted at strengthening the legislature at the state level.
“I therefore, call on all State Assemblies to vote wisely and to put national development ahead of the interests of individuals or groups.
” As the Assembly winds down, it is essential that you conclude all work on pending legislative business, especially on bills at various stages of the legislative process, public and investigative hearings, and other oversight activities,” he said.
Speaking at the event, the Acting Resident Representative for KAS, Marija Peran, disclosed that the core mandate of KAS lies in strengthening good and democratic governance as well as rule of law.
Also, the Speaker, Ondo House of Assembly, Bamidele Oleyelogun, thanked the organisers of the training, adding that the workshop had no doubt equipped them for greater service to the nation.
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