National Assembly Leadership Retreat: An X-ray of NILDS Strides — By Abubakar Yusuf.
For the leadership of the National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies NILDS, the primary mandate of positioning robust legislative arm to contend with the present realities cannot be overlooked, as the new development coincided with the zeal , ability and experience of the top echelon under the leadership of Professor Abubakar Olarenwaju Sulaiman, as a former National Planning Minister in the previous administration.
The proactive tendencies been enjoyed under the foresighted leadership particularly at the Legislative arm spread to the Executive arm or government had placed the agency at the front burner of all programs, geared towards not only sustaining the over two decades practices of Nigeria democracy since 1999, but also to to sustain the momentum.
Therefore, the singular idea muted in the maiden meeting of principal officers of the National Assembly came at the right time and the right decisions in the prevailing circumstances.
Dealing with an arm charged with not only legal , but regulatory framework of the activities of the Executive and Judicial arm or government in the area of execution of government policies and interpretation of the Laws, the decisions of Sulaiman led NILDS was timely and germane.
It also came at a time when the National Assembly leadership and members was highly mixed particularly across party lines, beyond the conventional two party system of APC and PDP.
The historic and first ever conference of September 21st and 22nd , 2023 held in Ikot Ekpene, Akwa Ibom state, muted had gone down memory lane by displaying the administrative wisdom and political temerity of the leadership of NILDS under the current helmsman.
Arithematically, no doubt that the current National Assembly of 109 Senators consists of 59 APC, 39 PDP, 8 LP 2 NNPP and APGA 1 while the green chamber of the House of Representatives 178 APC, 113 PDP, 35 LP, 19 NNPP, 5 APGA, 2YPP, and 2 ADC.
For synergy between the three arms and setting agenda for the other arms of government, the need for more patriotic debates and deliberations devoid of any party affiliations became sacrosanct.
The 10th National Assembly lawmakers both at the red and green chamber are also expected to carry out oversight functions of MDA’s, to solve myriads of problems not created by them , which included standing committees.
With the National Assembly members and leadership on the driver’s seat, and new political party members in the saddle, careful management and disposition for good administration and elections in future became needful.
For a well thought out National Assembly, the leadership must be alive to it’s responsibility with a well funded, well staffed, to carry out research with required expertise in that area.
With adequate oversight not compromised with the Executive arm interms of sponsorship and it’s activities away from the myopic believes of the government departments.
The conference regarded as timely with the resumption of the current 10th Assembly with 73 members of Senate as first timers and over 200 members of the House in that category, hence justifying the desire for the event in Akwa Ibom state.
With the present status of both chamber, the orientation program was expected to guard against partisanship of committees assignments, caucus arrangements, and co-chaired to display high level of patriotism and integrity.
The leadership must also be seen to be diverse, balance, effective representation, dialogue so as to make good laws for the country.
The need for such a laudable fora aside creating synergy among federal lawmakers and reorientation, it will bring about cohesion, concession and cross party line collaborations with national interest at the front burner, against winner takes all.
With Ranking advantage as part of the corrolary for leadership effectiveness at the National Assembly, given the new entrants of an unexpected figure of 73 Senators and over 200 members, the need for such fora convened by NILDS was timely.
The vital roles of Ranking advantage of both Lower and Upper arm of the Legislators is manifested in the constitution of committees and special committees, which consisted of 8 special committees and 63 standing committees for Senate while the House of Representatives had 7 special committees,and 74 standing committees expanded to over 100 for ease of assignments.
NILDS proactiveness at convening the conference in September at Akwa Ibom state was to ensure the committee of the whole house at the red and green chamber functions properly, adequately and effectively.
With the adequate orientation and reorientation of the Legislative arm of government at the early part of the 10th Assembly, it is capable of galvanizing and preparing the leadership of the Assembly to deliver not only on its statutory mandate of lawmaking, but interpretation and applications in all spheres.
The unique leadership disposition at NILDS under Professor Abubakar Sulaiman Olarenwaju will not only promote democracy, but enhance dividends of democracy extended to all the nooks and crannies of the country.
Yusuf , A Public Affairs Analyst, Writes from Abuja on email@example.com.