Young parliamentarians vow to bridge gaps in Nigeria’s laws


ReppYoung legislators in the 10th National Assembly have assured that some of the lacunae identified in the 1999 Constitution and the Electoral Act would be seriously examined with a view to bridging the gap as soon as they return from recess in September.

The member representing Oron/Mbo/Okobo/Udung Uko/Urueffong Oruko Federal constituency at the House of Representatives, Martins Esin, said this on Friday in Uyo while speaking with newsmen during a capacity building workshop for the young legislators in the 10th National Assembly held in Ikot Ekpene, Akwa Ibom State.

The workshop was organised by Yiaga Africa Centre for Legislative Engagement for young parliamentarians.

Esin who is the House Committee Chairman on Youth Development disclosed that the session on bill scrutiny and analysis had opened their eyes to identify some gaps such as incomplete financial autonomy by the three arms of government, adding that they would ensure they were tackled holistically.

He explained that the workshop was aimed at driving effective legislation among young persons from age 45 years and below at the 10th Assembly.

“For us young parliamentarians to come out from recess into a training shows how we place the national interest above our personal interests. In the legislative agenda for the 10th National Assembly where we talk about youth inclusion and participation, there are a lot of expectations from young people.

“No doubt, there is a legislative lacuna, we have taken a session on scrutinising bills and there are a lot of lacunae inside the Constitution and Electoral Act. We have geared up and immediately we resume by September, we will begin to close these gaps. We are going to make independence of each arm of government to be holistic.”

Speaking during the occasion, the Senior Special Assistant to former President Muhammadu Buhari on National Assembly Matters, Senator Ita Enang, who was a resource person, harped on the need for the executive arm to obey totally the provisions of the constitution and allow financial autonomy of both the legislature and the judiciary.

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Enang lamented that despite the constitution amendment in that regard, none of the state governors has complied with the provision urging the Akwa Ibom State governor to set the pace.

He said, “My presentation is for the executive arm to comply with the provisions of the constitution as amended to allow financial autonomy completely. Unfortunately, none of the states has done that.

“It’s unfortunate that a governor was celebrated because he bought vehicles for the legislators, it’s not the work of the governor because the legislature should be allowed to manage its finances. When it finishes they know it has finished.

Eno, therefore, charged the young parliamentarians to ensure that such is fully implemented in their various states.

The Akwa Ibom State governor, Pastor Umo Eno, who was represented by his deputy, Akon Eyankenyi, described the National  Assembly as a good place to serve the people and prayed that their tenure would be a fruitful one.

The governor in his goodwill message said he was grateful that the young parliamentarians took up the responsibility to serve early enough saying that he had established a business and leadership school in Uyo where the youths with sound ideas would be trained and their ideas tested.

In his remarks, the  Executive Director,  Yiaga Africa Centre for Legislative Engagement, Samson Itodo, said: “The major objective of this workshop is to build the capacity of young legislators in the National Assembly who are largely new and improving their capacity in legislative process and procedure.

“We want them as young persons to sponsor quality legislation and respond to the needs and priorities of the people and perform high-quality oversight functions in holding the executive to account. Also, they can engage their constituents constructively in a sustained manner in a way that delivers the dividends of democracy,” he said. ,

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