In fulfilment of his campaign promises, Speaker of the House of Representatives Rt. Hon Yakubu Dogara, has set up a committee that will re-draft his legislative agenda for the 8th Assembly.
Dogara had few days to the Speakership election unveiled his legislative agenda for the House promising to have it reviewed by a select committee of members, international donor agencies and civil society organisations.
Declaring open the three-day event in Abuja, Dogara said the historic election of presiding officers of the House that took place on June 9th 2015, which produced him as Speaker and Rt. Hon Lasun Yussuf as Deputy Speaker came with much expectations from Nigerians.
According to him, “The expectation of House Members and Nigerians alike is very high as the election was very keenly contested and we also made promises during our campaigns for Speakership. It is now time to deliver on those promises.”
“I am impressed with the caliber of men and women gathered here today for this assignment. The honourable members were carefully chosen based on their abilities and capacity.
“The British Government`s Department for International Development (DFID) that has been supporting the House over the years through PLAC is fully represented. The relevant agencies of the National Assembly are all here. Very distinguished professionals and resource persons have been invited to avail us of their experiences and expertise. We expect a lot from this meeting.”
He tasked the committee to among other things “construct a legislative roadmap, a legislative compass for the 8th House of Representatives. The document you will produce at the end of your assignment is expected to guide the actions of the House for the next four years.
“During the campaign for election as presiding officers, we unveiled our agenda entitled: ’My Legislative Agenda for the 8th House of Representatives’.
“I also made an Acceptance Speech after our election. These documents should serve as a guide or at best working documents. You are not bound by them. We expect you to think outside the box. Indeed, we expect you to proffer legislative solutions to the myriad of problems that confront us as a nation.”
The Legislative Agenda document you will produce at the end of your proceedings will be presented to the entire House for deliberation at Plenary Sessions and the final document will be as approved by the House in plenary.
Speaking earlier, Director of PLAC, Dr. Clem Nwakwo, said the retreat will afford members opportunity to craft the Legislative Agenda of the 8th Assembly as envisioned by the leadership.
Representative of the DFID, Clara Bernatt, said since 2010 the organisation had been implementing programmes that are aimed at deepening democracy in Nigeria.
She said the agenda when drafted and approved by the House will hold members accountable while strengthening their skills and knowledge especially that the National Assembly is at the heart of democracy.