By Mosunmola Ayobami, Kwara
A pressure group, Kwara Must Change (KMC), has said the legislative arm of government is not strictly carrying out its oversight functions.
The group noted that good governance is suffering in Nigeria because of poor representation, adding that the legislative arm of government is not providing direction based on the needs of the people.
This was disclosed at the public presentation of the legislative watch assessment report of both the National Assembly and the State House of Assembly members in Ilorin on Wednesday.
The convener of KMC, Mallam Abdulrazaq Hamzat blamed lawmakers for not showing the right direction.
He said: “it’s our candid opinion that good governance is suffering in Nigeria because of poor representation and we are convinced that democracy cannot produce good governance if the legislative arm of government is not providing the direction.
“Across Nigeria, many have observed that quality of government projects being executed in this fourth republic is not comparable to those of past republics and even those of the military era.
“It is based on this realization and the quest to strengthen the legislature that we came up with the c`oncept of legislative watch, as an assessment tool to widen public understanding of legislative responsibility and accountability process.”
In rating the state’s representatives at the national and state levels, Mallam Hamzat said that more than 80 per cent of House of Representatives members scored below average, indicating low-level legislative understanding and commitment.
The group adjudged the Senator representing Kwara North, Sadiq Umar and the Speaker, Kwara State House of Assembly, Yakubu Danladi-Salihu as the most performing legislators from the state.
“More than 66 per cent of Senators scored above average in the legislative assessment, indicating higher level of legislative understanding and commitment from the senators.
“Fast majority of members of the state House of Assembly have little understanding of legislative engagement, neither do they have the commitment to improving themselves through active participation in legislative activities.
“More than 90 per cent of the state House of Assembly members scored below average in the legislative watch assessment, signifying a worsening state of legislative understanding,” he added.
The convener enjoined lawmakers in the state to see KMC assessment as an opportunity to deepen democracy, assuring that the group and the legislators are partners in progress because it is in their success that the people will rejoice.
In her speech, the chairperson of the occasion, as well as the women wing coordinator of the KMC, Dr. Mopelola Abdulmaliq Bashir, said that the production of the legislative watch is not an attempt to blackmail some legislators and block their future electoral chances.
She also dispelled what she called the erroneous impression in certain quarters that views the efforts of the group as an attempt to blackmail legislators.
“I say it with all sense of responsibility that this erroneous impression holds no water as the group only intends to use the publication to strengthen legislative accountability and extends our hands-on partnership to the legislative arm of government,” she noted.