National Assembly will ensure legislative compliance on programmes implementation, Lawan declares

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Senate President, Ahmad Lawan yesterday declared that the Ninth National Assembly has concluded plans to ensure that programmes are implemented in conformity with laws and resolutions passed by the legislature.He disclosed this at the 2019 legislative conference in Abuja, saying that the Ninth Senate would do everything within its powers to ensure that it achieves this through its oversight functions.

Lawan, who was represented by the Chairman, Senate Committee on Legislative Compliance, Oriolowo Adeyemi, stated that beginning from January 2020, the Committee would be making available weekly publication of motions and laws passed, as well as compliance reports to members of the public.

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He said such programmes would be implemented and administered efficiently and effectively in line with legislative intents. He stressed that non-compliance with laws made by the legislature was one of the major issues affecting the progress of the country.

“It has been observed that the key factor militating against progress in Nigeria is neither paucity of funds nor dearth of laws, but non-compliance with statutory requirements especially during implementation.

“Most of the problems we have are as a result on non-compliance with laws. There are a lot of laws and resolutions that have been passed by the National Assembly, but non-compliance has been the cause of our problems.

“The issue of compliance is germane to the strengthening of our oversight function,” he said.He maintained that the National Assembly was determined to run a legislature that works for all Nigerians, noting that the Ninth National Assembly had inaugurated the Committee on Legislative Compliance created by the Eighth Assembly.He said the yardstick for determining the performance of legislators was the number of bills produced, laws enacted, motions passed, petitions resolved, investigation carried out and committee reports produced.

Director General, Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, Professor Muhammed Ladan in a keynote lecture, said the legislature must satisfy certain conditions to effectively deploy its oversight powers.He listed the conditions to include availability of capacity and oversight tools, adding that availability of materials, technical, financial and human resources to perform optimally in the oversight of other arms of governments was key.He noted that studies have shown that the legislators’ political will remained the most important determinant to oversight effectiveness.

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Convener of the conference and Chief Executive Officer of HALLOW MACE Communications Limited, Sunny Osiebe, said the theme, Strengthening the Legislature for Effective Oversight Functions,” could not have been more timely and fitting.He argued that it was imperative to strengthen the legislative processes and procedures to further empower the legislature to carry out its core oversight functions.

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