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External Vested Interests Stopped Passage Of Gender Bills – Speaker

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By Oduyemi Odumade

The Gender bills failed to secure constitutional amendment in the 9th Assembly due to external vested interests.

The Speaker of the House of Representives, Dr. Tajudeen Abbas, stated this in Abuja at a meeting with development partners, donor agencies, technical partners, and civil society organizations.

Represented by the House Leader, Professor Julius Ihonvbre, the Speaker explained that the majority of those who voted against the gender bills were irregular attendees of plenary sessions and only showed up on the day of the voting to oppose the bills.

He emphasized that the bills were not rejected based on their merit but rather due to external forces mobilizing certain legislators against them.

Speaking on the need to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the House as an institution, Dr. Tajudeen stressed the importance of conducting a NEEDS assessment which will help identify areas for improvement in legislative processes, oversight mechanisms, and overall effectiveness in representing the interests of the citizens.

The Speaker while acknowledging the crucial role played by development partners, donor agencies, and CSOs in supporting democratic institutions like the parliament.
called for increased collaboration with civil society organizations, non-governmental organizations, and donor agencies to enhance the capacity of the National Assembly.

Dr. Tajudeen who highlighted the challenges faced by the 10th House, emphasized the necessity for legislators to possess the required skills, knowledge, and resources to effectively fulfill their responsibilities.

To address these challenges, the House identified capacity development as a key strategy for equipping the legislature to deliver quality services in representation, oversight, and law-making.

He expressed gratitude for the collaboration and assistance provided by technical partners in enhancing the House’s capabilities.

“To ensure effective collaboration, the Parliamentary Coordination Unit (PCU) recognized the need to formulate a comprehensive Parliamentary Development Programme. As part of this initiative, a capacity NEEDS assessment of the House will be conducted to determine specific requirements” he said.

Tajudeen expressed gratitude to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) for facilitating the engagement of Prof. Victor Adetula, a leading development expert, to conduct the NEEDS assessment and develop a comprehensive parliamentary development program.

Edited By Grace Namiji

Written by: Kevin Nwabueze

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