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Speaker Expresses Readiness To Champion Reforms Through NASS

todayMarch 15, 2024 4

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The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Dr. Abbas Tajudeen has assured European Union, EU delegation of his readiness to champion reforms in Nigeria through the National Assembly.

According to him, the reforms includes electoral reforms, empowerment of women and more inclusion for them in politics and governance among others.
The Speaker gave the assurance in Abuja when he received a delegation of the
19 EU countries’ ambassadors to Nigeria led by the Ambassador of EU to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Ambassador Samuela Isopi.

He explained that part of the reforms is having a roadmap for timely passage of the ongoing amendments to the 1999 Constitution.

“In the past, we observed that we did not start it in good time, and that also affected our time of completing it. That usually affects the quality of bills that are supposed to be transmitted to the state legislative assemblies for them to also concur. “This time around, we told ourselves that we need to start earlier and we need to use a roadmap. We need to also determine how long it will take us to finish our own job at the National Assembly level.

That is the reason why you can see that the Constitution review committee that we kick-started a few weeks ago, started earlier than the preceding assemblies”.

“I want to categorically inform you that the Constitution review committee has been given 24 months to complete all its work. We want to make sure that by the time we are at the mid-term of our mandate, all issues that have to do with Constitution review have been concluded at the level of the National Assembly so that we have clear one-and-a-half years to be able to reach out to states Houses of Assembly and ensure that they do the needful, for us to return it (amendment bill) back to Mr President for assent.

Dr. Abbas disclosed that the chairmen and members of the House Committees on Women Affairs, and Women in Parliament have been mandated to lead the stakeholders’ engagement and lobbying for the gender-related bills for them to really be on the same page with the women folk when the time comes for voting”.

He added that the House would also send a delegation to understudy some African countries, like Uganda and Rwanda, which now have unique models for women’s participation in governance.

The Speaker thanked the EU member countries for their support to Nigeria while urging them to do more for the country. “I am also particularly delighted that the small initiative that we came up with at the beginning of the 10th Assembly is being accepted by the European community… the issue of friendship groups. We believe that it is a small window of opportunities that the various countries in the world and the Nigerian Parliament or the Nigerian Government can be able to deepen their understanding of our legislation, to bring about a lot of economic development to our countries”.

“We are grateful that some of the members (of the House) that we have appointed to lead the friendship groups have started making impact particularly in the European Union”.

Meanwhile, members of the delegation took turns to hail the Speaker for forming international parliamentary friendship groups in the House and congratulated the National Assembly for the completion of its library, modelled after the Library of Congress, Washington D.C, in the United States.

Earlier in her address, Ambassador Isopi noted that the European Union is a champion and advocate of democracy and the National Assembly is the symbol of democracy in Nigeria.

She also noted that the EU is West Africa’s largest neighbour, adding that the EU and Nigeria have an interest in working together on stability, peace and development of the whole region.

Oduyemi Odumade, Edited By Grace Namiji

Written by: Editorial Team

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