Hajiya Bilkisu YusufAbuja
Last week, the Centre for Democratic Research and Training CDRT of the Bayero University Kano in coaction with the United Nations Development Fund UNDP, organised a two-day training workshop for legislative Pluto of the Kano State House of Assembly. The locale of the workshop was the historical Mambayya House, the place and entombment land site of that father of extremist and reformer political relation in Northern Nigeria, Late Malam Aminu Kano. During his life time, Malam Aminu lived a Spartan life, shunned philistinism and was a consistent politician who engaged with policy at assorted levels. Known as the title-holder of the talakawa, he defended the right of people to do input signal into political relation and effectively take part in the personal business of the country.
Under the streamer of the Northern Elements progressive Union NEPU in the First Democracy and later the Peoples Redemption Party PRP, he challenged the position quo and advocated people centered policies and transparence and answerability in governance. He promoted democratic ideals of freedom and pick and campaigned against denial of women the right to vote and be voted for, subjugation of the mediocre and use of faith and civilization to warrant elect regulation and privileges. He fought a drawn-out ideological conflict with the opinion authorities at state and federal degree for decades. His advocacies and political activities changed the landscape of Nigerian political relation and catalysed political awakening in the North in particular.
As I maneuvered my manner through the heavy traffic at the intersection point in presence of Malam's house, I reflected on the life and modern times of the late political sage and how pleased he would have got got been to see that his parts have made a difference to those who still advance his ideals. I also felt a sense of sadness, knowing that Malam would have got got been terribly disappointed at the anti democratic, anti people and ego serving docket that most of his protégés have adopted after his departure.
The subject of the workshop Policy Analysis and Constituency Building was timely. Policy analysis is defined as the survey of making and conducting policy. It is the survey of how policies are made, executed in authorities and bureaucracies. Battle with public policy have existed in assorted word forms in all societies from clip immemorial. It affects systematic and elaborate scrutiny of policy jobs and authorities response to them. Political Scientists and community militants involved in the survey of public policy effort to invent solutions for jobs of public concern. They concentrate on a wide scope of issues ranging from education, to healthcare, agriculture, infrastructural development, the environment, human rights and basic freedoms and respective others.As the legislators settle down down to commence their work of law making, they would trust heavily on the class of legislative aides, the Secretaries of the assorted House Committees that were being trained at the workshop for articulation of policies for deliberation. Since law devising is the major mathematical function of the legislators, it is of import that they and their encouraging staff are given preparation in policy analysis, particularly as it impacts the constituencies they serve.
This point was emphasised by the Deputy Director of CDRT, Dr Haruna Salihi in his welcome computer address at the gap of the workshop. He commended the UNDP for investment in edifice the capacity of legislators and urged the participants to do usage of what they would larn at the workshop.
Four document were presented on the first twenty-four hours of the workshop. The first was titled The Development of the Legislature in Nigeria: Lessons from the Past by Dr Haruna Wakili, the Director of CDRT and presented by Dr Ismaila Zango a Deputy Director of the Centre. The paper traced the history of the modern legislative assembly in Federal Republic Of Nigeria and declared that it was a colonial creation. It listed the assorted fundamental laws the British Government developed for the state from the 1922 Clifford Constitution, 1933, 1946, 1951, and 1954 to the 1960 Independence fundamental law which established legislative houses. Others were developed by Nigerians such as as the 1963 Republican constitution, 1979 and 1999 fundamental laws which introduced a bicameral legislative assembly and a presidential system of government. In discussing the powerfulnesses of the legislative assembly and their effectivity in exercising these, Dr Wakili identified the following:
Power to O.K. yearly budget and monitoring device its execution and observed that public presentation of this mathematical function have been compromised by the deficiency of professional competency to scrutinise budget and the not due influence the Executive. On the powerfulness to corroborate or reject cardinal appointments, he cited that there were often allegations that campaigners often give incentive before they acquire cleared. On Oversight mathematical functions over the executive director arm which implement laws and policies, the paper cited the lawsuit of a curate at the national degree during the last dispensation who lost his occupation for succumbing to the demands of the legislators for pecuniary inducement. Another powerfulness of the legislators is the powerfulness of probe and impeachment which like other powerfulnesses is being selectively used and politicised by the legislature.
The 2nd paper titled: Mainstreaming of Women, Children and Other Vulnerable Group's Interest in Modern Legislation.
It was presented by my low self. It identified the vulnerable groupings in the society such as as the bottom of the mediocre the bulk of whom are women, unemployed youth, the disabled, destitutes, orphans and vulnerable children etc. It the examined the constitutional rights granted to all Nigerians and those contained in International conventions. It also listed supportive policies developed to turn to the particular demands of vulnerable groupings in the society ranging from education, health, women, young person development and kid rights policies. It reviewed the United Nations Millennium Development Goals MDGs and recommended that action should be focused on decrease of utmost poorness and hungriness which is Goal 1 of the MDG, Goal 2 on promoting cosmopolitan primary education, Goal 3 which is to advance grammatical gender equality and authorise women, and Goals 4 and 5 of the MDG which turn to the demand to cut down maternal and kid mortality and morbidity.
The 3rd paper was presented by Dr Abubakar Siddique Muhammad of the Department of Political Science, of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. It was titled Conflict and Conflict Management: Legislative -Executive Relations .The paper observed that the powerfulnesses the fundamental law confabulates on the legislative assembly do struggle with the executive director arm a natural portion of governance. These powerfulnesses are as follows:
The powerfulness to do laws, to command public funds, to O.K. or reject of import appointments, to repair wages and allowances and powerfulness to take public officers. These powerfulnesses do it impossible for any unit of measurement of authorities to work without owed mandate support and cooperation of the legislators. Dr Abubakar observed that political party differences, executive director director interference, an authoritarian executive also impact the human relationship between the two weaponry of government. To cut down struggle between the two weaponry of authorities the paper recommended that duologue between the executive director and the legislative assembly should be promoted and capacity edifice activities in the word form of retreats, seminars and workshops should be organised for the two arms.
The 4th paper was presented on the 2nd twenty-four hours of the conference by Alhaji Aliyu Tijjani, the former Clerk to the Kano State Assembly. It was titled The Function of Committees and Committee Secretaries in the Legislature .The paper traced the development of the commission system which it described a major characteristic of the presidential system. It identified two types of committees, the standing commissions and the particular committees. The particular commissions help the legislative assembly in the public presentation of its primary constitutional assignment. The standing commissions are lasting and each commission takes duty for a peculiar area. The Committees' work may affect public hearings, staff research, revision, amendments and then a concluding recommendation to the House. Ideally most of the Committee's work should be handled by the Committee Secretary and a sizeable figure of professional staff of the legislative assembly who should carry on all the research work and usher the legislators especially those who are new or inexperienced. The presenter noted that measures are referred to the relevant standing commissions and the Committee studies to the House after consideration of the measure with all amendments made. The Committee Secretary is the caput of the secretariate and plays an of import function in the behavior of Committee business. The paper recommended that more than legislative Pluto should be recruited and uninterrupted preparation should also be provided to the legislative Pluto to heighten their efficiency.
The last paper titled Applying Research To Policy Formulation and Legislation was presented by Dr. Sule Bello, Executive Director of the Kano based African Research and Development Association ARADA The paper began with an scrutiny of the work legislative assemblies in a democratic stressing that legislative assemblies are in the concluding analysis the existent beginning of powerfulness in any democracy .Dr Bello observed that military coup d'etats happen owed to the general insensitivenesses or incompetency of the political class. Populace ailment against the misconduct of politicians in general and legislators as long in peculiar have also been long standing. On the importance of research in legislative activities, the paper noted that sourcing information is critical to administration in general and determination devising in particular. The paper examined some research and development rules and recommended capacity edifice for cardinal legislative staff to effectively help the legislators for the implementation, monitoring, rating and alteration of policy ends and objectives.
The workshop organizers provided some clip for parts from the participants at the end of each paper presentation and the interaction was quite interesting. It was obvious that learning had taken topographic point and one could only urge that all states should do the preparation and re-training of legislators and legislative Pluto a regular activity.