Nige­ri­ans task N/Assem­bly on con­stituency projects

Daily Trust - - INSIDE POLITICS - By Ab­bas Ji­moh

Nige­ri­ans have urged the lead­er­ship of the Na­tional Assem­bly to de­vise ef­fec­tive mech­a­nism for mon­i­tor­ing con­stituency projects of leg­is­la­tors.

They made the urge, Mon­day, in Abuja, at a pro­gramme ti­tled: “Cit­i­zens Re­view on Leg­isla­tive Per­for­mance in the 8th Na­tional Assem­bly,” where they in­sisted that re­sources pro­vided for the Na­tional Assem­bly mem­bers in the bud­get for con­stituency en­gage­ment must be ac­counted for.

The Head of Re­search, Pol­icy and Ad­vo­cacy of the Youth Ini­tia­tive for Ad­vo­cacy Growth and Ad­vance­ment (YIAGA), Sam­son Itodo, and rep­re­sen­ta­tives of var­i­ous civil so­ci­ety groups blamed poor po­lit­i­cal ori­en­ta­tion for mis­con­cep­tions about con­stituency projects.

He said that leg­is­la­tors have failed to de­vice ways of man­ag­ing peo­ples’ ex­pec­ta­tions and es­tab­lish ac­ces­si­ble con­stituency of­fice, lament­ing that some law­mak­ers failed to open con­stituency of­fice, as re­quired by the law, due to fear that it could be used to en­gi­neer their re­call.

“Man­ag­ing and ad­dress­ing con­stituents’ ex­pec­ta­tions, pri­or­ity needs and leg­is­la­tors’ prom­ises are cru­cial for demo­cratic con­sol­i­da­tion and it re­quires a ro­bust leg­is­la­ture­ex­ec­u­tive re­la­tion­ship,” he said.

“There is need to strengthen leg­isla­tive over­sight, mon­i­tor­ing and eval­u­a­tion of con­stituency projects.”

The Coun­try Di­rec­tor, Open So­ci­ety Ini­tia­tive for West Africa (OSIWA), Jude Ilo, said that democ­racy was un­der scru­tiny glob­ally due to poor rep­re­sen­ta­tion, adding that Nige­ri­ans had lost con­fi­dence in their rep­re­sen­ta­tives be­cause of their in­abil­ity to un­der­stand the mood of the na­tion.

He urged them to build trust with their con­stituents for proper rep­re­sen­ta­tion.

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