NILDS rolls out report on public expectations from 9th Assembly
• As Nigerians demand improved transparency, accountability
Nigerians have underscored the need for members of the 9th session of the National Assembly to ensure improved transparency and accountability of the Legislature in the handling of financial matters and establish well-structured and publicized platforms for public interaction beyond visiting their constituencies.
Details of the findings were contained in the 93-page report on the ‘Study on public expectations from the 9th session of the National Assembly’ as well as the ‘2020-2024 Strategic Roadmap for NILDS’, unveiled by the National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies (NILDS), in Abuja, on Tuesday.
While presenting the report, NILDS Director-General, Prof Olanrewaju Suleiman, reiterated the Institute’s resolve as the ‘Tink-Tank’ of the National Assembly towards bridging the gaps between the National Assembly and Nigerian public through research-based studies that could engender good governance and delivery of dividends of democracy.
“What you have seen today is a dual exercise, one is public presentation a study we carried out on public expectations on the 9th Assembly and that is hinged on our belief and the leadership of the 9th Assembly that the uniqueness of democracy is to the extent to which the masses are carried along with what they do.
“In order words, whatever comes out from the National Assembly in terms of legislation, in terms of deliberations, in terms of decisions, in terms of bills, in terms of laws are seen as the reflections and wishes of the people.
“If that is the case, therefore, starting anything at all, we need to now conceptualize and try to find out, undertake research on what indeed are the people’s expectations. What do they want the National Assembly to do, what are they expecting from the Legislature of Nigeria in this 9th Assembly?
“An assembly could have an agenda, they could have their own plans, but what is key in a democracy is the people’s plans, it’s the people’s visions, it’s the masses expectations, it’s the masses agenda, so what we have done as an institute under the National Assembly is to go out there, to ask Nigerian people, collate their views, collate their expectations, their wishes, their aspirations,” he observed.
While giving the synopsis of the study, the former Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof Attahiru Jega explained that the Committee on the Study of Public Expectations of the 9th Assembly explained that the respondents are expecting more from the National Assembly than what is currently obtainable.
Prof Jega who was represented by Prof Sanya Peters explained that the survey was conducted in 12 states across the six geopolitical zones of the federation, with low and highest populations.
According to him, the public is expecting quality deliberations, strengthening legislative procedure, improve attendance and legislate basically on infrastructure and building institutions.
Prof. Jega also stressed the need for the Institute to set up a strong monitoring team that will conduct a periodic review on the study, with the view to capture emerging and key issues.
He also emphasised the need to document the achievements and identify the gaps.