Kaduna lawmakers under scrutiny for sponsoring 4 bills in 3 years
April 24, 2018
A cross section of Kaduna residents and political analysts have lampooned members of the Kaduna State House of Assembly for sponsoring only four bills in the last three years.
The residents said in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that lawmakers have displayed gross ineptitude and do not deserve re-election.
NAN however reports that the state assembly had passed a total of 63 bills, with 59 being executive bills.
An analyst and public commentator, Mr Iliya Kure, said the lawmakers had “performed poorly especially in terms of sponsoring private bills which is one of their core mandate.”
“These members were elected to make laws if they are not initiating bills and making laws it means the government is wasting public resources on them.”
“Every Kobo spent should bring returns; there is also another problem, as they are not transparent in their activities especially in terms of oversight functions.
“Now no one can categorically say this is what the legislative arm is contributing to good governance of the state.”
He added that their “constituents should have a rethink before returning any of the members in 2019 because they have failed in doing what is expected of them.”
Murtala Abubakar, a member of the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) in the state, also expressed disappointment with the performance of the lawmakers.
“One thing I have come to realize with this state assembly is that they don’t go out for oversight functions and if they do, they don’t present themselves as accountable in their work,” he claimed.
He urged Civil Society Organisations and the media to focus more on the legislature to push them to be accountable.
“They are key stakeholders who must understand and champion issues of development and service delivery to the electorate.
“The legislators play a central role in policy making process and holding government to account,” Abubakar said.
Dr Auwal Aliyu, a political analyst, described the assembly as mere “rubber stamp.”
“In my opinion they are more like a rubber stamp; every executive bill presented to it hardly stayed for more than a week. It is always given accelerated passage.
“That is why the civil society generally view the state assembly as rubber stamp. In the last three years most of bills passed into law were generally not sponsored by the members.
“There are bills drafted by private citizens send to the members which have not even been presented for debate.
“I also forwarded the Peace and Reconciliation Commission Bill, which was later adopted by the government and resent to the assembly.”
According to him, the lawmakers are only after displaying their loyalty to government instead of the electorate that brought them to office.
A resident, Malam Jibril Sa’id, advised the lawmakers to live up to their responsibilities.
“They are supposed to be initiating laws and if they are not doing that, it means they are just there for nothing sake,” he contended.
Mr Emmanuel Bonet, Executive Director, Aid Foundation said, “if you look at it from different dimension, one will think that the house has passed more bills than any other House of Assembly that I know in Kaduna.
“But when you also look at where the bills are coming from, it is disheartening to know that those bills were executive bills.
“That in three years only four out of the bills came from the members goes clearly to show the quality of members that we have.
“There is nothing wrong for the executive to forward bills, but it is wring for the members to sponsor only four bills in three years, it questions their capabilities and competence.
“The members should wake up and show that the assembly is made up of strong minded individuals that have yearnings and concern about the interest of the people, and can produce laws that can shape the state in a right direction.
” I know that there are so many areas in which members of the state assembly can generate bills to meet the yearnings of the electorates.
“Their performance should make the citizens reflect deeply on the kind of people we should elect in the future,” Bonet stressed.
In his reaction, Mr Nuhu Goro, Chairman, House Committee on Information, said those criticising the lawmakers were selfish and unfair.
According to him, the four bills were those that were passed into law and assented to by the governor.
He said the members had between them over 13 bills, adding that more were coming up.
Goro said the 63 bills passed into law went through lots of work by the assembly members.
“So, if somebody just sits down and criticise us that we are not working, then how were we able to pass all the bills that we did, or do bills just pass like that.
“We have members that are very intelligent, active and up to date; that is why we were able to move those bills.”
He also claims that they were mere rubber stamps, saying building synergy with the executive was necessary to ensure smooth working relationship for the benefit of the state.
NAN reports that the private member bills passed into law by the assembly are the Free Medical Examination Before Marriage Law, Bill to Amend the Kaduna State Kidnap Prohibition Law 2009.
The rest are the Bill for the Protection and Conservation of Cultural Heritage, and the Bill to Amend College of Midwifery Law 2015