The Legislature alone can’t provide the desired good governance to Nigerians -Lawan
Lawan made the statement at the 2020 National Legislative Conference tagged: “Legislative Investigation Powers, Expectations and Challenges and the Way Forward” in Abuja on Monday.
The conference was organised by the National Orientation Agency (NOA) in collaboration with HallowMace Communications Ltd.
Represented by the Deputy Chief Whip of the Senate, Sen. Sani Abdullahi, Lawan said lack of compliance with resolutions of the Legislature constituted was hindering the achievement of good governance in the country.
“It is clear that the National Assembly is pro-poor in terms of what we discuss in the chambers and even during investigations. These are the very important things we do, but we do not have the powers to sing our songs, somebody has to sing it for us.
“In terms of peoples’ representations in our motions and investigations; one aspect is compliance with resolutions that come out of it.
“The lack of compliance with resolutions of the National Assembly is a great deficit in our desire to develop and provide services called good governance. One hand cannot carry the entire house; that is why the framers of our Constitution decided to say the Judiciary is there, the Legislature is there and the Executive is there and all of us have our various roles to play.
“Democracy must work for our people, that is the only way all of us can have the peace that we so much desire,” he said.
Lawan said that the investigative powers of the legislature brought out the accountability and transparency mechanisms embedded in the governance structure, and this had become very importance in this period of scarce resources.
He stressed that the resources generation capacity of the country had been hampered by the volatile challenges in oil revenue and the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This requires us to be more meticulous and more judicious with the use of resources; the legislature should be more diligent in its mandate of appropriation, legislation and oversight, considering the constitutional checks and balances, and service delivery.
“The anticipation of the people is naturally good governance, this requires painstaking efforts by leaders and the followers.
“While we expect leaders to be responsible and selfless, the followers are supposed to be responsible, faithful and ensure that leaders do not deviate from the defined mission and vision,” he said.
The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila said that the parliament could not be relegated in any democratic government, because it is the first arm of government since it represents the people and democracy.
Represented by the Rep. Ado Doguwa, Majority Leader of the house, the speaker said that the Legislature had been subjected to so much criticism and had often been undermined, adding that since no arm of government could function alone, the executive, judiciary, the media and civil society, must collaborate with the legislature to achieve the much desired good governance.
In his keynote address, Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye, Chairman, Independent Corrupt Practices and other related Offences Commission (ICPC), said the legislature has powers of investigation, with a view to making laws, check abuse of power, curb waste or expose corruption.
Owasanoye, who was represented by Dr. Esa Onoja, Owasanoye, noted that the legislature remained an anti corruption institution, though without the powers of the anti graft agencies to prosecute.
He said that refusal of heads of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to appear for investigative hearings was a challenge to the legislature, adding that as the custodian of the Constitution, the legislature, must, however, remain trustworthy to ensure peace and order in the country. (NAN)