The legislative dynamism required in Nigeria has been hampered over the years by executive dominance, said the Director General of the National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies (NILDS), Professor Abubakar Sulaiman.
Professor Sulaiman, who said so in Abuja on Thursday in his speech at the two-day capacity building workshop held for Clerks, Deputy Clerks and Directors of Legal Departments of National and State Assemblies, said declared that the domination made the legislative arm subservient to the executive.
“Traditionally, the historic disadvantage of the legislature in Nigeria has resulted in its submission to the executive.
“This has been further compounded by a culture of executive dominance.
“The relatively weaker position of the legislature vis-à-vis other branches of government has not been helped by the high turnover rates that have increased since 2003.
“The just-concluded party primaries show this stark reality, with 80% of lawmakers unlikely to return in 2023. Over the years, this development has further undermined the legislature, eroded legislative capacity and diminished the confidence of the legislature as an institution.
“This reality places heavy demands on parliamentary staff, who constitute the institutional memory of the legislature, making a capacity-building workshop of this nature for them very necessary from time to time,” he said.
He added that the knowledge gained from the workshop by parliamentary workers will strengthen their legislative functions and outcomes and further solidify the position of the legislature as an independent and competent body of government.
In her remarks to the workshop, the resident representative of Konrad Adenaurer Stiftung, said that the capacity building workshops are organized before the substantive task that the parliamentary staff will have to face at the beginning of the 10th National Assembly the year next.