CISLAC tasks Akpabio on transparency, public participation in legislative works

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By Angela Atabo

The Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) has urged the leadership of the National Assembly to prioritise transparency, openness, legislative participation, and fairness in conducting legislative activities and advancing their agenda.

The Executive Director of CISLAC, Mr Auwal  Rafsanjani Mr Auwal  Rafsanjani, made  the call in a statement on Friday in Abuja.

According to Rafsanjani, the call is a response to concerns expressed by senators about the senate’s leadership, under Godswill Akpabio.

He said that this was imperative because senators were fast-tracking the passage of bills without adequate public hearings and debates.

He alleged that this was done without giving consideration to the requirement for two-thirds of legislators to be present before passing a bill.

He quoted  Sen.  Ali Ndume of Borno South saying , “you are passing bills without prior notification, even money bills, without anyone’s contribution and within two hours. This is not good for Nigeria, and history will judge you.”

Rafsanjani emphasised, that while expediting the legislative process is essential, it is  equally important to ensure meaningful input from legislators and Nigerians.

“A bill passed without sufficient involvement of the people can result in a significant deficit for Nigerians.”

“Senators and House of Representatives members must ensure that the NASS leadership considers popular views before passing legislation to uphold transparency and accountability.

” The general public should be invited to participate in public hearings, as they are stakeholders whose views should be heard and respected.

“If the Senate leadership, under Akpabio, undermines this, it implies a limitation on the functions of the Senate.”

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“The relationship between the legislature and the executive should not merely be a rubber stamp. The legislature should play a critical role and scrutinise every legal framework presented to them,” he said.

Rafsanjani  said that the passage of bills did not define legislative activism; other responsibilities, such as oversight and public hearings, must also be prioritised to enhance the quality of life for Nigerians.

He said that legislative bills should not be pursued based on personal and selfish interests, but they should reflect the aspirations of Nigerians.

“CISLAC calls on NASS to adhere to its legislative activities with a focus on openness and transparency, aiming to boost Nigerians’ trust and confidence in the legislative process and the legislature’s ability to effectively carry out their duties in line with NASS rules.

“Additionally, CISLAC urges the executive not to intimidate the legislature but to engage them in meaningful debates and discussions, allowing them to fulfill their functions in participatory democracy.

“The legislature should welcome meaningful stakeholder engagement and set aside personal and private interests that may undermine their work,” he said

Rafsanjani said that the general public was encouraged to actively participate in National Assembly public hearings, engage in research, and provide legislative support to enable the legislature to effectively carry out their activities.

He said that furthermore, Ministries, Departments, and Agencies are urged to honor invitations from the legislature, promoting effective activity and reducing duplication and waste in budgetary allocations.(NAN)(


Edited by Isaac Aregbesola

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