By Naomi Sharang
The President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, has said that legislative aides played very important role in assisting lawmakers fulfill their mandate.
Lawan stated this at a three-day capacity building workshop for 300 legislative aides of the National Assembly on Tuesday in Abuja.
The workshop was organised by the National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies (NILDS).
Lawan, represented by his Chief of Staff, Babagana Aji, said a well-trained crop of aides would make the job less stressful.
“The legislature is obviously still growing and revealing aspects that need improvements given the dynamic nature of knowledge and the need to adapt to new phases.
“The legislator must cope with the challenges of fulfilling his mandate in relation to fresh realities and against the background of rising expectations.
“Important in the circumstances is the need to have industrious aides who can provide the needed help towards the effectiveness of the lawmakers to impact on the larger society,” he said.
The senate president said that to be resourceful, the aides required constant training and retraining even if it was to be reminded of what they already know, or to tweak tactics and strategies.
“This is consistent with the times we are in, where information is huge and where we have to dissect them, to distinguish between the relevant and the irrelevant.
“The performance of this task may sometimes not be easy, which is why workshops are relevant,” he said.
In his address, Speaker, House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, said that training programmes such as this was necessary to ensure that the people who supported the elected legislators in the joint task of nation-building could deliver on the roles assigned to them.
Gbajabiamila was represented by Chief Whip of the House, Tahir Mongunu.
Earlier, NILDS Director-General, Prof. Abubakar Sulaiman, said that the training was the second of four batches planned for 2021.
“The focus on legislative aides is based on the important services that you provide to your principals, especially in the technical areas such as drafting of bills and motions and writing speeches,” Sulaiman said.
He said that aides must be knowledgeable in the committee system and the rules of the Senate as well as the House to make any meaningful contribution. (NAN)