The National Assembly Service Commission (NASC) said, laws for Nigeria are made by elected politicians who may or may not have the knowledge or expertise of lawmaking, hence they need an equipped bureaucracy to support in that regard.
Ahmed Kadi-Amshi, the NASC chairman stated this at the opening of the second three-day capacity-building workshop for staff of the House of Representatives in Abuja on Tuesday.
Amshi, represented by Abubakar Tutare, the commissioner representing North East, said training staff of the National Assembly will benefit the entire country as they play a critical role in lawmaking.
He said: “Training is a priority under my tenure as chairman of NASC because it is only in training and retraining that we can develop the capacity of our staff and the need to develop capacity cannot be over-emphasised.
“Where we are in National Assembly is where laws are made for the country; their laws are made by elected politicians who may or may not have the knowledge or expertise of lawmaking.
“For them to be successful, they will need your contribution and guidance and so need the necessary training in law drafting for good governance is very necessary. NASC will at all times, give support to issues of staff training to develop capacity.”
Yahaya Danzaria, the clerk to the House of Representatives also said the National Assembly management, particularly the House has made staff training a top priority to empower the parliamentary workers to the critical law they play in lawmaking for the peace, unity and progress of the country.
Danzaria said in the legislature, capacity building is the process of developing and strengthening the skills of officers that the legislative institution needed to survive and compete favourably with other parliaments across the globe.
“This workshop targets the core legislative officers in the areas of Chamber Services, Table Duties, Rules and Business, Legislative Scrutiny and Committee System among others. We are of the view that apart from the general training in Legislative Practice and Procedure which accommodates every staff of the legislature, there is need to focus on those key and peculiar areas of legislative activities that only trained officers have the capacity to handle,” Danzaria said.
“While everyone or many people may understand that the process of Bill Making involves three stages of reading and other stages of consideration at Committee level and public hearing, not everyone has the knowledge or experience of the process of proceedings in the daily plenary in the Chambers and what follows thereafter.
“This is why this targeted training is crucial to further empower those officers to embrace the best international practices and be up to date in parliamentary evolutions in those specific legislative services.
“The imperative for having sustained and experienced officers in this aspects of legislative services will not be limited with just once upon a time training. Indeed, the House of Representatives Management is already engaging experts within and outside Nigeria to provide technical support like PLAC in ensuring a continuous capacity building of all cadres and to ensure that at no time even with officers retiring from service, should we have dearth of competent officers in the system.
“It is note worthy that PLAC has scheduled another capacity building for clerks of Committees in the House of Representatives to run in two batches starting from 23rd of this month. This support is a great encouragement to what we are doing and we hope as beneficiaries, we should show dedication and commitment to ensure that the outcome of the trainings reflect in our attitude to work, performance and productivity which will demonstrate the institutional capacity in comparison to other climes.”