YIAGA AFRICA’s public launch of the performance assessment of the 8th National Assembly has been held- The project was specifically carried out by the YIAGA Africa Centre for Legislative Engagement (YIAGA-CLE)- It was supported by the European Union and the European Union Support to Democratic Governance in NigeriaA research team led by former Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) chairman, Professor Attahiru Jega has rated the 8th National Assembly as the most productive legislative house in the history of Nigeria.This was contained in a study undertaken by YIAGA Africa Centre for Legislative Engagement (YIAGA-CLE) and supported by the European Union and the European Union Support to Democratic Governance in Nigeria.A public presentation of the report was held on Friday, October 4 in Abuja.The study assessed the National Assembly between 2015 and 2019 and drew lessons for the current set of federal legislators in the 9th National Assembly.

“Our research also showed that the 8th assembly did more than any previous assembly in terms of introducing about 2,166 bills out of which 515 were passed and 21 were alteration bills,’’ Jaga said while reading the report.He, however, said the work was commendable but not enough to produce bills, stressing adding that there was a need to also pay attention to the quality of bills as many of them were not assented to.The former INEC boss said that the research showed that there was a room for improvement with regards to the quality of the bills produced.His words: “There is a need to pay attention to the quality of bills that are introduced so we strongly recommended an establishment of a mechanism for pre-legislative scrutiny so that bills can be scrutinised.“Then a situation where a bill can go to the president and return for inconsistencies or editorial work and so on will not even arise.’’

Jega also advised the 9th National Assembly to adopt electronic voting for effective monitoring of bills and motions.“The National Assembly should adopt electronic voting on bills and motions;voting records should be available to members of the public on all National Assembly online and offline channels.“It is important for the National Assembly to maintain an updated open and accessible Bills Progression Chart to enable legislators, legislative aides and other stakeholders track or monitor progress of bills passage.“The National Assembly should maintain an accessible database of assented and gazetted legislation passed by the legislature,” he said.Out of the 48 long terms observers who all resident of the local government they are observing from, 21 are deployed in Bayelsa state, while 27 are deployed in Kogi state.

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