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Lawmakers, critical stakeholders must work in synergy — Kalu

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The Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Benjamin Kalu on Monday stressed the need for synergy between lawmakers and all critical stakeholders for the proposed review of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) for the betterment of the nation.

Kalu who is also the Chairman of the House of Representatives Constitution Review Committee stated this while declaring open a two-day retreat organised by the Rule of Law and Anti-corruption Programme in collaboration with the office of the Deputy Speaker for his senior Legislative Aides, with the theme ‘Synergy and Success’.

The Deputy Speaker said his office aspires to be a hub for resolving the issues surrounding constitutional amendment by conducting thorough research and analysing the potential impact of proposed amendments.

He also said the office of the Deputy Speaker would achieve the task by actively engaging the public through town hall meetings, public hearings, and other avenues to gather citizen input and build consensus.

According to him, “We will work closely with legislators, civil society organizations, and legal experts to ensure that proposed amendments are well-crafted and reflect the will of the people.

“We will work hand-in-hand with the Speaker’s office to ensure the smooth operation of the House of Representatives and advance our shared legislative agenda, particularly regarding constitutional amendments.

“We will collaborate effectively with other principal officers to assist them in delivering on their mandates. By sharing resources and expertise, we can collectively enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of the House.

“We will actively engage with committees to ensure they have the support they need to fulfill their oversight and legislative functions, particularly those committees with mandates relevant to amendments.”

Kalu further added that where necessary, the office of the Deputy Speaker would establish productive channels of communication and collaboration with the executive branch to ensure its legislative efforts, particularly those related to constitutional amendments, align with the national interest.

He assured that through effective communication channels, town hall meetings, and constituency visits, they will actively engage with the people they represent, as understanding their concerns and aspirations is vital for informing the legislative priorities, including those related to constitutional amendments.

According to him, “By fostering a culture of collaboration across all these dimensions, we can create a truly synergistic office, well-equipped to tackle the challenges before us, particularly in the crucial arena of constitutional amendment.”

Kalu said the retreat was not just an opportunity for the participants to step away from the demands of their daily duties but also a chance to introspect, learn, grow, synergise, and strategise to enhance efficiency and effectiveness in their various capacities.

In his remarks, Clerk to the National Assembly, Sani Magaji Tambuwal said the retreat was to provide Senior Legislative Aides with opportunities to engage in conversations that foster intra and inter-chamber synergy in the National Assembly with the aim of achieving success and enhance their intellectual abilities and skills for improved delivery of legislative services.

Also speaking, the Director-General, National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies (NILDS),
Professor Abubakar Sulaiman said the retreat offers a veritable platform for critical introspection and reflections regarding the pivotal position of synergy in effective legislative governance.

In their remarks, two former Deputy Speakers, Emeka Ihedioa and Mohammed Idris Wase lauded the initiators of the retreat because of the huge responsibilities in the office of the Deputy Speaker being the engine room of the House.

 

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