As part of its effort to ensure quality representation and legislation, YIAGA AFRICA hosted a two-day legislative agenda workshop for young speakers and technical working committee members in State Houses of Assembly in Nigeria. The workshop was designed to contribute towards the development of a Legislative Agenda for the State Houses of Assembly, which would outline the key priorities and objectives of the 9th Assembly and aid the development of a coherent implementation strategy.
Addressing speakers and principal officers, Coordinator of YIAGA AFRICA Centre for Legislative Engagement, Dr Ernest Ereke said developing a citizens’ driven legislative agenda will provide the platform for a responsive, innovative and accountable leadership which would encompass the needs of the citizens, thereby, providing direction for representatives in the discharge of their legislative duties. He further said “it is critical to provide technical support to these State Houses of Assembly in designing and developing a citizens-driven legislative agenda to drive the legislative business of the Assembly.”
He appreciated the huge sacrifice of young speakers and principal officers saying, despite tight schedules, they have availed themselves for the purpose of developing a citizens-driven legislative agenda. He said to the Speakers, “in between steering your various State Houses of Assembly, to the right path…we keep coming to you to input our contributions and you keep accommodating those contributions to further strengthen your legislative capacity and the institutions in your various states.”
Giving his remark, the Speaker, Oyo State Assembly, Rt. Hon. Adebo commended the technical support of YIAGA AFRICA, not just to the lawmakers but to the assembly. He further promised to deliver the best legislation to serve as a positive precedent so that other young lawmakers can build on it.
In a similar vein, another young speaker, Rt. Hon. Abok Nuhu Ayuba of Plateau State House of Assembly noted that the legislative agenda workshop organised by YIAGA AFRICA is the first of its kind in Nigeria saying “we are doing so much to ensure that the Not Too Young To Run constitution amendment is fully implemented across Nigeria, and we are doing so much to ensure that we bring the much-needed change”. Since July this year, YIAGA AFRICA has been working with the youngest speakers of the legislature, to help build a citizens-driven legislative agenda. This two-day workshop was undertaken as part of the development process.
In November, YIAGA AFRICA deployed researchers to all the Local Government areas of Oyo, Plateau and Zamfara States to administer research surveys to gather data that would encompass the needs of the citizens. At this workshop, the facilitators guided the Technical Working Groups and Speakers to assess the Legislative Priorities of the House of Assembly towards setting benchmarks for prioritizing legislation over the four-year tenure of the assembly. The workshop ultimately aided the development of action plans as well as monitoring frameworks.
Also present at the workshop were Board Chair, YIAGA AFRICA, Dr. Hussaini Abdu, Executive Director, YIAGA AFRICA, Samson Itodo, Senior Program Officer (Youth), Ibrahim Faruk, and research consultant, Prof. Shola Omotola, who gave presentations on the Legislative Agenda development process.