9th NASC and SASCs Conference: Stakeholders Releases 8 Points Communique.
By Abubakar Yusuf.
In a well attended program held at Maryam Babangida Women Development Centre, MBWDC, Abuja that attracted the President of the Senate, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Senate Chairman, committee on establishment and public service, FCT Minister, Nyesom Wike and Clerk to the National Assembly through their representatives all gave a nod to the success of the program.
Other dignitaries which included the Hon. chief Commissioner, Public Complaints Commission, PCC , Director General, National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies NIPSS, Director General, National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies NILDS, and the Executive Secretary, National Assembly Library Trust Fund, all lend the success of the program.
The conference witnessed a large turn out of 21 states of the federation along with 100 delegates, with emphasis on other states to key into the activities of the commission with the opening ceremony held on the 18th October, 2023.
This followed the consideration of Memoranda from various States Assembly Service Commissions alongside recommendations from the various speakers on issues affecting the performance of the Assembly Service Commissions, with the goals of achieving excellence in the parliamentary service, which the conference resolved.
As part of the eight points communique, endorsed by the Executive Chairman, National Assembly Service Commission NASC Chairman, Engr Ahmed Kadi Amshi FNSE, FAEng, fnil, it was resolved on the need to vigorously pursue the unification of laws establishing State Assembly Service Commissions’ to be in line with the National Assembly Service Commission NASC, for smooth operations.
Therefore, the need to interface between the forum of Speakers of State Assemblies with a view to charting a new course for a unified Laws that applies to both National and State Assemblies Service Commissions’ was agreed.
Regular Training and re-training of staffs of the Commissions for effective and efficient service delivery was also agreed upon.
During the session, the lead paper of the conference and keynote address on the main theme which was “Excellence in Parliamentary Service; A Panacea for Good Legislation for Democratic Governance” was presented by Professor Ayo Omotayo with other six papers on various topics and sub themes delivered by seasoned facilitators at the conference.
The communique resolved that State Assemblies Commissions’ Chairmen and Members should ensure standard laws are established, be knowledgeable and keep abreast with the provision of the Laws, therefore, appointments of Clerks, Deputy Clerks and the Secretary to the Assembly Service Commissions be the sole responsibility of the State Assembly service commissions.
It also calls on State Governors yet to implement the financial autonomy of to states legislatures ( as guaranteed by the Nigerian constitution), to do so by enacting the enabling laws and those that have enacted to ensure release of funds to the commissions’ for smooth and efficient operations.
This will be through proper synergy, lobbying and good working relationship, within the Legislative and Executives to enhance release of funds after approval from time to time in states where autonomy is not fully practiced.
The need to leveraging on improved relationship with the Executive arm to access funds from donor agencies (UN) and other grants in Aids to democratic Countries of the World, e.g. grants funding and resources in the areas of democratic and good governance.
Fifthly, States Assembly Service Commissions should also explore the collaboration of the Policy and Legal Advocacy Centre for building necessary and knowledgeable expertise in enhancing excellence in the parliamentary service.
The communique canvassed for a uniform Legislative Guidelines on Appointments, Promotion and Discipline, Code of Ethics for the staff of the parliamentary bureaucracy and also the domestication of the National Assembly Service Commission’s schemes of service , Conditions of Service and all other enabling circulars for use in NASC/SASCs.
It also stressed the need for regular meeting between the National Assembly Service Commission, Chairmen and Secretaries of State Assembly Service Commissions quaterly as a form of feedback mechanism.