By Haruna Salami
The Speaker, House of Representatives, Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila has expressed his desire to make Nigerian parliament as one of the best in the world, especially as it concerns e-parliament.
He stated this Friday after inspecting and test running digital system just installed in the Green chamber.
To achieve this, the Speaker said they “must put infrastructure in place to deliver the expected outome” adding that “one of the ways of doing this is to change equipment considered obsolete and driving that expectation of the public”.
“People have oftentimes asked questions on understanding our pattern and the accuracyof voting.
People also want to know who attended plenary and who did not attend plenary and there should be a digitalised way of giving out this information. We are creating paperless work space”.
Addressing the journalists after the inspection, Spokesperson of the House of Representatives, Rep Benjamin Kalu said “we are going to have a training session on resumption, where every member will sit with those who have installed this system to learn. It is very simple, honestly if you can use your phone, you can use that system because it’s not complicated, it’s user friendly”.
“If you want to look for the constitution, list of members, House Rule or you want to vote, there is yes, no and absent on your screen, a click away”.
For those who have phobia for computer, Kalu said “we will make sure we remove that phobia by creating sessions where those who installed the new system will interact with the members.
Beyond that, he said the team has done a good job by grooming some members of the Sergeant-at-Arm on how to use the system.So, “if you’re working and you have issues, you just indicate with the raise of the hand and a Sergeant-at-Arm will come to put you through. It’s going to be tidy.
On the cost of entire project, Kalu said “a good Nigerian decided to partner with the House and delivered this as Community Social Responsibility, CSR of his company.
“The person will be invited to the House to be celebrated when the House resumes for Nigerians to know his patriotic spirit in nation building. This is the same with how the Air Peace MD was celebrated for what he did with his patriotic spirit in nation building.
The matra of of the House of Representatives is “nation building, a joint task”, that joint task includes the private sector in partnership with the public sector; it means everybody coming together to build the country.
“It is not costing us anything. A good Nigerian saw a gap and believed that he can deliver the best as other parliaments of the world. It was ridiculous, shameful for somebody like him to have parliament in Nigeria that is still operating in the old traditional, not so productive manner because e-Parliament is the best all over the world and he considers this as his CSR to the House. I think we should appreciate him.
In the first week of resumption, everything, as expected, should be working the way the developers of this particular technology intended it to be, Kalu said.
“So, we are happy, we are excited. Most times when you see us going to plenary, we carry our constitution, legislative agenda and House Rules, but now it has been simplified and uploaded. With a click of the hand you see the constitution, legislative agenda, House Rules, list of members, etc and the sound is very clear. If there is a none English speaking visitor, there is a provision for him to listen a have conversation in his language. This is a step in the right direction”.