Sunday, December 10, 2023
HomeAnti-corruption,Governance,Election ProjectMark to 10th Assembly: Set a legislative agenda to tackle national malaise

Mark to 10th Assembly: Set a legislative agenda to tackle national malaise

…Wants end to controversial, inconclusive elections in Nigeria

By Chimezie Godfrey

A former President of the Senate, Senate David Mark has tasked the 10th National Assembly to prioritize its legislative agenda that will address national malaise including to forestall controversial or inconclusive elections in future .

Senator Mark listed some of the problems facing the nation to include deteriorating economic situation, high crime rate, unemployment, farmers/ herders clashes, banditry, terrorism, food shortage , insufficient and decaying infrastructure, out of school children and poor health facilities among others.

Addressing Principal officers of the 10th National Assembly at a two day retreat in Ikot Ekpene , Akwa Ibom state at the weekend, Senator Mark noted that although the problems were primarily not the creation of the legislators but Nigerians elected them to proffer solutions

Senator Mark who was the president of the Senate for eight uninterrupted years ( 2007-2011 & 2011- 2015) spoke on the theme “ improving legislative effectiveness in a multi -party legislature through committees & Caucuses”.

To address the myriad of problems, he told the Senator Godswill Akpabio led principal officers of the National Assembly to be innovative , think and act outside the box pointing out that “it cannot be business as usual.

“ You must therefore design a legislative agenda that can provide a legal and regulatory framework that will support government initiatives and policies. The agenda must show in clear and concrete terms how to address the issues facing nation.

“ It must respond to critical national issues like growing the economy, job creation, tackling insecurity, anti-corruption and show synergy between the legislative agenda and the executive programmes .

“You must honestly debate government policies to ascertain the merits and demerits without party sentiments saying that standing committees must be properly equipped in its composition to vigorously oversight Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs)”.

Senator Mark also made reference to the 2023 general elections and submitted that the last exercise remains the most controversial election since the beginning of the 4th Republic in 1999, a development he said led to the emergence of new parties against the hitherto dominant two.

The interest and enthusiasm displayed by the youths , he stated was a direct disapproval and dissatisfaction with the old brigade insisting that Nigerians expect the 10th Assembly to legislate to ensure a better or less controversial elections in future.

Senator Mark opined that committee systems and caucuses are essential mechanisms for balancing diversity and promoting effective representation in legislative houses .

He added,”By fostering inclusivity, encouraging dialogue and providing platforms for diverse voices to be heard , you can strengthen legislative effectiveness and ensure that the laws and policies you make truly reflect the needs and aspirations of all citizens for the good of all.

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