The National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies (NILDS) has advocated for legislative intervention in the implementation of government policies.
The Director-General of the institute, Prof. Abubakar Sulaiman made the call at a roundtable on Monday in Abuja organised by NILDS in partnership with Westminster Foundation for Democracy (WFD).
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the theme of the event was “Post-Legislative Scrutiny (PLS)”.
Sulaiman said that parliaments had a responsibility of monitoring how laws and policies were being implemented as well ensure that they had the expected impact.
He explained that post-legislative scrutiny was a new area of law-making that was evolving in legislative practices that was helping the legislature to get more proactive in its parliamentary business.
“Post-legislative scrutiny is considered as a public good that could benefit the Executive and Legislature and more importantly, the people in ensuring that laws deliver what was expected of them.
“It is often said that in Nigeria, we have some of the best laws and policies but the practical implementation is considered the challenge,” he said.
He said that for all good laws to be properly implemented, the National Assembly must enhance its activities starting with monitoring the implementation of the laws and identifying deficiencies in the laws.
“When it comes to post-legislative scrutiny, the national assembly can utilise the current structures within the legislature itself that are responsible for tracking legislative compliance.”
On his part, Mr Adebowale Olorunmola, WFD Country Representative, Nigeria said that the training was developed to introduce the knowledge and practices of post-legislative scrutiny to the legislative practices in Nigeria.
“Post-legislative scrutiny is about the law which is a proactive way of looking at the law that is passed for a certain purpose and finding out whether the law is serving the purpose for which it is passed or there are unintended consequences.
“In other words, for PLS, there is always a clause that allows the legislature to take a second look at the law that they had passed and see whether the law is working based on the objective that was set or whether there are unexpected consequences that needs to be dealt with.
“For instance, the Whistleblower Policy; we saw that it was aimed at promoting anti-corruption fight and transparency in the process.
“Unfortunately, we do not have the whistleblower protection clause. This is an unintended consequences and we have a situation where whistleblowers are not willing to come out again.
“That is a situation that PLS can easily address. It is a proactive way of making law relevant in every context,” Olorunmola said.(NAN)