He described the initiative as an evolving one, adopted by parliaments all over the world.
“Increasingly, governments around the world are promoting initiatives in transparency.
“Governments that are open and transparent are more accountable to their citizens and are less likely to be corrupt.
“Openness generates trust in government and also paves the way for meaningful participation by citizens and more informed and better policies.
“Around the world, an increasing number of parliaments are being more proactive in the provision of information.
“This has become easier with the proliferation of the internet and access to Information Communication Technology (ICT).
“Many parliaments are now uploading significant documents such as daily order papers, draft laws and committee reports for distribution.
“Series of activities during the `Open Week’ will include interactive sessions with various interest groups, question and answer sessions.
“It also includes exhibitions and tours, planned over a four-day period to raise awareness on legislative initiative and activities,’’ Lawan said.
He said that the interactive sessions would feature members of the executive arm of government on the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) and the Judiciary on pre- and post-elections adjudication.
“Others are constitutional separation of powers, a session with state assemblies and a session with trade unions on economic growth and industrial relations.
“Also, there will be sessions with traditional rulers and pressure groups, civil society organisations on accountability and service delivery in governance as well as sessions with women, youth, and student bodies.
“The exercise will feature daily exhibitions for National Assembly Committees to display their outputs and interface with stakeholders via cluster units to be created from both chambers for ease of access.
“The benefits of the Open Week are numerous and have direct bearing on democratic governance in Nigeria.
“Through the Open Week, the National Assembly is fostering public participation in the democratic process.
“Giving the public access to legislative information, activities and policies are substantial steps towards empowering them to take part in political dialogue and decision-making processes.
“Allowing public access to the legislature allows stakeholders to scrutinise our actions as an institution, such public engagement can lead to greater trust in government.
“We have nothing to hide; being able to access this information significantly reduces suspicion and generates trust,’’ the lawmaker said. (NAN)