Yiaga Africa and the Young Parliamentarians Forum (YPF) of the National Assembly have charged young lawmakers to introduce important and quality legislative bills that will impact positively on their constituents. Young lawmakers were also reminded that the basic tools for making laws is the bill and for them to understand that the quality of legislation is determined by the bill they introduced on the floor of the house.
The charge was made during a 2-day capacity building workshop for young lawmakers of the 10th Assembly on how to provide quality representation. The aim of this training which was supported by the European Union Support to Democratic Governance (EU-SDGN) aimed to build the capacity of these young lawmakers to have a deeper understanding of legislative procedures and also to understand their role as legislators in order to make their time spent in the house more productive.
The workshop presented a unique opportunity for young legislators to strengthen their expertise in the art of governance and legislation. It was also a platform for the young legislators to engage with subject matter experts, experienced mentors and fellow legislators to exchange ideas, learn from diverse perspectives and collaborate on solutions that will shape the future of the nation.
Through the training, the legislators were able to better understand their primary and basic responsibilities as legislators which includes lawmaking, representation and oversight.
In his opening remarks, the Executive Director Yiaga Africa, Samson Itodo said the workshop is also designed to take young legislators through the rudiment of lawmaking in order to build their capacity to deliver on their mandate and to equip them with the relevant tools that will aid them to discharge their functions effectively. The major objective of this workshop, according to him, is to build the capacity of young legislators in the National Assembly who are largely new and improving their capacity in legislative process and procedure.
He stressed that Yiaga Africa is ready to provide support for these young legislators to foster positive engagement with their constituents. Thus, he urged them to see this as an interactive session and also for them to come with an open mindset to learn and to engage.
In his words, “we want them as young persons to sponsor quality legislation and respond to the needs and priorities of the people and perform high-quality oversight functions in holding the executive to account”.
“Also, they can engage their constituents constructively in a sustained manner in a way that delivers the dividends of democracy”, he added.
Also speaking during the event, the Executive Governor of Akwa Ibom State, represented by the Deputy Governor of the state, Senator Akon Eyakenyi also urged the young legislators on the need for them to provide good and visionary leadership. While thanking Yiaga Africa and YPF for hosting this important training, he urged the lawmakers to be conscious of their duty to their generation, and by extension to Nigeria, by making laws that will promote youth development.
In his own message to the newly elected young lawmakers, the Chairperson of the Young Parliamentarians’ Forum, Honorable Kabir Tukura urged his colleagues to see the workshop as an opportunity to learn things that will aid them to discharge their duty on the floor of the house. He also appreciated the role Yiaga Africa has been playing in building the capacity of young legislators in the National Assembly.
Also speaking during the event, the Special Assistant to the Honorable Speaker of the House of Representatives on Youth Matters, Lamir Umar Ibrahim urged the young lawmakers to see themselves as the driving force behind the progressive and development of our country. Also, he urged them to embrace this workshop with an open mind and a test for knowledge also for them to deploy the skills and insights they gain from this workshop.
Highlights of the two-day workshop include technical sessions on floor procedure in the legislative process, bill scrutiny and analysis, accountability and oversight, public and investigative hearings and legislative privileges and code of conduct.