1 January 2013

Nigeria: Maikasuwa - Oiling the Engine of the National Assembly


Against the background of providing good laws, federal legislators have been congratulating themselves for carrying out their jobs satisfactorily this year. In fact, most of them have been beating their chest that they have achieved a lot in the development of the nation through performing their jobs effectively.

The achievements of the lawmakers include among others the passing of 21 bills by the Senate, adoption of very important resolutions and the comprehensive discussions and debates carried out by the two Houses on representations and motions initiated by either the government or from the general public.

It must be clearly stated here that there is no doubt that the federal legislators carried out their scheduled assignments with all sense of responsibilities. The achievement of the lawmakers in the year under review is outstanding as compared to the previous years.

However, in giving kudos to the legislators, this writer is of the firm view that mention must be made of the National Assembly bureaucracy without which the lawmakers could not have achieved such a high level of performance in their work.

It is obvious from information available that the management of the National Assembly under the dynamic leadership of its team leader, the Clerk of the Assembly, Alhaji Salisu Abubakar Maikasuwa, had in the past year worked assiduously and silently to provide the necessary infrastructure and the enabling environment for effective legislative work by the lawmakers.

It is on record that the National Assembly bureaucracy had at the beginning of the seventh assembly provided among others, competent legislative aides, resource persons and other necessary requirements to the lawmakers which facilitated the successful operation of their various assignments. The legislative aides and others were responsible for carrying out detailed researches and investigations on sensitive issues which were successfully debated and subsequently deliberated upon by the lawmakers in the year under review.

Both Houses successfully debated and adopted several resolutions and motions which have no doubt impacted positively on the lives of the general public since the Assembly took off last year after they were sworn in.

In addition to these, Nigerians are also aware that the new wing of the National Assembly, which has continued to provide adequate security and conducive accommodation for Assembly members, was vigorously pursued and completed by the Assembly's bureaucracy successfully.

It was based on these information that a group of journalists and some lawyers recently brainstormed on the performance of the National Assembly and arrived at the conclusion that even though the federal legislators actually excelled in doing their assignments this time around, they could not have achieved much had it not been because of the outstanding performance of the Assembly's bureaucracy under the Alhaji Maikasuwa-led management team.

The forum was of the firm belief that if any group should beat its chest or celebrate the success of the federal lawmakers in the discharge of their work in 2012, it should be the entire staff of the National Assembly bureaucracy from the messenger to the highest paid director as well as the Clerk of the Assembly and his able lieutenants, made up of his deputy, the two clerks, senior directors and their deputies as well as all the other civil servants in the National Assembly.

They deserved commendation because of the exemplary manner they discharged their assignments and the high level of co-operation they gave to the lawmakers. In addition to these the civil servants also courageously and consistently co-operated with their colleagues who were assigned to the lawmakers in both the Senate and the House of Representatives to ensure that assignments given by the lawmakers were properly and promptly handled.

These actions and the general high level of cooperation given to the lawmakers by the Maikasuwa-led team made the federal legislators to commend the bureaucracy on many occasions during the year for a job well done. Both the Senate President, Dr. David Mark and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Alhaji Aminu Tambuwal as well as the principal officers of the Assembly have all commended the civil servants. Even people outside the National Assembly have at one time or the other given such commendation to the bureaucracy.

This writer is of the view that though the civil servants deserve such commendation, they should add more grease to their elbows so that more could be achieved by the lawmakers in the years to come. This action could also enhance the country's democratic practices.

-Biu, a veteran journalist sent in this piece from Abuja

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