‘Lawmakers have no business handling constituency projects’
Nnamani, who spoke on: Development Leadership and Reform in Parliament, at a one-day consultative meeting of the House of Representatives Committee on Inter-parliamentary Relations and the Conference of Speakers held yesterday in Abuja, insisted that the executive arm must be left to handle all constituency projects in the country.
Nnamani said it would be in the interest of legislators to always collaborate with the executive to ensure a timely passage of the budget and policies and programmes that would be beneficial to the citizenry.
He also enjoined legislators to avoid unnecessary confrontations with the heads of the executive arm considering the fact that such awkward development could affect the delivery of democracy dividends to the citizenry.
Said Nnamani, “If you argue with the head of the executive in your respective states, there are tendencies that some of you could fall out with him. It is not in your interest and the people you represent to fall out with him because you will not be helping yourself.
“You are part of the same government. You have to collaborate with the executive arm because if the government fails, you are the one that fail too. If you fail, he also fails.”
Describing the Nigerian legislature as a deeply knowledge-based one when compared with its peers in Africa, Nnamani applauded the efforts of the National Legislative Institute (NILS) to strengthen the legislature and democratic practice in the polity.
Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr. Yakubu Dogara, in a keynote address expressed concern that the states assemblies are yet to assert their authorities when compared with the National Assembly since the return of democratic rule in 1999.
Dogara listed executive dominance, lack of adequate finances, deficiency in skilled manpower, poor infrastructure and inadequate understanding of legislative practices and procedures as some of the problems militating against the performance of the states assemblies.
Represented by his deputy, Sulaimon Lasun, he noted that notwithstanding the fact that significant knowledge had been gained in the past 16 years, public confidence would be eroded if the legislative arm continues to rely on the executive to discharge it’s responsibilities.