Be Commited To Training, Service Delivery, MarkTells Legislators

by Harrison Akamule
The Senate President, David Mark has urged the newly elected State Houses of Assembly members to refrain from taking the electorates for granted in order to ensure their possible re-election after four years. Senator David Mark while acknowledging that, said although, the Federal Legislature has achieved some degree of political stability, but regrets that the turn-over rate of legislators at all levels has led to loss of institutional memory and the nation suffers on the long run.
He was speaking at the opening session of the 2015 intensive Induction Certificate Course for new Legislators of the State Houses of Assembly. Senator Mark advised the new legislators never to see themselves as mere appendages of the executive arm of government.
He commended President Goodluck Jonathan for conceding defeat to the President-Elect and consciously refused to go to Elections Tribunal, noting that it was significant for the history of democracy in Nigeria. He further urged INEC to carry out a comprehensive review of the electoral process.
Outlining the challenges of the State Assemblies, which include inadequate funding, dominance of the executives and a huge gap in capacity development, Mark emphasised that “institutional autonomy cannot be divorced from financial autonomy.”
He urged the legislators-elect to take advantage of the numerous training programmes of the National institute for Legislative Studies.
In his welcome address, the Clerk of the National Assembly, Salisu A. Maikasuwa noted that the programme was particularly unique, being the first time that an induction certificate course will be jointly organised by the management of the National Assembly and NILS. He tasked the participants to dutifully, discharge their constitutional functions of lawmaking, representation and oversight.
The Chairman of the Conference of Speakers of State Legislatures and Speaker of Akwa-Ibom State House of Assembly, Samuel Ikon urged participants to resist executive interference so that the legislative institution is not undermined. He called on the National Assembly to ensure that the amendment of the constitution sees the light of the day.
Commenting on the programme, the Director General, NILS , Dr. Ladi Hamalai emphasized that the Institute is committed to nurturing generations of legislators that will leave legacies for posterity. Dr. Hamalai is optimistic that NILS affiliation with world best institutions would pay off in terms of resource maximization and capacity building especially, when the permanent site is completed.