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NILDS D-G harps on continuous skill upgrade for legislative staff

Prof. Abubakar Sulaiman, Director-General(DG), National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies (NILDS), has recommended continuous skill upgrade for legislative staff to enhance their contribution to democratic governance.

Sulaiman made the recommendation on Wednesday in Abuja at the opening of a-three-day retreat for Niger State House of Assembly Service Commission

The theme of the retreat is entitled: “Promoting Effective Functioning of the Niger State House of Assembly Service Commission for Optimal Legislative Performance”.

Sulaiman said that since the democratic rule in 1999, the legislature, as the hallmark of democracy, had been looked upon to chart the right way for good governance and accountability.


He said that for the legislature to perform its constitutional roles effectively and efficiently, there was a need for a competent and experienced workforce to support it.

“In discussing the workforce operation, the Assembly Service Commission is a very important organ of any legislative assembly as it supports its human resource management and administrative autonomy.

“It is saddled with recruitment, selection, promotion, discipline and performance evaluation of the staff of the legislature at sub-national levels.

“The commission also plays a crucial role in the general conditions of service, career development and providing a conducive working environment for the effective administrative functioning of the legislature in Nigeria.

“While the elected representatives or legislators form the core nerve of the legislative work in term of law-making, oversight and representation, they cannot effectively carry out these statutory functions without the support and guidance of the bureaucracy.

“The effectiveness or otherwise of the bureaucracy will largely depend on the quality of its human resources and their motivation, which are the major responsibilities of the Assembly Service Commissions,” he said.

The DG said that NILDS organised the training for Niger State House of Assembly Service Commission in fulfilling its mandate as the statutory capacity-building agency for the Legislature, and a driver of democratic excellence in Nigeria.

According to him, the aim is to enhance the ability in managing the changing complexity and dynamics of the modern legislature.

The professor explained that the purpose of the retreat was also to expose participants to the necessary leadership skills required to carry out statutory roles in managing the human resource of the State House of Assembly for optimal performance.

In his remarks, the Speaker of the Niger State House of Assembly, Mr Abdulamlik Sarkindaji, commended the commission for the capacity building initiative.

According to him, for the first time, the commission is dedicated to making a difference.

The speaker said that such difference could only be made when the staffers were equipped with requisite skills and capabilities.

Sarkindaji expressed confidence that at the end of the retreat when participants returned to their work stations in Minna, the difference would be seen.

He urged the institute to include the need for synergy between the commission and the assembly in the curicular for the retreat.

The lawmaker said that the commission and the House of Assembly were one and same, adding that none could exist without the other.

He said that both institutions could only succeed when they carry each other along, pledging to give all support to the commission while hoping that the commission would do same for the assembly.

Sarkindaji said the retreat would equip participants with vast knowledge on transparency, accountability, justice and working synergy.

“It will also boost the relationship between the commission and the assembly,” he said.

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