By Linda Ike
The Chairman of National Assembly Service Commission (NASC), Engineer Ahmed Kadi-Amshi has called for the need for constant training of supportive staff in the Legislative arm of Government to ensure effective transmission of knowledge to elected politicians who may not have the expertise of lawmaking.
Amshi stated this on Tuesday at the opening of a 3-Day intensive training with the theme: ‘Enhancing capacity in Legislative services’ organised by management of National Assembly in collaboration with SAHL Human Resources.
He said that it will be very difficult to have robust Legislations for the country without the support staff.
Commissioner representing North East, Abubakar Tutare who spoke on behalf of the Chairman, National Assembly Service Commission said training staff of the National Assembly will benefit the entire country as they play a critical role in lawmaking.
“Training is a priority under my tenure as chairman of NASC, because it is only in training and retraining that we can develop the capacity of our staff and the need to develop capacity cannot be over-emphasized.
“Where we are in National Assembly is where laws are made for the country; there laws are made by elected politicians who may or may not have the knowledge or expertise of lawmaking.
“For them to be successful, they will need your (Legislative support staff) contribution and guidance and so the need the necessary training in law drafting for good governance is very necessary” he said.
He assured that National Assembly Service Commission will continue to train the supportive staff for capacity development.
Clerk of the House of Representatives, Dr. Yahaya Danzaria, said that the 3-day capacity training was aimed at ensuring optimum performance and productivity and also empower the workers that form the pillars of the institution or organization
He noted that the Bureaucracy has already engaged experienced Nigerians and foreign experts that will provide technical support for core legislative staff.
He said the workshop targets the core legislative officers in the areas of Chamber Services, Table Duties, Rules and Business, Legislative Scrutiny and Committee System among others.
He said, “Through this capacity building, we build strong institutions, and make them work.
“I have no doubt that at the end of the programme, the beneficiaries will be better equipped for greater service to the legislature and the Nigerian state. I am equally gratified by the support and the presence of the media to all our activities since we started. This friendship will remain mutual and everlasting.
“In the legislature, capacity building is the process of developing and strengthening the skills of officers that the legislative institution needed to survive and compete favourably with other parliaments across the globe.
“We are of the view that apart from the general training in Legislative Practice and Procedure which accommodates every staff of the legislature, there is need to focus on those key and peculiar areas of legislative activities that only trained officers have the capacity to handle.
“While everyone or many people may understand that the process of Bill Making involves three stages of reading and other stages of consideration at Committee level and public hearing, not everyone has the knowledge or experience of the process of proceedings in the daily plenary in the Chambers and what follows thereafter
“This is why this targeted training is crucial to further empower those officers to embrace the best international practices and be up to date in parliamentary evolutions in those specific legislative services.
“The imperative for having sustained and experienced officers in this aspect of legislative services will not be limited with just once upon a time training” he stated.
Danzaria said that the management of the House of Representatives is already engaging experts within and outside Nigeria to provide technical support.