On Monday, July 24, 2023, the House of Representatives Ad-hoc Committee on Legislative Agenda held a Stakeholders’ Meeting. The meeting was convened for the Committee to receive input from stakeholders drawn from across Nigeria on critical issues of national importance, which will feed into the development of the Legislative Agenda document of the 10th House of Representatives. The stakeholders comprised representatives from government establishments, professional bodies, the private sector and civil society organisations. The meeting was held with support from the Committee’s technical partner, Policy and Legal Advocacy Centre (PLAC) and the UK foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO).
The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Tajudeen Abbas delivered the opening remarks, describing the meeting as an indication of the 10th House of Representatives’ resolve to regularly consult citizens and its readiness to respond to the yearnings of the electorate. He encouraged participants to make submissions on issues they would like the House to consider for adoption in its Legislative Agenda.
Chairman of the Legislative Agenda Committee, Hon. Julius Ihonvbere noted that the event marked a pivotal moment in Nigeria’s history as the 10th House of Representatives was set to receive input to build a comprehensive blueprint to drive progress, prosperity, and inclusivity in the nation. He highlighted key pillars which will serve as the foundation of the Legislative Agenda and outlined the goals of the House of Representatives under each of them.
These key pillars which will be further developed in detail and sub-categorised include the following:
- Economic Empowerment and Diversification
- Infrastructure Development
- Education and Human Capital Development
- Healthcare for All
- Transparent Governance and Accountability
- Security and safety of persons and properties
Executive Director of PLAC, Clement Nwankwo, commended the 10th House of Representatives for opening conversations around the formulation of its Legislative Agenda. He expressed hope that the expectations of citizens will be reflected in the Legislative Agenda document and met by the work of the House. He underscored the severity of the economic challenges confronting Nigerians, particularly the impact of the petrol subsidy removal and urged the House to work towards ensuring that living conditions are not harsh.
Governance Advisor at FCDO, Dr. Matthew Ayibakuro commended the quality of conversations and engagement between the House and a wide range of stakeholders at the meeting. He expressed FCDO’s commitment to continue to support the House of Representatives.
Submissions presented by stakeholders for consideration cut across several subject areas. Some of these include: tackling insecurity, managing Nigeria’s debt profile, improving National Assembly processes, improving women’s political representation through the Special Seats bill, improving access to technology in underserved communities, enhancing the health sector, monitoring implementation of the Disability (Prohibition) Act and Mental Health Act, among several other submissions.
It will be recalled that in June 2023, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Tajudeen Abbas, constituted the Ad-hoc Committee on Legislative Agenda, with Majority Leader of the House, Hon. Prof. Julius Ihonvbere as Chairman. The Committee has since been working to develop a Legislative Agenda to guide the 10th session of the House of Representatives. The stakeholders’ meeting was a platform for broad consultations, to enable the Committee to develop a comprehensive Legislative Agenda for the House that will truly reflect the needs and aspirations of the Nigerian people.