Policy and Legal Advocacy Centre (PLAC) paid a courtesy visit to the Speaker of the 10th House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Tajudeen Abbas, at the National Assembly on Monday, July 24, 2023.
Executive Director of PLAC, Clement Nwankwo, in his address to the Speaker, noted the importance of inclusive governance processes and the National Assembly’s engagement with civil society organisations. He commended the Speaker on the extent of his work in driving bills forward in the 9th House of Representatives. He stated that the bill for additional women-only legislative seats was vital in addressing the dwindling political representation of women and urged the 10th House of Representatives to take the bill forward. Furthermore, He noted that the 2023 general elections fell below expectations and highlighted the need for electoral reforms through the amendment of the Electoral Act, to ensure the credibility of elections, moving forward. He also expressed PLAC’s commitment to continue to support the work of the National Assembly.
The Speaker in his address, stated that PLAC was the first civil society organisation he was meeting with since his emergence as Speaker in June 2023. He noted that PLAC has been playing a vital role in the National Assembly for over a decade in contributing to capacity building for legislators and staff, strengthening legislative processes through technical support to the work of Committees, including in the areas of electoral and Constitution reforms.
Also, the Speaker expressed commitment to ensuring that the House prioritises its constitutional responsibilities with a new approach to issues of oversight, public and investigative hearings, as well as engagement with citizens. He however highlighted the need for urgent capacity building in light of the record-high turnover of Members, new legislative aides and members of staff in the 10th House of Representatives. To this end, he urged PLAC to undertake more expanded and robust capacity engagement with the House of Representatives.