2016 National Summit on Political Representation and Constituency and Zonal Intervention Services

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Volume: | Pages: 0 | Year Published: 2016

Publisher: National Institute for Legislative Studies

Author: Hon. (Bar.) Lawal Abubakar Garba | Rt. Hon. Martins Azubuike | Mr. Raji Fashola | David Babachir Lawal | Babafemi Ojudu | Rt. Hon. Yakubu Dogara | Senator Udoma Udo Udoma | Rt. Hon. Justin B.N. Muturi | Rt. Hon. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal | Victor Ndoma-Egba | Dr. Rasheed Draman | Senator Donne Trotter | Hon. Lawal Abubakar | Prof. Ladi Hamalai | Prof. Sam Egwu |

Subject Matter
This Report covers a one day Summit which was organised by the House of Representatives and Conference of Speakers, and facilitated by the National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies, was held on the 20th day of June, 2016 at the International Conference Centre, Abuja.

Purpose/Objective
Purpose/Objectives of the Report are as follows:
1.To serve as a permanent evidence of meeting and discussion of stakeholders/experts in legislator-constituent relations, particularly in the area of constituency projects management in Nigeria;
2. To document presentation of stakeholders at the Summit to form a permanent record of the summit;
3. To make address the various concerns relating to constituency projects in Nigeria;
4. To document cross country experiences on the issue of constituency projects and management; and
5. To document recommendations on the proper ways of managing and implementing constituency projects in Nigeria

Gaps Identified

Recommendations

Reviewer: Samuel Oguche

Rank: RF II

Department: DLSS/Legal Research

Date Of Commencement: June 25, 2018

Date Of Completion: June 30, 2018

Report Summary
Opening Ceremony
Welcome address was delivered by the Chairman, House Committee on Constituency Outreach, Hon. (Bar.) Lawal Abubakar Garba. He stated that the objective of the summit was to evolve a credible legal mechanism and institutional framework for managing constituency development projects with the aim of effective representation and constituency services. He noted that the question of the meaning and nature of constituency projects, including their ownership and implementation were among the burning issues. He expressed optimism that the Summit would promote respect and confidence in the legislature as it would reveal their openness and transparency, and allow public participation in the activities of parliament. This was followed by Goodwill message by Chairman, Conference of Speakers, who was represented by Rt. Hon. Martins Azubtorsuike, Deputy Chairman, Conference of Speakers, who also expressed the hope that the summit would tackle the persistent questions on the constitutionality of constituency projects, the legal framework for the continued constituency projects, and the question of whether it would not erode the powers of oversight by the legislature. In addition, remarks messages were delivered Honourable Minister of Works, Power and Housing, Mr. Raji Fashola, SAN, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Eng. David Babachir Lawal and Babafemi Ojudu, Representative of the Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Professor Yemi Osibanjo. They commended the House of Representatives for bringing the issue of constituency projects to public space for debate. Their remarks underscored the necessity of clearly defining the scope of constituency projects.
A keynote address was delivered by his Excellency, Rt. Hon. Yakubu Dogara who disclosed that the summit was essentially designed to assist legislators find practical ways of improving their performance, representation as well as explore ways and means of delivering effective zonal and constituency development and intervention services in Nigeria. He defined constituency or zonal intervention projects in Nigeria as development projects sited in the constituencies of state and federal representatives by various MDAs of Government as appropriated in the budgets of the Federation or State. The Hon. Speaker highlighted the nature of constituency projects in Nigeria and said that based on section 19 of the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) Act, a legislator can recommend qualified companies to various MDAs. He disclosed that the practice of modern constituency relations or services involved maintaining effective communication with constituents to enable them know their problems and concerns and intervene on their behalf. He further disclosed that effective communication could be achieved by conducting public hearings; town hall meetings; regular constituency clinics; issuing newsletters and public announcements; news releases and news conferences; posting flyers; visiting and meeting with communities and constituents and touring the constituency; conducting opinion polls and needs assessment of constituency requirements; establishing and running a proper constituency office manned by experienced staff; tracking constituency demands; using technology such as Website, email, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, telephone service like text messaging, bulk mails, Apps like WhatsApp for effective communication, etc. The Hon. Speaker explored the effectiveness of Constituency projects and undertook cross country survey to buttress his points. He finally thanked all the participants and urged them to evolve recommendations on whether existing legal framework was sufficient or whether a new framework would be suitable for Nigeria with its peculiarities.
Technical Sessions
The summit was broken into two technical sessions, comprising of eight presentations.
First Technical Session
The Chairman of this session was Rt. Hon. Yakubu Dogara, Speaker, House of Representatives. Four presentations were made under this session as follows:
1. Improving Synergy in the Management of Constituency Projects by Senator Udoma Udo Udoma, Hon. Minister, Budget and National Planning.
2. Constituency Project Management: A Comparative Perspective (Kenyan Experience) by Rt. Hon. Justin B.N. Muturi, Speaker of the Kenyan National Assembly.
3. Responsibility of State Governments in Utilisation of Constituency Projects of Legislators by Rt. Hon. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, Executive Governor of Sokoto State (Represented by Hon. Sada soli Jibia)
4. Role of Communities in Implementing Constituency Projects by David Haley
Second Technical Session
Four presentations were made under this session as follows:
5. Innovativeness in Designing National Solutions to Constituency Development by Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba
6. Constituency Project Management: A Comparative Perspective by Dr. Ladi Hamalai and Prof. Sam Egwu.
7. Diversity and Content of Legislative Representation/Challenges that Legislators Face in Meeting Expectations of Voters by Dr. Rasheed Draman.
8.Legislators' Perception of their Roles and Voters' Expectaton by Senator Donne Trotter
Interactive Sessions
There were interactive sessions after each Technical Session, which gave participants opportunity to ask questions and make contributions.
Annexures
A Communique was issued at the end of the Summit which is annexed to the Report as Annex 1. Apart from this, Welcome Address by Hon. Lawal Abubakar, Remarks by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Keynote Address by the Speaker, House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Yakubu Dogara, are attached as annexures. Similarly, all presentation are also attached as annexures to the Report.