• Monday July 23, 2018 13:44 PM
  • NILS Press Corps
The last Day of the just concluded National Assembly Open Week has been adjudged rich and colorful as it featured women cutting across different pressure groups who interacted with policy makers on gender mainstreaming and other avenues women can contribute their quota to the development of the nation.

The Chairperson, House Committee on Women development, Hon. Stella Mbu, who chaired the interactive session appealed to the Nigerian women to show more interest in politics by increasing their level of advocacy for the right laws and policies to be formulated that would better the plight of women.
Women leaders from across the groups sued for more women participation during electioneering periods, adding that since it has become clearly evident that it is the women that a greater percentage of the voting population are composed of women, not less than 50% affirmative positions should be allocated to women by all political parties.

The leaders implored the women in politics and those elected to the legislative Houses to ensure that issues that border on women development are put in the front burner.

In his contribution as a supporter of women participation in politics and issues concerning them, Senator Ben Bruce assured them that he would lobby his colleagues to try to pass the gender equality Bill which has been reintroduced in the Senate having failed to pass previously.

Some of the Female Representatives like Hon. Betty Apiafi made presentations on the need for women to engage their lawmakers and policy formulator early from the preparatory stage before the laws or policies are out. She commended the women for their boldness but charged them to endeavor to get involved in empowering women right from the grassroots.

In a similar development, the National Assembly members held an interactive session with several youth and student union bodies to address the issues affecting the youths in Nigeria for which they would require legislative interventions, various youth leaders took to the podium to make their demands during the session chaired by the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Dogara, represented by the Chief Whip of the House, Hon. Ado Doguwa, the youth leaders pleaded with the lawmakers to pay more attention to issues regarding youth development. They argued that it would amount to defeat of purpose if money is allocated for the operational cost of the National Youth Service Corps is mistaken to be youth empowerment fund.
The youths also commended the National Assembly for the passage of the ‘Not too Young to Run’ Bill, but implored them to give the youth a chance to make meaningful contributions toward nation building and governance. They advocated for a legislation that would peg the age limit for people vying for leadership positions in the country. “We also want the legislature to speedily enact laws that would curtail psychoactive substance abuse and human trafficking in the country.

The high point of the day was the presentation of trophies to the zonal winners and that of the Final stage of the NILDS Secondary Schools Quiz Competition on the Legislature and Democracy which took place on the 23rd of May and 28th of June respectively.

In her address, the Director General of the National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies (NILDS), Prof. Ladi Hamalai informed that the quiz competition which is targeted to enlighten and educate students on democracy and democratic institutions such as the legislature is inculcating the knowledge of the Legislature and Democracy among secondary school students.

The third edition of the completion produced the following winners: GSS Kuje from Gwagwalada zone, GSS, Dobi from Kwali zone, GSS Karshi from AMAC East, GSS,Gosa from Kuje, GDSS,Wuse2 from AMAC North, Olumawu School from AMAC Central, GSS, Shere from Bwari zone and GSS,Kwaku from Abaji zone while the overall winner was GSS, Shere.
The National Assembly Open Week on the other hand will continue to broaden public understanding of legislative functions and processes as well as provide opportunity for interface between the public and legislators and staff while highlight the good work being done by the National Assembly to advance legislative openness.