Retreat: Speaker Abbas Taking Law-making from Hallowed Chamber to Nigerian People – Deputy Spokesman, Agbese

The Deputy Spokesperson of the House of Representatives, Hon. Philip Agbese, spoke about the recent two-day retreat for members on major economic laws, policies, and programmes of the Federal Government.

Rt. Hon. Abbas Tajudeen Ph.D, Speaker, House of Representatives Addressing Members during the 2-dsy Retreat

Featuring on the AIT programme, ‘Democracy Today,’ on Sunday night, the Reps Deputy Spokesman highlighted that the retreat, with the theme ‘Navigating Change: Legislative Strategies for Economic Transformation,’ helped to strengthen members’ legislative and oversight capacity, as well as fostered collaboration towards economic development and tax reforms.

Agbese, who represents Ado/Okpokwu/Ogbadibo Federal Constituency of Benue State, noted that the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon Tajudeen Abass is taking law-making from the hallowed chamber to the Nigerian people with such engagements.

He added that it gave critical stakeholders who wouldn’t ordinarily be able to attend plenaries the opportunity to make valuable contributions to issues of national interest.

Agbese said, “Before the Petroleum Industry Reform Act (2021) was passed and after it was passed, stakeholders have raised a series of issues. For us as a parliament, we believe that development is not a one-day journey. It’s a gradual process. The parliament before us did pass that law, it was assented to by the former president and the law is in force.

“So, for us as a parliament, we want to look at the best possible ways to implement what we have at hand now and how to use it to better the lot of our people. And again, how do we improve on it? Because the essence of being in the parliament is to continually improve the livelihood of our people. And that’s what His Excellency, the Honourable Speaker is doing. That was what necessitated the retreat.

“We are all working together, not just with the executive arm of the government but also with the masses. You’ll recall that when His Excellency, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu presented the budget, Mr Speaker in his speech, categorically mentioned the issue of the welfare of the common citizens of this country. That speech earned him accolades across the country because it was the first time that Nigerians saw a leader who does not necessarily come out in the posture of an activist but one who is interested in finding solutions. The wisdom of the 10th House of Representatives in electing Rt. Hon Tajudeen Abass as Speaker is the maturity that he has brought into the legislative business.

“Working with the executive should not be seen that we have surrendered our powers to the executive. And again, exercising our powers as contained in the constitution, we must also not be seen as confrontational. So this requires a lot of wisdom and it’s that wisdom that His Excellency, Rt. Hon Tajudeen Abass has deployed towards making sure that Nigerians are protected.

“The whole gamut of the retreat wasn’t just about the law. But again as parliamentarians, for us to have a full grasp of the issues so that if we go out to carry out our duties as parliamentarians, we would also have the best understanding of those issues.

“What Mr Speaker is doing is taking law-making from the hallowed chamber to the Nigerian people. You see that in events like that, we have critical stakeholders who wouldn’t ordinarily be able to attend plenaries make contributions. It was also a learning process. And that’s what you get when you make the right choice in electing who leads an institution like the parliament.

“So when you have a teacher as the leader of the parliament and you have members who equally understand that parliament is about collaboration, partnership and constructive engagement… For you to be able to engage people constructively, it requires that you should also have a certain knowledge base and that’s what Mr Speaker has done. And that’s why part of the recommendations from the retreat was for Mr Speaker to sustain such engagements. It’s something we have to see not only in the oil sector but also in the other sectors.”

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