COMMUNIQUE Issued at the end of a Meeting of Southwest Conference of Speakers Hosted by the Vice-Chairman of the Forum, Rt. Honourable Adesina Michael Adeyemo held at The Carlton Gate Xclusive Hotel, Agodi, Ibadan
The Meeting of the Leadership and Management of the South-West State Houses of Assembly organized by United Kingdom Department for International Development (DFID), Partnership to Engage, Reform and Learn (PERL) and DAWN Commission (Development Agenda for Western Nigeria) held at Carlton Gate Xclusive Hotel, Ibadan from 12th to 14th December, 2016 with the theme “Effective Legislative Governance and Service Delivery Reforms in the Southwest Region”.
The meeting was organized to enhance and strengthen partnership and collaboration between the State Houses of Assembly in the Region. The meeting had in attendance the Speakers and Principal Officers from the Houses of Assembly in the South-West, Houses of Assembly Service Commission and Management Staff.
The meeting was declared open by His Excellency, the Governor of Oyo State, Sen. Abiola Ajimobi represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Mr. Ismail Olalekan Alli.
The meeting identified the following common challenges among Houses of Assembly in the South-West Region:
(i) That the Legislative arm is the arm of Government that has been greatly affected by Military Rule, giving it a set back;
(ii) The High turnover rate of Houses of Assembly Members is an issue of concern unlike what obtains in Countries like the USA and Great Britain;
(iii) The problem of lack of Financial Autonomy, which is created by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria;
(iv) Poor capacity building of Members and support Staff due to paucity of funds to run Training Programmes;
(v) Undue expectations from the Electorates and misconception of the roles of the Legislators by same Electorates, thereby causing distraction to Legislators;
(vi) Lack of uniform Rules, Procedures and Practices across the Houses of Assembly in the Region;
(vii) The existence of some of the 68 items in the Exclusive List have been described as a great impediment to Regional Development;
(viii) The existence of some repressive and obsolete laws at the Federal and State levels.
Arising from the various challenges, identified from different presentations and interactions at the meeting, the participants agreed upon the followings as Communiqués to Houses of Assembly in the South-West Region.
(i) That the Houses of Assembly in the South-West Region should have a common Legislative framework for production of cocoa and other heritage farm production in the South-West.
(ii) Need for establishing uniformity in legislative processes in the South-West Houses of Assembly i.e. having common front in Bills processing, plenary sessions, and adopting uniform standing rules.
(iii) Establishment of Ministry of Regional Integration across the South-West States to interface with one another.
(iv) The need to move some of the 68 items in the Exclusive List to the Concurrent and Residual Lists in order to improve governance at the State levels.
(v) The Audit and Review of the repressive and obsolete laws at the State level.
(vi) Establishment of a viable South-West Legislative Forum to do among the followings:
(a) Reviewing and exchanging ideas in democracy and good governance;
(b) Establishing joint commercial ventures for the economic sustainability of the South-West State Houses of Assembly.
(c) Establishing a research and academic legislative institute for the training of Legislators and Legislative support staff; and
(d) Creating endowment of professional chairs and departments in selected South-West Tertiary Institutions for the promotion of courses in Democracy and good governance.
(vii) Having an harmonized structure for salary and pension matters for staff of the Houses of Assembly in the South-West.
(viii) Creating an insurance scheme for Honourable Members in South-West Houses of Assembly.
(ix) Ensure regular and structured Member-Constituent interactions
It was agreed that the next meeting would be held in the first quarter of 2017.