The National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies (NILDS) says non-effectiveness of some bills passed by the National and State Assemblies on the citizenry is one of the main reasons legislators are ”badly misunderstood”.
The institute, while lamenting the development, said it was expedient for Nigerians to be aware that legislators are very hardworking when it comes sound legislations to make life better for the citizenry.
The Director-General of the institute, Prof. Abubakar Sulaiman, stated this on Monday in an interview with journalists when he formally declared open, Post Legislative Scrutiny (PLS) training organised in collaboration with Westminster Foundation for Democracy (WFD).
Sulaiman, who was represented by NILDS Director of Democracy and Governance, Dr Adewale Aderemi, explained that PLS is a legislative process that measures the impact of legislation on the population.
He stated, ”It is one thing to pass a legislation and it is another to know whether it is effective or whether it is serving the intended purpose of its passage. What PLS does is to measure the impact of legislation on the population.
”When you pass a bill into law, you have something at the back of your mind whether the law, as passed, is actually doing what you intended it to do is completely different. PLS is important to know whether it is actually working that way or not. This is why you know whether a review is due or not.
”The way we evaluate legislation in Nigeria presently, is to look at the number of bills passed by a particular legislation. That is not sufficient to measure the impact of the law on the people. That is why PLS is very important.
”Nigerian Parliamentarians are badly misunderstood, they are very hardworking but unfortunately it doesn’t transmit that way to the larger public. It’s for them to keep doing what they are doing and to be encouraged by the fact that we can only grow better.”
Earlier, Mr Adebowale Olorunmola, the Country Representative, Nigeria Westminster Foundation for Democracy (WFD), stressed that PLS is an emerging legislative knowledge and practice which enables the parliament to take a second look at very important law.
He said those laws would help them to see their impacts on people if there had been unintended consequences, adding that it would also help in taking proactive steps in addressing whatever consequences that might have emerged in the cause of implementation of the laws.
”It is an emerging body of knowledge that helps the society and the country to get better and be well guided by law. The PLS is important to every country globally.”
”The PLS is an emerging area of knowledge and therefore there is no country whether in the advanced democracy that have laid claim to have perfected it. Even the UK is still perfecting its PLS.
”But for Nigeria, as an emerging democracy, or a democracy that is still working toward perfection, meanwhile, there is no perfect democracy. We just keep improving on it. PLS is very important to us to have as an instrument to move toward perfection proactively.
”Increasingly taking a look at our laws, having provisions within laws that allows us may be two, three, four years after passage of a law to see how we are doing with the implementation of the law, whether there are some things that need to be introduced or to be removed, or to be considered until we get perfect result from the objective of passage of the law,” WFD boss explained.