A study anchored by YIAGA Africa has scored the 8th National Assembly low on representation.
According to a report which was launched yesterday in Abuja by former Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Attahiru Jega, at the aggregate level, the overall assessment of representation was below average.
The positive rating stood at 29.8 percent of the respondents 34.0 percent as fair and another 34.0 percent as poor.
The rating across almost all indicators was a little better for the House of Representatives than the Senate.
It noted that the ratings are not as encouraging with respect to core components of representation such as visits and meetings with constituents, establishment, and management of constituency offices, responses to constituents’ demands, attraction and execution of constituency projects and communication with constituents.
The report revealed that there was generally poor knowledge about the existence of constituency offices, except few who expressed awareness of such offices.
It further noted that constituents’ perception of functionality was damning, adding that access to these offices was rated to be poor.
Performance in terms of attraction and execution of constituency projects was also poorly rated and generally considered to be below average in both chambers.
According to the report, It was either much was not done in this regard or limited or no awareness/publicity was created by the legislators about such interventions.
It, however, admitted that the 8th National Assembly was rated to be responsive to constituents’ demands in multiple forms either directly or indirectly through their aides or party leaders.
The report also identified some of the challenges that hampered the performance of the 8th National Assembly.
Specific challenges of legislation according to the report include a moribund Bills processing system/procedure that sometimes allowed bills to be passed into law without adequate scrutiny, a flawed system of reconciling differences between chambers, undue delays in considering major legislation, introduction of huge number of bills, coupled with an abysmally low rite of passage and a public hearing system that is still not robust enough to input public views into legislations The study also revealed that there was a significant increase in the number of bills handled by the 8th assembly in respect to lawmaking.
The study also revealed that there was a significant increase in the number of bills handled by the 8th National Assembly with respect to lawmaking.
It noted that the 8th National Assembly when compared to the 7th National Assembly, which passed a total of 205 Bills out of a total of 1367 introduced, was far better.