By G9ija

Parliaments in Africa have been enjoined to learn the system and the practice in the National Assembly of Nigeria, for e-parliament, modern technology, transparency and accuracy.

Clerk of Namibia House of Parliament, Ms. Lydia Kandetu, stated this on Wednesday, when she led a delegation of Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, African region, to the National Assembly (NASS), Abuja.

Kandetu, after being conducted around the facilities of the National Assembly and the plenary processes, extolled the e-parliament processes employed by NASS.

“We have learnt something from the Parliament of Nigeria today. It is a place of significance”, Kandetu, who chaired the first session of the Society of Clerks-At-The-Table (SoCATT), told Journalists after the tour.

Particularly, Ms. Kandetu applauded Nigeria for installing a time board and electronic voting machines for Members of Parliament during plenaries, observing that this would promote transparency, unity, accuracy and e-parliament.

“We went inside the chamber, obviously, the rules are very strict. We wanted to take some photos, because when you are coming to visit any other chamber of a country you want to learn more, you want to imitate, learn something to take back to your country.

“I have seen a picture inside the chamber, where they get a board that is showing a time, whenever Members are talking, a board that serves as a time keeper for Members which informs you when your time is up or whether you have a few minutes left.

“I have seen also, that when they have elections, when the House is divided, they have to vote, there is also a board that is indicating who are for and who are against, and those that are abstaining.

“It is very very important, so that in itself, it is a process of unity, it is a process of fairness, no one will come and say I did not say I was abstaining, everything will be on the board”, she said.

She added that besides the CPA conference, some of the delegates from the Commonwealth Parliament would be visiting Nigeria soonest, to learn more of the process of Parliament and governance, not forgetting the “rich cultural heritage of the country”.

The Clerk to the National Assembly of Nigeria, Mr. Ojo Amos, on his part, explained the workings of the Parliament in Nigeria, especially its facilities that include an “ICT centre that can accommodate all participants at the CPA conference; facilities for visual meetings”, amongst others.

He assured that the National Assembly complex could host a session of the SoCATT.

Nigeria currently practises a bicameral legislature, with the Upper legislative chamber, Senate, having 109 Members; while the House of Representatives, the lower chamber, houses 360 Members, making the NASS as the largest House of Parliament in Africa, enabled with sophisticated technologies for security and e-parliament.