The Director General of the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS) Prof Ayo Omotayo has said that Nigeria must have a national focus to grow.
According to Omotayo, any country that is desiring to grow must have what he described as a national focus, stating that the lawmakers and the staff of Assembly must work towards ensuring that whatever they do, is focused towards the growth and development of the country.
Speaking at a retreat organised by the National Assembly Service Commission (NASC) for both National Assembly and the State House of Assembly Service Commission, Omotayo said If Nigeria must be a better society, individuals must carry out personal responsibility geared towards National Focus.
“If we are going to have a better society, every individual in Nigeria must carry a personal responsibility and pursue a national focus.
“The president is not the government, the Senate President and the speaker are not the government. We must play our roles as individuals. If not, we will continue to blame ourselves. A nation works for anyone that plays his or her part. Everyone must think about the Nigeria we need.
“Have we reached that better society? In the case of Nigeria, the journey seems to be much longer. We have a sense of duty to turn the fortune of our country around.
“It is supposed to be a change moment for us to change our country by changing our attitude towards our country. Wherever you go, whatever you do, always remember that Nigeria is a democratic state.
“We must strengthen our governance so that rumours of things happening in other countries will not get here. So, we have a constitutional government, every right must be respected,” Omotayo said, adding that parliamentary service is an important system.
He said legislators cannot do much if the assembly service commissions did not give them a quality service.
“The staff of the service commissions must have passion for their work, work with integrity and high standards all the time,” he said.
Speaking, Senate President Godswill Akpabio said the 10th Assembly will give priority to staff welfare.
Represented by Senator Danjuma Goje (Gombe Central) Akpabio said he know the welfare issues they are battling with but that the 10rh Assembly will address it
“We know the welfare issues you are facing. Be rest assured that the 10th national assembly has your back. Staff welfare will be supported by the assembly.
“In classical theory, the main role of parliament is to make new laws and change or improve old laws, but inclusively, we will not only make laws, change or improve old laws, we will make people, we will empower people.
“We will continue to support the training, retraining and capacity building of our staff. Charity is expected to begin at home. So, let’s have a team spirit and make our country proud, let us invest our time and energy into providing the best support for our legislators so that hereafter, posterity will look back at the 10th national assembly and state assemblies and say truly, this was a turning point in our lawmaking in our country,” Akpabio said.
The Executive Chairman, National Assembly Service Commission (NASC) Engr Ahmed Kadi Amshi, said they were concerned with the State Assembly Service Commissions that was why they considered their operations.
“As usual, resolutions are expected to be agreed upon and a Communique will be presented but we have entered into a partnership with National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS) Consultancy Services in the organization of this Conference.
“Most of the State Assembly Service Commissions have been in contact and shared ideas with us, we acknowledge them on this and hope that the mutual relationship is sustained. The Governors and Speakers of respective States that sponsored you to attend this Conference are wholeheartedly acknowledged,” Amshi said.
The clerk of the national assembly, Sani Magaji Tambawal who was represented by the deputy clerk, said no legislative arms of government can function effectively without a strong bureaucracy.
He said excellent parliamentary service help in good democracy adding that the present National Assembly Service commission has been able to sanitize the system and introduce new conditions of service.
“The world is now moving into e-parliament. We must prepare for the future. That’s why we have such a conference,” Tambawal added.