At the inception of a parliamentary session or term, most responsible parliaments set out programs of action or plans for the period of its tenure, usually a maximum of four years. Such a time frame may be further sub divided into bi-annual, annual or quarterly for proper and effective implementation of the programs of action of such parliament. In legislative parlance it is often referred to as a Legislative Agenda. The term Agenda in English is a list of individual items which must be acted upon or processed; it is programmed to enable all important and relevant points be dealt with in good order and good time.
This paper therefore seeks to x-ray the concept and content of the 9th House of Representatives Legislative Agenda as the legislative instrument for effective actualization of action plans of the legislators’ campaign promises. The Legislative Agenda further encapsulates and reflects in holistic terms the developmental imperatives of the Ministries, Departments, and Agencies which are anchored in the present administration’s ‘next level’ mantra.
Similarly, the 9th House of Representative like the two preceding Houses undertook to pursue reforms of critical sectors of the Nigerian society and economy with a view to improving the conditions that allow for investment, innovation and economic growth. It identified several key policy areas where legislative interventions are essential to achieving the following priority areas/objectives:
- Reform of the House of Representatives
- Social Justice
- Sustainable Power
- Environmental and Climate Change
- Economic Growth, Development and Job Creation
- Gender Equity
- Education Reform
- Sustainable Agricultural Development and Food Security
- Open governance, Transparency and Accountability
- Internally Displaced Persons(IDPS)
- Public Health
- Media for National Development
- National Budget Reform
The gravamen of the above objectives is to strategically reposition the House to utilize the available legislative machinery to bring home democracy dividends to the door steps of the Nigerian people.
In order to achieve the above set objectives, the House underscored certain guiding principles to wit:
- To develop an effective and efficient House of Representatives, positioned to carry out the constitutional mandates of lawmaking, oversight and representation;
- Establish and maintain high ethical conduct in the House business;
- Strengthen the mechanism and process of the committee system to deliver on legislative goals
- Adopt open communication with the Senate and the other arms of government;
- Identify and timely passage of priority legislations;
- Take steps to tackle national economic challenges, amongst others.
With the underpinning determination by the 9th House to ensure that the Nigerian people are positively impacted through effective legislative impetus, the country will definitely be better for it in the long run. The electorate will determine if the expectations have been met; the electorates will also use the above as a benchmark and yardstick to determine the performance of their representatives and the 9th House of Representatives.
In the final analysis, the importance of the Legislative Agenda cannot be overemphasized. It serves to motivate the highest and common good for the largest number of Nigerian people, millions of whom have, through their votes, invested in us their dreams and hopes for a better future for themselves and their children.
It is important that all stakeholders involved in the execution of the agenda are actively working towards it. This can be ensured by putting in place an active monitoring and evaluation system that ensures the government keeps their word and achieves their goals. It is also essential that the people act to monitor and evaluate the actions of government. Together, we can create the Nigeria of our dreams.
God Bless Nigeria!