By; YABAGI MOHAMMED, Kogi
For lawmakers in the 8th Assembly in Kogi State, the three-day retreat/induction training held in Abuja between Tuesday the 29th of September and Friday September 1st was an avenue for them to be better prepared for the task of making laws for the greatness of the generality of the state.
In fact, the lawmakers unanimously agreed that crafting and passing of laws are critical responsibility they must discharge, noting collectively that having a deep understanding of the legislative process is essential for them to fulfill their roles effectively and to serve the interests of their constituents and society as a whole.
It is for that reason that the importance of effective training on the lawmaking process for lawmakers cannot be overstated.
They noted, in their communique at the end of the retreat that effective training helps lawmakers in the fulfillment of their responsibilities competently and ethically. By gaining a deep understanding of the legislative process, lawmakers can create quality legislation, make informed decisions, promote transparency and accountability, and contribute positively to public policy outcomes. This investment in training not only benefits lawmakers themselves but also assist the other arms of government and the society at large.
It is against this backdrop that the speaker of the Assembly, Rt Hon Aliyu Umar Yusuf stated that the event was a journey that would shape the destiny of Kogi State and its people, noting that the induction training does not only serve as an opportunity for members to let our heads down and refresh, but also formally mark the beginning of their genuine commitment to serving the people with dedication, integrity, and purpose.
“As the Head of the Kogi State Legislature, I am deeply honored to welcome each and every one of you to this solemn occasion. This assembly of dynamic minds and diverse perspectives is a testament to the strength of our democracy and the vitality of our political process.
Here, we gather not just as individuals, but also as representatives of the hopes, dreams, and aspirations of the people who have entrusted us with their voices.“Fellow legislators, we are bestowed with a profound responsibility. Our role goes beyond crafting laws; we are architects of change, stewards of progress, and advocates for justice. The foundation of our actions rests on transparency, accountability, and empathy.
“Our every decision must reflect the values that underpin our democracy, the values that unite us as sons and daughters of Kogi State.
“This induction training serves as a reminder that leadership is not an entitlement but a privilege earned through dedication and the unwavering commitment to the welfare of our constituents. As we deliberate on policies, scrutinize budgets, and engage in debates, let us remember the weight of our duty and the power of our collective wisdom.
“In the hallowed halls of the state legislature, let us embrace diversity as our greatest strength. Our state is a mosaic of cultures, languages, and traditions, and it is this rich tapestry that shapes our identity. Let us listen intently to the voices that may differ from our own, for it is in these conversations that we will find the most innovative solutions to the challenges that lie ahead.
“Furthermore, let us remember that progress is not measured solely by the laws we pass or the speeches we deliver. It is measured by the tangible impact we have on the lives of the people we represent. We must bridge the gap between policy and reality, translating our vision into meaningful change in the lives of Kogi State citizens.
“As we navigate the complexities of governance, let us stand resolute against the temptations of self-interest and short-term gains. Our decisions should be guided by a vision of a better Kogi State for generations to come. Let us rise above partisan divides and work collaboratively, for the challenges we face transcend political affiliations.
“My fellow colleagues, our journey is not without challenges, but our commitment to a brighter future is unshakable. Let us lead with purpose, integrity, and compassion. Let us be the embodiment of the change we wish to see.
“Fellow legislators, I want to heartily thank you all for the opportunity you have given me to serve as the speaker. I cannot pay my gratitude enough for the opportunity you have given me and the cooperation I have enjoyed so far. To me, this is an opportunity because in all of you, I have found more than just colleagues, friends, brothers, sisters and people whose homes are mine. I therefore want to use this opportunity to give you my words that I won’t betray your trust. Your welfare is my priority at all times and so shall it remain.
“I also want to thank His Excellency, the Executive Governor of our dear state, Alhaji Yahaya Adoza Bello, Commander of the Order of the Niger (CON) for creating the enabling environment for a robust and healthy working relationship between the legislature and the Executive. It is my prayers that this relationship translates to more progress and overall development in the state.
“Thank you fellow legislators for answering the call to serve our people, for believing in the power of democracy, and for your dedication to the people of Kogi State. Together, we shall forge a path that leads our state to prosperity, harmony, and progress.
”Rt Hon Yusuf concluded his address by praying for wisdom, adding that their actions be etched in the annals of history as a testament to the lawmakers’ commitment to a stronger, united, and prosperous Kogi State. At the end of the training, lawmakers admitted to have been able to have better understanding of their general functions and role in ensuring good governance for Kogi State.
“They agreed to have also been better tooled in the visionalisation, planing and Agenda Setting as legislators. The art of engaging citizens and other stakeholders in an inclusive and participatory legislative process, inclusion of state and national issues in the lawmaking business also form part of the knowledge the legislators gained during the training”.
The lawmakers also said they further learnt the lawmaking process and statutory instruments of Bill Scrutiny and Analysis, just as they were better informed about the powers and privileges, immunity and limitations of the legislature, just as they were further brought to speed about the issue of financial autonomy and resource management, issue of committee system and oversight process, how to promote relationship among the executive, the judiciary and the legislature and the fundamentals of appropriation.
In the same vein, the knowledge of the laws guiding the use of public funds, resources and welfare of legislators and constituency responsibilities of the legislature were also brought to the fore for the lawmakers.
Consequently, members of the 8th Assembly can say, without any iota of doubt, that with the quality of those who delivered papers at the training and the quality of their content, that members are fully kitted to perform their roles effectively in the discharge of their functions as lawmakers, from ideation, discussion and passage of bills on the floor of the state House of Assembly.
Lawmakers in Kogi State can confidently say that no matter how seemingly difficult an issue might be, that they can navigate it and get a bill passed on the subject matter for the good of the entire state.Members of the Assembly therefore use the opportunity to thank the current administration in Kogi State under the able leadership of His Excellency, Governor Yahaya Bello, for giving members the opportunity to have such impactful training and urges that periodic training and retraining of the lawmakers should be made a norm to ensure a smoother working of this important institution – the legislature.
The lawmakers also praised the speaker of the State House of Assembly, Rt Hon Aliyu Umar Yusuf for his tireless efforts to ensure he gets the buy-in of the executive arm of government to ensure that lawmakers are well equipped to discharge their duties as lawmakers in Kogi State.