Michael Olanrewaju, Ilorin.
The Director General of National Institute of Legislative and Democratic Studies (NILDS), Abuja, Professor Abubakar Olanrewaju Suleiman has posited that the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria does not advocate and support total separation of power.
He made this submission at a lecture organised by the Kwara State Council of Nigeria Union of Journalists to mark the 59th independence anniversary of the country in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital on Tuesday.
In the lecture titled, ‘ensuring the separation of power between Legislators and Executives; the role of NILDS,” Prof Abubakar, who was a former Minister for National Planning posited that the essence of separation of power is to prevent autocratic values but Nigeria presidential constitution has skewed more powers to the executives than the legislators and the judiciary.
He added that something fundamental has to be done to the constitution in order to have an autonomy for the legislative arm as autonomy of the legislative arm as it is now is relative.
While asserting that the essence of National Institute of Legislative and Democratic Studies (NILDS) is to strengthen the capacity of all actors in the democratic process by training and sensitization, he disclosed that the institute recently held a round table conference of all the 36 House of Assembly’s Speakers as well as compiled, reviewed the constitutional amendments among other things.
He however advocated for the cooperation between the Legislators and the Executives in order to have checks and balances as a way of sharing responsibilities encapsulated in the constitution. This is because the President shares legislative power with the National Assembly and vice versa as he has to assent to bills before they could become laws while the National Assembly have to approve some appointments made by the President including that of the Head of Judiciary.
Other areas that he advocated synergy between the Legislator and the Executives includes budget, oversight functions, party caucuses. He however identified some fundamental variables that has limited Legislators- Executives engagements in Nigeria such as restructuring, sharia, allocation formular and others
In his goodwill message, the Deputy Chairman of Kwara State House Committee on Information, Hon. Felix Omotayo Awodiji described the lecture as a good contribution to the quest for good governance.
He explained that the return of Freedom of Information Bill to the House of Assembly for reexamination by Governor AbdulRahmon AbdulRasaq is meant to make the bill practicable and all- encompassing.
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