We felt it necessary to provide a seat at the table for these teeming restaurant young people who should take responsibility for decisions they make. They should not only be heard but should also participate in decisions that affect them; thats the only way we will be investing in the future of our country. The bill has been celebrated and the movement that started in Nigeria has become a global revolution. As a matter of fact, our parliament was recognized at the United Nations for pushing through this piece of legislation, so it is something that is celebrated across board. I must however caution, like i said its not enough; it is a necessary, logical first step that we have taken and i am glad that we have taken that. The youth themselves must now be prepared because you see, age is just like money; its not a question of how much of it you have, but how well you invest. They have to invest in generating the capacity that would make them compete because no one is going to say because youre a young person and as the constitution has been amended you can now aspire to any position you desire, and people will fold. When they came to me on the eve of the passage and signing.
If there are issues up for discussion, you try to garner as much opinions as you can possibly accommodate and at the end of the day, when the position is taken, of course not all the opinions will win, but even those who are losing. So, in order to round off on this, what I will really say has helped me, looking at the words of Cyrus the Great, the founder of the persian empire who spoke of his successes and attributed it to diversity in council and unity. I think that is what has played the magic and everybody should listen to all shades of opinions so that at the end of the day when a decision wallpaper is taken, it can be as if we each made the decision ourselves. That is what has kept the house thick and going. Recently, the not too young to run Bill was passed and you played a very big part in that role of pushing the bill, so how do you think that this will help youth inclusion in Nigeria? I worked with the not too young to run movement and from day one when the bill was introduced, i saw this group of committed young people who were pushing for this Bill to be passed and thankfully that is now history. I want to say without any fear of contradiction that it is just the first hurdle for us; I dont think there is any guarantee somewhere that young people will find a place within the political environment right now, but it was one long and. If you look at the youth body, it comprises a large part of the population because half of the worlds population now is below. In rural Africa the youth will soon overtake other demographies in terms of population.
So anytime you walk into the chambers having lost the confidence of two-thirds of the members, youll simply go and take your seat as the seat is always staring at you when youre sitting over there. Dogara making his way to parliament. On almost daily basis, you come across problems, these problems are the sort that some parties may describe as being wicked. Wicked not on account of the degree of the problem, but because of the frequency and the way the problems defy the usual tools used to resolve problems. You have members who want to see you on daily basis. Assuming you give appointments to 20 Members out of 360, just 20 and each person wants to take at least 30 minutes, how many days will it take you for instance to listen to all of them? The level of difficulties shows that it is almost impossible for someone to come fully prepared to be the Speaker of the house of Representatives, and you know because youre all equal, anybody can bare his mind, but what has really helped me.
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You might be surprised that ordinarily, these bills would have taken months to process within the written legislative chain but we ensured that within days, they were passed. I must also commend the vice-president who is the head of the executive in charge of this laudable initiative which has ensured that businesses that had left Nigeria before are even coming back. From the world Bank ranking of 2017, nigeria moved 24 points upwards and was placed among the top 10 countries that have improved their business environment, so in the global ranking of the ease of doing business Nigeria has moved upwards by 24 points. That is due to the efforts of the parliament coupled with the leadership that the vice-president is giving as the leader of the economic management team in Nigeria. You just spoke about leadership, how has the journey been so far these last 3 years? Especially when some people in your political party werent sure you had what it takes to lead the house? I dont know if the discussion was that I didnt have what it takes to lead the house, it was a value of personal judgment and I dont think there was that call.
All I remember was that for certain reasons, someone else was preferred by the party to be the speaker. Talking about capacity however, i think it was King Solomon, undoubtedly the wisest King who ever lived that said he had looked under the sun and realized that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the mighty, nor bread to the. So ultimately, im deeply thankful to members of the house of representatives for putting me there as the speaker. For me, every day has been a learning curve in this position. You know it is not easy for anyone to say he is coming prepared to be the speaker of the house of Representatives in Nigeria. This is for a variety of reasons; number one, youre presiding over a colossal gathering of 360 members of parliament who are equal in all aspects as there is no master-Servant relationship. As a matter of fact, as youre seated and presiding over the house, your vacant seat is staring at you.
So once these things are lacking, you dont have a robust democracy, it is now for you and I to determine whether these are present in the context of democracy that we practice in Nigeria. The one thing I can however assure you is that in the house of Representatives, we stand for the truth at all times in line with the oath of office we took which is to defend the law and constitution of the country. We are by that obligated to pay obeisance to anyone in authority. We have however been able to stamp our foot. When the government is wrong, we say it is wrong.
This is the right direction to follow. When the government is however right, we apportion the appropriate praise for that. To that extent we have been able to maintain a very delicate balance, as you know all democracies are fragile. Relating to the ease of doing business, we had a tactical committee on exiting the recession you spoke about, which we just exited. The committee made far-reaching recommendations and weve always worked with the executive relating to the ease of doing business and Im glad you raised that. In the struggle to rebuild our economy, we have always cooperated with the executive in the line of most of the bills that have been transmitted to us from them. In some cases, because of the passion we have for the lawmaking role we have assumed, we passed some of those bills within 3 days.
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Democracy is just like the proverbial elephant; you can only debate it depending on the angle at which you touch. For us to have a robust democracy, you have to consider certain factors. Some very brilliant scholars in Harvard, i think levitsky and Ziblatt, did a wonderful research on how democracy seems to be dying and it was published this year. They wallpaper stated the need to look at three indices which show that democracies these days hardly die at the hands of men with guns, unlike in those days where coups would put a violent end to a democracy. This time around, according to them, democracies die when an authoritarian leader is elected, when governmental powers are harnessed and abused, and thirdly when this leads to repression of the citizens and the opposition. So, for you to have a robust democracy, you must ensure that these three factors dont come into play. It boils down to how elected leaders employ their institutional prerogatives; by this I mean how the coercive instruments of state are deployed. This is exemplified when leaders treat the opposition as friends, and not as enemies.
as thats what makes the difference. Its citizens operating and harnessing the provisions of the laws that exist in the country that actually bring the difference. In the parliament, under the last three years of our leadership, we have passed into law about 224 bills, and that includes the 21 constitutional amendment bills and most of those bills have been graciously assented to by Mr President. We have processed to the region of about 1,500 motions and weve handled nearly 700 public petitions from citizens who are petitioning the national Assembly for the redress of some issues that they may not be able to prosecute in court maybe due to the. At the commencement of our administration, i empanelled a committee of experts consisting of Senior Advocates of Nigeria and law lecturers some even taught us in the University to look at the entire count of laws that we have in Nigeria since 1800 and recommend. They sat for some months some of them sacrificed so much, in fact without much compensation but they devoted their time and at the end of the exercise, they turned in about 300 bills, most of which have been processed. In one sitting, we read about 130 bills for the very first time in the history of the house of representatives, so Im not aware of laws that will positively impact on the lives of Nigerians that we havent touched, as all manner of laws. Its safe to say our democracy is not where it should be, i know we are not where we used to be, but Nigeria just came out of recession late last year. What has been the input of the house of representatives to strengthen the democracy and to make the ease of doing business more effective?
Advertisement, yakubu dogara, speaker of the house of representative, says the lower legislative chamber stands for the truth at all times. The nations number four citizen said this in an interview on the performance on the 8th assembly. Commenting on his emergence, dogara waxed spiritual,"ng the biblical King Solomon as saying the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the mighty. Dogara said in the last three years that he has presided over the 360-member parliament, the house has passed about 224 bills including the not-too-young-to-run bill, processed about 1,500 motions and handled nearly 700 public petitions. He also spoke about his relationship with his colleagues, disclosing what he wants the 8th assembly to be remembered for. Some nigerians essay believe that you and your colleagues are not doing at the house of reps, can you talk about the achievements of the lower legislative chamber under your leadership? I know that democracy is all about due process and the rule of law, the deeper your laws, the deeper your democracy, but I dont really know of laws that either impact negatively or positively on the lives of the people on their own. Democracy doesnt just work, its the people who have to make it work for them.
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