By Darlington UDOBONG
Honorary Senior Special Adviser to Governor Udom Emmanuel on Special Duties, Rt. Hon. Okpolupm Etteh, has charged elected members to the Seventh Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly to be open to capacity building to enhance their legislative engagements.
Etteh, a former Leader of the House, gave the charge on Tuesday when he chaired a session of the Two-Day Pre-Inauguration and Induction Workshop for 26 elected members of the State House of Assembly at Intercontinental Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos, on Tuesday.
While highlighting some of the limiting factors of Nigeria’s legislature to include legislative autonomy, financial autonomy and zoning of legislative seats, Etteh tasked members to make the House Standing Rule their best companion.
He said though the legislature in Nigeria has remained very vulnerable, it can be strengthened through strong institutions, adding that “it is incumbent on all of you to make laws that will strengthen institutions in the state.”
The former Leader of the House commended facilitators and resource persons at the workshop, saying the training will equip members of the 7th Akwa Ibom House of Assembly with requisite skills needed in the art of lawmaking and representation.
Earlier, Governor Udom Emmanuel, who declared the workshop open, in his keynote address, appealed to the elected members of the 7th Assembly to help create change and build human capacity development in Akwa Ibom.
Governor Emmanuel took time to talk about the pillars of leadership and said its essential ingredients were vision, integrity, humility, passion, loyalty and self-discipline.
He thanked members of the 6th Assembly for their understanding and cooperation and appealed for same from the elected members of the 7th Assembly.
The State Governor further tasked the elected members of the 7th Assembly to support the advancement of Akwa Ibom.
Also in his remarks, outgoing Speaker of the State House of Assembly and member-elect for Etinan Federal Constituency, Barrister Onofiok Luke, thanked the State Governor for his continuous support to the State House of Assembly, and urged participants to make the best out of the workshop.
Facilitator and resource persons at the workshop included Facebook’s Director of Policy for West Africa, Adaora Ikenze; Dr. Shuaibu Danwanka; Barrister Usenobong Akpabio; Dr Jake Dan-Azumi and Barrister Ime Okon.
Constitutional Powers of the Legislature; Power, Privileges, Immunities; and Limitation of the Legislature; Development of Legislative Agenda; Public and Investigative Hearing; Bill Process; Role of Principal Officers of a Legislature;; Maximizing Technology and Social Media for Effective Lawmaking, Oversight and Constituency Engagement; the Principle of Separation of Powers and Doctrines of Checks and Balances, and an Introduction to Standing Orders of the Legislature, were some of the papers presented.
Highpoint of the workshop was a mock session of the opening of the new parliament by the Clerk of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, Mrs. Mandu Umoren.