Connect with us


‘We have been equipped to function better’



THE Plateau State House of Assembly in collaboration with Plateau ALGON and the Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, recently held a capacity building workshop for councillors in the seventeen local government councils of the state. The aim is to basically, educate and equip the legislators for better performance. Below is a general assessment and expectations from some of the participants.

Hon. Samuel Iliya, Leader Jos East Legislative Arm

I actually count it a privilege to be part of this workshop. The training has been an eye opener and I have really learnt a lot of things. It has been very educative, very challenging and very motivating. Some of the areas we have been informed on has to do with our responsibilities at our various local government level. In fact, the issues mostly has to do with our representation. We as legislators are  representatives of our people before any other thing, and I am happy that one of the speaker’s did justice to that. He spoke on some of the attributes and characters we need to posses as a representative. He also discussed on the ethics of leadership, and legislative responsibilities etc.

At the end of this experience, I would have been properly equipped and ready to take on areas that were lacking believing that my skills would have been sharpened. By virtue of all that I have learnt, I can categorically tell you that I have been properly educated to better carry out my responsibility as a leader. The organisers have really tried honestly, only that we wished that the exercise would have come earlier. As you know, we are almost clocking one year in office and most of us did not understand what it entailed but all the same we are grateful. I pray that our tenure as legislators lasts up to three years and I assure you that if we have that ample time, and with what we have learnt so far, you will be surprised at the improved performance of the legislature at the local level.

Hon. Nanzing Miner, Leader Langtang North Legislative Arm

Sincerely, I have learnt a lot in the course of this training and have realised that that there were so many things that we were doing ignorantly as a legislative arm. With the knowledge that I have acquired here, I am sure to pick up and improve on the legislative business. When I get back home, I promise that Langtang North legislative arm will begin to do things differently as a result of this training.You must be aware of what is going on between us as legislators and the executive. Yes, we agree that some things were done wrongly while initiating the impeachment process but as lawmakers, we have been better informed on how to follow due process on impeachment matters as prescribed by the law. That is not to say that the issue has been withdrawn, we are still on the matter and this time, all due process is being adhered to.

Hon. Pansat Sylvester, Majority Leader Mangu Legislative Arm and Vice Chairman Councillors Forum of Nigeria, Central Zone

As legislators in the local government on the Plateau, I will say that this is what we have been waiting for because we cannot venture into a business that we know little or nothing about. This capacity building workshop is timely. Personally, this exercise has prepared my mind towards what is expected of me as a legislator. It has also opened my eyes on things I never knew about pertaining to legislative business. As far as I am concerned, this is one of the best achievements in my life so far as a legislator. Reason being that it has exposed me on what I need to do going forward so as to bring the dividends of democracy to the people I represent at the grassroot.

Hon. Grace Laraba Vanderpuye, Councillor Representing Vanderpuye Ward Well, for some of us in Jos North we will describe this as an additional training because we have been privileged to have attended one in the past, and it was courtesy of Hon. Ibrahim Baba Hassan, our representative at the state assembly who also happens to be the House Committee Chairman on Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs. The opportunity presented itself when we as a legislative arm were confronted with certain challenges. At that time, we were not comfortable with what was going on in the local government council between us and the executive, even though we knew what our rights were.

So, this training is just like rehearsing some of the things we have had in the past, though this one went a step further in broadening our knowledge because a lot were added. Also, some areas which were not clear then are now clearer. What I can say is that I am now better prepared to function effectively because I have been taught on a deeper level. This is a very welcome development and I really want to appreciate everyone involved in coming up with the initiative. While we would have loved to have had it earlier especially at the beginning of our tenure, however it is better late than never.

Hon. Sylvester Kwapnoe Ari, Majority Leader Jos North Legislative Arm

Truly speaking and looking at this capacity building workshop, you will realise that indeed it has been a mind blowing experience. As a legislator, it has opened my eyes, widened my horizon and sharpened my understanding to know that democracy is a game of inclusiveness. That is to say that I have to have an avenue of interacting with my constituents always, so as to know and understand what their problems are and see how we can legislate on them. Most importantly is to make by laws that will bring about progress and development for the people at the grassroot.

Therefore, I see this workshop as the best idea so far and I want to say kudos to the Chairman House Committee on Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Hon. Ibrahim Baba Hassan who stood his ground to ensure that we are trained with plans to continue training the state local government legislative arm on issues that will sharpen and broaden our legislative insight. After today, my constituents should expect a better representation, quality governance at the grassroot that will require more interface and interaction with them.

Hon. Simon Dung Pam, Leader Jos South Legislative Arm

This exercise was organised for us as legislators to Know more about legislative practice and proceedures. And have I done that? Yes, I have actually learnt that and more. My take home is on the need to have a cordial relationship between the legislature and the executive. I was made to understand that if the council chairman who is the executive fails, it is not only him that failed but the legislature as well. Again, if we do not know the practice and proceedures, we cannot provide good governance for our people because the councillor is the closest to the people.

Secondly if you do not know your duty as a councillor, which is to represent your people in order to bring them development, you have ultimately failed in your number one responsibility. For me after this workshop, I intend to go back to the drawing board and begin to set my priorities right. I promise to perform my duties as a councillor effectively so as to deliver the dividends of democracy to my people of Zawan B Ward who chose to give me their mandate.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *