Taraba State House of Assembly Organize Retreat for 10th Assembly Members

Emmanuel Awari-Jalingo

The Taraba State House of Assembly has organize a three day retreat for the state legislators of the 10th Assembly.

The retreat which is being attended by members from all the 24 constituencies of the State as well as other senior staff members of the House, commenced took place at Valada Hotels Jos, the capital city of Plateau State.

In his remarks, the Speaker of Taraba State University of Assembly, Kizito Bonzena said that the aim of the retreat is to get the legislators acquainted with their roles, rights and privileges as well as their powers and limitations.

He urged members to be attentive to the various paper presentations as according to him, topics and resources persons were carefully selected, assuring them of a fruitful meeting.

In a goodwill message, the Speaker, Plateau State House of Assembly represented by the his deputy Hon. Gwaonson Difom, welcomed the legislators to the State and assured them of peace and security throughout their stay in Plateau.
He also reiterated the importance of the retreat to the members especially that 20 of them are new to the Taraba State House of Assembly.

Earlier on, the Acting Clerk of the House, Mrs Salmuna Amos Sani, said there was supposed to be a workshop immediately after the inauguration of the Tenth Assembly before this retreat which was hampered by some unforeseen circumstances.

She however commended the commitment of the speaker for ensuring the holding of the retreat.

Mrs Salmuna Amos said the importance of training and retraining of legislators cannot be overemphasized due to their crucial roles in the realization of good governance, stressing that such trainings will equip and expose them to the business of Lawmaking, Representation and Oversight which are key in a democracy.

The retreat featured various papers presention by experienced resource persons on General Functions/The Role of the Legislature in Sustenance of Democracy and Conflict Resolution; flash points in Governance”; “Laws and Regulations Guiding the use of Public Funds”; An Overview of the Appropriation of process”; “Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria”; Constituency Responsibilities of the Legislators” and Human Capacity Development in Legislature”.

The resource persons include, Rt Hon. Josiah Sabo Kente, Prof Ahmed Bawa, Chief Mellah Orngu and Barr. Vincent Yerima all did justice to the various topics assigned them.

The Lawmakers took turns to ask relevant questions on the topics presented for further insight.

One of the paper presentated on Power, Privileges, Immunities and Limitation of the Legislature by Amb. Jerry Ugokwe exposed the legislators to the constitutional powers accompanying their positions and the limitations.

“You should get themselves acquainted with these powers, privileges, Immunities and Limitation to fully maximize them in the process of executing their mandates.

Other topics include “The Committee System and Oversight Process in the Legislature”, “Law-making Process/Legislative Terms and Usages”; “Financial and Administrative Autonomy for State Legislature”; “Understanding the Rules of Practice of Practice and Produce (Standing Orders) in the State legislature” and “Motions, Lobbying, Public Petition and Division in the Chamber” were effectively handled by Mr. John Mutu, Barr Ibrahim Usman and Prof. Ahmed Bawa.

The speakers taught exhaustively of the topics presented and made relevant recommendations to fully arm the Lawmakers to remain more relevant in their respective offices.

Similarly a paper presentation by Barr. Ibrahim Usman during the closing ceremony of the Retreat.

In his presentation the resource person, Barr. Ibrahim Usman
explained that there are various terms that are peculiar to the legislative arm of Governrment and called of the Taraba State legislators to familiarise themselves with these terms for proper usage.

He said part of the roles of the legislator is Law-making hence every legislator should strive to sponsor Bills that will benefit the various communities they represent.

Also in their respective papers, Mr. John Mutu and Prof. Ahmed Bawa both tasked the Lawmakers to speak with one voice and ensure they continuously develop themselves in the act of lawmaking as well as their constituents, for them to present their petitions rightly while Chief Mellah Orngu, Mrs Salmuna Amos and Barr. Vincent Yerima both presented papers on Promoting Effective, Executive and Judiciary Relations in the State, Roles of the Bureaucracy and Legislative Aide and Principles of separation of Powers and Doctrines of Checks and Balance Respectively.

According to them, the legislators must surround themselves with legislative aides that are Academically sound and possess proper communication skills among other qualities.

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