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When Ossai N. Ossai Engaged Chairmen, Councillors In Ndokwa Nation



… Gives Reason Why He Is Regarded As Legislative Meastro

By Barth Ozah

A two day capacity building workshop for all elected chairmen, vice chairmen and councillors in Ndokwa, Ukwuani federal constituency organized by Representative, Hon. Ossai N. Ossai has ended in Kwale, with a call on the elected representatives to brace up for the challenges of governance at the grassroot.

Speaking on the objective of the workshop, Representative Ossai said it was aimed at formulating strategic framework for proper running of the local government to impact on the people.

He pointed out that he has become a scholar in the act of law making as one of the youngest lawmaker in the Delta State House of Assembly in 1999, and now in the position to impact his knowledge on the grassroot representatives.

He also revealed why he is regarded as Iegislative meastro saying, “because I understand every bit of legislative process that why they called me legislative meastro.”

The lawmaker who has won several awards for his oversight activities at the house of representatives, added that the overarching aim of the workshop was to equally build the capacities of the participants in undertaking the task of legislative drafting of bye-laws, legislative agenda development, ethics and code of conducts, oversight and good governance.

“This is in line with the cardinal objective of my legislative agenda, 2021 constituency workplan and the Ndokwa representative’s human capital development hub that focuses on implementing specialized trainings and knowledge framework support for key stakeholders and policy makers for optimal and high impact performances in their elected or appointed areas of public service.”

Ossai presented papers on ‘Legislative agenda: development and benchmarking activities of local government legislative council’s in Nigeria; Understanding legislative oversight and good governance at the local government council level: collaboration elements for Ndokwa development, presentation and action points.’

He pointed out that lack of inclusiveness in governance remain one of the major challenges confronting the nation just as he berated the national assembly for failing to save the nation from the present social economic and security challenges in the country.

He urged the elected officials at the third tier government to leverage on numerous opportunities the constitution of Nigeria bequeathed on them.

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He sued for continued corporation and collaborations between the council chairmen and their councillors to achieve set goals.

Professor Onyishi Anthony whose lecture dealt on ‘Development of legislative ethics and code of conduct for local government legislative councils, argued that restructuring of the country is about ethics.

“The problem of the country is lack of ethical infrastructure, it is not about the law but the people who ought to consciously reform themselves but fail to do so. There is problem of infrastructural anemia.” He posited.

He said policy makers in Nigeria have over the years tried to reform, reorganize and reposition local government system in Nigeria to achieve results, but all have failed due to unethical practices.

He however, admonished the elected representatives at the grassroot level to act with integrity so as to uphold public service values.

For Barr. Chris Agidi whose lecture dealt on ‘Legislative drafting, principle and practice’ maintained that good bye law should address local concerns and be consistent with the constitution.

“Bye law should be reasonable and enforceable,” he stressed.

He identified the various process of drafting to includes; understanding the drafting initiative or instructions, analysing the drafting initiative or instructions, designing and planning the outline, compositing and developing the draft and verifying and scrutinizing the draft.”

Speaking on the topic, ‘Understanding legislative representation, constituency outreach and constituency office management for councillors.’ Ambassador Chibuzo Okereke, noted that effective representation requires that representatives take the initiative to provide political leadership through a democratic process that meet the aspirations of the people they represent.

To achieve this goal, Ambassador Chibuzo said, representatives are expected to have respect for diversity and plurality of perspectives, show interest and commitment in knowledge of the workings of the legislature.

According to him; “Out of the four level of representatives, councillor is the one by structure resident at the area where he represents, making him ‘resident representatives’ this is why a constituency office is very important for a councillor.”

He added that to achieve effective representation and constituency outreach, a councillor must adopt the concept of constituency mapping, which he posited was a deliberate process of studying the different segment of constituency to analyze and clearly described the political, social-economic condition and physical inventories of the representative’s constituency for purpose of effective representation.

Mr. Okom Sabastine whose lecture was ‘Parliamentary administration for legislative councils, called on the councillors and the legislative staff to collaborate with other parliaments to cross-fertilize ideas to improve on their activities.

He equally stressed the importance of training of the councillors and legislative staff for growth and smooth running of the legislative arms.

Another guest lecturer, Dr. Godwin Ossai, while speaking on the topic, ‘Impactful youth engagement for economic self-reliance: the creative role of councillors as policy entrepreneurs’ urged the councillors to be purpose driven and be focused on set goal.

The highlight of the two days capacity building was plenary session where a representative of each of the three local government councils moved a motion on issues of urgent public importance in their areas while the legislative meastro, Hon. Ossai presided.

Also, through the support from the National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies NILDS, each participants went home with reference books on subject areas of legislature, governance and democracy to enrich themselves.



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