The 34 members of the Kaduna State House of Assembly have sponsored only four bills in three years, LEADERSHIP Weekend findings have revealed.
A document obtained by our correspondent showed that out of the 63 bills passed by the Kaduna State lawmakers, 59 were executive bills, while only four bills were sponsored by some of the members in the last three years.
The development, it was gathered, is raising concern among stakeholders in Kaduna and political analysts who consider the poor legislative performance as a sign of incompetence on the part of the lawmakers.
Those who spoke to LEADERSHIP Weekend on the issue expressed concern over what they described as “ineptitude and non-performance of the members of the Kaduna State House of Assembly”.
A public commentator, Mr Iliya Kure, expressed concern over the alleged poor performance of the members of State House of Assembly, especially in terms of sponsoring private bills which is one of their core mandates.
“In three years of existence, the fifth Assembly passed 63 bills in which 59 were Executive bills while four were private members bills. The Kaduna State Government is wasting funds and other resources on the legislative arm because they have not lived up to their expectations. These members were elected to make laws and if they are not initiating bills and making laws it means the government is wasting resources”, Kure added.
According to him, since the state government does not have money, every Kobo spent should bring returns, but they (lawmakers) are not transparent in their activities, especially in terms of oversight functions.
“Their primary responsibilities are to make laws and perform oversight functions. If they are not making laws and they are not initiating bills, what are they doing? Now, no one can categorically say this is what the legislative arm is contributing to good governance in the state since lawmaking is their primary function and records show that they have not done much in the last three years since their election.
“Amazingly, most of them do not even know what legislative work is all about. Constituents should have a rethink before returning any of the members in 2019 because they have failed in doing what is expected of them,” he said.
Another Kaduna resident and a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Murtala Abubakar, said he was disappointed at the poor performance of the legislative arm of the state government, saying they have been wasting the resources of the masses.
He said, “One thing I have come to realise about this State Assembly is that they don’t go out for oversight functions. Even if they do, they don’t project themselves as being accountable in their work because the Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and the media do not have access to the members and even the assembly for them to see what is happening as far as legislative activities are concerned.
“So, nobody can say what the legislators are doing since they are not delivering on their primary responsibilities of making laws. Perhaps, it is because they don’t have capacity that they are hiding under ‘no funds to carry out activities’”.
He further observed that legislators play a critical role in checks and balances on the executive and the judicial, and as such they are key stakeholders who must understand and champion issues of development and service delivery for the electorate.
The Kaduna State House of Assembly led by Speaker Alhaji Aminu Shagali has 34 members, comprising 30 APC and four PDP members.
The Assembly, which also has 27 standing committees and six special committees, has passed 62 bills into law with only four private members bill since its inception in June 2015.
Prominent among the bills passed into law are: A bill to prohibit street begging and hawking in cities of the state; Kaduna State tax codification and consolidation law; A bill for a law to provide for the development and regulations of the Kaduna State water sector.
Others include a bill for a law to amend local government administration; a bill for a law to provide for the establishment of Kaduna State Peace Commission, and a bill to establish the Kaduna State Transport Regulatory Authority.
The legislators also passed a bill for the protection and conservation of cultural heritage in the state, sponsored by the deputy Speaker, Mr John Kwaturu, and a bill to amend the Kaduna Midwifery College Act, 2014 sponsored by Hon Bello Haruna.