By Joyce Remi- Babayeju
Abuja(SundiataPost) – As the 9th National Assembly clock one year in operation a Civil Society Organization, NGO, Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Center, (CISLAC) has decried the continued lack of substantial effort by the legislature to amend the Electoral Reforms Act to address the current trends and challenges strangulating the credibility and transparency in the electoral process.
Executive Director of CISLAC, Auwal Ibrahim Musa (Rafsanjani) called on Legislature to attend to Executive Bills in order to address the challenges in the nation’s political process.
The CSO said it expressed worry over continuous delay in introduction of appropriate legislative framework to improve coordination and result-oriented approach in the anti-corruption fight through full domestication and activation of pending Global and Regional Anti-Corruption Instruments to improve coordination and ensure a result-oriented approach in the anti-corruption fight; review of Petroleum Industry and Governance Bill (PIGB) to promote transparency, accountability, and governance, as well as curtail monumental financial losses in our nation’s oil and gas sector; back disclosure of beneficial owners of licenses in the oil sector and the publicizing of oil and mining contracts, as recommended by the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) and the Open Government Partnership Commitments.
Meanwhile he noted that Nigerians expect the National Assembly to introduce legislation that will provide legal backing to the establishment of special courts or strengthen existing courts to expedite justice on corruption cases through legislative amendments, including cases of suspected mismanagement, misappropriation and diversion of COVID-19 expenditures; as well as passage of Whistle-blower Protection Bill so that mismanagement and misappropriation of governmental funds, including COVID-19 palliatives, are disclosed with the guarantee of anonymity to insiders.
Further CISLAC commended the 9th National Assembly for the return of the budget cycle to January to December for the development of the nation’s ailing critical sector.
Auwal Ibrahim Musa (Rafsanjani) said that the apex house was commended for the various initiatives they have undertaken like the return of budget cycle from January to December to ensure timely release of funds and cash backing for the development of the nation’s ailing sector.
Other commended initiatives the CSO mentioned is the assent by President Muhammadu Buhari to the Finance Act (2019) formerly Finance Bill to support the implementation of the 2020 National Budget and to create an enabling environment for businesses.
Also Deep Offshore and Inland Basin Production Sharing Contracts Act Amendment Bill (the Act) to ensure that the Production Sharing Contract is economically beneficial to the government of the federation; the passage of Emergency Stimulus Bill, 2020, as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic to mitigate impact on businesses and individuals in Nigeria.