The Speaker of the Delta State House of Assembly, Rt Hon Sheriff Oborevwori has said that the House would soon experience higher legislative inputs from Members that will yield robust legislation for the State economic and social well-being, security of lives and property, infrastructure development, healthcare outreach and sound education among others.
In his keynote address at the opening of a two-day Refresher Course for Honourable Members of the House, with the theme; ‘Understanding Legislative Drafting For Effective Legislative Business’ on Monday, March 2, 2020 at Oleh, Isoko South Local Government Area of the state, the Speaker stated that the Refresher Course was not only important but also very timely.
He said; “There is no doubt in my mind that after this refresher course, the House will experience higher legislative inputs from Members that will yield robust legislation for the State economic and social well-being, security of lives and property, infrastructure development, healthcare outreach and sound education among others”.
The Speaker explained that Legislative Drafting in a simple language means the knowledge and skills in reducing drafting instructions into bills for the purpose of lawmaking, adding that the core responsibility of drafting bills, motions and other legislative documents rest with the bureaucrats
“Nonetheless, Members are expected to be able to distinguish a bad draft from an elegant draft”.
According to him; “Distinguished colleagues, our primary responsibility is to make good laws for our people and the State. Therefore, it behoves on us as Members to understand and be able to decipher drafting language, structure and content of bills, bills format, style and structure of penal provisions. If we master all of these, our consideration of bills at first and second reading, in committees, committee of the whole House and eventual passage will be seamless”.
The Speaker advised his colleagues that within the two days of the programme, they should open their minds to fresh and new ideas, saying that; “I want to believe strongly that this refresher course is a learning curve in legislative drafting for most of us”.
He expressed appreciation to the State Governor, Senator Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, for his continuous support to the House; the leadership of the House for their cooperation; his colleagues; Management and staff of the Assembly for their support.
“In the same vein, I wish to express my appreciation to the Director-General of the National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies for acceding to our request for the facilitation of this programme.
“Permit me to recognize our very good friend, Dr. Shuaib Danwanka and other resource persons ably led by Dr.John Olanrewaju. I welcome you all to Delta State”, the Speaker said.
Earlier, the Clerk of the Delta State House of Assembly, Barr ( Mrs. ) Lyna Aliya Ocholor, said that the workshop was aimed at improving the quality of lawmaking process with a view to having a deeper understanding of the process of Bill Drafting.
She added that the programme will definitely impact positively on sessions at plenary as well as improve the understanding of the business of lawmaking.
In his welcome address, the Director General of National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies ( NILDS ), Prof Abubarka O. Sulaiman who was represented by Dr John N. Olanrewaju, Head, Training and International Cooperation, NILDS, Abuja explained that the programme was designed to enable participants understand the skills and methods for understanding legislative drafting assignments, Bill analysis and scrutiny to improve the overall capacity in legislative drafting.
On his part, Dr. Shuaibu Danwanka of NILDS said that; “There is no better time than now for this training. Law should be drafted in a simple language that can be understood by all”.