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NASS retraces step, begins move to change bad image

…Plans open week to woo angry Nigerians over wrong perception
…Says there’s need for image laundering on legislative works
…NASS, most misunderstood arm of government since 1999′
The National Assembly has set machinery in motion to address its poor public image and resolve to forge a synergy with relevant stakeholders on how to constantly intimate the Nigerian public on its efforts to deepen democracy in Nigeria.

The lawmaking arm under the present dispensation, almost from the start, has been contending with image problem which arose from its sustained standoff with the executive arm, part of which is responsible for delays in passage of National Budgets into law.

Speaking on the need to change the narrative, the Senate Leader, Senator Ahmed Lawan (APC, Yobe North), indicated on Tuesday during a media briefing in Abuja that the two lawmaking chambers are now set to take action on image laundering, strategically for perception change ahead of the third anniversary of the 8th National Assembly scheduled for June 9, 2018.

Lawan said the image laundering, packaged by the leadership of the National Assembly in collaboration with management of the National Institute for Legislative Studies (NILS), would be carried out through a programme tagged: “Open week” by the committee already set up for that purpose”.

He said: “The planned open week is a welcome development which would serve as platform for the general public to interact with federal legislators at close range towards understanding the constitutional functions of the National Assembly particularly as regards constituency projects.

“The open week would bring to the fore required knowledge about the workings of the National Assembly which are fundamentally, lawmaking, representation and oversight functions on the workings of all federal government agencies.

“As lawmakers, we no doubt feel bad about the negative perception of the National Assembly and we must change it in the interest of democracy which to us cannot be development- driven going by the way the institution is misunderstood by Nigerians”.

Also speaking on the planned open week, the chairman of House of Representatives Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters, Hon Shehu Shagari, said the initiative becomes imperative in view of the fact that the National Assembly has been the most misunderstood arm of government since 1999.

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