The Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Benjamin Okezie Kalu, has said that the 10th National Assembly is committed to embracing technology and innovation to engender transparency and enhance greater citizens’ participation in the legislative process.
Kalu said this while delivering a goodwill message at the National Dialogue on the Open Parliament Index (OPI) convened by OrderPaper Advocacy Initiative on “Mainstreaming Open Parliament into the 10th Assembly Legislative Agenda”.
The dialogue was convened under the Promoting Open Parliament for Upscaling Legislative Accountability (POPULA) project with the Nigeria Network of Parliamentary Monitoring Organisations (PMOs).
Kalu noted that in an era defined by rapid technological advancements, an open parliament must utilise digital tools to bridge the gap between citizens and their representatives.
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He said, “This assembly is resolute in its pursuit of leveraging technology to streamline communication, facilitate access to information and enable meaningful engagements between citizens and their elected officials.
“Furthermore, participatory governance is not a mere buzzword for us; it is the cornerstone of our legislative agenda. We intend to establish mechanisms that enable citizens to actively participate in the legislative process, ensuring their voices are heard and addressed.”
Earlier, the Executive Director of OrderPaper, Oke Epia, noted that the dialogue was an avenue to exchange ideas on how to deepen openness and transparency in legislative business of the National Assembly.
On his part, Clerk to the House of Representatives, Dr Yahaya Danzaria, said the National Assembly had been operating an open parliament by involving the members of the public during public hearings; receiving and attending to petitions from the public and also transmitting the plenary sessions of the two chambers of the National Assembly to the public through the NASS TV platform.