The Yiaga Africa has called for the strengthening of constituency engagement to empower the people about the work of the legislators in the interest of strengthening democracy in the country.
Executive Director, Yiaga Africa, Samson Itodo, made the call on Monday in Abuja at the launch of the Constituency Office Internship Program and training of legislative interns and aides.
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The event organised by the Yiaga Africa Centre for Legislative Engagement (CLE) was part of the implementation of the European Union Support to Democratic Governance in Nigeria Project (EU-SDGN) Project, which has trained 74 Nigerians on legislative engagements.
The objective of the training is to equip young people who will serve as interns in the constituency offices of elected lawmakers with knowledge of constituents relations to improve legislators-constituents relationship.
The internship will be for three months and they were selected after a rigorous application process.
Itodo said that they will want to see better engagement between the lawmakers and the constituents.
He also they will also sponsor Nigerians for three months to provide support to respective constituency offices.
“The Internship period is designed to build the capacity of young Nigerians through direct understudy of the running of Constituency offices, legislature-constituent relations and legislative engagement,” he said.
On his part, the Chairman, House Committee on Constituency Outreach, Hon. Bello Kaoje, said the National Assembly is delighted with the training as this will give better understanding between the constituents and the lawmaker.
“Studies has showed that 53 percent of interns within organizations become full-time hires. I therefore argue you make full utilization of this training program to prepare yourself for future legislative capacity preparation.
“The experience and exposure that you will gain at the conclusion of this capacity training workshop will enhance your individual ability to serve as efficient research assistants in your respective constituency offices and also participate in the legislator’s constituency office activities.
“It important to state that as the first batch of this training that the future success of this program depends on your adequate feedback mechanism from various constituency offices that will encourage continued support from Yiaga Africa Center for legislative Engagement with the support of the European Union and their ability to give the time and energy to promote it,” Kaoje said.