10th Reps Committed to Pursuing Inclusive Governance for Women, Youth – Speaker Abbas


The Speaker of the House of Representatives Hon. Abbas Tajudeen, has reiterated the commitment of the 10th House to push for legislation that would enhance the chances of women and youth to participate more in governance through various legislative interventions embedded in its legislative agenda.


The Speaker also gave assurances of the House to pursue its agenda in a manner that complements the Renewed Hope Agenda of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, given that both aspire to achieve common objectives of nation-building.


Speaker Abbas stated these when he received in his office the Resident Representative of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), in Nigeria, Ms. Elsie Attafuah in Abuja on Tuesday.


The Speaker in his response to some development issues raised by the UNDP Rep said that while the House is poised to pursue pro-people legislation that would foster inclusivity, it also requires the support of development partners such as the UNDP to effectively carry out its activities towards realising set objectives.


He announced that the House would incorporate sign language into its proceedings when it resumes from break next week.


Also, Speaker Abbas highlighted various issues militating against the concept of inclusivity, such as the high turnover of lawmakers in the last general elections, which greatly affected the number of women in the House.


He, however, called on the UNDP to do more in the area of advocacy that galvanises support for gender equity related bills in the ongoing constitution alteration exercise.


“In the 9th House, we had about 25 women, and now it has reduced to about 15. And that is because only about 25% of Members were able to return to the House after the election, which also affected the issue of gender balance.


“I urge the UNDP to do more to help publicise the issue of gender inclusion through organization of workshops and conferences which would involve stakeholders in the public and private sectors where gender equity issues are most relevant,” Speaker Abbas said, adding that such would help the House to achieve the aim of bringing more women and young people into governance.


Speaker Abbas also harped on the need to train new Members of the House, saying that “training of the new Members will afford them the necessary tools to learn and provide legislative leadership that the country needs. We hope that with your support going forward, we can be able to sustain institutional memories of the legislature and keep experience where it’s needed.”


Earlier, the UNDP Resident Representative Ms. Elsie Attafuah, assured the Speaker of her organization’s support in the actualisation of the 10th House legislative agenda, saying that the UNDP was happy with the level of leadership and work the Speaker has demonstrated since his emergence in June last year.


Ms. Attafuah, who hails from Ghana, noted that the House could provide legislative interventions in advancing the course of gender balance, as well as women and youth inclusion in governance, trade, energy reforms and protection of natural resources that enhance their benefits to the country and continent.


She said the UNDP considers the foregoing as development issues that need to be advanced by countries through the people’s representatives in parliaments.

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