Lawmaking process in Nigeria’s National Assembly: The role of legislative aides under the 8th session

Ijefuamhen, Patience Orhiere (2022-05)


Despite the powers conferred on the National Assembly pursuant to section 51 0f the 1999 CFRN( as amended), the National Assembly Service Commission Act, 2014,did not define the status and roles of the personal aides of legislators as part of the needed support staff except as may be delegated to them. This study examined the effect of this lacuna in the Act specifically on the law making process of the 8th Session of the National Assembly (2015 – 2019) 8th session of the Nigerian National Assembly, which witnessed the passage of an unprecedented number of bills denied assent, with specific objectives to examine the performance of the legislative aides in the lawmaking process, to determine factors that influenced their performance in the period under review and proffer measures that will enhance their performance. Adopting the structural functionalism framework and qualitative research design, primary data was collected using questionnaire while the secondary data were sourced from publications, documents of the National Assembly, Textbooks, review of related works and the Internet. The sample size was 300, while data analysis was done using simple statistical methods of frequency and percentage to meet all the stated objectives. The Study found that on objective 1 the legislative aides performed poorly in the lawmaking process due to myriads of challenges through the questionnaire and the documents of the National Assembly. On objective 2, through the use of questionnaire these challenges were identified to include the absence of a legal framework that assigned roles and guaranteed job security to the Aides, the prioritization of political consideration above qualification and experience, poor capacity and training, conflicting values and interest of their principals, poor funding and of lack of office space, equipments and bill drafting policy. The study concluded that these challenges could be surmounted through further amendments to the NASC Act, structured quarterly training for legislative aides, creation of more stakeholders’ engagement platforms, provision of office equipments and improved funding.