From Ndubuisi Orji, Abuja

Deputy Spokesman of the House of Representatives Philip Agbese has said House Speaker Tajudeen Abbas is moving lawmaking closer to the people.

Agbese said the speaker through legislative initiatives has given critical stakeholders the opportunity to make valuable contributions to issues of national interest.

The deputy spokesperson, who represents Ado/Okpokwu/Ogbadibo Federal Constituency of Benue State, said the two-day economic retreat organized for members of the House has helped to strengthen lawmakers’ capacity.

The lawmaker, while appearing on a television programme, said the 10th House is conscious of the fact that the essence of being in the parliament is to continually improve the livelihood of our people.

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According to him, “The whole gamut of the retreat wasn’t just about the law. But again as parliamentarians, for us to have a full grasp of the issues so that if we go out to carry out our duties as parliamentarians, we would also have the best understanding of those issues.

“What Mr Speaker is doing is taking law-making from the hallowed chamber to the Nigerian people. You see that in events like that, we have critical stakeholders who wouldn’t ordinarily be able to attend plenaries and make contributions. It was also a learning process. And that’s what you get when you make the right choice in electing who leads an institution like the parliament.

“So when you have a teacher as the leader of the parliament and you have members who equally understand that parliament is about collaboration, partnership and constructive engagement…

“For you to be able to engage people constructively, it requires that you should also have a certain knowledge base and that’s what Mr Speaker has done. And that’s why part of the recommendations from the retreat was for Mr Speaker to sustain such engagements. It’s something we have to see not only in the oil sector but also in the other sectors.”