Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has called on National and State Assembly Commissions to provide strong and effective institutional support to the legislative houses for greater independence of the legislature.

Declaring open the seventh National and State Assembly Commissions conference in Port Harcourt Wednesday, Wike said the effective performance by the national and state assemblies would help in the development of democracy.

He said: “It takes strong, independent and efficient national and state assembly to advance these basic development goals. Legislative houses also need strong and effective institutional support to be effective. This is where the role and relevance of national and state assemblies become necessary.

“The creation of the Assembly Service Commissions is vital as it has made the national and state assemblies one of the most independent in Africa.”

The governor explained that the recruitment, promotion and discipline of parliamentary staff by the National and State Assembly Commissions, ensure that the executive does not control the legislative arm.
He said there was need for a cooperative relationship between the national and state assemblies for the entrenchment of democratic values at all levels.

In an address, the Chairman of the National Assembly Service Commission, D.r Adamu Fika, said despite the benefits of the State Assembly Service Commission to the development of the legislature, many states are yet to establish their commissions.

He appealed to all state governments yet to establish their assembly service commissions to do so for the independence of the legislature.

Fika said: “The theme of this year’s conference, ‘Enhancing Synergy for Service Delivery in the legislature ‘, is meant to strengthen the foundation of the legislative service by building a strong collaboration to enhance nation-wide synergy for service delivery.”
The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara, who was represented by Deputy Chief Whip, Hon Parley Iriase, said the House would work towards ensuring that all states establish their Assembly Service Commission.

Clerk of the National Assembly, Alhaji Sani Omolori, said the conference was necessary as it would build the capacity of parliamentary staff to work effectively.

Also speaking, the Chairman of the Rivers State Assembly Service Commission, Hon Chidi Amadi, said the state is glad to be the first to host the conference after seven years.