Information and Communications Technology, ICT facilities available in the National Assembly have been described
as the best of its kind in Africa. Lawmakers and bureaucrats were of the view that the facilities are of high standard. The availability of such facilities could only materialise through the determined efforts of the management team headed by Alhaji Salisu Maikasuwa, Clerk to the National Assembly, CNA, who took steps to ensure that only the best equipment were provided in an effort to enhance the delivery of service by lawmakers.
Recently, the Director General, Legislative Institute, Dr. Hamalai, commended the quality of the equipment and facilities. Meanwhile, it was through the pragmatism of the CNA that civil servants are being rated highly. Since he assumed duty as the CNA in 2010, Maikasuwa introduced reforms that transformed the National Assembly’s management. He has put up a strong executive capacity to which the lawmakers now rely upon to carry out all their functions. The civil servants are not only proactive but reliable, transparent, honest and patriotic in their work.
But more than any other thing, Maikasuwa has provided infrastructure, manpower and ICT than all his predecessors since 1999 when the country re-embraced proper democracy. Infrastructure at the National Assembly is far better than those in other African parliaments.
This writer is of the view that presently in Africa no parliament has the kind of infrastructure available in Nigeria’s National Assembly even though it could still be better as attested to by a highly placed government official who recently visited the United States’ Congress and the United Kingdom parliament.
The pragmatism of the CNA not only runs deep when it comes to service delivery, but also in the handling of the affairs of the Assembly. One would not be wrong in describing Alhaji Maikasuwa as a ‘man of the people.’ This has been exemplified on many occasions such as overseeing the successful closure of the sixth and seventh assembly and the inauguration of the eighth National Assembly which brought in Dr. Bukola Saraki and Mr. Yakubu Dogara as Senate President and Speaker respectively.
Though the inauguration later turned out to be a bit controversial due to the selfish actions of some lawmakers and their supporters, but it has been amicably resolved and the Assembly has moved ahead in its work as witnessed by the passage of many motions, bills and even the review of the national budget.
The current Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, Speaker of the House, Mr. Yakubu Dogara, former Senate President, David Mark, as well as the current Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal, had described Salisu as the embodiment of hard work, discipline, a trustworthy technocrat and an intelligent officer. Alhaji Salisu, a team leader, has been commended by principal officers of the National Assembly for his courage, conviction, hard work and loyalty.
Maikasuwa from the outset had made it known that his clerkship of the National Assembly will be based on a team leader’s philosophy, with every officer in the organogram assigned official functions and held accountable.
Maikasuwa’s wide exposure, life experience, open door policy and transparent interaction at all levels, especially on controversial issues and other related activities has compelled his traducers and even critics to agree with his policies as most of the projects being undertaken are there for people to see. No wonder his efforts have pushed him this far, thereby enabling him to break another record with the provision of the best ICT facilities that is second to none in the whole of Africa.
With the timely provision of required facilities, equipment and the much needed encouragement by the workforce, Maikasuwa has redefined work ethics and camaraderie in the bureaucracy of the National Assembly. Performance and progress have become the features of official procedure.
Biu writes from Abuja