NASSBER seeks awareness on bills passed for efficient economic environment
National Assembly Business Environment Roundtable (NASSBER) has said there are gaps between the laws passed and its people, hence the need for the media to participate in passage of bills for proper interpretation and benefits to its citizenry.
According to NASSBER, the major gap is that laws are being passed, which are supposed to impact the business environment at the micro level, but the people involved are not aware of these bills.
Consultant for NASSBER, ENABLE-2, Edima Otuokon, disclosed this during a courtesy visit to The Guardian headquarters in Lagos, last week.
Otuokon said what has happened over time is that the critical bills that are needed to be worked on and have been passed and signed into law with little or no resistance because everybody was involved in the process.
She said: “We talked about institutionalising NASSBER so that it goes beyond the Eight Assembly. We have a private sector liaison officer that is currently within the National Assembly. What that does is that we have a senior public servant who works with NASSBER to ensure that the bills that come are relevant to the business environment. We are working with all the clerks and everyone that needs to be part of the process.
“We need a broader participation base. We also need the media because majority of the people are not aware of what is going on now. There are gaps between the laws passed and its people. The major gap is that we are passing laws that were supposed to impact business environment at the micro level and the people that are involved are not aware of these bills,” she added.
Otuokon disclosed that NASSBER is about to kick off its working group, which involves a 10-thematic areas including competition, trade, investment, e-business, and intellectual property, constitutional review and a host of others.
“We are about to activate the working group just like the third layer of NASSBER. We feel that there is a need especially for advocacy and to put pressure because newspapers are objective. We seek the media to work with us in our research and analysis beyond the bills that impact individual, business environment in Nigeria is fit for purpose.
“We have been like a pressure group working with the national assembly, we have been able to move a lot of things but if we don’t have media especially on the intellectual property. How do we ensure at this time of global village that content generated by Nigerians aren’t lost in the global online network and how do we gain from this, “she added.
She noted that within the working group, there are so many bills that are being worked on, but merely get a mention in the media, but not enough to impact the economy.
She revealed that NASSBER have been successful to an extent and if it’s going to institutionalise to outlive the eight National Assembly to the 10th, there is a need to have participation of all the relevant parties to drive the process. “We already have a system now where passage of bills is improved because people are beginning to collaborate. It is an inclusive process especially for the business environment.”
In her remarks, another Consultant for NASSBER, ENABLE-2, Emojevbe Mary Omene, said the eight National Assembly understood how important it was that every bill or act developed needs to ensure that a dialogue takes place between people that developed the bill and people that the bill impacts. So they understand what the issues are, and the bills are fit for purpose.