National Assembly Website: Another Example of Diminishing State Capacity

National Assembly Website: Another Example of Diminishing State Capacity

Opinion: Nigeria’s problems are manifold and profound. I recently checked the National Assembly website for Hansards and Order Paper and was shocked at the sheer carelessness, incompetence, and lack of oversight that the website embodied.

The website had 823 entries for the House of Representatives and Senate from 1999 to 2018. Many dates are missing, some of the documents cannot open, and dates on the website do not match the date on the Hansard

None of the Hansards or Order Paper of the 10th Assembly was on the site. The failure to upload these documents on time is a gross violation of

S. 2, 3, 4 & 5 of the Freedom of Information Act (FOI) enacted by the National Assembly.

The last entry for the Hansard section was on May 31, 2018, and the column for Parliament all read 9th Assembly.

The latest Order Paper published on the NASS website for both chambers was on March 19, 2020.

The latest Votes and Proceedings published for the Senate were on December 22, 2021, and for the House of Reps on March 18, 2020.

The Bills tracker page was updated last in 2022. There are nọ dates on most of the Bills uploaded.

For context and comparison, I reviewed the Kenyan Parliament website, and it revealed a different story.  You can access the website at

The latest Hansard on the site was for October 18, 2023.

As of 5 AM Nigerian time, the Order Paper for today’s proceedings in the Kenyan Parliament has already been uploaded.

The Hansard page had links to the YouTube channel where the Parliamentary session is streamed live daily.

As I write, 139 people are following the live proceedings today. Budget, expenditure, procurement, and archival information of the Parliament were published on the site. The Kenyan site is rich in information and actively managed.

Managing the website is a basic function that the National Assembly bureaucracy should perform routinely. It is not the work of the elected officers. My worry and issue with the elected officials is that none of the 469 members noticed. Sad.

Our bureaucracy across all levels has failed us as a nation. The simple function of running a modern governance model has proved difficult for our public service. The corrupt recruitment process, absence of merit in appointment and promotion, poor disciplinary procedures, and weak performance evaluation have combined to deliver a non-performing public service.

Today’s public service can not deliver the public goods to transform Nigeria. More than any other issue, we need to rethink the philosophy, structure, and goal of our public service. If this government, or any other government at any level, thinks they can reverse the country’s downward trajectory with the current public service, they are deeply mistaken and set for significant disappointment.

The National Assembly leadership should investigate this embarrassing situation of a website still stuck in the 9th Assembly. If someone is assigned and paid to manage this website, the NASS leadership should sanction the person or persons immediately.

To find out what information government agencies are required by law to share publicly, please read the FOI Act

Osita Chidoka

25 October 2023

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