Legislative Behaviour and Policy Outcomes of Nigeria’s 6thnational Assembly: Impact on Nation-Building With Implications for Africa’s Renaissance
The role that the legislature performs- as one out of the three arms of government- is inescapably sacrosanct for society's betterment. The legislature's primary function of law-making and its other ancillary activities and routines are sine qua non in the nation-building process. Accordingly, the legislature's effectiveness is a safeguard against executive recklessness and overbearingness in the exercise of political power which is essential to development. By implication, the behaviour of a national parliament and its policy outcomes are critical to gauge a country's overall development and national integration. Consequently, the prospects to entrench social justice and economic prosperity in Nigeria viz-a-viz Africa cannot be divorced from the role of the national legislature. This paper interrogates the rule-making behaviour of Nigeria's 6th National Assembly with a view to prophesying legislative tendencies beyond that Assembly. It finds that the 6th national parliament of Nigeria which functioned between 2007 and June 6, 2011, was more self-serving in the nation-building process. This self-serving behaviour aggravated political corruption and ultimately underdeveloped the social, political and infrastructural advancement of the country. Prophetically, the paper theorizes that the policymaking behaviour of the 6th National Assembly signalled the frosty and fractious legislature-executive relationship that subsequently has become commonplace in the country. This explains the future corrupt and hegemonic cravings of Nigeria's national legislators. It concludes that the policymaking behaviour of the 6th National Assembly is pervasive in Africa, thus signifying the undermining of both nation-building and a continental-wide developmental renaissance.