The Legislature and Its Developmental Roles in Osun State, 1999-2011

  • SA Lafenwa

Abstract

As a veritable hub of democratic governance, the legislature plays significant roles in modern societies. It represents the people and makes laws, among other things, that regulate the conduct of the people and governmental affairs as well as promote development. Against the background of the thesis appearing in most literature focusing on national legislative bodies that the role of the legislature is declining, the paper examines the developmental function of state legislatures as a consequence of performance of law making, oversight and representational roles with much reference to Osun state in Nigeria. A survey of plethora development activities in Osun state with a focus on the response of the Osun State House of Assembly under the leadership of Rt. Hon. Adejare Bello was carried out. The Structural Functionalist approach, which identifies developmental roles of the legislature, was adopted for analysis of data collected. These roles includingrecruitment of political elites, facilitation of political integration, mobilization of support for government policies in legitimizing political regimes, and in designing legislation aimed at bringing about socioeconomic change were used in assessing the role performance of Osun House of Assembly. This approach is significant as it makes us to understand the way the requisites functions to meet the developmental needs of the sub national units are being performed by the legislative structure in the State. This, in essence provides a platform for understanding the capability of the Assembly in performing its developmental roles at the sub unit level of a federal system. The study demonstrated the prospects of state legislative institutions' involvement in the development of this unit of government. It argued that development in Osun state rests on the capacity and ability of the leadership of the State House of Assembly in terms of effective performance of its traditional roles of law making, oversight and representation. Significantly,state legislatures would perform better in terms of their development tasks if limitations facing them including, lack of political will, poor public perception, lack of formal lawmaking and oversight authority, access to information, and inadequacy of trained staff among others are effectively resolved through constitutional and policy reforms.
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