Speaker Abbas Tajudeen & His Tri-sector Leadership Effects

Spread the love

By Ahmed Musa Baba

It has been seven months since the inauguration of the 10th House of Representatives with Rt. Hon. Abbas Tajudeen, Ph.D, as the Speaker, and Members of the House, as well as Nigerians whom they represent can see the shifting paradigm of a progressive and people-centred representation in the way and manner the House has handled its affairs so far.

Not only have members striven to sustain the tempo established by the 9th House under former speaker and now Chief of Staff to the President, Rt. Hon. Femi Ghajabiamila, in terms of sponsorship of bills, an area which the current Speaker stands tall as a pace-setter with a total of 74, out of which 21 were signed into law; they have done so with zeal as a total of 962 bills have so far been introduced with 120 of them passing the second reading stage.

The period also saw the passage of 500 motions and resolutions with a total of 153 petitions received and referred for legislative actions, just as they have also spared no time in ensuring that all important processes of helping the government of the day achieve its dreams of renewing the people’s hope are dealt with expeditiously.

The House, despite the delay in the presentation of the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Papers (FSP), which usually precedes the appropriation bill from the Executive arm, ensured efforts were expended at meeting all necessary legal deadlines in their passage, including the 2024 Appropriation Act. This meant that the House had to reconvene on Saturday, 30th December 2023 to consider the budget report and pass same for presidential assent, all in the spirit of sustaining the national budget cycle of January to December, which was painstakingly entrenched by the 9th Assembly.

Efforts by the House under Speaker Abbas Tajudeen can best be described as the literal definition of hitting the ground running from day one. The Speaker, having emerged through popular demand with massive support across party lines, came prepared for leadership, applying what in the words of the Chairman House Committee on Defence, Hon. Jimi Benson, is known as ‘tri-sector approach.’

According to a New Impact thread on perplexity, an AI search engine application, “tri-sector leaders are individuals who can navigate across sectors and enable everyone to rise above real differences, find common purpose, and get big things done.”

It posited further that “tri-sector leadership is essential for addressing large-scale problems that require collaboration between the business, government, and nonprofit sectors.”

Key aspects of tri-sector leadership according to the thread include, First, adopting a mindset that understands the interconnectedness of the public, private, and social sectors, and recognizes opportunities to innovate and solve pressing problems. These, Speaker Abbas Tajudeen, has demonstrated cultivating a rich network of resources through collaboration with international development partners, civil society groups and the public.

Second, involving community stakeholders from nonprofits, governments, and the community at large to identify needs and promote an understanding of tri-sector strategies was brought to bare when the Speaker prevailed on his colleagues to subject the 2024 Appropriation Bill to public deliberation and analysis for necessary inputs at a town hall on December 4th, 2023.

Several civil society organisations, non-governmental organisations, professional bodies, chief executives in the public and private sectors, as well as student unions, who were represented at the event, expressed their views.

Speaker Abbas, at the event, said: “Your participation in this town hall meeting underscores the essence of democracy – the power of the people to engage actively in governance and decision-making processes.

“You are invited to closely examine the 2024 budget proposal as presented to the National Assembly by Mr. President. As representatives of the people, it is our duty to ensure that the annual appropriation reflects the needs and aspirations of every Nigerian citizen.

“I wish to reassure all Nigerians that the President, His Excellency, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, GCFR, and the National Assembly are committed to addressing these hardships,” he said.

Third, education and training: Training the next generation of leaders to see opportunities beyond their immediate surroundings and begin asking key questions about emerging governance models and the rationale for their development. Speaker Abbas has, despite his busy legislative schedule, continued to create time to deliver lectures at different fora, including to young aspiring leaders in training with the Legislative Mentorship Initiative (LMI), founded by his predecessor, Gbajabiamila.

Speaker Abbas at the Meet and Greet session with the second cohorts of the initiative on December 14, 2023 said: “My deepest gratitude goes to my predecessor, who initiated this mentorship programme as a way of exposing younger ones into the legislative tradition of our nation.

“I pledge the resolve of the 10th House to sustain this laudable initiative and strengthen it even further. We will continue to identify with the initiative, expand it and provide all necessary support to institutionalise it even beyond the 10th House. As I look forward to witnessing your growth and contributions to our nation’s governance, I urge you to make the most use of this rare opportunity.”

While taking his time to answer pressing questions from the young minds, the Speaker also insisted on having one-on-one photo sessions with each member of the cohorts and their operations team during which he interacted with each of them with the pledge to facilitate meetings with their representatives in the House.

Fourth, a listening and accessible leader:
The accessibility rate of the Speaker can be said to be second to none, both to his colleagues in the Legislature, the bureaucratic and his personal staff, as well as external guests. The speaker rises early and retires late due to the multitude of engagements, attending to individuals and groups on official or personal matters. The official guest house, which should ordinarily be his safe haven away from stress, is more of an annex of the National Assembly where those who can’t catch him in the office troop to for his attention.

Fifth, Principled, Compassionate and generous: For those who have come in close contact with the Iyan Zazzau, they can attest to the fact that he embodies the above attributes and even more. The Speaker represents the old chip of the block who demands that things are done right in accordance with the rules governing them, and that cutting corners through dishonest means are totally abhored. He minced no word telling his staff to always do their best to imbibe the culture of honesty and forthrightness at all times.

On his part, the Speaker has demonstrated immense credibility by keeping his promise to prioritize the welfare needs of his staff beyond expectations. Not only that, despite limited available resources, official needs of various units are supported to enable them achieve set goals.

The Speaker’s work ethics and selfless act of attending to all and sundry were aptly captured by Hon. Benson during a podcast session with the Speaker’s Media team in December 2023:

“I think we’ve been very blessed with great speakers, Dogara was a great Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila took it a notch higher, our present Speaker, Tajudeen Abbas came in with a toga; they call him Billiaminu, because he did something unprecedented here by sponsoring the passage of 74 bills. So he comes with a bag of experience.

“I call him a trisector athlete. He’s got traditional experience from being part of the Zazzau Emirate council as the Iyan Zazzau. There’s a form of wisdom that comes with that. He’s been a teacher all his life; there’s a form of wisdom that comes with that, he’s also a Ph.D holder, and that also comes with intellectual wisdom. So, when you combine the three, you have what is called an Emerap (a battle or armored personnel carrier that can do a whole lot of things on the battle field).

“With that, he’s added so much value to the legislative process; he’s commanded the troops well; he’s very witty, assertive, very knowledgeable and a man of wisdom; an academic who has a broad knowledge of the economy and where Nigeria ought to be. He’s thoroughly keyed into the Renewed Hope Agenda of Mr. President, and he’s also loved by Mr. president.”

Ahmed Musa Baba is the Special Assistant on Print Media to Speaker Abbas Tajudeen, Ph.D and writes from Abuja.

Related posts

Leave a Comment