Chairman, Conference of Speakers State Legislature of Nigeria, Mr Mudashiru Obasa, has urged state assemblies to identify and resolve the challenges facing the official report of legislative proceedings.
Obasa, also the Speaker, Lagos State House of Assembly, stated this at the National Delegates Conference of the Association of Hansard/Verbatim Reporters of Nigeria in Lagos on Thursday.
The theme of the conference was “The Challenges Facing The Production of Hansard and the Way Out”.
The Nigeria News Agency reports the Hansard Report is an official report of the record of the daily legislative proceedings.
It is the verbatim report, with repetitions and redundancies omitted and obvious mistakes corrected, leaving out nothing that adds to the meaning of the speech or elucidated the argument.
The conference was organised by the Official Report Department of Lagos State House of Assembly with departments from other 35 state assemblies present.
Obasa, represented by Mr Rotimi Abiru (Somolu Constituency II), said efforts should be made by state assemblies to ensure that the process of recording was actually related in line with the modern day realities.
The speaker said the leadership of the 36 state Assemblies should be well informed about these challenges in order to obtain their support.
Obasa said: “It is viewed as a very important document because all the things said by every member during proceeding is actually documented.
“It is important to know that it should be documented in such a way that the intention of the speaker or members is actually not distorted in any way.
“No doubt there might be some challenges that is attributed to the distortion because sometimes we speak very rapidly.
“So, it may be that some challenges for you to pick up each and every words spoken by us and we cannot over emphasise its importance.
“This document actually reminds us of things said by members and which is very good for history.”
The speaker said the issue of Hansard was not limited to the country’s democracy alone but it was a document that had been identified long ago even in developed countries.
Earlier, Mrs Folasade Bejide, the association’s National President, said some of the challenges facing production of legislative document were lack of funds and lack of modern equipment for the production.
Bejide said others were lack of training and retraining of personnel, stockpiling of imprinted Hansard reports and many more.
She appealed to the leadership of the state assemblies to support the production of the document so as to meet up with the international standard.
Bejide noted that Hansard was the name given to the debate by the Mother Parliament in the United Kingdom which was the House of Lords and Common in London.
She noted that Mr T.C. Hansard started the printing of the daily proceedings of the House as a freelance publisher.
Bejide added that it was in recognition of his untiring effort that the daily House proceedings was named after him.
Edited by Abiemwense Moru/Wale Ojetimi (NAN)