National Assembly reads Riot Act on maintaining oath of secrecy to staff
The National Assembly authorities have warned staff to ensure desist from breaking the rules guiding the Oath of Secrecy during the discharge of their daily responsibilities,
The NASS management has also tasked Nigerians to ensure the protection of the nation’s Legislature as the symbol of democracy.
Addressing staff of the House of Representatives at a workshop on ‘Legislative work ethics and behavioral conduct at the workplace, Oladele Ojo, the Clerk of the National Assembly said the roles of the legislature staff in the law-making processes are critical to the sustenance of Democracy.
He explained that “The Legislature is the first among the three Arms of Government. These Arms are characterized by the principle of separation of power as each is supposed to be independent of the other. The Legislature is vested with the powers to make laws for the peace, order and good governance of the Federation.
“It is also vested with investigatory powers, financial powers, confirmation and impeachment powers.
” The Legislature is the symbol of Democracy all over the world. It is therefore pertinent and incumbent on all lovers of Democracy to ensure that this Institution is protected.
“One of the ways of doing this is adequate training of Staff. We cannot continue to do things in the same way and expect to achieve different results.
“Although it is the Legislators that have the monopoly of presenting Bills during plenary, most of you play critical supportive roles in ensuring the enactment of quality Bills.
These could be in the conduct of research, drafting, and scrutinizing bills while others are responsible for cleaning up the Bills for authentication before forwarding for Presidential assent.
“Your roles in the law-making process are therefore critical to the sustenance of Democracy in Nigeria and well recognized by Management.
Meanwhile, the Clerk of the House of Representatives, Dr. Yahaya Danzaria noted that the NASS management had presented staff with a Code of Ethics through workshops to guide their work ethics.
“The essence was to bring about forthrightness in the conduct of the National Assembly staff and to ensure optimum service output and serve as a means of enlightenment and constant reminder of staff oath of office as civil servants.”
“At the policy level, the values of administrators and policymakers are known to inform the kind of policies they initiate or support including the way they go about realizing them. These two factors as we are aware are contained in the civil service rules which embody full moral principles to guide the civil servants in the discharge of their duties.
“The inability of the civil servants to keep to these rules is ‘serious misconduct’ as in Section 04401 of the civil service rules. Serious misconduct is a specific act of serious wrongdoing and improper behavior which can be investigated and proved.
Emphasizing the rules prohibiting leaking of Official Secret, Danzaria warned that, “civil service considers as very important, the need to maintain secrecy on official government documents.
He explained that the Oath of Secrecy of 1962 has remained in force in the civil service to show the importance government places on its document.
Danzaria warned that any official who divulges official secrets in the civil service is said to have divided loyalty.
“This three-day workshop is intended to bring staff to speed on their ethical and behavioral responsibilities and guide them to their legislative processes.
He said the ultimate purpose of the workshop was to ensure that the staff of the House of Representatives are the best in the National Assembly when it comes to work ethics, behavioral conduct and performance of official duties.
”We must have a House that meets best International Parliamentary practices in legislative and administrative issues,” he insisted.