For three years running spanned from the appointment of an astute, and highly meticulous structural engineer cum grounded administrator, Engr Ahmed Kadi Amchi FNSE as Executive Chairman, National Assembly Service Commission NASC in February, 2020 along with his commissioners, two each from the six geopolitical zones of the country, it had been one success story to the other geared towards not only repositioning the administrative activities of the National Assembly, but deliver on its mandate of ensuring strict monitoring and supervision of staffs of the commission and the assembly towards complementing the efforts of the two legislative arm consisting of the red and green chamber towards bequeathing a robust legislation, oversight functions, delivering constituency projects, effective plenary session for a better Nigeria.
As the 5th National Assembly Service Commission helmsman, alot had been done to ensure not only smooth operation of it’s activities along with it’s commissioners , but ensured a serene environment for workers welfare, dedication to duty, enhanced service delivery ,strict monitoring and disciplinary actions.
Therefore, the commission in an emotion laden speech during the visit to the Senate President, Dr Ahmed Ibrahim Lawan reeled out it’s achievements between 2020, 2021, 2022 reports to the leadership with it’s head high , as improvement in all areas was witnessed, rarely in the lives of the National Assembly Service Commission NASC since it’s inception and operation from an apartment and now a full fledged commission, that will be boasting of a new edifice as an office within the National Assembly premises away from the age long rented apartment in few months from now.
The April 13, 2023 visit to the National Assembly along with his commissioners and other top management staffs of the commission to the Senate President, Dr Ahmed Ibrahim Lawan was not only on a thank you visit for the singular recommendation and confidence reposed on the new commission, but to also showcased the remarkable improvement and achievements witnessed just three years at the mantle of leadership of the National Assembly Service Commission NASC.
Not long after settling down in 2020, Engr Ahmed Kadi Amchi FNSE was confronted with controversial and backlog employment of 221 staffs carried out by the immediate past commission, along with many unpaid allowances of the staffers of the commission and by extension the National Assembly. This was in addition to absorption of 40 loco doctors in the services of the National Assembly over the years that guaranteed job security.
The timely decisions by the management averted recurring threat of litigations from the part of already employed staffers issued with employment letters, as well as those who had spent many years on near casual arrangements.
Since a serene and labour friendly environment desired workers welfare and enhanced productivity, the Executive Chairman along with his commissioners swung into action and tactically and systematically resolved all impending issues about workers welfare and allowances was offset, that had guaranteed harmonious coexistence and restored confidence between the management and the entire staffers of the commission and the National Assembly.
With his appointment at the thick period of the global pandemic of COVID-19 in 2020, the 68 year old technocrat and bureaucrat adopted team work, transparency, hardwork, passion along with his commissioners to navigate through the highly charged environment in NASC and NASS desiring the right leader before his assumption of duty.
Having enhanced workers welfare through payment of outstanding allowances and introduced new ones, Amchi improved the condition of service through review with new scheme of service to meeting up with the present realities.
With expanded structures and new departments, a new code of ethics to work was also introduced and inculcated into the scheme of service of the new commission.
The commission moved ahead to fill the existing vacancies, carried out backlog of promotions after the due promotions exams was written which led to the upliftment of 2,745 staffs, conversion of 475, and carried out five disciplinary actions.
A newly developed staff training manual that provided adequate training for staffers and legislative aides was adequately implemented, including conferences and parliamentary tours to some African countries like Zambia, UAE, Cape Verde and the United Kingdom by the commission top management and staffs which included the National Assembly.
This also included visits from some African countries like Ghana among others to Nigeria to understudy the intricacies and activities of the National Assembly Service Commission NASC to enable them develop new template and formulate policies that will move the Ghana parliament forward.
The visit of speaker of Ghana parliament that preceded that of the members of the Ghana parliamentary service board was a pointer to the major achievements of the current leadership in the commission.
The constant visitation, orientation and reorientation which included capacity building, workshop, talkshops, seminars and symposium and familiarisation tours had increased over the last three years by the State Assembly Service Commission SASC and NASC, the commission recently held a joint conference in Kaduna in 2021 and Jos, the Plateau state capital recently, to further rob minds on the better ways that will evolve genuine independent of the State Assembly Service Commission SASC without the interferences of the executive as been witnessed in recent times.
The commission has within the period under review attracted more states to set up the Assembly Service Commission SASC with Kano and five other states progressing towards having similar institutions at the state level with a view to deepening democratic practices at the state level.
The Information and Communication Technology ICT facilities was upgraded to meeting the yearnings and aspirations as very soon more facilities will be provided in the area of upgrade, so as to serve as one stop shop both for visitors and staffers towards assessing relevant information about the commission.
With the new ICT facilities, the commission had embarked on regular verification and investigation and arrived to accurate information rather than speculations and suggestions as it was previously obtained.
The efforts of the commission was not only in capacity building and human capital development, it had also embarked on the construction of a gigantic office complex at the premises of the National Assembly with a view not only to resolving accommodation problems of staffers , but the issue of proximity to the National Assembly in the area of overseeing the activities of the staffs of the Assembly in all areas.
The Multi Billion projects that had achieved 90% of completion will be completed within the stipulated time and commission as at when due.
With the new complex, payments of millions by the commission to the owners of the current office and the inability to tamper with the architecture that had militated against the activities of the commission will become a thing of the past.
It is obvious that the new complex will be ready in record time and occupied by the commission without further delay.
Engr Ahmed Kadi Amchi FNSE and his commissioners used the opportunity of stock taking and presentation of midterm report to express gratitude to the 9th Assembly on the inclusion of the commission into the constitution of Nigeria, through the recent constitution review exercise.
For over two decades , the National Assembly Service Commission NASC was operating under an act of the National Assembly without been fused into the constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria, but with the current feat, it became obvious that it’s activities had been formally legalized in line with the constitutional provisions.
The erudite technocrat, bureaucrat and administrator also promised to continue in this trend with the Inculcation of transparency, accountability, diligence, hardwork and collective bargaining.
ABUBAKAR YUSUF is a public affairs analyst, and writes from Abuja.