Nigeria operates a bi-cameral legislature at the federal level, borrowed from the United States.
We have a Senate with 109 Senators with each of the 36 states represented by 3 senators and the Federal Capital Territory (Abuja) with 1 senator.
The House of Representatives has 360 members with the number of representatives from each state dependent on land size and population.
These Representatives should vote in line with their constituents’ priorities, and should also be held accountable by these same constituents based on their voting record, particularly as it pertains to the National Assembly’s role regarding:
- Appropriations – they pass the country’s annual budget.
- Lawmaking – they make laws that promote peace, order and good government.
- Oversight – ensure the executive arm of government is delivering on the projects monies had been appropriated for.
- Consent to high-level appointments eg Ministers, Central Bank Governor etc.
In Nigeria, there is a major disconnect between the elected representatives and the general voting population outside of the electoral process. This is seriously hampering the strength of our democracy because officials make decisions and vote on issues with limited information from their constituents, and with little oversight from these same constituents.
The OpenNASS campaign rests on 2 important pillars.
A toll-free hotline 55052 available for voters to call nation-wide. On the hotline, callers can:
- Sign a petition
- Find out who represents them
- Get an educational message on governance
- Agree for us to save their number so they are included in our community & receive updates.
“The OpenNASS Campaign free hotline – 55052 – is shortcode is off for a while, but you can follow us on social media @eienigeria. We will provide updates.”
An active national advocacy campaign on the policy goals of this campaign. Pressure will be put on the representatives through 3 channels:
- The petitions powered by our hotline. Not only will we send our collected “signatures” to the National Assembly as a whole, but we will also target the specific representatives of our petition signers.
- Local and national media campaigns through social media and traditional media. These campaigns will be assisted by nationally representative polls to broadcast the nation’s pulse on these 5 policy issues.
- Our national network of local advocates, local partners as well as active users of our hotline will form an engaged community of advocates who will organise local events to generate energy and momentum across the entire country for our advocacy initiatives.