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Nigeria Country Report
- Nigeria’s National Assembly has undergone a process of institutional development since the 1999 transition to electoral rule.
- The Assembly has created a significant counterweight to the Executive in key areas, including term limits, electoral law and budgetary affairs.
- Legislative oversight has provided an important element of government transparency.
- Legislators provide some representation and services for constituents, though largely on a clientelist basis.
- The Nigerian Assembly is not regulated by strong internal oversight or party discipline, and Members have considerable opportunity for personal gain.
- The relative weakness of parties also allows for considerable legislative independence, since patronage and recruitment systems are unstable.
- Constituents view legislators as distant and self-interested.
- Reform elements within the Assembly are active, but limited and marginal.
- Institutionalization and rent-seeking reflect a central tension in the Nigerian legislature: between the establishment of “rules” and competition for “rents.”
- There are fruitful areas of engagement for donors, including professional development and technical assistance, support for internal oversight mechanisms, and cooperation with civil society organizations.
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