By Ola Awoniyi, Special Adviser (media)
to President of the Senate
President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, on Sunday advanced reasons why the ninth Senate is in a hurry to deliver on some of the targets set in its legislative agenda.
Lawan said the Senate is conscious of the need to act very fast before the 2023 politics start to slow down governance.
The Senate President spoke at the End of Year Get-Together/Award ceremony which was organised by the Senate management for the staff of the Senate.
Lawan said: “we came with our own ideas, our own agenda as Distinguished Senators of the ninth Senate.
“We passed our agenda. What we intend to do as Senators to enhance good governance in Nigeria is to make Nigeria better for the citizens. And of course, the way we want to go is different from the way of the past because perhaps the goals and targets are different.
“And we are also in a hurry. We know the need for us to act fast. Time is of essence. In the next two years or so, the Nigerian political landscape will be dotted by people campaigning for presidency, for governorship and the rest of it. And that will in a way cause some disruption or slow down in governance.
“So between now and the next two years we have told ourselves that we have to work hard to ensure that, as a legislature, we are able to perform our roles creditably to enable government function very well for Nigerians. And that is what we have been trying to do.”
The Senate President said by the time the lawmakers return from their break in January, the Petroleum Industry Bill which appeared to have defied passage and the Constitutional amendment which is a continuous exercise will be addressed.
“The mode of operation of this current Senate is: we don’t give space. We don’t create any space in the middle. We just want it done and done away with it,” he said.
The Senate President thanked the staff for their dedication, hard work and noted that they are so significant to the achievement so far recoreded by the Senate.
“We are supposed to celebrate you. That is why I’m here because we have put all of you to test when we came in. The first test we had for ourselves as Senators and you as supporting staff was the screening of the Presidential ministerial nominees.
“We were supposed to go on break but we held back for one week and it was a very exhaustive week. We sat up to about 8pm from morning. We succeeded because you were there for us.
“And the subsequent activities including, of course, the budget that we have just passed. The National Assembly turned into a beehive of activities right from the day we said the budget defence will start and the budget defence will end. Most of you were always in the National Assembly. You worked so hard. You made us to succeed.
“When we passed the budget on Thursday last week. It was because you played your part so well and that is why we were able to achieve. So I want to thank you on behalf of my Distinguished colleague Senators for being there for us. You are a significant part of the Senate.
“So when you are not able to perform, whatever we wish, whatever we do as Senators, will not be translated into that dream that we have of getting those things passed to the executive arm of government for immediate action.
“You deserve more than you are getting from the Senate or the National Assembly. We will work together with the management to see how we can make you perform better because we actually need your full potentials realised in this enterprise,” Lawan said.
Clark of the National Assembly, Alhaji Mohammed Sani-Omolori also commended the staff and assured them that the management will continue to strive hard to meet their needs within the available resources.
“We have never, as a management, failed to acknowledge the fact that we are within a very serious constraint. But what we have said is that, whatever is due to you, you will get it, within the context of the available resources” Omolori said.
Clark of the Senate, Nelson Ayewoh narrated how the idea of the Get-Together started last year and assured the Staff that it has become an annual event.
The highpoint of the event was the presentation of the 2019 Senate President Award to Usman Labaran Gumama for his dedication to duty, vigilance, valour and enforcement of security at the National Assembly complex.