The Vice President, Senator Kashim Shettima, has called for effective collaboration and harmony with the leadership of the 10th National Assembly to address all issues confronting the country.
Shettima said without effective collaboration it would be difficult for the country to surmount her economic and political problems.
The Vice President stated this on Friday while speaking during the 2-day Retreat for the leadership of the 10th National Assembly organised by the National Institute of Legislative and Democratic Studies in collaboration with Konrad – Adenauer-Stiftunh e. V, held at Four Point by Sheraton Hotel, Ikot Ekpene Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State.
He said “Governance is a collective responsibility and not a personal endeavour. Our most significant achievement will be attained through cooperation and harmony. This is what we take from you because we are brothers and sisters in pursuit of a country that has all of us.
“For the first time in our history, all the elected heads of branches of our government are produced by the hallowed halls of the National Assembly. Let us come together for the common good of the nation. All the Chiefs of Staff and Deputy Chiefs of Staff to the President are all proud alumni members.
The First Lady of the Federation and the Secretary to the Federation are all members of the alumni.
“Certainly what this means is that we cannot afford to go to war, not because we are going to overlook each other’s transgressions but because we are going to engage with those who know the gravity of their work and will never take you for granted.
“Let us fight the stereotypes of our differences. The burden of managing a diverse nation has ensured that we cannot afford to trade the path of division
“The 10th National Assembly is unquestionably the richest we have had so far. You( National Assembly) have a president and vice president who was one of you and recognize the sacrifices you make.
“President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has reassured us with a heart of certainty that we are not in government to go to war with the National Assembly, we are here to collaborate and match towards shared prosperity.
“Our journey as a democratic nation has been marked by trials and triumphs, setbacks and progress, but through it all the National Assembly has remained steadfast in its commitment to our collective wellbeing.
“It is there within the Chambers that the voices of our diverse constituencies find their expression. While the aspirations of our people are transformed into legislative action, the foundation of our democracy is continuously fortified.
“The trajectory of global growth is facing Africa and Nigeria will make or mar that transition. By 2050, Nigeria will be the third most populous nation on earth. Our population will hit 440 million and we will surpass the United States of America, and the end of the century Nigeria will be the most populous nation on earth what are we going to do with the demographic growth?
“We can turn the demographic growth into demographic dividends. I believe, with the quality of leadership we have it will not turn into a demographic disaster that will consume all of us” the VP said.
The Senate President, Godswill Akpabio, in his remarks, said Nigeria cannot move forward unless the various stakeholders and groups see the need for effective Collaboration in the country.
He said it is an error to blame any political party for the challenges of the country, adding that the country is facing a collective action problem as relevant groups and stakeholders failed to collaborate.
According to him, my friends and colleagues, let us not make the mistake of thinking that our problem is APC or PDP or LP or SDP or any other party. That is an error.
“We face a collective action problem because relevant groups and stakeholders in our country fail to connect, cooperate and collaborate.
“But if we, the leadership of the Tenth National Assembly, can properly understand and effectively use collective action processes in the official conduct of business, we would achieve positive outcomes for our country’
“We can lead the charge in our country. Let us be united in purpose. It does not matter which political party you used to get to the Red or Green Chamber, right now we are in the Nigerian boat. If we all put our hands on deck, the Tenth Assembly shall surmount every challenge” Akpabio pointed out
While noting that the retreat would identify priority business for the Tenth National Assembly and develop strategic objectives for the Legislative Agenda of the respective chambers, Akpabio said it behooves the leadership of the 10th National Assembly to “set collective action templates for our nation’s developmental efforts and a collaborative legislative agenda for solving our nation’s challenges.
The Speaker, House of Representatives, Tajudeem Abbas expressed delight for the retreat, saying that it would create an opportunity for the legislators to contribute immensely to the attainment of the 8-point Agenda of President, Bola Tinubu.
Abbas urged his colleagues in both chambers to think first of the national development of the nation, emphasizing that all three arms of government must be in symphony to ensure that the current administration delivers on its promises to the people.
The host governor, Pst Umo Éno, who was represented by his deputy Senator Akon Ayakenyi, in his goodwill message appreciated the federal government’s bipartisan and inclusive approach to governance.
Earlier in his welcome address, the Director General of NILDA, Prof. Abubakar Sulaiman stated that the retreat was organised to reflect, learn, and strategise to collectively enhance the performance of the National Assembly.
Sulaiman stressed that the only way the President can achieve his lofty goals is to ensure that the necessary legislative frameworks support government actions.