President says 9th NASS most productive
President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday explained that he avoided meddling in the affairs of the National Assembly because of his belief in the independence of the Legislature.
He said he rather promoted a culture of mutual respect and collaboration between the National Assembly and the Executive.
Buhari attributed his achievements to the harmonious working relationship between the Executive which he heads and the Legislature.
The President described the 9th National Assembly as the most productive both in terms of outputs and outcomes in the last four years.
Buhari spoke after he inaugurated the permanent site of the National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies (NILDS) in Abuja. NILDS is the training arm of the National Assembly.
Buhari said: “As you are all aware, I have traversed all parts of Nigeria in the last few days inaugurating several critical national infrastructures that my administration has completed over the last eight years.
“Our successes as a government are primarily due to the harmonious relationship between the Executive and the Legislature.
“The Legislature is the cornerstone of any democracy and is vital to ensuring that the wishes and aspirations of all Nigerians are considered during the lawmaking process.
“It also performs critical functions of overseeing the Executive and ensuring that government spending aligns with legislative intent.
“As you are aware, from the moment of my election in 2015 and subsequently, I supported the idea of an independent National Assembly, one that is able to decide its Leadership and develop its agenda in line with the manifesto of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
“I refrained from meddling in the affairs of the legislature and promoted, instead, a culture of mutual respect and collaboration between the two arms of government.
“The numerous positive outcomes for our country Nigeria underscore the importance of a harmonious Executive-Legislature relationship.
“Working with the National Assembly, we have passed an unprecedented number of Bills into law, provided funding for key infrastructure, implemented several governmental reforms, and addressed some of the long-standing challenges that have hampered economic growth and development.
“Our achievements in reforming the oil and gas sector, strengthening the electoral framework, diversifying our economy, improving transparency and accountability, tackling insecurity and entrenching good governance are easily verifiable.
“As such, this 9th Assembly will be remembered as one of the most productive in terms of outputs and outcomes. I thank the leadership of the National Assembly for giving me the support required to deliver on my promises to Nigerians.”
The President also the nation’s teeming youth population provides the labour force needed to industrialise and develop the economy.
Senate President Ahmad Lawan said Buhari had so far signed over 100 bills passed by the National Assembly.
His words: “We in the Ninth National Assembly have supported the President in ensuring the timely delivery of these critical infrastructures.
“Notably, in the last three years, the Senate and the House of Representatives dedicated a substantial part of the national budget towards funding infrastructure development across all six geo-political zones.
“As a result of this collaboration between the Legislature and the Executive, hundreds of roads, bridges and rail lines across Nigeria have been constructed or rehabilitated.
“In addition, we have also passed several legislations to provide an overarching framework for sustainable economic growth and development.
“Significantly also, the investment in infrastructure development extends to all six geo-political zones of the country.
“History will remember President Buhari’s tenacity and unwavering commitment to charting a new course for Nigeria.”
Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila said the ability of the Legislature to function effectively and hold the Executive to account depended on its internal human and financial capacity.