Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari has congratulated the leadership and members of the ninth National Assembly on their first anniversary.
He extolled the lawmakers sense of duty and diligence in handling issues related to the development of the country.
In a statement by Special Adviser to the President Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, the president saluted the vision, courage and patriotism of the federal lawmakers, noting with appreciation, the understanding and maturity of the lawmakers in speedily processing bills that directly impact the welfare of Nigerians. He also lauded members of the National Assembly for courageously finding common grounds to move the country forward and carrying out their oversight functions with justice and fairness.
The President commended Senate President, Ahmed Lawan and Speaker,House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila,for using their wealth of experience, wisdom and knowledge to ensure a peaceful working relationship among lawmakers, judiciary and executive, by always focusing on the larger picture of nation building.
However, the Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) has reeled out a list of what Nigerians expect from lawmakers as they begin their second year.
The Centre said citizens expect the it to pass laws that will enhance the nation’s electoral system to address current trends and challenges and promote credibility and transparency in the electoral process. Also on the list is a call for the domestication and activation of pending Global and Regional Anti-Corruption Instruments to strengthen anti-corruption crusade and the passage of the Petroleum Industry and Governance Bill (PIGB) to promote transparency, accountability and governance and curtail monumental financial losses in the oil and gas sector.
CISLAC also expects the lawmakers to pass the comprehensive National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) that will cover all citizens as well as increase budgetary allocation to the health sector to fulfil the Abuja Declaration of at least 15 per cent among others.
Executive Director of CISLAC, Auwal Ibrahim Musa Rafsanjani, made the disclosure in a statement, yesterday.
“We are worried over continuous delay in the introduction of the appropriate legislative framework to improve coordination and result-oriented approach in the anti-corruption fight through full domestication and activation of pending Global and Regional Anti-Corruption Instruments to improve coordination and ensure a result-oriented approach in the anti-corruption fight; back disclosure of beneficial owners of licenses in the oil sector and the publicising of oil and mining contracts, as recommended by the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) and Open Government Partnership Commitments.
“We observe that for us to win the war against corruption, comprehensive legislation on asset recovery and proceeds of crime to provide legal and institutional frameworks for confiscation, seizure, recovery and management of assets or proceeds derived from unlawful activities, must be in place.