•It’s mischievous to call us rubber stamp assembly –Lawan
President Muhammadu Buhari has called on Nigerians that are aggrieved or have misgivings about certain laws of the land to be patient and seek reforms where necessary in line with democratic practices.
This is even as he commended the ninth National Assembly for accelerated passage of the 2020 budget and its review in response to the coronavirus pandemic, the timely passage of nominees and passage of critical legislations, noting that there are testaments to their willingness and commitment to playing their part towards delivering effective services to Nigerians.
Buhari gave the commendation on Monday, at the opening of a joint executive legislative leadership retreat with the theme: ‘Promoting Effective Executive Legislative Partnership, finding a Middle Ground’ held at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
On laws causing grievances to some Nigerians, Buhari said: “Let me also remind our common patriots, gentlemen and women, that the process of lawmaking and governance are dynamic and ever evolving, I will seek their indulgence to be patient with any legislation or law which they have certain misgivings about and engage the process in line with democratic practices.
“Our interest is sincere promotion of our collective will and aspiration to build a nation where justice, peace, and progress are the norm.”
President Buhari called for more collaboration between the executive and legislative arms of government, to enhance governance in Nigeria.
He said the retreat offers an opportunity for the two arms to reflect and engage as one government, for the benefit of all Nigerians.
“This retreat provides us another opportunity to interface, reflect brainstorm and engage as one government. I use the word one government because there can only be one government in a nation at a time and officials both elected or appointed in the executive or legislative arms must all be working for the peace, unity and development of our country.”
He said the theme of the summit “is apt as it reflects the peculiarity of a Presidential system of government like ours. “The experiences of the last 20 years of steady democratic practice in Nigeria have underlined the need for effective partnership and collaboration between the executive and legislative arms of government to deliver our mandate.
“I believe that the principle of separation of powers as enshrined in our constitution is designed to enable all arms of government to work together in cooperative and collaborative manner, through executive and legislative engagements. Let me thank the leadership and members of the 9th National Assembly for the cordial and warm relationship we have enjoyed in the last one year.”
Buhari noted that the country had since started reaping the benefits of the cordial relationship the two arms are enjoying.
“By virtue of our effective partnership and your support, this government has initiated critical reforms targeted at reforming and strengthening our economy, increasing efficiency in governance, consolidating on the repairs carried out in the last four years and putting the country on a steady path of growth and development.
“The accelerated of the passage of the 2020 budget and its review in response to the coronavirus pandemic, the timely passage of my nominees and passage of critical legislations by the National Assembly are all testaments to your willingness and commitment to playing your part towards delivering effective services to Nigerians.”
The President, however, called for the sustenance of the steady relationship through dialogue and consultation.
“There is a compelling need to sustain and strengthen on this partnership by creating platforms for regular dialogue, consultations and interactions between the executive and the legislature, to share ideas and build consensus on critical governance and policy issues.
“This approach will enhance coordination within government and strengthen our capacity to effectively address the challenges of governance, service delivery and development.”
He thanked the National Assembly leadership for adopting a new legislative agenda, as he called for the inauguration of a committee to help sieve the outcome of the retreat and make appropriate recommendations to him and the leadership of the National Assembly for implementation.
Senate President, Ahmed Lawan, in his remarks described those calling the lawmakers, rubber stamp for choosing to work harmoniously with the executive arm for the benefits of Nigerians, as mischievous.