President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday tasked National Assembly on the need to engender people-oriented legislations and promote socio-economic development in the next four years.
Buhari who gave the charge at the official presentation/unveiling of the House of Representatives Legislative agenda (2019 -2020) in Abuja, underscored the need to sustain the existing cooperation between the Executive and Legislature.
Buhari represented by the Minister of Environment, Mr Mohammed Abubakar, the President noted that the legislative agenda was carefully thought out, crafted, coordinated for the benefit of the country.
According to Buhari, “it is through this agenda that the legislature in cooperation with the executive will be able to provide the needed goods and services to the people and to protect the people
“During the budget defence, I assured you that all the Ministers and MDAs will appear before the National Assembly to defend their budget. When we do anything short of that, that means we are undermining the cooperation between the executive and the legislature and may be undermining the progress of the country”.
Buhari also stressed the need to push for legislation that will improve Nigeria’s economic standing among the comity of nations.
While applauding the 9th Assembly for the work done so far since inauguration, President Buhari assured that all the Ministers and Heads of various MDAs will turn up for the budget defence within the period stipulated.
In his remarks, President of the Senate, Senator Ahmad Lawan who called for synergy between the two chambers especially in the consideration and passage of legislation, called for prompt passage of the Deep Offshore and Inland Basin Production Sharing Contract amendment bill which he promised will be passed through second reading next Tuesday before the Senate adjourns plenary for the 2020 budget defence.
Senator Lawan who noted that the month of October is the only window provided for all the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to defend their respective budgets, warned all the Ministers and Heads of agencies to appear before relevant Committees, adding that any Minister that travels overseas and fail to honour such invitation will not be given another chance.
On his part, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Gbajabiamila, Speaker observed that the Legislative agenda which was a product of extensive deliberation both within and outside the National Assembly is aimed at driving economic growth, social stability, greater equality among other development indices.
Hon. Gbajabiamila stated that the purpose of the agenda was to among others, reform the way the House of Representatives manages its own affairs in every area from the administration of its finances to the operations of the committee system and the process of the vote taking and recording in the House.
“We have collaborated with the private sector to outline a set of objectives and develop a programme of activities that will facilitate increased investment, encourage innovation and drive economic growth.
“We will act to protect those who are most vulnerable amongst us, doing well to remember always, the words of Hubert Humphrey, that great American statesman who said, “the moral test of government is how it treats those who are in the dawn of life, the children; those who are in the twilight of life, the elderly; and those who are in the shadows of life, the sick, the needy and the handicapped.
“We will seek through legislation and oversight, engagement and collaboration, the achievement of a kinder, gentler, more prosperous nation, so that we may leave as our legacy, a bequest of love and promise greater than anything else that has come before,” the Speaker noted.