The President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon Femi Gbajabiamila, have praised the 9th National Assembly’s performance as far better than that of its predecessors since 1999.
The duo made the remarks in Abuja on Monday during a welcome dinner organised by the National Assembly management and the National Institute for Democratic and Legislative Studies (NILDS) for Senators and Members-elect for the 10th National Assembly.
Lawan and Gbajabiamila bemoaned the misconception and misunderstanding of the 9th National Assembly by some Nigerians who wrongly labelled it as a rubber stamp Assembly.
They attributed the good governance-driven performance of the 9th National Assembly to the harmonious working relationship it had with the executive arm of government.
The President of the Senate, in his speech, said that as of July 2022, a total of 874 bills had been introduced at the stage of the first reading, out of which 162 had passed the third reading, and 104 were concurred to by the House of Representatives and assented by the President.
He stressed that the 9th Senate was mindful of the damaging effect of persistent conflict with the executive and the resultant impact on legislative activities.
Lawan stated, “We were equally aware that a good working relationship is desirable and indeed imperative to achieve effective and efficient service delivery to the people.
This approach to engaging with the executive has led to a misperception and misunderstanding, which has led many to tag the 9th National Assembly as a ‘rubber stamp’ Assembly.”
He added that the 9th Senate prioritised the return of the Federal Budget to a predictable January-December cycle, security concerns, corruption, youth employment, poverty alleviation, education, health care provision, gender, economic growth and diversification, and oil and gas, among others.
Lawan emphasized that the 9th National Assembly had broken many ‘jinxes’ and done many ‘firsts’ by overcoming traditional obstacles through consensus building and clever political brinksmanship.
On his part, Gbajabiamila said some Nigerians who labelled the 9th National Assembly as a rubber stamp got it wrong because the legislature was not set up to confront the executive but complement it for good governance.
He called on the lawmakers-elect for the 10th National Assembly to consolidate the achievements of the 9th one in making democratic governance more beneficial to Nigeria and Nigerians.
“Too many Nigerians are beginning to wonder if democracy is the right choice of governance, and for democracy to meet the legitimate expectations of the people, relevant institutions of government must be made to function well,” Gbajabiamila stressed.
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