NASS will accept ‘rubber stamp’ tag for improved governance, says Lawan – ORDER PAPER

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OrderPaperToday – The President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, has said the National Assembly will accept the ‘rubber stamp’ tag imposed on it particularly if it is for the good of the country.

Speaking on Monday at the two-day Joint Executive-legislative Retreat with the theme “Promoting Effective, Legislative Partnership and Finding a Middle Ground,” held at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, Lawan reiterated the need for a harmonious relationship between the executive and the Federal parliament.

He said: “In fact, this relationship is misunderstood by many. Some out of mischief describe the National Assembly as rubber stamp, some out of misunderstanding. For us, what is outmost in our minds in the ninth Assembly is how do we work with the executive to make Nigeria better.

“If the price to pay is the names that we get, then let it be the price, because we believe that Nigerians deserve better service, better infrastructure development in the country and it is difficult if not impossible in this country or indeed in any democracy without understanding and harmony in the way and and manner the two arms of government work.”

“So far, we have been doing this for over 12 months, so, it’s time to review this partnership and see the weaknesses in the relationship and the areas we have achieved so much and say this relationship has worked and have achieved some level of improved service delivery. There are a lot of rooms for improvement because, we believe we have not yet achieved that level of relationship that we can now say, it is good.”

According to Lawan, the retreat will address weaknesses in their relationship as well as strengthen it.

President Muhammadu Buhari equally gave his speech at the event, asking federal lawmakers to be patient on controversial bills.

This statement follows the withdrawal of National Water Bill in the House of Representatives last week.

Buhari said: “Let me also remind our common patriots, gentle men 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.”

The President called for both arms of government to align on a nine point priority agenda.

He said: “The urgent need to align the nine-point priority agenda and the legislative agenda of both the Senate and the House of Representatives cannot be overemphasized. I will therefore suggest that a Technical Committee be established after this meeting to harmonise this critical and strategic document to help improve synergy and coordination.

“To drive effective implementation of the resolutions or agreements reached at this meeting and achieve its main objective, I will also recommend the establishment of a Technical Working Group to synthesize the outcome and make appropriate recommendations for myself and the leadership of the National Assembly for action.”

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