SENATE PRESIDENT
Bukola Saraki yesterday
said that his focus since
he assumed office as the
presiding officer of the eighth
Senate on June 9, 2015, had
been to build an effective
and efficient legislature that
directly impacts the lives of
all Nigerians.
According to him, “The role
of the legislature in a young
democracy like Nigeria is
often misconstrued; hence it
is necessary for the National
Assembly to work towards
positively influencing the
lives of all Nigerians through
its powers of lawmaking,
oversight and advocacy.”
Saraki in a statement signed
by his special adviser on
Media and Publicity, Alhaji
Yusuph Olaniyonu, said “the
president of the Senate is just
first amongst equals.
“However, what always
motivates me is that drive to
leave this institution better
than we met it. I always like
to leave a place stronger than
I met it, and more capable to
deliver on its constitutional
role and functions than how
it was before I got there.
“The difference between
democracy and dictatorship
is parliament. This is why I
tell people that it is not about
whom the Senate president,
the president, or the Chief
Justice of Nigeria is; we must
always work to strengthen all
our institutions.
“For example, in four years
I’m gone. Somebody else will
be there, but the institution
will always remain. If you
have weak parliament that
is not effectively able to
champion the needs of the
people, you will have a weak
democracy.
“However, because of
myopic interest at times,
some people do not see
why we must protect the
mandates and integrity of
these institutions.
“When we decided to have
a presidential system of
governance, it was based on
the fact that there must be
checks and balances. When
these safeguards are in place,
it strengthens our democracy
and promotes the sort of
collaboration across the
board that helps us meet the
needs of Nigerians,” Saraki
stressed.
The Senate president also
emphasised that the upper
legislative chamber under his
leadership would continue to
remain committed to peoplecentered
governance.
“Moving forward, we
will continue to target laws
and interventions that will
have direct benefits to all
Nigerians. We have started
this with our economic
priority bills, and we can see
the impact with the uptick in
banks now lending to more
MSMEs. However we will
not stop here.
“With the slight
improvement in our
economy, it now behoves
on all of us, the executive
and the legislature, to work
towards ensuring that these
improvements translate
directly to the pockets of
Nigerians and the rising cost
of living across the country.
We have a lot of work ahead
of us,” he said.

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