Senate Speaker Ahmad Lawan debunked the public perception of the 9th National Assembly as a stamp of the executive.
Mr Lawan said this at the Distinguished Parliamentarians’ Conference in Abuja on Monday.
He spoke at a conference he tagged, âThe Legislature, the Legislative Mandate and the People – Reality and Public Perception,â organized by the National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies (NILDS ).
According to him, Nigeria has three branches of government which are constitutionally equal, but the people are strongly represented in the legislature compared to the other branches.
He said that for the peace and development of the nation, the three branches of government must work together because the failure and success of one branch of government will be attributed to all.
According to him, âthe legislature, being the first arm of government constitutionally, the closest and also the most accessible by the people, lends itself easily to public scrutiny and sometimes takes the blame even for government decisions that are not within the control of the people. its legislative competence. “
He explained that “the three branches of government have a responsibility to each other and an obligation to Nigerians, therefore must have a cordial relationship based on mutual respect for constitutional rights and the mandate to succeed.”
He said the 9th Assembly‘s cooperation with the executive had improved the efficiency of law-making; âAs of (of) November 2021, approximately 2,500 bills have been tabled; 769 in the Senate and 1,634 in the House of Representatives.
He said that the number of published acts has increased compared to the different regimes since 1999; Olusegun Obasanjo (1999-2006) 82 laws; Umar Musa Yar’Adua (2007Â¬-2009) 38 acts; Goodluck Ebele Jonathan (2010-2015) 40 acts and Muhammdu Buhari (2015-date) 84 acts.
Mr. Lawan said the salaries of members of the National Assembly have been approved by the Income Mobilization, Allocation and Taxation Commission (RMAFC) which is included in the budget allocated to the National Assembly.
The total salary of a senator is around 1.5 million naira and 1.3 million naira for a member of the House of Representatives.
The average cost of running an office for a senator and a member of the House of Representatives is N13 million and N8 million, respectively.
He pointed out that the National Assembly’s budgets since 1999 “have never exceeded 150 billion naira, which represents about 3% of the annual budget”.
On the issue of constituency projects and zonal intervention projects, he said the system allows lawmakers to nominate projects to be implemented in their constituencies but they do not implement them.
âIn accordance with their legislative mandate, they exercise control over the process. Corruption in Nigeria is a complex problem.
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âWhile corruption in any arm of government is not acceptable and should be condemned, however, to single out an arm of government without any tangible evidence is to undermine the authority of that institution.
âThe purchase of operational vehicles for members of the National Assembly has received a lot of media attention,â Lawan noted.
He said that if officials at the rank of deputy director and above are entitled to official vehicles and some ministers have a convoy of cars, he does not see why the allocation of a Toyota camry and a Land Cruising to members would be such a hideous proposition. .
He said the main factor that contributed to the negative perception of the legislature was political apathy, “resulting from the school of thought that politics is a ‘dirty game’ and politicians are ‘dirty’.”
He said the 9th Assembly “will continue to improve public perception of the legislature.”
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