2022 Parliamentarians Lecture: Senate President Highlights Critical Roles of House of Reps

Paschal Emeka, Abuja

The Senate President, Senator Ahmed Ibrahim Lawan has highlighted the vital roles of the House of Representatives in the legislative arm of the government.

He made the remarks at the occasion of the second edition of the Distinguished Parliamentarians Lecture, 2022, in Abuja organized by the Nigeria Institute of Democracy and Legislative Studies (NIDLS) to critically assess the House of Representatives within the context of its agenda.

According to him, “the House of Representatives is that vigilant younger brother who ensures that its swaggering elder brother, the Senate, stays on course.

“The role of the House of Representatives is even more critical when analyzed viz-a-viz the executive branch of government.

“Since Nigeria’s cherished return to democratic rule in 1999, the House of Representatives, alongside the Senate, has steered the wheels of public policy, public discourse, rulemaking, and checks and balances.

“Tellingly, the 9th National Assembly (including the 9th House of Representatives) has passed some of the most ground-breaking and significant legislations in the history of parliamentarianism in Sub-Saharan Africa.

“To mention but a few, the Companies and Allied Matters Act, which was passed in 2020, has revolutionized Nigeria’s corporate world and fostered the “ease of doing business” agenda of the federal government of Nigeria.

“The Petroleum Industry Act, which was passed in 2021, is a watershed enactment that clearly stipulates new principles, new regulatory regimes, and new governance frameworks for the realization of the full promise of Nigeria’s hydrocarbons potential.

He stated that these ground-breaking legislations, among many others passed by this National Assembly with the significant contributions of the 9th House of Representatives, demonstrate the fulfilment of this National Assembly of its obligations under the social contract that exist between the legislators and Nigerians.

The Senate President therefore advised the legislators not to lose focus. “The 9th House of Representatives must never lose sight of its goals.

“It must continue to question abuse by officials of the executive branch and hold them to account. It must continue to check and balance the other governmental organs. And it must continue to pass laws that can guarantee the good governance of Nigeria as well as the lives and livelihoods of all Nigerians.

“The 9th House of Representatives must do all of these to enhance and secure Nigeria’s standing in the comity of nations.

He, however, expressed the confidence that the current leadership of the 9th National Assembly will rise to the challenge and deliver on its promise to Nigerians.

Senator Ahmed equally appreciated the Nigeria people for the fate with the government and especially with the National Assembly, assuring that the 9th Assembly would stop at nothing but ensure that things get more better for the teeming populace.

He also assured the National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies, of his commitment to ensure that this laudable initiative is sustained and hoped that the subsequent parliamentarians lecture series would incorporate parliamentarians across West Africa and the entire continent.

Earlier in his welcome address, the Director General, NILDS, Abubakar O. Sulaiman noted that the lecture clearly attests to the robust nature of Executive/Legislative complementarity that is brought to bear on Democratic practices in Africa, where Nigeria is taking the lead.

“For, if the symbiotic relationship between these very important arms of government, such as being witnessed here today, is strengthened, it portends a leeway for democracy and impactful good governance to thrive.

“This, however, does not preclude the two arms having to occasionally diverge, even seriously on issues that have direct bearing on the lives of constituents.

He said that the lecture serves as a platform where members of the Parliament could tell their stories, programme accomplishments and challenges.

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