Damilola Oyedele in Abuja
The Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, has called on the management and staff of the National Assembly to embrace accountability and transparency in the running of the legislature, in the bid to support Nigeria’s quest for sustainable economic development.
Saraki spoke when he delivered the opening address at the retreat for management and staff of the National Assembly in Lokoja, yesterday, also called for adherence to all anti-corruption laws.
He added that the eighth legislature, has made economic reforms, the anchor of its legislatives activities, and therefore needs the support of all staff to ensure that its mission is achieved.
“It is time to show that the National Assembly is ready to play its role as a primer of development and the watchdog for the sustenance of democracy. We cannot be seen in the same light as in past times. We need to sanitise our structure and lead by example. Management accountability and transparency is now paramount. Indiscipline and laxity can no longer be tolerated. Obedience to laws in force as it relates to anti-corruption must be enforced,” Saraki said.
“As we all know, this is a critical time for us as a nation. We are going through difficult times, recession, security issues, widespread hunger, unemployment, incessant rises in inflation, dwindling opportunities. The nation looks up to the National Assembly for direction and to provide opportunities for our people. It has become quite apparent to us that it is no longer business as usual,” the Senate President added.
It is therefore imperative, he said, that the management is fit for the task, and lives up to its responsibilities, to deliver coherent, effective, and efficient support as legislators pursue their vision for the development of the Nigerian economy into one of the most diversified and very inclusive economies in Africa.
“Our overarching goal is to place the Nigerian economy on the path to sustainable growth, poverty elimination, economic opportunities, deal squarely with corruption and tackle injustices around us. The 8th National Assembly places premium on the efficacy of the National Assembly staff productivity as they remain its best hope of achieving this agenda. But you, the management must also ensure staff commitment and dedication to the task,” Saraki said.
“We have a task to work to build a new National Assembly that is respected at home and recognised abroad both as an example for efficiency, productivity and transparency. This is the minimum we aspire. We are not going to allow anyone detract from this bare aspiration and we will be demanding that you stay on this course for the remainder of our term,” he added.