Deji Elumoye in Abuja
The Senate President, Dr Ahmad Lawan, at the weekend, stated that strained relationship between the executive and legislative arms of government cannot do the nation any good.
This is just as he said the ninth National Assembly is poised to work for a positive change in the country.
Apparently referring to the cold relationship that existed between the legislature and executive in the eighth assembly, the Senate President, who was addressing his constituents in Yobe State, stressed that everybody has seen how unhelpful it is to have a rancorous relationship between the Executive and the Legislature.
According to him, Nigeria will be the better for it if there is good relationship between the Executive and Legislature based on mutual respect.
“We don’t want to fight on partisan basis. It won’t help anyone. We are also determined to work with the executive arm of government because when we work together, Nigerians benefit better,” Lawan said.
The ninth National Assembly, he further said, is working assiduously as a team to bring change to Nigeria, emphasising that: “We want to work as a team in the National Assembly without recourse to our different political platforms.
“We have APC (All Progressives Congress), PDP (Peoples Democratic Party) and YPP (Young Progressive Party) in the Senate. We are working together as a team and our goal is to do what will make Nigeria better.”
Lawan further stated that members of the National Assembly have been working round the clock to ensure that the 2020 budget is passed before the end of the year.
According to him, “Today, members of the National Assembly stay in the complex up to midnight, working on 2020 budget. We are determined to pass the 2020 budget before the end of the year by the Grace of God. This, we believe, will bring better economic environment for our people when the budget implementation starts from January instead of June.”
He commended President Muhammadu Buhari for his timely presentation of the budget and his directive to government officials, making it mandatory for them to defend their budget estimates before the National Assembly committees.
“This shows clear commitment and it also shows clearly that we are working together with the Executive in a very seamless and cordial manner for the benefit of Nigerians. We will continue to do that because what Nigerians expect is provision of services to them. That is why they elected all of us,” Lawan said.
Meanwhile, the Senate President, also at the weekend flagged off free medical outreach for 800 people and mass animal vaccination in his senatorial district, Yobe North in Yobe State.
The medical services include free eye services, surgical services, gynecological checking and surgeries for families and also covers free veterinary services such as mass animal vaccination for cattle, sheep and goats and treatment and care for sick animals.
Speaking at the flag off ceremonies held in four centres including his native home Gashua in Bade and Nguru Local Government Areas, Lawan said similar intervention took place last year August.
“We did not want to repeat it this year because we had hoped that our people would have overcome the challenges but we still have so many more who are facing those challenges.
“So long there are people with those challenges, we will continue to intervene by the Grace of God,” he said.
Lawan said his target for this year was to attend to 400 patients who are seriously in need of the intervention but he was later informed that there are almost 800 people who have already been screened and will require the intervention but half of whom were asked to come back next year because the target was 400.
“Now I want to inform this gathering that all those that have been screened and found to be really in need of the surgery should be accommodated.
“So we will be intervening for almost 800 patients this year by the Grace of God. We pray that at the end of the day, we have a successful surgery on those patients,”Lawan said.
According to him, the ultimate way out towards addressing the shortcomings in the health sector is institutional building.
“I believe that we need to do more by institutional building. That is, to build our hospitals. To build the capacity of the personnel in the hospitals so that this kind of treatment don’t have to come from any individual. That our institutions are able to handle it,” Lawan said.