We are not “rubber stamp” Assembly – Lawan.

The Senate President, Ahmed Lawan, has said the 9th National Assembly is not a rubber stamp of the executive as described by the public.

Lawan stated this Monday, at the Distinguished Parliamentarians Lecture in Abuja, tagged “The Legislature, Legislative Mandate and The People- The Reality and The Public Perception,” organized by the National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies (NILDS).

The Senate chair noted that the country has three tiers of government equal by the Constitution, but the people are more represented at the legislature than in the other arms.

He added that to bring in the needed development, the three government arms must work for hand in hand, as the failure and success of any component will be associated with all.

According to him, the legislature, which is the first arm of government constitutionally, is the nearest and most accessible by the people; he added that it lends itself to public scrutiny and sometimes takes the blame even for government decisions that fall outside its competence.

Lawan explained that the three tiers of government are responsible to each other and an obligation to its people. Therefore, they must have a cordial bond based on mutual respect for constitutional rights and mandate to succeed.

He revealed further that the cooperation of the 9th Assembly with the executive had enhanced efficiency in law-making. As of November 2021, he said it introduced 2,500 Bills; 769 in the Senate and 1,634 in the House of Representatives.

The Senator said the number of Acts gazetted was boosted as compared with past regimes since 1999; Olusegun Obasanjo (1999-2006) 82 Acts; Umar Musa Yar’Adua (2007¬-2009) 38 Acts; Goodluck Ebele Jonathan (2010-2015) 40 Acts and Muhammdu Buhari(2015-date) 84 Acts.

Speaking on the misconceptions around the National Assembly and its operations, the Senator stated that the salaries of the members of the National Assembly as approved by the Revenue Mobilization, Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) is included in the budget allocated to the National Assembly.

According to him, the total salary of a senator amounts to 1.5 million naira while that of a member House of Representatives is 1.3 million naira.

He stressed that since 1999, the budget of the National Assembly has never gone above N150 billion, representing 3% of the annual budget.

Lawan concluded that the 9th Assembly would improve public perception of the legislature, adding that they’re not a “rubber stamp” Assembly but provide a safe atmosphere for national development through cooperative and collaborative efforts with the executive.

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