By Ismaila Chafe
President Muhammadu Buhari has attributed the tremendous success his administration recorded in the provision of critical infrastructure in the past eight years to the harmonious relationship between the Executive and the Legislature.
The president had been inaugurating many of the legacy projects across the country in the past few days.
Buhari, who stated this at the inauguration of the permanent site of the National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies (NILDS) Abuja on Thursday, described the legislature as the cornerstone of any democracy.
He said: “I have traversed all parts of Nigeria in the last few days commissioning several critical national infrastructures that our administration has completed over the past eight years.
”Our successes as a government are primarily due to the harmonious relationship between the Executive and Legislature.
”The legislature is the cornerstone of any democracy and is vital to ensuring that the wishes and aspirations of all Nigerians are considered during the law-making process.”
According to the president, it also performs critical functions of overseeing the executive and ensuring that government spending aligns with legislative intent.
While harping on the numerous positive outcomes of an independent legislature, Buhari declared:
“From the moment of my election in 2015 and subsequently, I supported the idea of an independent National Assembly, one that is able to decide its leadership and develop its agenda in line with the manifesto of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
“I refrained from meddling in the affairs of the legislature and promoted instead a culture of mutual respect and collaboration between the two Arms.”
The president said the cordial relationship was also instrumental to the unprecedented number of Bills passed into law, and addressed some of the long-standing challenges that have hampered economic growth and development.
“Our achievements in reforming the oil and gas sector, strengthening the electoral framework, diversifying our economy, improving transparency and accountability, tackling insecurity and entrenching good governance are easily verifiable.
”This 9th Assembly will be remembered as one of the most productive in terms of outputs and outcomes,” he further stated.
Buhari noted that Nigeria was immensely endowed in many ways, saying “our single greatest asset is the people of this country.
”Our teeming youth population provides the labour force we need to industrialise and develop our economy.
”This underscores the need for a more sustained investment in human capacity development.”
He noted that human capital was the essential lifeblood of a State and its institutions as it aids in the performance of constitutionally assigned mandates better when provided with all the required resources.
He stressed that “the NILDS permanent site, therefore, is a critical first step towards bolstering the capacity of the legislature to improve its law-making, oversight and representation functions”.
The Senate President, Dr Ahmad Lawan, expressed delight that “the promise that the Institute would not be a white elephant project has been realised.
”The tenth Assembly had prioritised the completion of Legacy projects in the 2023 budget because of their importance in stimulating economic activities and the need to entrench the legacies of this administration”.
He commended Buhari for his love for the 9th Assembly which had translated into his approval for the completion of the NILDS Complex as well as the inauguration of several projects of the National Assembly.
On his part, the Speaker, House of Representatives, Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila, said that having noted the institutional challenges facing the Legislature, the National Assembly was convinced that the inauguration of the Institute by the president would address some of the challenges.
He thanked Buhari for his steadfast efforts at uplifting the well-being of Nigerians. (NAN)