As the 9th Senate prepares to conclude its term on Saturday, Senate President Senator Ahmad Lawan expressed satisfaction with the achievements of the Red Chamber, considering it a glorious and rewarding experience.
He highlighted the successful passage of numerous bills into law, with approximately 112 receiving the assent of former President Muhammadu Buhari.
During a valedictory session with the Senate Press Corps in Abuja, Lawan expressed his intention to return to the Senate for the 10th National Assembly. He emphasized that his aim would solely be to represent the people of Yobe North effectively
Lawan acknowledged that the 9th Senate excelled in the three key areas of legislative work, representation, and oversight. Despite the Senate being labeled as a rubber-stamp institution under his leadership, he expressed indifference towards the criticism.
Having served in the National Assembly for 24 years and being re-elected to the 10th Senate, Lawan expressed his extensive experience and collaboration with different sets of journalists. He emphasized that they successfully achieved the legislative agenda they had set for themselves through “bipartisanship” and “united more efficient and productively worked for the nation.”
Lawan provided examples of notable accomplishments, such as the restoration of the budget cycle to January to December, the successful passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (now Petroleum Industry Act), and the implementation of the Electoral Act 2022, among others. He further added, “This are the kind of things that made us happy. We have done so many things that were reported.”
Lawan said, “My tenure, a glorious moment. It has been a worthwhile adventure. During my campaigns I said we will run a Senate that worked for Nigerians and we stick to that. We started very well.
“ After the election we said we would be bi- partisan and that helped us to be more effective and focused. Yes, we had disagreement but not much. On the whole, we have been able to work together as one legislature, irrespective of party affiliation. We are citizens of Nigerian, even though our parties are different. We did everything to move our country forward.
“I want to say that our unity and partnership and understanding of each other has made it possible for us to achieve much. Infact, in all my stay here, I have never seen a Senate that achieved much.”
The allocation for the Assembly amounts to N128 billion, accounting for 0.8 percent of the total budget of N19 trillion.
Nonetheless, he voiced apprehension regarding the significant turnover of lawmakers, citing “affects legislative productivity and money spent on capacity building, saying that if wishes were horses, “I would have loved that the turn over of lawmakers will be minimal. Each time 70% are dropped, capacity development would start all over again, but that is the choice of Nigerians.
The Senate President then described the Senate Press Corps members as “worthy partners in the development of Nigeria through factual reportage”.
He requested that the journalists extend the same level of cooperation they have provided to him towards the incoming leadership that will be established next week.