Saraki Charges National Assembly Mgt On Accountability, Transparency

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Nigeria’s Senate President, Bukola Saraki, on Monday,
urged the management of the National Assembly to make accountability
and transparency its watchword, so as to enable the legislature achieve
its goal of a sustainable and fully diversified economy. 

 

Dr Saraki who gave this charge in his speech at the opening
session of a retreat for the management staff of the National Assembly
in Lokoja, the Kogi State capital.
He said it has become critical for the management to up its
game as the 8th National Assembly strives to support the executive in
realizing a well developed and inclusive economy.
“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,” Saraki said. “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.

“It is against this background, that it is imperative that management is
fit for the task ahead of us and lives up to its responsibilities – to
deliver coherent, effective, and efficient support as we pursue our
vision for the development of the Nigerian economy into one of the most
diversified and very inclusive economies in Africa,” he said.

While thanking the organizers of the retreat, Dr Saraki noted
that the National Assembly was established not only as the highest
law-making institution in the country but more important, as the enabler
of the executive to provide for the welfare and security of our
people. 
“At no time in our history has the need for synergy of
purpose and drive to embrace and give full effect to this obligation
been more acute than now,” Saraki said: “The present National Assembly
is fully committed to this obligation and it is in you (management) that
we will rely on to play our role effectively.”
He further noted that the overarching goal of the current
National Assembly “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.”
He added that the 8th National Assembly places premium on
the efficacy of staff productivity as they remain its best hope of
achieving its  agenda. 
“But you, the management must also ensure staff commitment
and dedication to the task,” he added, noting that: “As legislators, we
acknowledge that the achievements of this agenda is not possible without
the co-operation of management. 
“In a world of growing challenges and vulnerability, we
cannot afford not to stand together. To work in isolation or let
personal interests stand in the way of harnessing the many strengths in
our structure would be doing dis-service to the people we serve.

“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 sanitize 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.

“Finally, I have just one task for this retreat which is also a plea.
The task I place before you is to come up with solutions for improving
the National Assembly” Saraki said, adding that “There is no doubt that
we need to take the work ethos far higher than we have today. We need
your innovative ideas that will ultimately attract the best brains to
work and be retained here.”

While saying that he looks forward to receiving solid and
actionable recommendations from the management at the close of the
retreat, the Senate President said: “I count on you to bring your bright
ideas to discussions so that we can make a difference for our families,
communities and our country as a whole.”

He added: “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. With dedication
and discipline, this new structure is not so far from our reach. Let us
redouble our effort and I have no doubt that we will succeed,” he said.

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