Newly elected leaders of Nigeria’s federal legislature have pledged to be responsive to the citizens, as the country looks forward to new dawn amid yearnings for a harmonious executive-legislature relationship to promote prosperity.

Ahmed Lawan, the president of the Senate and Femi Gbajabiamila, Speaker of the House of Representatives were elected by members of the federal chambers at the inauguration of the 9th National Assembly on Tuesday.

The previous assembly ended with a valedictory session on June 6, with the inauguration of the 9th National Assembly marking the beginning of another decade of the federal legislature since 1999.

On the legislature’s responsiveness to Nigerians, the new Senate president said he will prioritize effective collaboration with the executive arm of government.

One of the demerits of the previous assembly was the incessant feud between the legislature and the executive arm of government.

The top legislator said while avoiding to lead a rubber-stamp legislature, the collaboration with the Executive will be aimed at “planning of budget that ensures effective service delivery to the citizens without any delay in the budget passage and its implementation.”

The new legislature, according to Lawan, will continue the fight against corruption and other major security challenges ravaging the country to reclaim and restore old values.

In addition to working with the Executive, he said, the new legislature plans to address the current high level of youth unemployment in the most populous African country.

Nigeria’s statistics body, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), pegged unemployment at 23.1 percent and underemployment at 16.6 percent in a 2019 report, with a projection of 33.5 percent unemployment rate by 2020.

In addition to unemployment, tackling the high use of illicit drugs, as well as depression and high rates of suicide is another top priority of the legislature, the Senate president noted.

Similarly, Gbajabiamila tasked opposition groups in the legislature to put aside political differences and use the legislative platform and the instrumentality of the law to make Nigeria better.

The legislative leaders equally promised to “observe the tenets of justice, equity and fairness” when dealing with Nigerians.

President Buhari, while congratulating the newly elected principal officers of the 9th National Assembly, said he hoped it will be “new dawn, different from duplicity and perfidy of the immediate past.”

“Stepping into the next level, the legislature has a big role to play for the goals of the administration to be achieved,” Buhari said, noting “this is for the ultimate good of the nation.”

According to him, the Executive does not desire a rubber stamp legislature. Collaboration among all arms of government should be the name of the game, he added. Enditem



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