By Yemi Itodo
Speaker, House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila has assured that the current National Assembly under the leadership of Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, will not be an appendage of the executive arm of government.
Rather, he said the National Assembly as an institution, would strive to uphold the independence of the legislature.
The Speaker gave the assurance in Abuja Monday during the second annual public lecture of the ‘Legislative Digest’, a monthly magazine of the National Assembly.
Represented by the Chairman, House Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Hon. Ben Kalu, Gbajabiamila also said, the House would prioritize the economy, insecurity, good governance and fight against corruption, over the next four years, using a system of accountability and transparency.
“The 9th House of Representatives will uphold the independence of the legislature while leveraging on the benefits of interdependence between the arms of government.
“Moving forward, we must learn from the mistakes of the previous assemblies and build on their achievements for the good of the nation. The 9th House of Representatives will do just that”, the Speaker said.
Hon. Gbajabiamila also used the occasion to brief Nigerians on the motions and Bills that had been initiated by the House in a spate of one month, saying the House had hit the ground running.
“As at Wednesday, July 24, 2019, barely a month post inauguration, 287 bills had passed first reading, with 2 passing second reading in the House. Also, 63 House Resolutions had been made urging the Executive arm and mandating committees to take necessary actions arising from motions deliberated on the floor of the House of Representatives”, he added.
Earlier in his welcome address, the Clerk to the National Assembly and the Host of the event, Chief Mohammed Sani Omolori, said that the occasion was necessary to x-ray the legacies of the national parliament.
“It is on this note that we are gathered here today under the banner of the National Assembly Legislative Digest to recognize the 20 years of the National Assembly in the 4th republic and, more importantly, identify those salient tasks it has to confront ahead.
“The management of the National Assembly has thought it expedient to help inform the Nigerian people on these tasks as they will be highlighted here today.
“In our bid to provide authoritative information on the activities of the National Assembly rather than relying solely on third party sources, the National Assembly Legislative Digest was established as the official publication of the National Assembly and it has continued to disseminate our news directly from source and has continuously blazed the trail and set the pace in using its platform to connect the National Assembly with the people.
“Today, the magazine has made great effort in bridging the wide gap in information on the National Assembly.
“This is its 2nd public lecture and, with the support of the two Houses of the National Assembly, it intends to do a lot more to bridge the gap and highlight more positive actions of the National Assembly.
“The major challenge facing the National Assembly and indeed the Nigerian legislatures as a whole today is that of public perception of this very important arm of government which is the nucleus of democracy. Not many Nigerians really understand the peculiar operations of the legislature and that is why the institution is always at the receiving end whenever there is any clash of interest in government policy issues.
“This platform organised by the National Assembly Legislative Digest with support of the National Assembly bureaucracy is intended to bring together people from three arms of government to share ideas together on issues of common interest”, he said.
The event also attracted the former Senate President, Chief Ken Nnamani, Senator Ibn N’Allah, some military brass among a host of other dignitaries.