By Chibuike Nwabuko
Abuja (Sundiata Post) – Majority leader of the 8th senate and front line contender for the position of Senate President, Senator Ahmad Lawan, has on Friday, unveiled his agenda for the Ninth Senate if elected Senate President.
Tagged “A National Assembly that works for Nigeria: Proposed legislative agenda for the 9th Senate,” the document contained his vision and mission statement.
Fourty two senators-elect including five Peoples Democratic Party(PDP), attended the event to identify with the aspiration of the Lawan to emerge the President of the 9th Senate.
The Yobe North Senator said that the unveiling of the legislative agenda which started yesterday will end in 2013 at the end of the Ninth Senate.
The unveiling of the agenda, he said, is basically to tell Nigerians the focus and the engagements of the 9th Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
He said that the agenda has two segments, one to ensure that senators perform optimally and effectively for the progress of the country.
Secondly, what individual senators think about the country and how to make the country great and purposeful.
Lawan said that his vision is to unite the Senate as an institution by ensuring inclusiveness, justice, fair play and respect for all political parties that are represented in the Senate.
He underscored the need to have a consultative and a focused bi-cameral legislature whose sole preoccupation is the business of Nigeria and the welfare of Nigerians.
The Senate President hopeful said that they are conscious of the challenges the country faces but not unmindful of the fact that the challenges will not be easy to address.
For him, the journey to address the myriads of challenges facing the country requires sacrifice, perseverance, determination and brotherhood.
He was however convinced that “once we remain focused and united, we can do a lot.”
He said, “We are faced with new security challenges. In 2015 when the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari came, the major security challenge was Boko Haram. Boko Haram was squarely confronted and substantially decimated. With new security challenges, we must all think out of the box how we can intervene with experts who know, how to intervene through legislative support.”
On the economy, he said, they intend to provide necessary legislative intervention to grow the economy.
He also stressed the compelling need to ensure early passage of the appropriation bill to create the much needed stable budget circle.
The issue of not passing the budget on time, he said, does not augur well for the country.
He noted that from budget presentation by President Buhari to budget defence by ministers and the processing of budget document, will have a time frame.
Lawan who recognised the fact that it takes two to tangle said that the Executive arm, especially ministers, should be brought on board to defend the budget of their ministries on time.
He expressed optimism that the Executive arm would be prepared to work with the legislature to stabilize the budget circle of the country.
On education, Lawan regretted that the country has the enviable record of having the highest out of school children in the world