The Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, says about 70 per cent of senators and members of the House of Representatives were rejected in their constituencies during the last general election.
Mr Lawan said this on Thursday during the commissioning of the permanent site of the National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies (NILDS) in Abuja.
The institute was commissioned by President Muhammdu Buhari as part of the legacies of the 9th National Assembly.
Mr Lawan, in his remarks at the ceremony, lamented the high number of current federal lawmakers who lost their reelection bids.
He said one of the methods that will be used to check the negative effects of the high turnover rate is for the leadership of the National Assembly to organise capacity-building programmes for lawmakers in the 10th assembly.
“Also, for us in the 10th National Assembly, having suffered serious and massive casualties of not having or losing about 70 per cent of our senators and members of the house, it means we have to work hard on capacity building for the rest of us who will be new in the National Assembly.”
He urged members of the public and the lawmakers-elect to enrol into the National Institute for Legislative Studies for them to have legislative understanding.
“I am going to use the opportunity here today to urge you, sir that this is not for only National Assembly members’ needs; no, it is for all Nigerians and will be pleased to see people from the executive arm of government coming to take some lessons in NILDS because that will help in the understanding of what National Assembly or parliament does,” he said.
“So, this is an apt time to have NILDS permanent site commissioned, and then NILDS will have to hit the ground running because there will be very many who will need the capacity building that will be offered by NILDS.”
Mr Lawan thanked President Buhari for supporting the 9th national assembly to achieve their goals.
“Lastly, Mr President, I cannot leave this place without emphasising what we have been able to achieve with us in the 9th National Assembly. You have a share here, probably about 49 per cent. Fifty-one per cent National Assembly and 49 per cent, the executive arm of government,” he noted.
“Whatever we have done here is because you wanted us to do it, but also, Sir, whatever result we have been able to achieve, and we have achieved a lot, it was because this 9th National Assembly has always been there to give you the kind of support that we need to achieve what we have achieved and we have achieved so well.”
The Senate President described Mr Buhari as the “most parliament-friendly president” since the beginning of the fourth republic.
“A few days ago, maybe a week, I started a case of you being the most friendly president or, let me say, the most parliament-friendly president since the beginning of the fourth republic. I am not saying other presidents are not friendly, they were, but to varying degrees, yours is a total commitment to the legislature.”
He said President Buhari, throughout his eight years, did not interfere in the affairs of the National Assembly.
“You have never interfered in what we do. You have never even asked that we should do this; you always believe that the national assembly knows, especially this 9th national assembly knows its challenges and can perform,” he said.
“But one thing that you have achieved that many past presidents haven’t is for you to using four years, 2019 till date, assent over 100 bills that we have passed, and most of them are not common bills, very strategic, critical and crucial bills that will change the lives of citizens, the economy, the oil and gas sector and so many others.”
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