President Muhammadu Buhari was, on Thursday, full of praises for the Ninth National Assembly for being most productive just as the leadership of the Assembly lauded Buhari for being most parliament-friendly President.
Buhari made the remarks while commissioning the permanent site of the National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies (NILDS), an agency of the National Assembly.
Buhari said the achievements of his government were due to the harmonious relationship between the Executive and the Legislature.
“As you are all aware, I have traversed all parts of Nigeria in the last few days commissioning several critical infrastructure that our administration has completed over the last eight years.
“Our successes as a government are primarily due to the harmonious relationship between the Executive and the Legislature.
“The Legislature is the cornerstone of any democracy. It is vital to ensuring that the wishes and aspirations of all Nigerians are considered during the lawmaking process. It also performs critical function of overseeing the Executive and ensuring government spending aligns with Legislative intents.
“From the moment of my election in 2015 and subsequently, I supported the idea of an independent National Assembly to decide it’s leadership and develop it’s agenda in line with the manifesto of the All Progressives Congress(APC).
“I refrain from meddling in the affairs of the Legislature and promote, instead, a culture of mutual respect and collaboration between the two arms.
“The numerous positive outcomes for our country underscore the importance of a harmonious Executive/Legislature relationship.
“Working with the National Assembly, we have passed an unprecedented number of Bills into law, provided funding for key infrastructure … and address some of the long standing challenges which have hampered economic growth and development.
“Our achievement in reforming the oil and gas sector, strengthening the electoral framework, diversify our economy, improving transparency and accountability, tackling insecurity and entrenching good governance are easily verifiable.
“This Ninth Assembly will be remembered as one of the most productive in terms of output and outcomes. I thank the leadership of the National Assembly for giving me the support required to deliver on my promises to Nigerians,” Buhari said.
Earlier, the President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, said Buhari is most parliament friendly President since the beginning of the Fourth Republic.
Lawan said Buhari had identified himself as one President who cared and catered for the National Assembly and expressed gratitude to him for the approval that he gave for the renovation of the National Assembly complex.
“I cannot leave this place without emphasizing what you have been able to achieve with us in the Ninth National Assembly.
“Whatever we have done here is because you allowed us to do it. Whatever the Executive had been able to achieve, and you have achieved a lot, is because this Ninth National Assembly has always been there to give you the kind of support that you need to achieve what you have so far achieved.
“About a week ago I cited a case of you being the most parliament friendly President since the beginning of the Fourth Republic. I am not saying the other Presidents were not friendly. They were but in varying degrees. Yours is total commitment to the Legislature.
“You have never interfered with what we do. You have never even asked that we should do this. You always believe that the National Assembly, especially this Ninth National Assembly, knows it’s challenges and therefore it can perform within the constraints.
“But one thing that you have achieved that past Presidents haven’t, is for you to within four years, 2019 to date, assent to 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
“Our partnership has been working. It has worked in our work. It is working in our operations.
“I am going to take the opportunity here today to urge you Sir, that this(NILDS new building) is not only for National Assembly members, it is for all Nigerians and we will be pleased to see people from the executive arm of government coming to take some lessons in NILDS because that will help in understanding what National Assembly or parliament does.
“Also for us in the 10th National Assembly, having suffered serious and massive casualties of losing about 70 percent of our Senators and Members of the House of Representatives, it means we have to work hard on capacity building for the rest of us who will be new in the National Assembly.
“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 many who will need the capacity building that will be offered by NILDS.