The relationship between the executive and the ninth National Assembly is yielding results, Umar El-Yakub, senior special assistant to the president on the House of Representatives, has said.
Mr El-Yakubu specifically made reference to the passage and signing of legislations like the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA), Police Trust Fund Act, Banking and other Financial Institutions Act (BOFIA) and others, as evidence and products of the smooth relationship between the two arms.
He stated this while briefing journalists on Thursday at the National Assembly, Abuja.
The ninth National Assembly has been accused of being a “rubber stamp” to the executive, as most requests by President Muhammadu Buhari were approved with little or no objection.
The only exception perhaps was the recent rejection by the Senate of Lauretta Onochie as INEC national commissioner.
Even though her nomination sparked outrage across the country because of her political leaning, the Senate had cited breach of the Federal Character Principle by Mr Buhari as the reason for her rejection.
Also, Mr Buhari refused to honour the invitation of the House of Representatives in 2020, after he had initially agreed to appear before it to brief it on the nation’s security challenges.
At the briefing, Mr El-Yakub said the cordial relationship was responsible for the adoption of January-December budget cycle and full implementation of the 2020 budget.
“The relationship is yielding the right results, it could even yield better results, having this constructive and effective engagements,” he said.
He stressed the need for more collaboration between the two arms while also commending the lawmakers for the swift confirmation of Faruk Yahaya as the chief of army staff.
“As we know, the ninth assembly had resolved with the executive arm under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari to work in a cooperative and collaborative manner so as to ensure the delivery of good services and governance for the Nigerian people.
“We have achieved such a milestone in this partnership and relationship culminating in so many programmes and initiatives of government and policies that have been actualised.”
“I make bold to mention and commend the leadership of the National Assembly for returning the budget circle of January to December that was achieved primarily because of this cooperation between the executive and the legislative arm of government and for the benefit of Nigerians because now we have a budget that had been implemented fully in 2020 and we are hoping to have the same in 2021, 2022 and 2023.
“We know the benefit of a budget that is being implemented on time because of the impact it has on our economic and social wellbeing as Nigerians.”
Mr El-Yakub noted that the relationship between the two arms is “anchored on the respect for the separation of powers between the executive and the legislature as enshrined in the Nigerian constitution which of course also understands that there is one government but essentially the various arms of government work creative, cooperative and collaborative manner to ensure that there is constructive and meaningful engagement to deliver services to the Nigerian people and to participate in nation-building as partners and that has been demonstrated in many areas of our national life.
“Of course like I mentioned earlier, having such a good relationship further reinforces the confidence of the electorate and the Nigerian people in their government because there is synergy, there is cooperation, there is respect and there is an understanding of coming together for a common purpose to achieving the desired goals.
“We have seen in the way nominees of Mr president have been cleared by the two chambers of the National Assembly, especially the service chiefs which also the House participated in their screening and clearance.
“The relationship has been very cordial between the house of representatives and the executive arm of government and it has been harmonious and certainly very collaborative and this has been possible because of the cooperation between the two arms of government in terms of engagement.”
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