National Assembly staffers converge to reposition the Assembly

Lokoja, March 20, 2017 (TNE): The Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki said on Monday that the present challenges facing the country has made it imperative for all organs of government to be alive to their responsibilities for quick  lasting solutions.

Saraki who spoke in Lokoja at the opening of a five-day retreat for top  management staff of the National Assembly, said that the assembly in particular, must clearly be seen to be at the forefront of moves to rescue the country from its current woes.

The theme of the retreat is: ”Repositioning “  and the Senate President noted that  Nigerians were expecting so much from the members of the National Assembly to provide a way forward .
According to him, the assembly requires a committed and dedicated workforce to achieve such a feat, while ”it needs to purge itself and be in a good stead to perform its expected roles.
” The eighth national assembly has made economic reform its anchor, the roles of the management cannot be overemphasized.
” This is a critical time for us as a nation, as we are going through security issues, recession, unemployment.
” The nation  looks up to the national assembly for direction; it has become apparent to us that this is no more business as usual and it is against this background that it is imperative to prepare for the task ahead.

“As legislators, we acknowledge that the achievement of our agenda cannot be possible without the cooperation of the staff, we cannot afford not to stand together, to work in isolation will be a disservice to the people we serve.

” Nigerians still expect more from us, we must change the work ethics to give priority to accountability and transparency for us to earn respect.

” It is time to show that the national assembly is ready to play its role as an agent of development and sustenance of democracy,.

“We cannot play that role without first cleansing our house. It is time for us to accept that change has come but not only by word but action,” Saraki declared.

According to him, as  the national assembly continues to seek  more funds, it must show transparency on how its budget is being spent.

He stated that employment , promotion and career progression in the National Assembly would only be determined by merit.

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara was represented  by the Deputy Majority Leader of the house, Hon. Baba Jibrin.
In his address, Kogi Governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, said that the National Assembly had a critical role to play in efforts to bring positive change to the country.
Bello pleaded with the legislators to always treat issues concerning the state with urgency to fast-track its social and economic development
He seized the opportunity to explain the rationale behind the ongoing staff verification and screening exercise in the state, saying it was aimed at weeding out ghost workers and repositioning the state’s civil service for better service delivery.

Alhaji Mohammed Sanni-Omolori, the Clerk of the National Assembly, said in his address that funding remained the greatest challenge facing the legislature.
He stressed the need for constant dialogue and consultation between the executive and the  legislative arms of government to resolve some long-standing issues, especially the national budget.

For the smooth running and operation of the assembly, the Clerk said that it was necessary for administrators to be involved in the formulation of financial and procurement rules of the assembly. (TNE)
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