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15 Major Takeaways from Senate President, Bukola Saraki’s #8thSenateAt1 Year Anniversary Speech

On Thursday, June 9th, 2016, the Senate celebrated its one year anniversary. The President of the Senate, Distinguished Senator (Dr.) Abubakar Bukola Saraki, delivered a commemorative speech that touched on security, the economy, and what Nigerians can expect from the Senate after one year. These are 15 major takeaways.

1. ON INNOVATIVE LEGISLATION
“The collapse in oil price has without doubt brought huge shock to our economy on a scale that perhaps, has never been experienced before. This requires us to develop creative strategies that would stimulate business and investments into other sectors.”

2. ON EMPOWERING NIGERIAN BUSINESSES
“Review of the Public Procurement Act is another major intervention by the Senate. This review is inspired by the need to guarantee government patronage for local manufacturers. Our desire is to ensure that a substantial percentage of the N6 trillion in the national budget is retained in the local economy and put in the pockets of our people.”

3. ON ECONOMIC DIVERSIFICATION THROUGH AGRICULTURE
“The agriculture credit scheme bill and the Chartered Institute for Soil Science bill we have just passed into law are part of a critical segment of legislative interventions we have designed to boost the current policy on agriculture as a major plank of the diversification policy of government.”

4. ON HOW THE SENATE CAN MAKE NIGERIANS FEEL ITS IMPACT
“Distinguished colleagues, for too long Nigerians have challenged us to justify our presence in this chamber. Many have wondered what exactly we do here or why we should be entitled to certain privileges. I believe that the best answer we can provide to all these is to continue to seek ways that would enable the ordinary citizen feel the impact of the Senate in their lives.”

5. ON HIS HOPE FOR THE SENATE
“I dream of a day when the poor woman sitting in her house in rural Awka would be able to see the benefit of our work on her life. I dream of a day when a child going to school in Gusau would feel the benefit of the laws that we make. I dream of a day when a young lady in Oshogbo would be able to say how the Senate has helped her small business. I dream of a day when a farmer in Ogoja would see how those of us gathered in this chamber has helped to improve his life.?

6. ON THE NORTH EAST RECONSTRUCTION
“You would recall that that we had within the first month of assumption of office visited the IDP camp where some of our brothers and sisters displaced by the insurgency are staying… Today, we are on the verge of passing the North East Development Commission Bill which we see as a critical instrument to bringing succor to the displaced restoring and rebuilding the north east from the devastation that it has experienced in recent times.”

7. ON FUTURE PUBLIC ENGAGEMENTS OF THE SENATE
“We are determined to continue to pursue engagement and consultation as a major legislative policy… Just as we did with the organised private sector, we are looking forward to engaging the Nigerian health sector, education and security in organised sections to seek their input to our legislative proposals.”

8. ON VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN AND CHILDREN
“Since our inauguration, we have been inundated with complains from our people on the rising levels of violence against women and sexual harassment and rape… We are determined to ensure that our women, our children and the vulnerable in our society irrespective of their age, status and ethnic background live in a safe and fulfilling environment where their rights are respected and their security is assured… There must be consequences for child abuse just as there must be consequences for sexual harassment, unjust dismissal and consumer rights violation.”

9. ON BOKO HARAM
While the government has made progress in the fight against Boko Haram and in the fight against corruption, the fight against mass poverty remains a daunting challenge… The same energy that has been invested in fighting corruption and Boko Haram must be invested in taking care of the people, in making life easier and better for them.

10. ON THE NIGER DELTA AVENGERS
“We urge the warring militants to embrace our democratic institutions and channel their grievances through appropriate quarters as we can ill afford further damage to the ecosystem of this all important region and any more disruptions in the system. In the same vein, we also encourage government to adopt dialogue and engagement as a more lasting option towards resolving this challenge.”

11. ON INCLUSIVE GOVERNANCE
“These are serious challenges that require all hands to be on deck. There is no other time in our history than now when the business of government needs to be conducted with great inclusiveness. We must find a way to bring the best brains in our country on board wherever they may be found.”

12. ON THE SENATE ADVOCATING FOR NIGERIANS
“The people of Nigeria must see this Senate as the place to run to when they feel treated unjustly. This Senate has the capacity to bring to end the culture of impunity in this country and we must. We must let everyone realize that the time when anyone can deliberately violate the right of any Nigerian citizen, any Nigerian woman, any Nigerian child and nothing would happen is gone.”

13. ON THE SUPPORT OF THE SENATORS OVER THE PAST YEAR
This has been unprecedented and I don’t take it lightly. This unique support has been steady, bipartisan, and unconditional. Your support has been the bulwark bone on which my belief in the emergence of a greater Nigeria rest. Your support has meant everything to me and I am more than ever determined to play my role as a leader to see to the emergence of a more virile National Assembly.”

14. ON OVERSIGHT OF MINISTERS AND MINISTRIES
“We are confident that one year after, the President must by now have better clarity on the capacity of his appointees. The Senate would not hesitate to hold any appointee accountable for the work he has accepted to do. We would like to seek Mr. President’s support and co-operation to enable us discharge this oversight task.”

15. ON PRESIDENT BUHARI
“… permit me to seize this opportunity to formally congratulate President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR on the one-year anniversary of his government and to also commend him for the great achievements he has recorded on several fronts… I also commend the president for his bold and courageous fight against corruption, which has manifested in improved probity and accountability in operations of government business.”

About LEKE CLEMENT

Leke clement a senior associate in lekkies media Inc. A blogger, lover of fashion, entertainment and news.

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