The Acting President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo has called for improved synergy between the Executive and Legislative Arms of government in order to address the challenges bedevilling the country.
The Acting President made the call while declaring open the 16th Commonwealth Speakers and Presiding Officer’s Conference, Africa Region, held in Abuja.
Professor Osinbajo expressed optimism that with stronger collaboration between the two Arms of government, poverty, hunger and disease can be curbed to the barest minimum.
Poverty, hunger and diseases can become history by pursuing those legislative and executive options that target education, food security and healthcare for all.The National Assembly and the executive have shown that when we work together we can make the quantum leaps in bettering the lives and livelihoods of our people”
The Acting President explained that the Federal Government was making tremendous progress in the agricultural sector due to progressive legislative appropriations.
“Today by a combination of progressive legislative appropriation to agriculture, importation of rice has dropped by over 80 per cent.
And we will be self-sufficient in rice production by the end of 2018.Again because we chose to work together the National Assembly at the request of the Executive appropriated N500 billion for the largest social investments programme in sub-Saharan Africa.
The fund allows us to engage 500,000 young graduates in our NPower scheme, to give cash transfers to a million of the poorest in our society and to extend microcredit to a million market women, artisans, and small businesses.It enables us to begin a social housing fund in the sum of N1 trillion with government putting in N100 billion annually,’’ Professor Osinbajo said.
He added that the fund will provide finance on a counterpart basis for developers and create mortgage facilities that will ultimately enable anyone to pay N30, 000 a month to own a home.
The Acting President further said the synergy between the two Arms of Government facilitated the decimation of insurgents in the North East.
The executive and the legislature in the worst days of insurgency also worked together to ensure that adequate provision was made for the military including prompt passing of virements when initially budgeted funds ran short.
“We decimated the Boko Haram as a fighting force, and ensured that they control no part of Nigerian territory,’’ He said.
The Acting President also harped on the need for strong institutions in the continent.
In Africa and the developing world, the angst and cynicism of the populace is worse.
Conflicts, corruption, weak institutions have ensured that the largest numbers of the poor and deprived come from our continent and there is unanimity of opinion that it is the failure of leadership.
“So while we speak of our legislative halls as hallowed chambers, our courts as temples of justice, and the executive villas as corridors of power, all suggestive of grand but isolated institutions,’’ He said.
On his part, Speaker, House of Representatives, Mr Yakubu Dogara, urged legislatures in Africa to liberate their people from dictatorship by building strong institutions.
Mr Dogara called for the establishment of networks and building coalition among the African legislatures in view of the need to drive socio-economic development and lift the people out of poverty.
The Speaker, however, lamented that the executive hardly reciprocates the gesture of cooperation extended by the National Assembly in effort to ensure smooth running of government for the delivery of dividends of democracy to Nigerians.
“The legislature as the first institution of democracy must sacrifice more in this endeavour even if the gesture is not often returned by the executive,’’ he said.
Mr Dogara maintained that Africa’s quest to develop fast can only be achieved when strong institutions were built to replace weak ones that were deliberately put in place by dictators.
He said: “Africa does not need strong men but strong institutions.
“Unfortunately, Africa has been home to strong men who paradoxically relished in building weak institutions to keep them stronger.
“Yet all of Africa’s problems; be they corruption, socio-political, economic, can only be solved by strong institutions.
“It is therefore the duty of parliaments across Africa to free our people from the shackles of strong men by ensuring that strong institutions replace the later thereby ending this pervasive curse on the continent.
“There is no gainsaying the fact that our parliaments cannot achieve this onerous task without first establishing networks and building coalition. That is the main reason why we are assemble”.The Street Reporters Newspaper is your BREAKING NEWS platform. Do you have Breaking news or Opinion article for us? | *Call: +234 817 504 7979 | Or Email Us: firstname.lastname@example.org | Follow Us on Twitter https://twitter.com/streetreporters | Join Our Fans on Facebook: https://facebook.com/streetreporters.ng | Follow us on Instagram https://intagram.com/streetreporters | Advertise With Us: +2348035823617 | Visit Our Website: www.StreetReporters.ng