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FG seeks legislative collaboration to tackle Nigeria’s problems

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Kashim Shettima e1686589215272

Without effective collaboration between the Federal Government and legislative arms of government, it would be difficult for Nigeria to surmount its economic and political problems, Nigeria’s Vice President, Senator Kashim Shettima, has stated.

The Vice President stated this during the opening formalities of a 2-day retreat for the leadership of the 10th National Assembly, organised by the National Institute of Legislative and Democratic Studies in collaboration with Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung e.V., held at the Four Points by Sheraton hotel in the Ikot Ekpene local government area of Akwa Ibom State on Friday.

According to him, there must be effective collaboration and harmony with the leadership of the 10th National Assembly to address all issues confronting the country.

“Governance is a collective responsibility and not a personal endeavour. Our most significant achievement will be attained through cooperation and harmony.

This is what we take from you because we are brothers and sisters in pursuit of a country that has all of us.

“For the first time in our history, all the elected heads of branches of our government and those produced by the hallowed halls of the National Assembly come together for the common good of the nation.

All the Chiefs of Staff and Deputy Chiefs of Staff to the President are proud alumni members. The First Lady of the Federation and the Secretary to the Federation are all alumni.

“Certainly, what this means is that we cannot afford to go to war, not because we are going to overlook each other’s transgressions but because we are going to engage with those who know the gravity of their work and will never take you for granted.

“Let us fight the stereotypes of our differences. The burden of managing a diverse nation has ensured that we cannot afford to trade the path of division.

“The 10th National Assembly is unquestionably the richest we have had so far. You (the National Assembly) have a president and vice president who are one of you and recognise the sacrifices you make.

“President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has reassured us with a heart of certainty that we are not in government to go to war with the National Assembly; we are here to collaborate and march towards shared prosperity.

“Our journey as a democratic nation has been marked by trials and triumphs, setbacks and progress, but through it all, the National Assembly has remained steadfast in its commitment to our collective well-being.

“It is there within the Chambers that the voices of our diverse constituencies find their expression.

While the aspirations of our people are transformed into legislative action, and while the foundations of our democracy are continuously fortified.

“The trajectory of global growth is facing Africa, and Nigeria will make or mar that transition. By 2050, Nigeria will be the third-most populous nation on earth.

Our population will hit 440 million, and we will surpass the United States of America.

By the end of the century, Nigeria will be the most populous nation on earth. What are we going to do with the demographic growth?

“We can turn the demographic growth into demographic dividends. I believe, with the quality of leadership we have, it will not turn into a demographic disaster that will consume all of us,” the VP said.

Underscoring the importance of collaboration, the Senate President, Senator Godswill Akpabio, stressed that Nigeria cannot move forward unless the various stakeholders and groups see the need for effective collaboration in the country.

He said it is an error to blame the All Progressives Congress, the People’s Democratic Party, or any other party for Nigeria’s problems, adding that the country faces a collective action problem because relevant groups and stakeholders have failed to collaborate.

In his words, “My friends and colleagues, let us not make the mistake of thinking that our problem is APC, PDP, LP, SDP, or any other party. That is an error.

“We face a collective action problem because relevant groups and stakeholders in our country fail to connect, cooperate, and collaborate.

“But if we, the leadership of the Tenth National Assembly, can properly understand and effectively use collective action processes in the official conduct of business, we would achieve positive outcomes for our country.

“We can lead the charge in our country. Let us be united in purpose. It does not matter which political party you used to get to the Red or Green Chamber; right now we are in the Nigerian boat. If we all put our hands on deck, the Tenth Assembly shall surmount every challenge,” Akpabio pointed out.

Akpabio noted that the retreat would identify priority business for the 10th National Assembly and develop strategic objectives for the legislative agenda of the respective chambers.

He maintained that it depends on the leadership of the 10th National Assembly to “set collective action templates for the nation’s developmental efforts and a collaborative legislative agenda for solving the nation’s challenges.

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Dr Tajudeen Abbas, expressed delight at the idea of the retreat, noting that it would create an opportunity for the legislators to contribute immensely to the attainment of the eight-point agenda of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

He admonished his colleagues in both chambers to think first of the national development of the nation, emphasising that all three arms of government must be in symphony to ensure that the current administration delivers on its promises to the people.

In his goodwill message, the host governor, Pastor Umo Éno, commended the federal government for operating an inclusive government devoid of party affiliation.

Represented by his deputy, Senator Akon Eyakenyi, the governor expressed appreciation for the decision to host such a memorable event in the state.

Earlier in his welcome address, the Director-General of NILDA, Prof. Abubakar Sulaiman, stated that the retreat was organised to reflect, learn, and strategize to collectively enhance the performance of the National Assembly.

Sulaiman stressed that the only way the President can achieve his lofty goals is to ensure that the necessary legislative frameworks support government actions.

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