By Naomi Sharang
The Senate President, Godswill Akpabio has said that the National Assembly would guarantee the welfare of staff of the assembly.
He made the remark at the 9th National and States Assembly Service Commissions Conference held in Abuja on Wednesday.
The conference was organised by the National Assembly Service Commission (NASC).
Declaring the conference open, Akpabio who was represented by Sen. Danjuma Goje (APC-Gombe) said that the national assembly management was not unmindful of the welfare of the staff.
“I know the welfare issues you are battling with. But be rest assured that the 10th National Assembly has your back.
“Staff welfare will be supported by the assembly,” Akpabio said.
He said that in classical theory, the main role of parliament was to make new laws and change or improve old laws.
“But inclusively, we will not only make laws, change or improve old laws, we will make people, we will empower people.
“We will continue to support the training, retraining and capacity building of our staff. Charity is expected to begin at home.
“So, let’s have a team spirit and make our country proud, let us invest our time and energy into providing the best support for our legislators.
“This is so that hereafter, posterity will look back at the 10th National Assembly and State Assemblies and say truly, this was a turning point in our lawmaking in our country.”
Akpabio further said that the conference should lay the framework for the most effective parliament in Nigeria’s democratic governance.
“The choice is in your hands, you can only succeed if we see this conference not just as another talk-shop but as a wakeup call during the 10th National Assembly and change dynamics of lawmaking in our country.
“The time is now for us to heed our country’s call and come together as one. Sure, there are people dying from insecurity, from banditry, it is time for us to lend a hand.
“We have a government which has shown tremendous resolve to right what is wrong in our country.
“We have a national assembly which is committed to supporting all efforts to change the fortunes of our country and committed to making laws to lift up the poor and better the lots of all Nigerians,” he said.
The Executive Chairman of NASC, Ahmed Amshi, said they were concerned with the State Assembly Service Commissions that was why they considered their operations.
“As usual, resolutions are expected to be agreed upon and a communique will be presented but we have entered into a partnership with National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS) Consultancy Services in the organisation of this conference.
“Most of the State Assembly Service Commissions have been in contact and shared ideas with us, we acknowledge them on this and hope that the mutual relationship is sustained.”
Also speaking, Prof. Ayo Omotayo, the Director-General of the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS) said that Nigeria must have a national focus to grow.
According to him, any country that is desiring to grow must have what he described as a national focus.
He said that lawmakers and staff of assemblies must work towards ensuring that whatever they do, is focused towards the growth and development of the country.
Omotayo said if Nigeria must be a better society, individuals must carry out personal responsibility geared towards ,’national focus’.
“If we are going to have a better society, every individual in Nigeria must carry a personal responsibility and pursue a national focus.
“The President is not the government, the Senate President and the speaker are not the government.
“We must play our roles as individuals. If not, we will continue to blame ourselves. A nation works for anyone that plays his or her part. Everyone must think about the Nigeria we need,” he said.(NAN)
Edited by Sadiya Hamza