President of the Nigerian Senate, Dr. Ahmad Lawan, has described as a time of action, the resumption in plenary by the Senators after two months recess.
In his welcome address, Senator Lawan told his Distinguished colleagues in the chamber that “this resumption is a time for action.”
“It is time to proceed on key issues of governance. Our committees shall be our engine rooms. We will do all that is possible to improve their operational efficiency,” Lawan said.
Senator Lawan urges senators to remain united with a view to succeed despite their political differences.
“We have been able to show through our achievements so far that we are a cohesive Senate, ready to work in the interest of the people, despite our political differences.
“It is important we remain united so that we succeed. Our political parties may be different but we are one Senate – the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“We should not be pulled apart in matters of governance for the sake of our people. The challenges of unemployment, insecurity, illiteracy and inter-ethnic conflict are not partisan challenges,” Lawan said.
The Senate President urges his colleagues to be ready to set the ball rolling on confronting the nation’s challenges through diligent law making, effective representation and thorough oversight of Ministries, Departments and Agencies of government.
“The spate of kidnapping, ethnic conflicts, rural and highway banditry, herdsmen and farmers’ conflict and cattle rustling in the land are disturbing to the Senate. It is time we probably review our security architecture.
“The eight session of the Senate set up an Ad-Hoc Committee to review the security arrangement of the country. We will revisit the report of the committee in addition to making new efforts at finding solutions to the security challenges presently facing our nation,” Lawan said.
He urges reform in the educational sector and particularly the implementation of the Universal Basic Education law passed by the National Assembly to guarantee the rights of children to basic education.
He added that the Senate will renew and redouble its efforts on the much awaited Petroleum Industry Bill and tackle the issues of youth unemployment, insecurity and agriculture.
Lawan reiterated an earlier resolve to pass the 2020 budget before the end of December to avoid delays in fiscal and governance processes.
The Senate President said the recent Xenophobic attack in South Africa was a sad development and urges a review and strengthening of the nation’s citizen diplomacy.
He said the case of the $9.6 billion judgment debt against Nigeria is “another reminder on why we should strengthen our processes and procedures so that questionable firms would not take advantage of us.”