Thursday, 30 April 2015

Buhari seeks N’Assembly support to tackle corruption

The President-elect Muhammadu Buhari, on Wednesday pledged to work with the incoming 8th National Assembly as development partners to tackle corruption and reduce the cost of running government.

Buhari stated this while addressing a joint session of the re-elected and fresh members of the two chambers of the National Assembly, who were currently undergoing a one-week induction programme organised by the National Institute for Legislative Studies in Abuja.

The President-elect specifically urged the elected federal lawmakers to collaborate with him on the budget process and in the restructuring of the public sector in order to guarantee transparency in the polity.

Buhari noted that the cooperation between him and the legislators would enable both arms of government to collectively tackle the menace of high recurrent expenditure at the expense of capital and human development.

He lamented that high cost of governance had greatly affected execution of capital projects, human development, and had eroded public social services such as infrastructure, health and education.

“High cost of governance has been crowding out capital and human development,” Buhari observed.

The President-elect, who also observed that there was dearth of development in the agricultural and solid mineral sectors, equally urged the lawmakers to ensure legislations that would pave the way for favourable policies in the sectors.

“Distinguished members of the 8th National Assembly, I see these development challenges as the mission of my presidency. I need the support of the members of the National Assembly on the battlefront. I need your support in many respects,” Buhari urged.

He urged the federal parliamentarians to take seriously, their oversight functions, which according to him, was critical in ensuring that policies were implemented effectively and transparently.

He added, “My mission to bring integrity into governance would better succeed if complemented with a strong culture of transparent oversight.”

Buhari also stressed the need to contain insecurity in the country, urging the lawmakers to join hands with him in rooting out the challenges of insecurity in the country.

He identified lack of stable power supply as one of the strongest forces discouraging investments in the country, which according to him had in turn put a limit on job creation.

Buhari said, “I am here today to invite you to work with the executive as partners in progress, as champions of good governance and development and as warriors for change. Together, we can make this nation great and as a role model in Africa and other emerging economies and democracies.

“The legislature is a critical component and necessary ingredient of democracy and good governance.

“The legislature, by nature, is inherently democratic in the sense that all members are equal and are elected representatives of the Nigerian people. As President-elect, I recognise this fact and believe that legislators carry this heavy burden of representation with all the seriousness it deserves.

“For a President to be successful in addressing community development and the general welfare of the various people of the country, he or she would benefit from working closely and in harmony with the legislative arm of government.

“I therefore commit myself to working with the legislature as development partners motivated by the desire to deliver good governance.”

Buhari also said there was need for the executive and the legislative arms, working in unity, “to deploy efforts in conflict resolution and peace building in all our communities.”

The President-elect also expressed concern over the general insecurity in the North-East and the environmental degradation in the Niger Delta, saying the situations needed serious attention.

He lamented the fall in oil price which had dipped the country’s revenue generation capacity, saying the incoming administration would be faced with the challenge of how to deliver on reconstruction of devastated areas and its new development agenda.

Buhari pledged that his administration would tackle the endemic corruption which had crippled human and infrastructure development for decades, and the unacceptably poor provision of power supply to save small businesses and the economy in general.

He said, “De-industrialisation for the past three decades had led to closure of many industries; migration into many to other African countries and unacceptably high levels of unemployment with the youth unemployment reaching over 40 per cent.”

Source: Punch


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