The new Senate President, Ahmed Lawan, on Friday assured that the Ninth Senate will move fast to cover lost grounds and support President Muhammadu Buhari to implement people-oriented projects and programmes.
He spoke with State House correspondents after observing jumaat prayer with President Buhari at the State House mosque.
Lawan also assured of early national budgets passage.
He said “The expectations from Nigerians is a National Assembly that is very focused, that is very united, that is very patriotic and nationalistic and that is by the grace of God, the National Assembly that we shall have.
“From my interactions with my colleagues when I was contesting, every senator there when I was contesting, has one massive experience or another.
“I saw my colleagues exhibited patriotism and desire to work for Nigerians and therefore we hope to have a National Assembly that will work for Nigerians optimally and patriotically.
“We also hope to have a National Assembly that will work with the executive arm of government in a partnership and synergy to ensure that we perform our functions as a government because we are a single unit.
“I also foresee a National Assembly that will insist that whoever has a responsibility in government performs that responsibility because it takes all of us to work together to ensure that no part or nobody is left behind.
“If there is anyone that is deficient, it would cost the system. So we are going to work very hard, we would like to catch up the lost grounds over the last four years.”
He noted that the last Senate didn’t perform to capacity.
“I am sure we did not perform to our capacity as a National Assembly in the last National Assembly. This time around we want to perform to full capacity and by the grace of God, Nigerians will see a positive difference in terms of delivery of service to our countrymen and women.” he said
On the timely passage of budget bills, the Senate President said that the National Assembly is ready to speed up their passages.
He explained that national budgets will be passed before Christmas break if the executive can send the proposal by September or October.
He said “Well, this is a crucial thing that worries everyone, every Nigerian wants to see the National Assembly passes the budget in good time and what we have in mind we’ve campaigned with that and it’s something all of us in the National Assembly have bought into – that we’ll pass the budget within three months by the grace of God.
“But I want to say here that it takes two sides of government to pass the budget in good time and I am sure that the executive side of the government would like to present the budget before the National Assembly in good time – in September or early October and by the grace of God we in the National Assembly will ensure that we carry out the budget defence and do the remaining parts of the processes and before we leave for Christmas break, the budget would have been passed and Mr President would have the budget before him to sign and assent.
“This requires sacrifice in the National Assembly and the executive side of the government that we create a window for budget defence only, a dedicate period and timeframe- say a month of which only budget defence would be carried out in the National Assembly.
“It is our desire in the National Assembly that every minister, every chief executive officer of every agency comes to the National Assembly and defence the budget of his agency or her agency before going out of the country.
“That window is going to be available within the one month but that is the only window that is going to be available. After that for example, every minister or head of agency who did not come to defend the budget of that institution, the National Assembly would go ahead to work on such a budget appropriately.
“I believe that nobody would take pleasure in wasting the time of this administration. We are in a hurry, we are thirsty to perform, we want to support Mr President, we want to see Mr President achieve those legacies dreams that he has and we are going to work full course and full time to ensure that we give him the maximum support that he requires.” he said