SAN FRANCISCO, June 12, (THEWILL) – President of the Senate, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, has insisted that lawmakers, especially the 8th Senate has made great impact since it was inaugurated three years ago.
In a statement issued from Saudi Arabia where he is on lesser hajj, Saraki acknowledged that the achievements of the Senate would not have been possible without the backing of Nigerians, who have played a more active role in the activities of the legislature since June 9, 2015.
“In three short but eventful years, we have definitely come a long way in this 8th Senate. We have worked assiduously and diligently to meet the demands of Nigerians and a changing economy that experienced a recession just a year after we assumed office,” he stated.
“In this time, we have passed 213 Bills, cleared 138 petitions submitted by the public. We are happy to say that this Senate is the most productive since 1999. It has surpassed the 5th Senate which with 129 bills in four years had the highest number of bills, as against the 6th Senate with 72 bills, and 128 passed by the 7th Senate.
“The number of petitions we have successfully treated to the satisfaction of Nigerians who filed them dwarfed those treated by the sixth and seventh Senate respectively.
“The present Senate has worked to grow our economy by passing Bills like the Companies and Allied Matters Act, the Secured Transactions in Movable Assets Act, the Credit Bureau Reporting Act and the Warehouse Receipts Bill, Nigerian Railways Authority Bill, National Transportation Commission Bill, which are aimed at providing significant reforms to our business environment and strengthening our lending legislative frameworks to allow SMEs to access capital.
“We are particularly glad that the impact of the Secured Transactions in Movable Assets Act and the Credit Bureau Reporting Act became apparent immediately after they were signed into law as they form the basis for which the World Bank upgraded the rating of Nigeria in its Annual Ease of Doing Business rating.
“We expect that when the new CAMA which we just passed becomes law, it will yield an even more significant results in helping small and medium scale entrepreneurs to access capital, grow and multiply.
“We have also passed Bills like the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit Bill, the Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters Bill, the Witness Protection Bill, the Whistleblower Protection Bill and the Federal Audit Service Commission Bill to support the fight against corruption.
“With the support of the Nigerian public, we were able to break the PIB jinx, by passing the Governance Component of the Petroleum Industry Bill, and now, we have successfully conducted the Public Hearing on the Administrative, Fiscal and Host Community Components of this Bill — taking it to its farthest stage since 1999.
“Also of note is our passage of the constitution amendment bills, some of which will change the landscape of governance in Nigeria. Some of the bills like the ‘Not Too Young to Run’ bill, the Financial Autonomy for Local Government Bill, Financial Autonomy for Houses of Assembly among others are aimed at improving governance and ensuring that government serves our people better.”
The Senate President added that the Senate was engaging with security agencies to ensure that all the necessary laws and funds needed to ensure the safety of lives and property in the country are put in place.
Saraki pledged that the Senate and the National Assembly will continue to be transparent, accountable and responsive even as the nation and its political office holders prepare for the 2019 elections.