BEVERLY HILLS, October 05, (THEWILL) – President Buhari has declared open a 2-day Joint Executive–Legislative Leadership Retreat at the State House Conference Centre in Abuja.
The retreat is also being attended by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Secretary to Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha and principal officers of the National Assembly.
The retreat is designed to promote a harmonious working relationship between the two arms of government. It underscores the desire to further cement ties between the executive and legislature after recent disagreements involving ministers and the legislators.
In a statement on Monday by Femi Adesina, Special Adviser to the President on Media & Publicity, the President called for support and synergy from the National Assembly in lifting 100million Nigerians from poverty in the next 10 years. According to him, the synergy is necessary to enable the government to easily realize development goals, and respond to changes in the economy faster like the COVID-19 that necessitated the review of the 2020 budget.
“There can only be one Government in a nation at a time and officials both elected and appointed in the Executive or Legislative arm must all be working for the peace, unity and development of our country. Similarly, I unveiled a (9) Nine-Point Priority Development Agenda of this administration aimed at improving the livelihood of Nigerians within the next three years. These include: building a thriving and sustainable economy; enhancing social inclusion and reducing poverty; enlarging agricultural output for food security and export and attaining energy sufficiency in power and petroleum products”, the President said.
Appreciating members of the ninth National Assembly for understanding, support and quick response to policy directions of the government, the President charged the populace to be patient with the government, advising that whenever there’s any legislation they have misgivings about, “they should engage the process for such laws in line with democratic processes.
Buhari said the collaboration enjoyed from the leadership of the National Assembly had made it easier for the government to set and realize development goals, and respond to changes in the economy faster like the Coronavirus pandemic that necessitated a review of the 2020 budget.
President Buhari told the legislators that the Federal Executive Council had already streamlined its priorities to nine areas of development, and ministers had been mandated to align their targets with the bigger picture of making life better for all Nigerians, urging the legislature to align its priorities as well.
“While all members of the Federal Executive Council have been given clear mandates and yearly targets towards achieving the set indicators and goals, I recognize the critical role of the National Assembly in helping to deliver this Agenda and the strategic goals set by this Government. We cannot do this alone without your support and collaboration. I am equally aware that both the Senate and the House of Representatives have adopted the new Legislative Agenda for the current Assembly. I must thank the Senate President and Rt. Honourable Speaker for the updated version of the Legislative Agenda of the 9th National Assembly. The urgent need for aligning the 9-Point priority Agenda and the Legislative Agenda of both the Senate and the House of Representatives cannot be over-emphasized. I will therefore suggest that a Technical Committee be established after this retreat to harmonise these critical and strategic documents to help improve synergy and coordination’’, the President said.
President Buhari said he had already inaugurated a National Steering Committee co-chaired by the Honourable Minister for Finance, Budget and National Planning and Mr Peterside Atedo with representation from the National Assembly to oversee the development of the Nigeria Agenda 2050 and Medium-Term National Development Plan (MTNDP) to succeed vision 20:2020 and the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) 2017-2020.
The President said the National Steering Committee will facilitate the linkage between policy-plans and budget in a manner that will help lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty within the next 10 years. “Similarly, I unveiled a (9) Nine-Point Priority Development Agenda of this administration aimed at improving the livelihood of Nigerians within the next three years. These include: building a thriving and sustainable economy; enhancing social inclusion and reducing poverty; enlarging agricultural output for food security and export and attaining energy sufficiency in power and petroleum products.
“Expand transport and other infrastructural development; expand business growth, entrepreneurship and industrialisation; expand access to quality education, affordable healthcare and productivity of Nigerians; build a system to fight corruption on a permanent basis, improve governance and create social cohesion and improve security for all’’, he added.