June 10, 2009

Shekarau wants closer executive, legislature ties

Kano — Governor Ibrahim Shekarau has asked for closer ties between the executives and the legislatures in the country to stabilised the civil rule in the country.

Shekarau told the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr Dimeji Bankole, who was in Kano with 179 House members on retreat that such relationship would build confidence and strengthen the system for the collective benefit of all.

He revealed that the steps already in practice in Kano over the past six years had in no small way assisted the growth and development of the state, adding that his administration adopted all-inclusive arrangement irrespective of party affiliation.

Shekarau explained that the 40-man strong Kano Assembly was always in touch with the programme and details of the policy of his administration, pointing out they do meet with the legislature quarterly to identified grey areas in the interest of the state.

“There is hardly any member that is not aware of the programme and details of our  policy and what the executive is all about. Within every quarter, we meet minimally twice and dine together, discuss freely, we ask questions and they put questions across in terms of budget preparation,” Shekarau explained.

The Governor said the sizzling relationship between the two arms of government explained why the Assembly hardly spent 48 hours to approve his Appropriation Bill, stressing that they were part of the preparation before final presentation.

He reiterated that despite the closeness, his office had never interfered in the process of lawmaking, adding that the period meetings had removed the mutual suspicion that exists in some states of the federation.

“If we are to go with the spirit of working together, my  state Assembly did not spent up to 48 hours to approve my budget and for the purpose of allowing them to work, we do sometimes agree together to leave out some few areas for them to have a food to chew.

There was hardly anytime I sent a bill for amendment without sitting with them. We have the best of understanding,” Shekarau said.

Governor Shekarau further tasked the National Assembly to give priority attention to the plight of pensioners in the country, maintaining that his administration has committed over N15billion to pension and gratuity on assumption office 6 years ago.

He appealed to members to legislate on the mode of sourcing and payment of pension and gratuity to federal workers upon retirement, lamenting that the current situation where a retired civil servants has to apss through needle eyes is totally unacceptable.

In a speech earlier, the Speaker, Dimeji Sabur  Bankole pledged to be firm in the execution of their oversight functions.