The President of the Senate, Dr Bukola Saraki, on Monday called on the management staff of the National Assembly (NASS) to embrace change and re-position the legislature for transparent and efficient service delivery.
Saraki made the call in his opening speech at a five-day Retreat for National Assembly top management personnel in Lokoja.
He said the call became necessary because time had come to draw a line between the old order and the change the country craved for.
The Senate President said it was time for the management to live up to its own responsibilities to deliver effective and efficient services in pursuit of good governance.
He, however, assured that it was no longer business as usual in the national assembly.
Saraki called for synergy between members of staff and legislators of the National Assembly to ensure efficient services.
“If we hope to provide an efficient National Assembly; if we intend to bring accountability and transparency to the National Assembly; we cannot do it without you.
“So, whatever we do as legislators of the National Assembly, distinguished ladies and gentlemen in this hall, you have a key role to play.
“At no time in history has the need for synergy, purpose and drive to embrace a full effect more rife than now. It is time for us to accept that change has come, not by words but by action.
“Nigerians expect more from us, and NASS is fully committed to meeting its obligations,” he said.
The Clerk of the National Assembly, Alhaji Mohammed Sani-Omolori, in his opening remarks said the retreat was to ensure effective synergy between the management and personnel of NASS.
He also said that retreat, with the theme “Repositioning the National Assembly for Effective Service Delivery”, was for the participants to brainstorm on a direction for the country’s legislature.
The clerk said it was also for the capacity building for the management staff, in view of the role expected of them in the dynamics of changing times.
“We must be adequately prepared to lead through the changes,’’ he said.
Sani-Omolori further said the retreat was to create an atmosphere of participatory inclusiveness in the service delivery by the participants and create concrete and positive attitudinal change for effective service.
The clerk reiterated the need to improve the general working condition of members of staff of the National Assembly and upgrade facilities for the overall effectiveness of the personnel in the discharge of their duties.
The Speaker, House of Representatives, Mr Yakubu Dogara, said training of the management personnel of NASS was paramount, in view of the position they occupied.
He was represented by the member representing Lokoja/Kogi/Koton-Karfe Federal Constituency in the House, Alhaji Buba Jubril.
Gov. Yahaya Bello of Kogi, in his remarks, stressed the need for the upscale of the capacity of the management staff of the National Assembly.
Bello, who described them as the engine room of NASS, however, urged the legislators to treat Kogi issues dispassionately in their legislative functions.