By Henry Umoru
PRESIDENT of the Senate, Senator Ahmad Lawan said Monday that the legislative arm of government and the media are partners in progresss in the development and entrenchment of democratic dividends to the people.
Speaking yesterday in Abuja at the 2021 Award Ceremony organised by the Senate Press Corps, Lawan said that as one set of professionals working closely with them, he urge the media to be steadfast, “realizing that we are partners in progress, with a common commitment to fatherland.”
Lawan who was the Chairman of the occasion and got the Parliamentary Leadership for Good Governance and Budget Cycle Restoration Awards was presented the awards by the Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri who also bagged the Ambassador of the Senate Award.
Also honoured were Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, Delta State Governor, Senator Hope Uzodimma of Imo State, Senator Bala Mohammed of Bauchi State; Senate Chris Ngige; Senator George Akume, Senator Godswill Akpabio, Senator Hadi Sirika; Senator Gbemisola Saraki, Senator Olurunmibe Mamora, Senator Ita Enang, Senator Christopher Omoworare and Senator John Akpan Udo- Edehe who all got Ambassador of the Senate Award.
Others who got awards were Senate Minority Leader, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe; former Senate Leader, Senator Ali Ndume; Senators Matthew Urhoghide; Barau Jibrin; Ike Ekweremadu; Ajibola Basiru; Opeyemi Bamidele; Aisha Dahiru Ahmed; Olamilekan Adeola; Orji Uzor Kalu; Sahabi Ya’a; Kassim Shetima; Tanko Almakura; Ibikunle Amosun; Bassey Albert Akpan and Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State.
The President of the Senate said, “I am most pleased by your kind gesture in giving me two separate awards, the Parliamentary Leadership for Good Governance (PLGG), and Budget Cycle Restoration (BCR) Awards.
These honours are no doubt encouraging, considering the demanding nature of statecraft, despite a primary commitment to service.
“As journalists at the heart of reporting the legislature, you are surely in an excellent position to appreciate the enormity of our tasks, and how well we are doing, to deliver on our mandate.
“We therefore expect your judgements to be very qualified, which is why I am gladdened by the recognition, in addition to those extended to my colleagues.
While good governance is a work in progress, it requires a painstaking feedback process, to appreciate loopholes and for efforts towards blocking them.
“These loopholes can be evident through the need to carry our outstanding responsibilities, in fulfilling our mandate of legislation, appropriation and oversight, and in ensuring they lead to improved welfare of the people.
“This government has long made a commitment to good governance, by emphasizing the values of accountability, and transparency, to minimise or eliminate waste.
“The National Assembly has since keyed into this plan, in line with our legislative agenda, and compliant with our individual and collective desires to leave lasting legacies.
“We have resolved to continue on this noble path, not only for the present and the future generations, but to shore up our status in the comity of nations. We were early in showing our zeal through our attitude to work, resulting in the normalization of the Budget cycle, to fit into the January to December calendar year.
“The ninth Senate realised from the beginning that an unpredictable Budget sequence was unacceptable for a nation in dire need of development, and we had to correct the anomaly in accordance with the constitution.
The restoration of the budget cycle has resulted in increased predictability of our fiscal plans and should continue to boost local and foreign investor confidence.
“Our motivation is always the greater good of the people, despite the challenges of limited resources, and the outbreak of the Covid-19 Pandemic.
As one set of professionals working closely with us, I urge you to be steadfast, realizing that we are partners in progress, with a common commitment to fatherland. I thank you once more for the recognitions and be rest assured that my colleagues and I will continue to do our best in all circumstances.”