PRESS STATEMENT: Saraki: National Assembly Will Investigate Crisis in South-east

PRESS STATEMENT

September 18, 2017

 

Saraki: National Assembly Will Investigate Crisis in South-east

 

1. Following the clash between the military and members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), I hereby call for calm and restraint by all Nigerians so that we would all jointly find the right solution to the current problem rather than worsening the crisis.

 

2. Our brothers and sisters in the South-east, in particular, should continue to maintain peace and tranquility and go about their lawful business. This crisis will not benefit anybody but would only expose innocent people to unwarranted danger.

 

3. At this point, Nigerians outside the South-east who have worked to ensure that the crisis does not spread to other parts of the country deserve our commendation. I therefore call for continued efforts to sustain peace, unity and stability in all our communities so as to ensure that all residents, no matter their religion, tribe and creed remain protected and safe under the law.

 

4. It is also important that commentators and purveyors of information on all media platforms should be conscious of the need, at all times, to maintain the unity of the country. Therefore, they must refrain from circulating information that has the potential for aggravating the crisis. We should all realize, as individuals and as a collective, that Nigeria is all we have and it is in our individual and collective interests that we do not stoke the fire of crisis and fan the ember of discord through the message we are spreading. We must all protect and strengthen our country rather than contributing to her collapse and disintegration.

 

5. I also wish to state that the announcement of the proscription of the group known as Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) by Governors of the South-east states and the categorization of the group as a ‘terrorist organisation’ by the Nigerian military are unconstitutional and does not follow due process. Our laws make clear provisions for taking such actions and without the due process being followed, such declaration cannot have effect. I am sure the President will do the needful by initiating the right process. This will go a long way in demonstrating to the world at large that we are a country that operate by laid down process under every circumstance. So, those who have been hammering on this point should maintain their cool.

 

6. We must commend the military for their efforts in restoring peace to different parts of the country and sustaining the unity of the country. However, in the face of provocation, the military should allow themselves to be guided by their training which emphasizes respect for human rights, even in war. Also, giving the nature of this particular situation, the military has every reason to be hesitant in the use of force.

 

7. Also, it is my view that we should not over-stretch the military. We need to protect our military against dissipation of their fighting strength. And this means we need to strengthen the police and equip them with the capacity to deal with civil crisis. That is why we, in the National Assembly, are already reviewing the Police Act and also looking at the possibility of enabling other para-military agencies to help in curbing civil unrest and maintenance of law and order.

 

 

8. I want to also make it clear that the National Assembly intends to embark on a fact-finding investigation aimed at determining what actually happened during the period of the military exercise in the South-east. We want to be able to sift the facts from the fiction and determine who did what. It is quite clear that all the facts are not yet known. We assure Nigerians that there will be no cover up. We intend to lay the facts bare.

 

9. On a long term, we want to remind Nigerians that the reason for embarking on constitution review by the National Assembly was to enable us look into issues that are agitating the minds of Nigerians and creating tension among us. We have promised that the exercise would be continuous. We intend to keep that promise by further taking decisions that would strengthen and improve on our structures. The Eighth National Assembly, on resumption, will play its constitutional role by addressing all those issues that are agitating the minds of our people and over which they feel so strong. I appeal to all our people to always direct their grievances to the right channels.

 

10. Let me further reiterate the need for all leaders of thought – political, religious and traditional – to continue to engage with our people on the need to maintain peace and be our brothers’ keepers.

 

Signed

Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, CON

President of the Senate

September 18, 2017

 

Press Release: Saraki Seeks Full Registration of Births, Deaths, IDPs, Prisoners

Press Release 

September 14, 2017

 

Saraki Seeks Full Registration of Births, Deaths, IDPs, Prisoners

 

 

 

President of the Senate, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, has called for full registration of all births, deaths, Internally Displaced Persons and prisoners in the country.

 

Saraki represented by his wife, Toyin, stated this in his good will message at the launch of a book: “The Challenges of Criminal Justice Administration in Nigeria,” by the Rt. Hon. Dr. Ali Ahmad – Speaker of the Kwara State House of Assembly – in Abuja.

 

He stated that it has become necessary for every Nigerian to be accounted for and to formally investigate every that occurs during childbirth and appropriate sanctions meted were issues of negligence are established.

 

“Today, my call to action is that we must ensure every death and every birth is accounted for in Nigeria,” Saraki said. “We must ensure that every child that is born in our country is registered. And that every death is registered.

 

“We can and must as a matter of essential accountability investigate every death that occurs during childbirth formally and entrench a policy of culpability, and sanction, for every negligent preventable death.

 

“We must ensure that all displaced persons, whether adults or minors, in our country, and whether the reside in Internally Displaced Person (IDP) camps or are incarcerated within our penal systems and penitentiaries at the behest of our justice systems are registered, and are accounted for in our country.

 

“This needs to be enforced and implemented rapidly. As without birth and death registration and investigation, we cannot protect or provide for progress in our country, let alone deliver a demographic democratic dividend.

 

“Once we account for every birth and death, we will become a fairer and equal society, that delivers for good, for every citizen,” he said.

 

The President of the Senate commended the Hon. Ahmad on the launch while describing the book a veritable resource for law students, lecturers, legislators and members of the bar and bench.

 

END

 

Signed:

 

Media Office of the President of the Senate

 

Press Release : I want to leave behind a more effective, impactful Senate, Says Saraki

Press Release 

September 12, 2017

 

I want to leave behind a more effective, impactful Senate, Says Saraki

 

President of the Senate, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, has stated, ahead of the resumption of the Senate from its annual recess, that his focus since he assumed office as the presiding officer of the 8th Senate on the 9th of June 2015, has been to build an effective and efficient legislature that directly impacts the lives of all Nigerians.

 

In a statement signed by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Yusuph Olaniyonu, Saraki emphasized that the role of the legislature in a young democracy like Nigeria is often misconstrued, hence, it is necessary for the National Assembly to work towards positively influencing the lives of all Nigerians through its powers of lawmaking, oversight and advocacy.

 

“The President of the Senate is just first amongst equals,” Saraki said, “However, what always motivates me is that drive to leave this institution better than we met it. I always like to leave a place stronger than I met it, and more capable to deliver on its constitutional role and functions than how it was before I got there.

 

“The difference between democracy and dictatorship is parliament. This is why I tell people that it is not about who the Senate President, the President, or the Chief Justice of Nigeria is, we must always work to strengthen all our institutions.

 

“For example, in four years, I’m gone. Somebody else will be there, but the institution will always remain. If you have a weak parliament that is not effectively able to champion the needs of the people, you will have a weak democracy. However, because of myopic interests at times, some people do not see why we must protect the mandates and integrity of these institutions.

 

“When we decided to have a presidential system of governance, it was based on the fact that there must be checks and balances. When these safeguards are in place, it strengthens our democracy and promotes the sort of collaboration across the board that helps us meet the needs of Nigerians,” the President of the Senate said.

 

Saraki also emphasized that the 8th Senate will continue to remain committed to people-centered governance.

 

“Moving forward, we will continue to target laws and interventions that will have direct benefits to all Nigerians. We have started this with our economic priority bills, and we can see the impact with the uptick in banks now lending to more MSMEs. However we will not stop here.

 

“With the slight improvement in our economy, it now behoves on all of us, the executive and the legislature, to work towards ensuring that these improvements translate directly to the pockets of Nigerians and the rising cost of living across the country. We have a lot of work ahead of us,” he said.

 

END

 

Signed:

 

Yusuph Olaniyonu 

Special Adviser (Media and Publicity) to the President of the Senate

Press Release: Senate to Prioritize Passage of Occupational Safety Bill, Says Saraki

Press Release
September 9, 2017

Senate to Prioritize Passage of Occupational Safety Bill, Says Saraki

President of the Senate, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, has stated that the 8th Senate will give accelerated consideration to the Occupational Safety and Health Bill (SB. 200), once the National Assembly resumes from its annual recess later this month.

In a statement signed by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Yusuph Olaniyonu, the Senate President emphasized that with the nation’s focus on economic growth — through the greater participation of the private sector — it was necessary to update our laws to guarantee the safety and health of Nigerian workers in order to protect them from avoidable injuries at their places of work.

“The Occupational Safety Bill, which has undergone Second Reading and is currently making its way through the Committee on Employment, Labour and Productivity, will help to ensure that millions of Nigerian workers are protected in the event of injury.

“This Bill will also guarantee safe and healthy working conditions for Nigerian workers by putting in place a legal framework that will develop and promote occupational safety standards that define the exposure limits for chemicals, other biological and physical agents.

“This Senate takes the health and wellbeing of Nigerian workers very seriously. They are the back-bone and lifeblood of our nation’s economy. This is why this Bill sponsored by Senator Duro Faseyi, also ensures that employers provide preventive mechanisms and procedures that will limit accidents and injury at places of work.

“Furthermore, as much as we are pushing for the prevention of workplace hazards through this updated piece of legislation, we are also specifying a legislative framework that will ensure the compliance of all work places, employees and employers that will fall under this law,” Saraki said.

The President of the Senate also stated that the Occupational Safety and Health Bill, would cover both the formal and the informal sector, and repeal the Factories Act, by making comprehensive provisions for issues that relate to occupational safety and health in the workplace.

“Now more than ever, we need to end the largely unregulated practice of employers exposing hardworking Nigerians to dangerous and improper working conditions. The first step to achieving this objective is to update our laws to mitigate against the negatives that exist in many workplaces around the country. Doing this will safeguard Nigerian workers all over the country,” he said.

Signed

Yusuph Olaniyonu
Special Adviser (Media and Publicity) to the President of the Senate

Press Release: Saraki: New Collateral Registry, Credit Reporting Law, A Boost For MSMEs

Press Release

September 6, 2017

 

Saraki: New Collateral Registry, Credit Reporting Law,  A Boost For MSMEs

Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki has said the new legislations – Secured Transactions in Movable Assets Act and the Credit Reporting Act – passed by the National Assembly last June and immediately signed into law by then Acting President Yemi Osinbajo will support the growth of micro, small and medium sized enterprises (MSMEs) through increased bank lending and reduce bank exposure to loan defaults through pre-examination of credit worthiness for would be borrowers.

Under the law, potential borrowers can now register assets other than land and property as collateral to secure a loan.  Now, one can register his/her automobile or other worthy assets.  Securing financing through loans has long been a problem for Nigerian entrepreneurs.  Most MSME owners must rely on personal savings or loans from family and friends to launch their business ventures.  The new law, also known and the Collateral Registry Act, allows banks to increase lending to MSMEs, while not negatively impacting their balance sheets.

Saraki who hailed the passage and the opportunity for economic and MSME growth the new laws afford Nigerians stated that “this is a win-win situation for our economy and society”.  “The private sector, the Federal Government and the National Assembly worked together to create the enabling environment for MSMEs to grow, diversify the economy and increase employment.  We should all be proud of delivering a law that will allow many people to provide for their families and community.”

The Credit Reporting Act, allows credit information sharing between credit bureaux and those companies that lend money or extend credit for goods and services.  Under the Credit Reporting Act, companies will have access to the credit history to review whether there is a history of loan defaults or other financial blemishes.  This extra layer of protection will serve to reduce lending risks, while preserving credit services to borrowers with good credit histories.

“Combined, the new laws make good economic and business sense” stated Saraki.  “Already bank lending to MSMEs has increased and is expected to grow considerably for the remainder of the year and in 2018.”

Saraki further noted that “in both developed and developing economies small business growth is the engine of the economy and employment growth.  With a high unemployment in Nigeria, the growth and support for MSMEs is critical.”

“The National Assembly will also be looking to see what existing support programmes are working and can be created to help MSMEs’ owners to better understand the use of credit, management skills training, mentor relationships, marketing and how to pursue government procurement contracts,”  Saraki added.

 

END

 

Signed:

 

Media Office of the President of the Senate

 

 

 

 

Press Release: Senate Welcomes Improvement in Nation’s Economy

Press Release
September 5, 2017
 
Senate Welcomes Improvement in Nation’s Economy
The Eighth Senate, on Tuesday, applauded the report by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) that showed Nigeria’s economy finally staging a comeback.
In a statement signed by Senator Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi, its spokesperson and Chairman of the Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs, the Senate emphasized that it was truly commendable that after five consecutive quarters of contraction, the Nigerian economy grew by 0.55% in the second quarter of 2017.
Abdullahi also stated that the improved performance of the trade, manufacturing, agriculture and oil sectors, was an indication that with carefully aligned policy and legislative interventions, Nigeria’s economy could thrive beyond current forecasts and expectations.
“The Senate received Q2 NBS economic report with great excitement,” the Senate spokesperson said, “We are delighted that government’s response to the economic recession has began to yield tangible results.
“The public will recall that in the days following the announcement of the 2016 recession, the Senate initiated steps and tabled 21 recommendations that it submitted to the executive for immediate action. We also listed out economic priority Bills, many of which have now been passed, or at the final stage.
“We are also happy to note that many of the economic recommendations, specifically in the areas of retooling our agriculture and trade policies were adopted. This shows that the ‘all hands on deck’ approach was necessary from both branches on government”, he stated.
Abdullahi further noted that although the nation is now out of the recession, the Senate remains committed to seeing that the unemployment rate and high cost of living in the country is brought down.
“The rising unemployment in the country is an issue that is of much concern to all of us. Additionally, the rising cost of food prices and basic services in the country still affects millions of households. This is why we will continue to work on our laws, specifically in the areas of access to credit to promote more opportunities for small business owners; and opening up more sectors to private sector participation, so that there will be more competition in our markets — which will lead to lower prices.
“We will also continue to work with the executive to ensure that our policy and legislative objectives, specifically as they relate to the economy, are well-aligned,” the Senate spokesman said.
 
END
Signed
Senator Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi
Chairman, Senate Committee on Media and  Public Affairs

Press Release: Saraki Lauds Super Eagles Performance …Urges Them to Remain Focussed

Press Release
September 5, 2017

Saraki Lauds Super Eagles Performance
…Urges Them to Remain Focussed

President of the Senate, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki has commended the Super Eagles of Nigeria over their superlative performance in the ongoing World Cup qualifying series which has put them at a vantage position to qualify for the 2018 tournament.

Saraki in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Yusuph Olaniyonu, in Abuja lauded the Eagles for defeating the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon 4-0 at the weekend at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital and holding the Lions to a 1-1 draw in Yaoundé on Monday.

“You have proved your mettle in the last two matches and came tops in your group with 10 points,” Saraki said. “Your win over Cameroon on Friday and a draw with the same opponent on Monday brought great joy to us all.

“Your skillful display and sterling performance has raised the hopes that Nigeria will indeed join football nations across the world to compete for the 2018 World Cup. I believe that the dream of relaunching the country into the prestigious tournament and making a mark once again is attainable if you remain focused on the national goal.

“No doubt you have surmounted daunting challenges to advance to this stage in this highly competitive tournament. I must say above all, that your individual determination and zeal to excel have taken you thus far. I cannot but urge you to up your game as you meet your next opponents,” Saraki said.

The President of the Senate called on all Nigerians especially corporate organizations to continue to support the team with resources and prayers that will see them qualify and also make the nation proud in Russia.

END

Yusuph Olaniyonu
Special Adviser, Media and Publicity, to the President of the Senate

Press Release

 

August 31, 2017

 

Eid-El-Kabir: Saraki Seeks Rededication to Nation Building

 

President of the Senate, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, on Thursday, called on all Nigerians to rededicate themselves to the dreams and aspirations of building a strong, united, economically sound and politically stable country.

 

Saraki in a statement by his Special Adviser, Media and Publicity, Yusuph Olaniyonu, felicitated with Muslim faithful on the occasion of this year’s Eid- El-Kabir, while urging all Nigerians irrespective of religion to use the occasion to pray for the greater glory of the country.

 

He stated that the Muslim festival which falls on Jummat day (Friday)  is unique as it carries a dual promise that all prayers offered during the Eid and Jummat have a double assurance of bringing Allah’s blessing to Muslim faithful and their country.

 

“It is significant that the Eid-El-Kabir and Jummat will be celebrated in one day,” Saraki said. “This tells us that all prayers offered during this solemn day will no doubt command double mercies of Allah towards us all.”

 

He called on all Muslims to seek Allah’s grace for the peace, unity, security and economic development of the country.

 

He equally enjoined Nigerians to pray for the good health of President Muhammadu Buhari and God’s guidance for all persons in positions of authority – from the Presidency to the wards – as well as all those directing affairs in the  private sector of the economy.

 

“This is a time we must be our brothers’ keeper by sharing our worldly goods with them. This is a time we must pray for our leaders, especially President Muhammadu Buhari and all those saddled with the responsibilities of leadership at all levels in our country.

 

“With prayers, I have no doubt that God will inspire and guide our leaders to initiate and sustain policies and programmes that would guarantee peace, security, economic growth, political stability and social cohesion in our nation,” the President of the Senate stated.

 

Saraki said he has no doubt that this year would witness the strong rebound of the nation’s economy and that the positive effects will trickle down to individual homes and help citizens to realize their goals and aspirations.

 

“Therefore, I call on all our brothers and sisters, fellow Nigerians, to be law abiding and support the present administration in its bid to tackle the problems of insecurity, unemployment, corruption and underperforming economy. I wish all our Muslim brothers and sisters a peaceful, rewarding and blessed Eid-El-Kabir. May Allah accept our supplications”, he stated.

 

END

 

Signed

Yusuph Olaniyonu

Special Adviser (Media and Publicity) to the President of the Senate

 

 

Press Release:Saraki Off to Saudi Arabia for Hajj

Press Release

August 29, 2017

 

Saraki Off to Saudi Arabia for Hajj

 

President of the Senate, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, yesterday (Monday) night flew out of Abuja to Saudi Arabia to join the two million Muslim faithful gathered in the holy land for this year’s hajj.

 

In a statement by his Special Adviser (Media and Publicity), Yusuph Olaniyonu, the President of the Senate will spend the period of the pilgrimage to pray for the unity, stability and development of Nigeria as well as better health for the leader of the country, President Muhammadu Buhari.

 

He will also spend the period of the holy pilgrimage to pray for more success for the Eighth National Assembly in the execution of its Legislative Agenda which is aimed at helping to improve the standard of living of the citizenry and positively transform the national economy.

 

The President of the Senate is expected back early September when the Hajj rites would have been completed by pilgrims.

 

Signed

 

Yusuph Olaniyonu

Special Adviser (Media and Publicity) to the President of the Senate

 

 

Press Release: Saraki Mourns Ex-Senator Kanti Bello

Press Release

August 29, 2017

 

Saraki Mourns Ex-Senator Kanti Bello

 

President of the Senate, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki has expressed grief over the death of former Senate Chief Whip, Muhammad Kanti Bello, who passed away on Tuesday.

 

The deceased who served in the Senate for two terms represented Katsina North Senatorial District between 2003 and 2011 under the platform of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

 

In a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Yusuph Olaniyonu, Saraki described late Bello as an outspoken and courageous legislator, who was always guided by national interest and that of his community in discharging his legislative responsibilities.

 

“With the death of Senator Kanti Bello, the Senate and indeed the National Assembly has lost a reliable adviser whose wise counsel on national issues was always being sought by both the leadership and individual Senators.

 

“During his stay in the Senate, late Kanti Bello was known for his outspokenness, forthrightness and courage in telling truth to those in power without attaching any partisan, religious or tribal sentiments”, Saraki stated.

 

The President of the Senate, according to the statement believes that Senator Bello’s wise counsel, insight and forthrightness would be sorely missed by the Senate, his community and the entire country.

 

While sympathizing with the immediate family of the late Senator, his friends, constituents and the government and people of Katsina State, Saraki prayed that the Almighty Allah will grant him aljannah firdaus.

 

Signed

 

Yusuph Olaniyonu 

Special Adviser (Media and Publicity) to the President of the Senate