OUR RESPONSE TO THE NOT TOO YOUNG TO RUN STATEMENT

OUR RESPONSE TO THE NOT TOO YOUNG TO RUN STATEMENT

 

It has been brought to our attention that YIAGA have issued a statement in relation to the announcement made by the President of the Senate, Dr Abubakar Bukola Saraki, whilst addressing the PDP members and aspirants of the group.

 

The occasion was first in a series of Dialogues organised by the Not Too Young To Run along Party lines. The first one is for young PDP aspirants. The subsequent ones are designed for the APC and other parties.

 

It is true that the Not Too Young To Run leadership had no prior knowledge of the content of the Senate President’s remarks. However, the announcement by the Senate President that he intends to throw his hat into the ring to contest for the Presidency was made in good faith to young PDP aspirants, partly as a symbolic act of encouragement.

 

It was not the intent of the Senate President to put the group or its leadership in an invidious position. The Senate President appreciates the contribution of the group to the development of our democracy and will continue to work closely with young people across the country in order to make Nigeria a better place for all.

 

Signed:

 

Yusuph Olaniyonu 

Special Adviser (Media and Publicity) to Senate President

GOODWILL MESSAGE BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE, ON THE OCCASION OF THE INAUGURATION OF THE SENATE COMMITTEE ON NIGERIA-MOROCCO PARLIAMENTARY FRIENDSHIP GROUP.

GOODWILL MESSAGE BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA, HIS EXCELLENCY, SENATOR (DR.) ABUBAKAR BUKOLA SARAKI, ON THE OCCASION OF THE INAUGURATION OF THE SENATE COMMITTEE ON NIGERIA-MOROCCO PARLIAMENTARY FRIENDSHIP GROUP AT SENATE CONFERENCE ROOM 0.22, WEDNESDAY 4TH OCTOBER 2017.

 

Protocol,

1. I am highly delighted to deliver a goodwill message on the occasion of the inauguration of the Senate Committee on Nigeria-Morocco Parliamentary Friendship Group. I welcome all members to this important event.

 

2. Distinguished colleagues, Nigeria and Morocco are two of the greatest countries in the North-West African region. Our individual history, positions, importance as leaders in the continent, logically prompts us to combine efforts and economies for a sustainable development of the continent.

 

3. Following King Mohammed VI’s royal visit to President Muhamadu Buhari in December 2016, the two countries have enjoyed several bilateral trade and economic relations. The relationship has opened a gate way to very strategic partnerships especially with the pipeline and fertilizer agreements signed in Rabat in May 2017. These two agreements have continental scope and dimension as their success will be a major milestone for the region. The economic advantage of our unity is the gas pipeline project for which cooperation agreement has been signed.

 

4. The integration of Africa into the global energy equation has come to stay and Nigeria and morocco have a strategic role to play to economically link Africa to Europe and other consumer nations.

 

5. The multi-billion dollar OCP (Morocco) and FESPAN (Nigeria) agreement on the production of fertilizer will have an effect on the economy of the region as a whole. It will allow agricultural development which will creategreater prosperity, improve food security and eradicate hunger. It is expected that the public and private sectors of both countries would collaborate to leverage on the abundant opportunities to create sustainable economic growth in the region. I have no doubt in my mind that Nigeria and Morocco’s relationship is at all-time best, thus we must do everything possible to maintain and strengthen this unique cooperation.

 

6. Following my visit to the President of the House of Councilors in Rabat in the month of March this year, H.E. Mr. Hakim Benchamach and I discussed how to deepen parliamentary cooperation between Nigeria and Morocco in order to support our executive arm of governments. We came to the conclusion that setting up an effective parliamentary friendship group at the parliament of both countries is a good starting point. I am happy that we have kept this promise and moving towards the brighter side of our relationship. Another issue that came up during my visit to Rabat that is relevant to what we are doing here today, was the possibility of setting up an inter-continental forum of parliaments in Africa and Latin America through a joint parliamentary action within the framework of south-south cooperation. This committee can consider taking up such an agenda to discuss the pros and cons and the overall benefit to our people particularly in achieving our sustainable development agenda.

 

7. As an inter-parliamentary group I expect all members of the Nigeria-Morocco Parliamentary Friendship group to foster the development of friendship between our two countries and develop close relations and cooperation between our parliaments. Our role as parliamentarians is to formulate legislations that will build on the already blooming relationship between our countries and create ripple effects across the Africa. I want to urge you to put in your best, sacrifice time and always look for compromise to move our relationship forward.

 

8. This committee hereby stands inaugurated on this day the 4th October 2017.

 

9. I wish you successful deliberations and hope our visitors from the Moroccan parliament will relish the ambience of the Capital city of Abuja and its diverse mixture of Nigeria’s cultures.

 

10. Thank you and God Bless

God Bless the National Assembly

God Bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria

 

PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE

My interview with @MaupeO of Channels TV on the program Hard Copy

My interview with @MaupeO of Channels TV on the program Hard Copy, where I discussed about #OpenNASS, the fight against corruption led by President Mohammadu Buhari, Electronic Voting in National Assembly and need to strengthen institutions to sustain the fight against corruption.

Meningitis: Senate Urges Health Ministry to Make Vaccines Free

Meningitis: Senate Urges Health Ministry to Make Vaccines Free

• “We will provide ample funding for healthcare”, Saraki Says

On Tuesday, the Senate urged the Federal Ministry of Health and the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to make meningitis vaccinations free in public healthcare facilities across the country.

The resolution followed a motion titled: “Outbreak of Meningitis and the Urgent Need to Curb its Spread & Stop Further Deaths” sponsored by Senator Gbenga Ashafa and 16 other Senators.

The Senate noted  the outbreak of Cerebrospinal Meningitis in five States, while also stressing the need for an increase in the budget of the Federal Ministry of Health, in order to ensure that the Ministry and its parastatals are able to better fund healthcare-related activities in the country.

The Senators also resolved that meningitis vaccinations should be made free across the country, citing the need for agencies of the federal government to continue to collaborate with the World Health Organization and UNICEF to make the scarce inoculations against meningitis readily available.

Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, the Senate President, noted that with Lassa Fever, Cholera and Meningitis outbreak in parts of the country, there was a need for increased coordination and funding for regular and specialized healthcare in the 2017 budget.

He assured Nigerians that the Senate is prepared to promptly pass any supplemental appropriation request to combat disease outbreaks.

For more information, follow the Twitter updates from the Senate on @NGRSenate.

END

Signed:
Media Office of the Senate President

 

GOODWILL MESSAGE BY HIS EXCELLENCY, SENATOR (DR.) ABUBAKAR BUKOLA SARAKI, CON PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE, FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA AT THE 1ST NATIONAL CHEVENING ALUMNI LEADERSHIP SUMMIT

GOODWILL MESSAGE BY HIS EXCELLENCY, SENATOR (DR.) ABUBAKAR BUKOLA SARAKI, CON PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE, FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA AT THE 1ST NATIONAL CHEVENING ALUMNI LEADERSHIP SUMMIT

 

Protocols,

 

1. Your Excellency, distinguished alumni; let me start by thanking you for the honour of your invitation to me to say a few words at this illustrious gathering of some of the best minds in our country; the First Chevening Alumni Leadership Summit in Nigeria.

 

2. I understand that the Chevening scholarship is awarded annually to exceptional individuals who possess outstanding leadership potentials for them to pursue a one-year master’s degree in any university in the United Kingdom. The event this morning is therefore, to a very significant extent, a testimony to the outstanding success of this initiative by the British Government through the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. As a UK trained medical doctor myself, I can testify to the wonderful opportunities that the UK universities offer in both academic and professional development. I have no doubt therefore, that the Chevening Scholarship has contributed immensely to our country’s human capital development over the years and has further strengthened the historical ties between our both countries.

 

3. As I look around this room, I cannot but marvel at the fantastic array of intellect gathered here. However, I could also not help but wonder why in spite of the outstanding capabilities that all of you could bring to the table, we have not made the kind of progress we ought to have made as our country. I wonder why we have failed to tap into the enormous reserve of skills and leadership that abound within you all.

 

4. As we continue to grapple with the challenge of how best to manage our natural resources, here yet is another dimension. We must urgently begin to develop a system that puts our human assets to best use. We must urgently begin to create a system that enables us to put our best brains and minds in positions that they can contribute effectively to the development of our country. As we continue to struggle to find new solutions to the old problems that we face, people like you must be at the forefront, you must bring your expertise and experience to bear.

 

5. Our economy is in recession. For the first time in more than two decades, inflation is at a decade-high of close to 18%. Oil production is down and there is a severe foreign currency shortage; resulting in a slumping currency and subsequent job losses. The task before all of us, citizens and leadership alike, is enormous. Chevening Alumni in Nigeria must get involved in this quest for solutions to what has effectively become the greatest challenge of our time.

 

6. At the 8th Senate, we saw very early on that the major challenge before us was the economy. We are convinced that the only economy that can serve Nigeria at this point in our history is that which is inclusive and is able to protect the weakest among us. Our approach therefore is to create the legislative framework for inclusive economic prosperity to all our citizens. We believe that the kind of economy we must build as we face the grim prospect of a post-oil world; is that which is able to tap on the best of our human capital, the creative energy of our youth and the diverse resources of our land.

 

7. Even as we try to embrace this new thinking and solutions, we recognize the institutional challenges. This is why one of the first legislative initiatives we undertook as early as 6 months from resumption of office was to review all the laws that have made it difficult for people to do business in our country and frustrated investors willing to come into our economy. The assignment we undertook had the following components:

 

Review of the laws of the Federal Republic o Nigeria which relate to the business enabling environment to determine whether they were consistent with international best practices; how effective they were in providing a competitive environment for private sector enterprises to thrive; what specific aspects of the laws were impeding business growth; and the degree of transparency in their operation or whether they prevented arbitrary or perverse enforcement by public agencies;Review of current proposed legislation in the National Assembly that may impact on the Nigerian Business Environment;The identification of specific deficiencies in the legislative framework for business;Preparation of draft recommendations for consideration by the Roundtable on priority areas to be addressed in the national legislative agenda covering: existing acts which should be repealed or significantly amended; existing bills which should take priority at the National Assembly; and new legislation which should be brought to the National Assembly by the Federal Government.

 

 

8. Among the first set of bills that have emerged from the review are the Public Procurement Act Amendment bill; the Custom and Excise Bill; The Federal Competition Commission Bill; Federal Roads Authority Bill; The Ports and Harbour Reforms Bill; Securities and Investment Act (Amendment) Bill; Companies and Allied Matters Act (Amendment) Bill; National Transport Commission Bill; Independent Warehouse Regulatory Bill; National Roads Fund Bill; National Development Bank Bill and; Petroleum Industry Governance Bill. 40 of these bills have been passed in the Senate while 82 are nearing the end of their legislative cycle.

 

9. The 8th Senate is confident that these bills, once passed into law, would lay a solid legislative and policy foundation for the broad-based reforms that are so urgently needed to set our country on the path of inclusive economic growth.

 

10. In September 2016 when the National Bureau of Statistic declared us in a recession, the Senate upon reconvening carried out a debate to identify actions required. Prior to this, the Senate leadership with a few key private sector leaders to discuss the causes but more importantly, possible practical solutions. At the end if the debate, we came up with a 20-point agenda to assist the executive arm of government to hasten our exit from recession.

 

11. Even as we continue to work on these, I wholeheartedly invite you to work with us in productive partnership so that we can journey together in this difficult but necessary task to build the Nigeria that we all wish for, for us and for our children.

 

12. We are here today to explore “The Economic prosperity of Nigeria and the role of alumni in contributing to economic growth”. As we continue to partner with the private sector, we in the 8th Senate believe that you have a significant role to play in contributing to economic growth largely by engaging with us in government; either at the Executive or Legislative level. We have seen from our partnership with NESG, the benefits ad we believe that with the caliber of alumni here, more can be achieved. Let me reassure you that we remain focused on achieving economic prosperity for all Nigerians.

 

13. Your Excellency, distinguished scholars, ladies and gentlemen. I thank you once again for the honour of your invitation and I wish you fruitful deliberations.