How Strong Is Senate To Implement Its Agenda?


The upper chamber of the National Assembly had on Thursday reeled out it agenda for the 9th Senate.

The agenda, which is the working document of the Senate, covers so many areas to include anti-corruption, judicial reform, electoral reform, regional development, unemployment, security, general public among others.

The Senate, in its agenda, which was adopted by the lawmakers, said that it will plug financial and systematic leakages, thus, strengthening the financial system; that has cost the nation enormous amount of resources that will otherwise be available for development.

It also said that it will remove the shortcomings and limitation embedded in the Public Procurement Act, 2007, which militates against efficient procurement processes in the country.

The upper chamber of the National Assembly said that it shall adopt a transparent and accountable system that offers full disclosure of its budget in terms of personal cost operational expenses and other expenditures.

The Senate, which said that it shall have the political will to adopt and implement its legislative agenda through constituting a special committee to monitor, evaluate and appraise the implementation of the agenda to the letter, added that it will deliver to the expectation of the people.

However, political analysts have questioned the will of the Senate to implement its agenda, pointing out that in the time past it was not able to do it because of what is involved, personal interest.

The analysts have also asked where the lawmakers would get the will power to display accountability in it budget implementation and also if the lawmakers would be bold enough to disclose their budget in terms of personal cost, operational expenses and other expenditures.

The question became imperative, according to a school of thought, that going by the feelers flying around that the Ahmad Lawan-led Senate would be a rubber stamp to the executive, where will it get the strength to display the boldness needed to overcome political gymnastic and walk the talk.

Even though Lawan had on several occasions said that his Senate would maintain its independence and would never be a rubber stamp, but the question is how strong is the Senate to execute its agenda?

Debating the agenda on Thursday, about 45 senators spoke for more than five hours on what should be done by the lawmakers to ensure that the nation is moved forward.

While some had criticized the government in areas where they think it can improve to move the nation forward, others merely begged the issues.

Even though the agenda is all about what the Senate would do in the next four years, but implementing some of the provisions would require the assistance of the executive. In the area of oversight functions, would the Senate be bold enough not to demand or reject financial advancement from civil servants in the Ministries, Agencies and Departments so as to close its eyes against the corruption perpetuated in these areas?

The Constitution empowers the lawmakers to make laws, pass bills, debate motions, make resolutions among others, but it takes the executive arm of government, specifically, the President to assent a Bill before it can become a law.

However, there is a provision in the Constitution, that also empowers the lawmakers to override the President through two third majority of both chambers, if the President refuses to assent to a Bill or do what is required of him.

But would the Senate be bold enough to challenge itself or the executive if it is found wanting? Nigerians are waiting patiently to see whether the 9th Senate can actually bark and bite.

The post How Strong Is Senate To Implement Its Agenda? appeared first on Independent Newspapers Nigeria.

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