By Musa Adamu
Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon Yakubu Dogara, has said there is no national challenge that Nigeria cannot overcome if the executive and legislature work together.
The Speaker also commended members of the National Assembly for displaying true leadership qualities, patriotism and a sense of national purpose by providing a peaceful environment for President Buhari to deliver his budget address amidst a hazy relationship between the two arms.
Dogara made these statements while delivering remarks at the occasion of the presentation of the 2018 Budget Estimates by President Muhammadu Buhari at the National Assembly.
He said the Constitution already makes it clear that the three arms of government must work hand in hand on any major national issue, adding that failure to do so would mean that progress suffers.
“This is the way we must go as our Constitutional Order is organsed in a way that deliberately denies any of the three arms the strength to go at it alone on any major national issue. Where that has happened, it’s progress that suffers. That reminds us of the adage that says, ‘If you want to go fast, go alone but if you want to go far, go together’.
“Examples abound on how fast but not far, the Executive have gone on some national issues where they have decided to go alone. There is no national challenge we cannot overcome if we work together.
“To our colleagues, members of the Senate and House of Representatives, I salute your patriotism and sense of national purpose in providing the peaceful enabling environment for Mr. President to deliver his Budget Address.
“The success of this event separates us as true Leaders who in the midst of a hazy Executive – Legislative relationship elected not to turn on ourselves but to turn to each other in the very interest of our constituents and national progress.”
He, however, acknowledged that the newly appointed Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. Boss Mustapha, who, in an unprecedented move, visited the leadership of both Houses of the National Assembly to canvass support for government policies and to strengthen the often strained Executive – Legislative relations.
Going further, he thanked the President for “competently and graciously fulfilling his constitutional obligation of presenting the estimates of receipts and expenditure proposed for the next financial year for the Federal Republic of Nigeria to the National Assembly”, the Vice President and his entire cabinet, particularly, the Hon. Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udoma O. Udoma and the Honourable Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun.
The Speaker also saluted all Heads of MDAS, Service Chiefs, leaders of political parties, most especially Chief John Oyegun, Chairman of the ruling Party, APC, captains of industry, and distinguished elder statesmen and personalities present at the event.
He also commended the Clerk to the National Assembly, Ataba Sani-Omolori, and the entire bureaucracy of the National Assembly and all those that provided support services including the Media, Security agencies and other unseen hands for their contribution to making the event a success.