President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, has said the National Assembly is working assiduously to bring change to Nigeria.
Lawan, who stated this at the weekend while addressing his constituents in Yobe state, assured party interests was played down in an effort to deliver dividends to citizens.
“The National Assembly is determined to bring change to Nigeria. We want to work as a team in the without recourse to our different political platforms.
“We have All Progressives Congress, Peoples Democratic Party, and Young Progressive Party, but we are working as a team and our goal is to do what will make Nigeria better.
“We don’t want to fight on partisan basis; it won’t help anyone. We are determined to work with the executive, because when we work together, Nigerians benefit better,” Lawan said.
He said the National Assembly has been working tirelessly to ensure the passage of the 2020 budget before the end of the year.
“Members stay in the complex up to midnight working on 2020 budget. We are determined to pass the 2020 budget before the end of the year by the Grace of God.
“We believe, it will bring better economic environment for our people when the budget implementation starts from January instead of June,”Lawan said.
Meanwhile, the minority caucus of the House of Representative, Ndudi Elumelu, yesterday, said although the National Assembly had resolved to pass the 2020 Appropriation Bill before the end of the year, it did not imply the N10.3 trillion budget would not be seriously interrogated.
Elumelu said it was important that details of the appropriation bill, especially the capital component, be seen to have met the yearning of Nigerians before passed into law.
“The opposition will take a critical look at all revenue projections from Value Added Tax (VAT) and other tax regimes so as to ensure equity and fairness as well as to guarantee that the masses are not overburdened.
“Details of the N2.46 trillion capital budget must be dissected and adjusted accordingly to ensure critical needs of Nigerians are adequately accommodated, as well as plug waste and eliminate budgetary corruption at every stage,” Elumelu said.
The minority leader frowned at reports of some House committees barring the media from covering their budget defence sessions.
He noted that budget defence sessions must be done in the open and transparently to ensure Nigerians are carried along in the processes leading to budgetary decisions in critical sectors.
Consequently, he charged opposition members in the various committees to ensure strict compliance with the democratic principles of transparency, accountability and prudence in budget process.
“Given the sorry state of our infrastructure, the opposition must ensure that the votes earmarked by Mr. President for the rehabilitation of roads, power infrastructure, health services, agriculture, water resources, education, among other critical sectors are thoroughly scrutinised to guarantee full implementation as well as reflect the federal character principle across board,” he said.