PRESIDENT MUHAMMADU BUHARI’S REMARKS DURING DINNER WITH THE MEMBERS OF NATIONAL ASSEMBLY TO MARK 2016 DEMOCRACY DAY AT THE STATE HOUSE CONFERENCE CENTRE ON MAY 30, 2016.
Let me welcome the President of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, their Deputies, and Leadership of the National Assembly the Distinguished Senators and Honourable Members of the House of Representatives, the Acting Clerk of National Assembly, the Senior Management Staff of the National Assembly, Party Leaders and all guests to this dinner.
This is first, to mark the 2016 Democracy Day, and further to appreciate the National Assembly Leadership, Membership and Management for the great work they have done in considering and approving as thought fit several Bills and measures submitted by the Executive and those bills originated by the legislatures, which have enabled the Government to function according to law.
Let me again appreciate the work of the National Assembly for the painstaking and consensual work they did with the Executive to deliver the 2016 Appropriation Act. It is on record that this is one rare occasion where the Appropriation Act was Assented to with the schedule i.e. the details. This is a good start in our journey of CHANGE.
I seize this opportunity to please draw attention to the under listed Bills which have been Submitted to the National Assembly and appeal for accelerated consideration and passage, namely: 1. Bills for Acts for domestication of agreements for avoidance of double taxation between Nigeria and South Korea, Spain and Sweden respectively. 2. Federal Capital Territory Appropriation Bill, 2016. 3. Money Laundering (Prevention & Prohibition) Bill 2016. 4. Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Bill, 2016. 5. Statutory Budget of the Niger – Delta Development Commission, 2016.
I am conscious that on June 9, 2016, the National Assembly will complete one Legislative year. May I appeal to you to consider and pass these submitted Bills, particularly the Statutory Budget of the Federal Capital Territory, the Niger – Delta Development Commission Budget and the budget of Statutory Corporations. These bodies cannot execute their Statutory mandate nor incur expenditure for the year unless their budgets are approved by the National Assembly.
I hereby re – state the commitment of this administration to observe the principles of Separation of Powers which defines and delineates the functions and powers of each arm of Government. Thus far we in the executive have restricted ourselves to our Constitutional roles.
Therefore I, as the President, and we as the Executive arm of Government will not interfere in the functions, functioning and process of the Legislature nor the Judiciary. In the same vein, I urge other arms of Government to please appraise and ensure that each action conceived and taken by it is in strict accord with its constitutionally limited powers.
I urge you as Legislators and the Legislature to take out time and communicate with your constituents and other Nigerians the policies of the Government which are based on Laws approved by the National Assembly.
I look forward to your one Legislative year on the 9th of June 2016. I send the same greetings to members of all the State Houses of Assembly in the country for completing the first Legislative year as we look forward to more active and engaging partnership.