Lawmakers in the Green Chamber praise the performance of the Ninth House of Representatives, celebrate the press for his role in showcasing the activities of the legislators to the citizenry, which has contributed to “integrity in the mind of Nigerians about the NASS.”
Members of the Green Chamber have praised the performance of the Ninth House of Representatives and credited the same to the operational style of the leadership and the watchdog role of the media.
The lawmakers who are chairmen of key Committees of the House were unanimous in their verdict regarding the 9th Assembly, while speaking at the End-of-Year Get-Together and Award Ceremony organised by the House of Representatives Press Corps in Abuja.
Chairman of the House of Committee on Power, Rep. Magaji Da’u Aliyu, who was honoured with an award of the Most Impactful Power Committee Chairman of the House, attributed the uniqueness and the success of the 9th Assembly to the leadership quality and style of the Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila.
“This 9th Assembly is scandal-free, and we also wish to commend ourselves for that. I also wish to commend the Press Corps for keeping us on our toes and trying to make us do the correct things because if you know that there are people watching you, that would make you do the right thing. we would continue to work together,” he said.
The Lawmaker also expressed regret over the manner in which journalists are treated in Nigeria despite the importance of the work done by journalists. He stressed that everything possible must be done to ensure that journalists are happy and doing their work well.
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For the House Spokesman, Rep. Benjamin Kalu, who also received an award as the Most Outstanding Spokesman of the House, he lauded the Press Corps for its effort in strengthening democracy, adding that the Corps has given stability to the image of the National Assembly. He also said journalists were not getting what they deserved and more should be done to take care of them.
“There is this integrity in the mind of Nigerians about the NASS. The confidence level has gotten from where it was to where it is at the moment, not because of only what we did but also because of how you showcased what we are doing to the Nigerian people. People are beginning to understand that this fulcrum of democracy is actually playing a vital role in the advancement of our democracy,” he remarked.
“We have been believers of participatory democracy, where we bring the people to the centre stage and what my committee has done is to increase the level of interaction and engagement between the people and the parliament. We make ourselves available and accessible to journalists,” Kalu said.
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The Abia lawmaker who represents Bende Federal Constituency also lamented what he described as low appropriation for the National Assembly.
“The budget of the National Assembly is low. We cannot function as expected by the mandate of the constitution relying on that budget. People can criticize it the way they want. I have said it from the day I came to the National Assembly; you cannot get the efficiency that we want to drive the legislature by depending on the current budget as it is. I am hoping that we would push it forward to accommodate other responsibilities of ours,” Kalu said.
Chairman of the House Committee on Appropriation, Muktar Aliyu Betara, who received an award of Excellence as the ‘Champion of Legislative Reform’ said the Ninth National Assembly’s successes would not have been possible without the efforts of the Press.
According to him, “Journalists are considered to be judges of any society. They see it from an eagle-eye perspective and give good reportage for people to understand what is going on in society,” he said.