Akpabio also assured that the National Assembly will conduct a thorough and meticulous review of the budget estimates.
The President of the Senate, Godswill Akpabio, has assured that the National Assembly will ensure that the 2024 budget reflects the principles of transparency, accountability and inclusiveness.
This is as he attributed the cordial relationship between the Executive and the 10th National Assembly to Ex-lawmakers holding positions in the Executive.
Akpabio made this remark in his welcome address during the 2024 budget presentation to a joint session of the National Assembly by President Bola Tinubu on Wednesday.
“Mr President this is your maiden trip to these Hallowed Chambers to deliver your maiden budgetary estimates as the President, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. This is a significant milestone in our nation’s journey towards progress and development. The presentation of the budgetary estimates sets the course for our nation’s fiscal policies and priorities for the coming year. It is an opportunity for us to deliberate, scrutinise, and collaborate in order to ensure that the budget aligns with the needs, hopes, and aspirations of our people.
“Therefore, the National Assembly bears a great responsibility in the task of reviewing and approving the budget. We fully understand the weight of this responsibility, and the impact our decisions will have on the lives and welfare of the Nigerian people. It is our duty to ensure that the budget reflects the principles of transparency, accountability and inclusiveness. Consequently, we will certainly conduct a thorough and meticulous review of the budget estimates.”
Speaking further, he added that with the election of President Bola Tinubu and Vice President Kashim Shettima in the 2023 elections, Nigeria accomplished a milestone in 24 years, which took 185 years for the United States to accomplish the same.
Akpabio continued by stating that the cordial ties between the executive and legislative arms of government are a result of the former lawmakers holding significant positions in the former.
He said “With former lawmakers running the executive, a cordial relationship between the two arms would not only be a must, but they will continue to walk hand in hand and see eye to eye.
“Mr President, the United States of America has started democracy for about 247 years. But it was only when it marked its 185th anniversary that it succeeded in producing two former Senators John F Kennedy and Lyndon B Johnson as president and vice president, respectively.
“But within 24 years of our democracy, we have achieved what took the United States of America 185 years to achieve,” Akpabio stated to a thunderous applause by lawmakers.
“Not only do we have two former Distinguished Senators serving as the President and Vice President of our dear country, we also have other alumni of this Assembly in positions of public trust: Secretary to the Federal Government, Senator George Akume; the Chief of Staff to the President, Rt Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, a former Speaker of the House of Representatives, and other Senators in the Cabinet.
“Mr. President, Distinguished and Honorable Members, maintaining a cordial relationship with the Executive Arm has always been a requirement of the law, but now, given that our Old Boys now run the Executive, a good relationship with the executive is a must.
“Never have we had so many bridges and connection points between these two arms of Government.
“So we will continue to walk hand in hand and see eye to eye with the Executive Arm, while ensuring that the principles of separation of powers, as well as checks and balances as enshrined in our Constitution are observed in the overriding public interest,” Akpabio added.