The Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, told Nigerians on Friday to vote out all the members of the ninth National Assembly in 2023 if they don’t like them or impressed with what they have done since their inauguration last year.
Lawan, who stated this at a retreat for top management of the National Assembly Service Commission and National Assembly in Abuja, challenged Nigerians to engage in a debate on what the federal lawmakers meant to them as a country and as a people.
He was reacting to constant talks about the lawmakers’ jumbo pay.
Lawan said: “What does the legislature mean to Nigerians? Can we debate properly what the functions of members of the National Assembly and indeed the legislature should be rather than be talking about jumbo pay?
“We should be looking for value for money. Without the National Assembly or the legislature across the country, we won’t have democracy anymore.”
The Senate president said it was important that Nigerians understood what the National Assembly or the legislature meant to them, adding that the N128 billion budgeted for the parliament was just one percent of N13.08 trillion proposed in the 2021 budget.
He added: “Instead of trying to see how N128 billion will be utilized by the National Assembly, what will be the outputs, and how useful they are to the Nigerian public, Nigerians only argue that the budget should be cut, it is too much.
“I’m not defending the National Assembly, but I’m here to encourage debate on what the National Assembly or the legislature means to us as a country and as people.
“If you don’t like the set of members of the ninth National Assembly, change all of us in 2023. Get better people but help support the system to function.”
He also called for an increase in the number of legislative aides in the country.
“I’m not advocating for more than necessary but what we have today is inadequate,” Lawan stated.
He assured Nigerians that the National Assembly would pass the 2021 budget by the middle of next month.
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