President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, has stated that the legislature is the most misunderstood arm of government.
He stated this in his remarks during plenary when a motion considered on International Day of Parliamentarism, sponsored by Senator Ifeanyi Ubah (YPP – Anambra South) was been brought forward.
According to the Senate President, the development poses a serious problem and lawmakers need to educate and enlighten the citizens on their roles and functions.
He said: “Here in Nigeria, like indeed anywhere else, democracy is largely defined by the presence of parliament, and parliamentarians are expected to undertake those three fundamental pillars of their mandate, that is representation, oversight and ensuring that we always legislate on good governance.
“It is important to mention and emphasize that this National Assembly will continue to undertake its oversight functions on the Executive arm of Government.
“Where we have issues, we should advice how those issues will be properly addressed because we want to see optimal performance in our government.
“Where we have to provide legislative interventions as quickly as possible, we should do so, because the purpose of any legislation is to improve on a situation.
“We should continue to do that, and in the process of oversight, we must be mindful of the fact that this one fundamental function of the legislature that we cannot afford to take very lightly. “This is to ensure that if we approve any funds, especially the annual budget and indeed any supplementary budget, we must follow through.
“We must track how expenditures are made, and the efficiency and prudence with which the projects are achieved.
“We have a challenge, we need to continue to educate and enlighten our citizens to know exactly what our functions are. The legislature is, without any argument, the most misunderstood arm of government that people vote for.
“It is our responsibility as a parliament to continue to enlighten the people that we represent on what is expected of us.”
Earlier, Senator Ubah in his motion noted that the International Day of Parliamentarism was established on June 30, 1889 by the United Nations General Assembly, and it is aimed at recognizing the role of parliaments in national plans and strategies.