By Mukwuzi Joseph
President of the Nigerian Senate, Ahmad Lawan, has warned that there could be anarchy if the Senate was scrapped as being clamoured by some citizens
Lawan stated this today Friday, November 20, while declaring open a retreat for top management staff of the National Assembly and National Assembly Service Commission in Abuja.
He described the Senate as a leveler which ensured that all parts of the country are equally represented unlike the House of Representatives where states with higher populations produce the highest number of lawmakers.
The Senate President also faulted the argument of those clamoring for the scrapping of the Senate because of the perceived jumbo pay being earned by the senators. He said the annual budget of the National Assembly is less than one percent of the nation’s 2021 budget.
In his words
”Without the National Assembly and the legislature across the country, what you have is not democracy anymore. So the value of the legislature and National Assembly to Nigerians is democracy. If you take out the legislature, it might not be a dictatorship but certainly not a democracy.
So when we always debate on jumbo pay and not the functions of the National Assembly – what we are able to do and what we are not able to do.
Ask for what you think we should be doing rather than saying close down the Senate or the National Assembly. Do you understand the implications of what would happen if we close the senate?
The Senate is a leveller because in the House of Representatives, population is major – that is why some states will have five, six members and others have up to 20. So if you say close down the Senate, there will be a day when people will cry foul.
In the Senate, what Kano produces is what Bayelsa will produce. Three senators in Kano and three senators in Bayelsa, so that stabilises the system.
In a budget of N13 trillion the National Assembly will get about N125bn to N128bn. That is less than 1 percent. So where is the remaining 99 percent.
I’m not here to defend the national assembly but I’m here to encourage the debate on what it means to us as country. If you don’t like the set of members in the ninth national assembly, change all of us in 2023. Get better people. Let’s support the system to function.”