Abuja, June 17, 2015 (NAN) The President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, has pledged the commitment of the 8th Senate to instil transparency by sealing all avenues of revenue leakages through government agencies.
Saraki made the pledge when a delegation of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), led by Mr Clement Nwankwo, paid him a courtesy visit in Abuja on Tuesday.
He said that the senate would also strengthen its oversight functions.
The senate president promised to end the era of quantum revenue leakages through income-generating government agencies like the NNPC, which was allowed to function without an operational budget.
“We are pushing for a more transparent National Assembly and engaging the participation of the civil society organisations in what we are going to do.
“I want to tell you that some of us have strong views that issues of budget must be transparent.
“Days are gone where agencies like the NNPC will be able to function without operational budget. We must move away from that.
“One of the key issues that we have now is the issue of revenue leakages because of lack of transparency, especially agencies that have bulk of revenue coming in.’’
Saraki pledged that the 8th Senate would focus on people-oriented bills and also revisit all the vital bills that could not scale through in the 7th Senate.
“You have raised a number of bills, one of which is the Electoral Act Amendment Bill, which is key to deepen the electoral process.
“More importantly is the Constitution Amendment, which was unfortunate that after all the work that was done, it could not be assented to.
“I can assure you that as soon as we resume, we will begin discussion on how to go about bringing it back to the floor, the same goes with the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB).
“As soon as we resume, we will find a way of fast tracking some of these people-oriented bills that are still left to be attended to.’’
The Senate president called on the CSOs to always cooperate with the National Assembly, adding that the parliamentarians were all elected to serve the people.
Earlier, the leader of the delegation, Nwankwo, had commended the successes recorded in the elections of the leadership of the Senate and that of the House of Representatives.
He solicited the support and partnership of the National Assembly, especially on revisiting some bills such as: People Living with Disability Bill; Electoral Acts (as amended) Bill, among others.
Nwankwo promised to work with the National Assembly “to evolve issue-based legislations, avoid unnecessary bickering and confrontation, with a view to advancing the nation’s democracy.’’ (NAN)