Debate relevance of NASS to Nigerians, not funding, Lawan tells critics

President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan has challenged those critical of the National Assembly to a debate on the relevance of the Legislature to Nigerians rather than criticising the funding of the Assembly.


Lawan gave the challenge in Abuja on Friday, while declaring open a two-day retreat for top management staff of the National Assembly and National Assembly Service Commission.


Lawan said: “What does the National Assembly mean to Nigerians what does the legislature mean to Nigerians. “We need to understand what the National Assembly or what the Legislature is to Nigerians.”


Lawan called for a proper debate on what the functions of the National Assembly and Indeed the Legislature should be rather than talking about the jumbo pay. “Where is the jumbo pay? We should be looking for value for money.


“Without this National Assembly or the Legislature across the country, what we have is no democracy anymore.


“So, the value of the National Assembly or the Legislature to Nigeria is democracy. “We always debate on jumbo pay instead of what should be the functions and hold us responsible for what we are able to do and for what we are not able to do.


“Ask for what you think we should be doing rather than saying ‘close the Senate’ or ‘close the National Assembly.’ Do you understand the implication of this?


“You close the Senate, for example, not because I’m in the Senate but the Senate is a leveller. “Because in the House of Representatives, population is the major consideration and that’s why some States will have five or six members of the House and others will have more than 20.


“So if you say ‘close the Senate,’ you can be sure that there will be a day when people will cry foul of the tyranny of the majority. “But you come to the Senate, what Kano state produces in the Senate is what Bayelsa produces – three Senators in Kano and you have three Senators from Bayelsa.


“That gives everyone the advantage and the opportunity to be represented fully and properly and equally in the Senate.


“So that stabilises the system. That tells you that that representation in the Senate that provides equality of states is to work to ensure that every part of this country is fully represented and protected.”

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