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NASS Leadership Tussle Part Of Democracy –French Envoy

Teddy Nwanunobi, Abuja

The French Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Denys Gaver, has described the ongoing leadership tussle at the National Assembly as part of democracy. Gaver, who was on a courtesy visit to the Senate President, Senator Abubakar Bukola Saraki, yesterday, also solicited for cooperation between the National Assembly and the President Muhammadu Buhari-led executive arm of government. While disclosing that the expectation of the international community on Nigeria is high, Gaver also called for cooperation between the private sector in Nigeria and its counterpart in France.

Saraki Say: • Minissterial Confirmation Will Be Quick

On security, Gaver revealed that France is encouraging her former colonies in West Africa to cooperate with Nigeria in the onslaught against the Boko Haram insurgency. In his remarks, Saraki gave assurance that there would be no delay in the confirmation of the ministerial nominees once the list is sent to the legislature by Buhari. Saraki said that it was to ensure that the suspension of Plenary does not disturb serious government business like the screening of ministers that he has continued to reiterate the fact that the Upper Chamber of the National Assembly would resume Plenary whenever there is any urgent matter of national importance.

“We are working, and we are ready to reconvene any time to attend to any national assignment, including the confirmation of President Muhammadu Buhari’s ministerial nominees,” he said. Saraki also pledged the cooperation of the National Assembly with the executive arm of government in accomplishing the programmes of the administration. He said that bills from the executive arm of government would be treated with dispatch, as part of efforts to support the President to effect the positive change expected from his administration by Nigerians.

The Senate President also informed the French delegation that the Senate has commenced work already with the setting up of the 18-man committee to formulate a realistic and progressive Legislative Agenda. Saraki added that the Legislative Agenda would address issues like poverty alleviation, law enforcement, national security, commercial disputes, eradication of corruption and investments in the petroleum sector.

He further added that the National Assembly will partner with the French National Assembly in the area of capacity building for legislators, strengthening the bilateral relations between the two countries and ensuring that more French investments flow into Nigeria. He specifically solicited the co-operation of the French government in tackling the security problems in the North-eastern part of Nigeria, particularly as Nigeria shares borders with French-speaking countries.

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