President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, has advised the incoming 10th National Assembly to maintain a bi-partisan approach that prioritises the national interest amid its deliberations.
According to him, any approach to the contrary would thwart every attempt by the incoming parliament to achieve stability in governance and maintain a harmonious relationship with the executive that benefits the Nigerian people.
Lawan gave the advice, on Tuesday, during a farewell visit by the outgoing British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Catriona Laing, to his office at the National Assembly, Abuja.
Lawan, in his welcome address said, “I must take this opportunity to commend the members of the Ninth National Assembly – the Senate and House of Representatives – for doing a lot of work, and coming up with legislative interventions that have made so many segments of our lives better.
“We still have a lot of challenges like you mentioned, but I think the stability we have enjoyed in the National Assembly and the stability in the relationship between the National Assembly and the Executive arm of government has helped in making us better than previously.
“I believe that going forward, the 10th National Assembly can define how it wants to go, but I believe that there is always need for stability within the parliament itself; that is to say that there must be bipartisan approach to issues, that the national interest should define where and when to do what.
“I also feel the national interest should define the relationship between the National Assembly and Executive. If that is done, I think the ultimate beneficiaries will be the Nigerian people.
“That does not stop disagreements. There should be disagreements in the interest of the people, not any other sentiments or interests.”
The Senate President commended the outgoing UK Ambassador for her work with the Ninth Assembly in ensuring the passage of the Electoral Act 2022.
The outgoing British High Commissioner, Catriona Laing is succeeded by Richard Montgomery.
Lawan also sent goodwill messages to King Charles III and the UK Prime Minister, Rt. Hon. Rishi Sunak.
He assured that the Senate would, in the remaining two months of its lifespan, focus on legislative efforts needed to compliment those by the executive arm of government in ensuring improved security and a thriving economy for Nigerians.