My government has a firm belief in democracy - Buhari

My government has a firm belief in democracy - Buhari

- Nigeria's president has assured citizens of his commitment to democracy

- The president said his administration is working hard to entrench democracy in Nigeria

- According to President Buhari, a stronger and more cordial Executive-Legislative relationship must exist in the interest of the nation and the people

President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday, July 17, assured Nigerians of his believe in a democratic government. The president said his administration has firm belief in democracy for the sustenance of development in Nigeria, Vanguard reports.

Represented by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha at the National Assembly Open Week Organised by the National Assembly in collaboration with the National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies (NILDS), he said his administration is working hard to entrench democracy in Nigeria.

He said: “This programme could not have come at a better time than now as I believe that it will create the enabling environment for the legislature and key stakeholders to chart a course for the development of our country."

“This administration has a firm belief in democracy and is working towards entrenching good governance in the affairs of the nation.

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"Most developed countries have invested heavily in developing the infrastructure and institutions for good and open governance. It is the determination of this government to be in that league and to lay a foundation for its sustainability.

"I must also mention that government has noted the detailed response to the issues raised at the signing ceremony of the 2018 Appropriation Bill. The point to underscore firmly is that, a stronger and more cordial Executive-Legislative relationship must exist in the interest of the nation and the people that elected us into office. It must be a win-win situation for all Nigerians.

"The importance of oversight activities of the Legislature to ensure efficient, equitable and the judicious use of resources to bring about delivery of service by the Executive cannot be overemphasized.

"The Nigerian Constitution has clearly enshrined the principles of separation of powers. I wish to state that since my assumption in office in May 2015, I have maintained a position that favor and supports the true independence of the various arms of government, including National Assembly, perhaps, more than any administration in this country.

You are all aware of my open commitment to working with any set of leadership of the National Assembly that emerges, and I have remained true to it."

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He said such commitment is expected to take the nation beyond politics when dealing with the well-being of our citizens.

Also speaking, the Senate president, Bukola Saraki, said that the affairs of government must be carried out in a very transparent manner. He also said there is need for the executive and legislature to continue to work together through commitment by all for an effective collaboration.

“No doubt, with all of us working together in these and many other constructive ways, we would be seeing to the deepening of the Open NASS ideal, while at the same time contributing to the continued effective working together of the legislature and the executive arms of government, for the benefit of Nigerians.

It is popularly said about democracy that it is of the people, by the people and for the people. This can only be so if the people are provided with the information they need to more actively participate in governance. We recognise that it is our job as lawmakers to ensure that Nigerians are carried along in the law-making process," Saraki said.

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Meanwhile, previously reported that the president had informed the National assembly that the forthcoming 2019 election will cost N242.4 billion.

President Buhari in a letter to the Senate said implementing a budget of N9.12 trillion for 2018 will be extremely challenging.

He said such move does not consider it expedient to increase the 2018 budget to accommodate the funds needed for the 2019 General Elections.

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