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Senate will be more transparent in 2016 – Saraki

The Senate on Tuesday, said it would more transparent in its activities and discourage unnecessary travels by members and committees.

President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, stated this in an address to welcome the senators from the Christmas and New Year recess.

According to him, it is time for the senate to work in the interest of Nigerians.

“Our vision is to substantially enhance the economic wellbeing, liberty and safety of our people.

“It is my earnest hope that the period of recess has afforded us more opportunity to reflect on this enormous task as we now enter into the business end of delivering on our agenda.

“Distinguished colleagues, 2016 must be the year of transparency and delivery.

“We must demonstrate to the Nigerian people who put us in office that we are working in their interest to ensure a progressive and inclusive national development plan.

“The overarching objective of our agenda remains to work with the executive arm to find solution to economic stagnation, wastefulness, discrimination, unemployment, insecurity, corruption and impunity,” he said.

Saraki charged committees and members to sit up, attend meetings and carry out functions of oversight with more dexterity “but without spending so much”.

He said that the senate would remain resolute in its bid to curb all unnecessary expenditure, especially while carrying out its oversight function.

He recalled that before the end-of-year recess, Ad Hoc Committee on Constitutional Review was constituted, and therefore urged the committee to brace up to the assignment.

Saraki advised it to consolidate the various items that the 7th Senate had exhaustively considered and passed as key areas to concentrate upon.

“This, in my view, will ensure that the process is expedited and the cost reduced significantly in line with our fiscal consolidation objectives.

“In this regards, all unnecessary travels and tours should be eliminated,” he said.

He commended the gains made in the fight against insurgency in the North-East, while also expressing hope that such terror would never again be witnessed in Nigeria.

He urged the senators to carry out their functions without bias.

Saraki also called on Nigerians to support the senate by bringing to the attention of the legislature any issue that would better the lives of the people, including issues of corruption and impunity.

“With limited resources, we cannot afford wastages. We cannot do it alone, we need everyone’s cooperation, especially on information and we will play our part.

“It is on this balance of efficacy and accountability that I wish the Senate to be judged in 2016.

“A Senate in slumber cannot meet the aspirations of a restless nation; a Senate sealed from those whom it is accountable to cannot legitimately ask for their trust.

“2016 must be a year of transparency and delivery,” he said.

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