Seventh Assembly Laid Solid Foundation For Eighth Assembly –Mark | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Seventh Assembly Laid Solid Foundation For Eighth Assembly –Mark

Posted: Jun 4, 2015 at 5:44 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Ejikeme Omenazu, Lagos

David MarkTHE OUTGOING Senate President, David Mark, has said that Seventh Assembly has laid a solid foundation, upon which the Eight Assembly can build upon.

In his valedictory speech as the President of the Seventh Senate on Thursday June 4, 2015, Mark stated that despite the numerous achievements of the Upper Chamber, the legislature is yet to attain its goals.

Mark stated that he desired and worked for a National Assembly that would have its own radio and television stations, a specialist hospital and relocation of the National Institute of Legislative Studies at its permanent site, but added that these projects are ongoing.

Enumerating the achievements of the Seventh Senate, Mark stated: “Senate achieved some measure of success in the areas of the number of bills that were passed, motions moved, in our oversight functions and in our

legislative duties.

“Some landmark bills passed by this Senate include but not limited to; Pension Reform Act 2014, National Health Act, Same Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Act and the Terrorism (Prevention) Act. The 7th Senate confirmed a total number of 429 persons between 2011 and 2015.

“In addition, we received parliamentary delegations from Gambia, Benin Republic and China while over 27 delegations from the Senate attended international conferences and seminars. We also honoured invitations from

the Parliaments of Czech Republic and China.”

He said that in spite of the difficult political and economic climate within which we worked and despite its internal challenges, the 7th Senate ended with the conviction that “we represented our constituents and Nigerians with the most noble of

intentions and to the best of our abilities.

“I must confess that within the last four years, we matured politically. That was why when some Senators defected from one political party to the other, we still maintained one united Senate.

“Even though the political intrigues of the last four years sometimes slowed down important legislative business, they nevertheless enriched our democratic understanding and I consider them equally important to the democratic process.

“It is also important to note that we gave maximum support to NILS. I am happy that the institute has made remarkable progress in such a short time with its influence extending to other African countries.”

On the pending legislative business, Mark stressed, “We gave a nod to the clarion call for a National Conference, but the report unfortunately came very late.

“However, as much as we tried, we did not meet all the targets we set for ourselves.  For instance we were not able to pass the PIB and our constitutional amendment is stalled.”

Mark paid special tribute late Senators Gyang Daylop Dantung (Plateau), Pius Ehwerido (Delta), Dahiru Awaisu Kuta (Niger), Uche Chukwumerije (Abia) and Ahmed Zanna (Borno) who he called “our fallen colleagues” and “outstanding public servants and respected legislators whose commitment and strong values shone through everything they did.”

He also acknowledge the support of the outgoing Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, who he termed his brother and

colleague, and “an unflinching believer in the tenets of democracy and the centrality of the legislature in democratic governance. He has truly given commendable service to this Senate and the National Assembly.

“I offer a special thanks to Majority Leader, Sen. Victor Ndoma Egba (SAN), Sen. Bello Hayatu Gwarzo – Chief Whip; and all the Principal Officers – Sen. George Akume. Sen. Ahmed Abdul Ningi – Deputy Majority Leader, Sen. Ayoola Hosea Agboola – Deputy Chief Whip, Sen. Ganiyu Olanrewaju Solomon – Minority Whip, Sen. Ahmad Rufai Sani – Deputy Minority Leader, and Sen. Abu Ibrahim – Deputy Minority Whip.

“In a special way, I would like to appreciate all of you my distinguished colleagues and bosses.”

He acknowledged the tireless work of the Clerk’s Office which its professionalism was a credit to the Senate leadership, Alhaji Salisu

Maikasuwa and his Deputy, Ben Effeturi, as well as their entire team who oversee the Senate; the Clerks at-Table, Hansard reporters; who compile and process legislations and Clerks of the standing committees.

Mark also acknowledged the support and works of the National Assembly Service Commission, its Chairman, Adamu Fika, and his team, his personal staff, the Nigerian Guild of Editors, Chairman and Members of the Senate

Press Corps, among others.