The President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, in his New Year message urged Nigerians to seize the opportunities provided to take active part in the ongoing electoral process.
Lawan said the Electoral Act 2022 had ignited hope in the system and heightened expectation about the forthcoming general elections.
He said, “We appreciate and commend our citizens for having faith in our nation and for always supporting efforts at building a virile nation.
“The ninth National Assembly has been a very active participant in this process of nation building.
“At our inception in 2019, we set out a robust Legislative Agenda to advance our collective aspirations as a nation and make positive impacts in the lives of our people. A senate that works for Nigerians. We have remained unwavering in our commitment to the Agenda.”
Lawan noted that it is less than six months to the end of this Assembly.
The Senate President said, “First and foremost, we have enhanced stability in governance through productive cross-party collaboration with the other arms of government, particularly the Executive.
“This has yielded fruits in the unprecedented number of quality Bills passed by the National Assembly and duly signed into law by the President.
“Some of the most critical of such Bills that have been signed into law include the Deep Offshore and inland Basin Production Sharing Contract (amendment) Act, 2019, Companies and Allied Matters Act 2020, Nigeria Police Reform Act, 2020, Petroleum Industry Act, 2021, and Electoral Act, 2022, just to mention a few. These are critical legislative interventions relevant to the promotion of good governance in our dear nation.
“For instance, the Electoral Act (amendment) Bill 2022 has rekindled interest in political participation in our country and raised confidence in our electoral process. We passed this Bill early enough and with some innovations to guarantee better conduct of our elections especially beginning from the 2023 elections.”
He said the lawmakers were also able to reset the financial years to make the budget cycle stable and predictable.
Lawan noted, “This change has helped immensely in the implementation of projects and programmes, as well as in general performance of the national budgets. This is one legacy of the ninth National Assembly that we have sustained since 2019, as reflected again, in the passage of the 2023 Appropriation Bill on Wednesday, 28th December, 2022.
“I am immensely proud that the new Electoral Act has ignited fresh hope in the system and heightened expectations about the forthcoming general elections.
“In addition, we have provided every possible support to the Independent National Electoral Commission to successfully conduct credible polls and we will continue to do so until that goal is accomplished.
“The ninth National Assembly will keep providing the necessary legislative interventions for good governance till the end of its tenure in June, 2023. I urge all of us Nigerians to take active part in the electoral process, towards achieving our collective goal of good governance for national prosperity and unity.”
“I wish you all a happy and prosperous 2023,” he added.