By Olusola Adeoye
President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, has called for synergy between the National Assembly and State Houses of Assembly in the discharge of their statutory responsibilities to the people.
Lawan said the Assemblies at both state and national levels should continue to exchange ideas on how to support each other.
The Senate President made the call on Thursday while receiving in audience in his office Speakers of State Houses of Assembly who came on a courtesy visit.
“This kind of visit should be very often,” Lawan told his guests. “We should have more and deeper frequent engagements between the National Assembly and the State Houses of Assembly.
“We need to be talking. We need to be engaging ourselves because there are certain things that we have to do together especially the constitutional amendment in which National Assembly takes the lead but the State Houses of Assembly will continue to have to play their roles as well.
“So we should not wait to be thirsty before we dig a well. We should always be proactive,” Lawan said.
Lawan said there are certain legislations that require some domestication or replication at the state level because “even if we implement them at this (national) level and the states have not bought in to it, it is going to have very limited success.”
The Senate President also encouraged the speakers at the State Houses of Assembly to have cordial working relationship with their respective Executive without necessarily compromising their independence.
“If we have to take the lead in nation building or in building our states, we have to also understand that we have to work together as cordially as possible.
“We should work on relationship that is based on mutual respect for the Executive and the Legislature whether at the national level or at the state level.
“We should have a relationship that is characterized by consultations and partnerships. Once we are able to establish that relationship either at the state or national level, we benefit immensely.
“It does not help anyone when the relationship is largely characterized by rancour, animosity, suspicion and unwarranted fight between the two arms of government,” Lawan said.
The Senate President said his understanding of the relationship between the Executive and Legislature is that of interdependent.
Lawan said the two arms of government need each other and neither of them can do without the other.
“So without allowing yourselves to be subjugated, you still must ensure that you work together with the Executive arm of government in your states to produce legislations that will change the lives of the people,” Lawan said.
Responding to a request for the Senate President intervention with regards to the financial autonomy of the state legislature, Lawan assured them that he will approach the matter, on their behalf, through the Governors Forum.
Spokesman for the delegation, Hon. Sheriff Oborevwori who is the Speaker of Delta State House of Assembly expressed concerns that the state Executive is yet to give effect to the issue of the financial autonomy of the state legislature.
Oborevwori urged the Senate President to help them take the issue up with the President for possible issuance of executive order.
The Senate President however said the question of executive order would not be necessary because it is a constitutional matter which should be complied with by the state authorities.