During the presentation of the 2024 budget by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to the joint session of lawmakers at the National Assembly on Wednesday, November 29, the President of the Senate, Godswill Akpabio, highlighted a remarkable achievement. According to him, Nigeria has accomplished a feat in 24 years that took the United States 185 years to achieve.
Akpabio went on to emphasize the positive impact of having former Senators in key positions within the executive. He noted that this has contributed to a more robust and harmonious relationship between the two arms of government. In his view, the presence of ex-Senators in strategic roles ensures not only a necessary collaboration but a commitment to working hand in hand and maintaining a shared perspective between the executive and legislative branches.
Akpabio said: “Mr President, the United States of America has started democracy for about 247 years. But it was only when it marked its 185th anniversary that it succeeded in producing two former senators John F Kennedy and Lyndon B Johnson as president and vice president respectively.
“But within 24 years of our democracy, we have achieved what took the United States of America 185 years to achieve.
“Not only do we have two former Distinguished Senators serving as the President and Vice President of our dear country; we also have other alumni of this Assembly in positions of public trust: Secretary to the Federal Government, Senator George Akume; the Chief of Staff to the President, Rt Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, a former Speaker of the House of Representatives, and other Senators in the Cabinet.
“Mr. President, Distinguished and Honorable Members, maintaining a cordial relationship with the Executive Arm has always been a requirement of the law, but now, given that our Old Boys now run the Executive, a good relationship with the Executive is a must.
“Never have we had so many bridges and connection points between these two arms of Government.
“So we will continue to walk hand in hand and see eye to eye with the Executive Arm while ensuring that the principles of separation of powers, as well as checks and balances as enshrined in our Constitution are observed in the overriding public interest.”