THE Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, said by passing 96 Bill and 72 petitions, the performance of the 8th Senate since its inauguration has eclipsed the highest ever in the history of the National Assembly.
Speaking in Abuja on Friday at a special session to mark the second anniversary of the Senate, which was inaugurated in June 2015, Saraki said that the closest record to what the 8th Senate had achieved was by the 5th Senate, which passed 65 bills and six petitions within the same period.
The elated Senate President said: “When we started, I knew that the 8th Senate was going to be significantly different and effective. I saw across the aisle, a passionate, energetic, and a set of leaders made of sterner stuff with a desire to make the difference.
“Though we inherited a legacy that created in some minds, cynicism and despondency, we were undeterred irrespective of an unending barrage of virulent attacks and unprovoked aggression.
“The 8th Senate marched on together, erasing records and setting new ones.”
According to him, the 8th Senate has led with courage and taken up more contentious national and legislative issues and successfully dealt with them.
He noted: “We committed ourselves to greater openness and accountability and many doubted our capacity to do as we preach.
“But, we have led from the frontline on the war against corruption, having passed several corruption-exposing resolutions that have saved our government billions of naira cumulatively.
“Today, in keeping with our pledge, the National Assembly has opened its line-by-line itemed-budget to the world, first in the history of the National Assembly.”
While congratulating the lawmakers for putting in the shift to ensure they realized the milestones, he said, “indeed, there have been many more. We have taken on the toughest Bills and challenges affecting our unity, the welfare and security of our people and the necessary platform for a greater Nigerian economy.
“From the Nigerian Railway Bill, the Public Procurement Act Amendment, the Nigerian Ports & Harbour Bill, the National Road Funds Bill to the National Transport Commission Bill, the National Inland Waterways Bill and the Federal Roads Bill.
“Others are the Competition and Consumer Protection Bill, the Investment & Securities Act Amendment, the Companies and Allied Matters Act Amendment, the Secure Transactions in Movable Assets Bill and the Independent Warehouse Regulatory Bill.
“They also include the Bankruptcy & Insolvency Act (Repeal & RE-enactment) Bill, the Electronic Transactions Bill and the Nigerian Postal Commission Bill.
“All of these and many more have been the highest compendium of economic reforms ever undertaken by any administration in the history of our country.
“We are taking it one after the other. We are laying the foundation for a new Nigerian economy to emerge, one that is empowering the private sector.”
On the issue of opening the lawmaking process, he said that the lawmakers had not been afraid to push the boundaries of convention.
According to him, that is why the 8th Senate can be credited to have initiated the first-ever National Assembly Joint Public Hearing on the Budget.
He also said that the 8th Senate broke the 12-year jinx on the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) by passing the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill (PIGB) that would reform the oil sector.