President of the Senate, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, on Friday, urged Clerks to the National Assembly and State Houses of Assembly, to live above board in order to strengthen the legislature and restore confidence in the institution.
Saraki who gave the charge in his remarks while declaring open the 9th Meeting of Clerks to National and State Houses of Assembly in Abuja, also reiterated that the strength of the nation’s democracy lies in the legislature.
He stated that for the legislature to live up to its mandate, its administrators and staff must be fearless, accountable and transparent.
He pledged that the leadership of the 8th National Assembly will continue to ensure that adequate funding is made available to train and build the capacity of staff.
Saraki, according to a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Sanni Onogu, in Abuja, said: “I strongly believe that the strength of democracy lies in the legislature, If we all agree with that, it then means that to strengthen our democracy as a country, we must strengthen the legislature.
“The question is: Where is the strength of the legislature? I strongly believe that that strength is not in us that are elected per se but more in you the administrators of the legislature.
“I have no doubt at all that we must strengthen your capacity. We must invest in you. We must invest in the administration. More importantly, the truth is it is a job that you must be fearless.
“It is not easy to look at a governor, the Honorable Speaker or the Senate President and tell them this is what you should do because if you don’t do this we cannot strengthen our democracy. The turnover of parliamentarians will always be high. It will take a long time. The only constant is you the administrators. So you must be fearless.,” he said.
He added that the present leadership of the National Assembly is committed to strengthen and reposition the legislature in the country.
“If we want to win the trust of Nigerians, we ourselves need to do the right thing. I believe that if we are going to be the custodian of our democracy, we must set standards for ourselves that we can be proud of.
“What you can expect from the Honorable Speaker and myself, is that we will do whatever we can to provide you that independence. I believe that we need to provide you more funding for training to ensure that you improve your capacity and by so doing we will strengthen the legislative arm of government.” Saraki stated.