Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki on Wednesday urged the media to collaborate with the upper chamber in its efforts aimed at pulling the nation’s economy out of recession.
Saraki, according to a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Sanni Onogu, made the call in Abuja, while presenting a keynote address at the 2016 Awards/Dinner for Senators and Journalists covering the Senate, organized by the Senate Press Corps.
While commending the awardees and organizers of the event, he urged the media to always ensure truth and objectivity in their reportage of events so as to adequately inform and educate the people about the activities of the parliament.
The Senate President stated that the 8th Senate has put adequate processes in place not only to ensure that the 2017 budget is passed in record time but to see a product and quality that Nigerians can be proud of.
“We will also continue to plead that there must be objectivity and truth in your reporting,” Saraki said. “We must also continue to educate our good people on the efforts we are making in the Senate.
“I believe that over the last few months a lot of work has been going on in the Senate showing that it is more business-like approach and I am confident that during the remaining period of our tenure, we will definitely lay a foundation that others after us will build on.
“I think at this particular time, let me use this opportunity because in the 8th Senate we keep on talking about the economy, economy, economy and I know that it is very tempting sometimes for the media to continue to focus on what will grab the headlines. I want to appeal to you to blend what is important for the people we represent with the ones that will grab headlines. Today what is important for the people we represent is how do we can get ourselves out of this recession.
“That might not in some cases grab the headlines. We will appreciate if you can work with us so that we can achieve this objective. It is our own view that we continue to address how we can improve the economy and we are confident that this time all the budget processes that we have put in place will ensure that we try as much as possible to ensure that the product and the quality is one that we will all be proud of.”
Saraki said the National Assembly is working to ensure that the 2017 budget is passed in record time and also implementable.
He added: “Some of the comments you might have heard today and you will hear during the budget process, are not comments that are against government. They are comments that will ensure that the product that we will deliver is a product that Nigerians will be proud of.
“I think we are all tired of having budget documents that at the end of the day, when it comes to implementation, they don’t mean anything. But when we all come together and put all our best efforts, we have something that we will be proud of.
“And it is also in this spirit that I am confident that this time around, we will also be able to pass the 2017 budget at the earliest time possible than we have seen in the last few years,” he said.
Some of the award categories and the recipients include: Parliamentary Media Award for Leadership – Senator Mohammed Ali Ndume; Lawmaking Facilitator of the Year Award – Sen Andy Uba; Senator of the Year Award – Senator Dino Melaye; Gender Rights Senator of the Year Award – Senator Abiodun Olujimi; Senate Committee Chairman of the Year Award – Senator Samuel Anyanwu; and Outstanding Grassroots Parliamentarian Award – Senator Kabiru Gaya.
Others are: Most Innovative Constituency Project of the Year Award – Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe; Apostle of Peace in the Senate Award – Senator Barnabas Gemade; Parliamentary Advocate for Infrastructural Development Award – Senate Olugbenga Ashafa; Parliamentary Leader of the Decade Award – Senator David Mark; and Parliamentary Bureaucrat of the Year Award – Mr. Olajide Owolabi Adelami.
Members of the Senate Press who also received recognition are: Mr. James Itodo – Senate Reporter of the Year (Radio); Mr. Summer Shagari Sambo – Senate Reporter of the Year (Television); Mr. Taiye Odewale – Senate Reporter of the Year (Print); Mr. Ismail Mudashir – Senate Investigative Journalist of the Year; Mr. Francis Ojo – Senate Photo-Journalist of the Year; Mr. David-West Okpoko (Senate Videographer of the Year and Mr. Aminu Martins Omoye – Most Active Press Corps Executive.