December 16, 2018.
For Nigeria’s Senate President, Dr Olubukola Saraki, the prestigious leadership award presented to him on Saturday by the Association of Maritime Journalists of Nigeria (AMJON) was the tonic that would further spur him to defend the autonomy of the legislative arm of government.
He said he was proud to be associated with the struggle to deepen democracy in the nation by ensuring that the legislative arm of government performed its constitutional duty independently without hindrance.
The event was held at Badagry, Lagos State during the 2nd AMJON retreat for all maritime journalists in Nigeria.
Represented by Chief Kayode Odunaro, the Senior Legislative Aide to Senator Olamilekan Solomon Adeola of Lagos West, the senate president was full of praises for the association and maritime reporters.
He urged the media practitioners to change the negative narratives about the Nigerian maritime sector.
“Over the past few decades, Nigeria has been on the receiving end of several negative notions bandied around regarding the maritime sector which have undoubtedly hampered its development.
“Many of these have been based on preconceptions or reliance of past policies and processes which may have been ineffective at the time.
“The solution to changing this negative narrative is vest largely with objective journalism which can shed light on legislative, infrastructural and policy changes that will attract domestic and foreign investments in the maritime sector” he said.
Saraki noted that “with over 800 kilometers, the maritime sector has the potential to accelerate Nigeria’s economic development rate beyond its crude oil revenue earnings, and it is for this reason that we all must nurture and support its development and growth.”
He added that the 8th Senate was committed to independence of the legislative arm of government in order to strengthen the nation’s democracy.
“Many of you may agree with me that for Nigeria to achieve its best level, each ties of government, functions and administration, needs to be autonomous and empowered to carry out its mandate as per the
Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended.
“One cannot emphasise how crucial this doctrine is to our system of government and democratic journey. This is because with each arm of government possessing its own unique role to play, there is common responsibility of Nigerian people, as am indeed honoured to have been recognized for my clamour on this very issue” said the Senate President.