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    Nigerians facing widespread hunger, says Saraki

    From Fred Itua, Abuja 

    senate President, Bukola Saraki, said, yesterday, that Nigerians are facing widespread hunger, insecurity and rising inflation.

    Saraki, who said this in his speech at the opening session of a retreat for the management staff of the National Assembly, in Lokoja, capital of Kogi State, added that the leadership of the bureaucracy of the apex legislative body in Nigeria must come up with solutions that will positively enhance the work of lawmakers at all times.

    He also said it has become critical for the management to up its game as the Eighth National Assembly strives to support the executive in birthing a well-developed and inclusive economy.

    “As we all know, this is a critical time for us as a nation.

    “We are going through difficult times, recession, security issues, widespread hunger, unemployment, incessant rises in inflation, dwindling opportunities.

    “The nation looks up to the National Assembly for direction and, to provide opportunities for our people, it has become apparent to us that it is no longer business as usual.

    “It is against this background that it is imperative that management is fit for the task ahead of us and lives up to its responsibilities – to deliver coherent, effective, and efficient support as we pursue our vision for the development of the Nigerian economy into one of the most diversified and very inclusive economies in Africa,” he said.

    Saraki thanked organisers of the retreat but noted that “the National Assembly was established not only as the highest law-making institution in the country but, more important, as the enabler of the executive, to provide for the welfare and security of our people. 

    “At no time in our history has the need for synergy of purpose and drive to embrace and give full effect to this obligation been more acute than now,” Saraki said, and added that “the present National Assembly is fully committed to this obligation and it is in you (management) that we will rely on to play our role effectively.”

    He further noted that the overarching goal of the current National Assembly “is to place the Nigerian economy on the path to sustainable growth, poverty elimination, economic opportunities, deal squarely with corruption and tackle injustices around us.”

    He added that “as legislators, we acknowledge that the achievements of this agenda is not possible without the co-operation of management. 

    “In a world of growing challenges and vulnerability, we cannot afford not to stand together. To work in isolation or let personal interests stand in the way of harnessing the many strengths in our structure would be doing dis-service to the people we serve. It is time to show that the National Assembly is ready to play its role as a primer of development and the watchdog for the sustenance of democracy.”

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