President Muhammadu Buhari has said that he would build a mutual working relationship with the 9th National Assembly.
The President, who spoke in Daura, Katsina State, on Monday, noted that such a relationship would smoothen governance and particularly improve the budgetary process in the country.
He added that one thing he hoped to achieve quickly with the next legislature was to return the budgetary process to the January-December fiscal cycle.
Nigeria now runs a near June-June budget cycle, owing to delays often caused by executive-legislature bickering.
The bickering often results from accusations of alleged budget padding and illegal insertions by both arms of government.
But on Monday, while meeting with some of his old school mates in his Daura country home, Buhari stated that he hoped to change the trend so that the execution of key projects could be speedily done.
The former school mates were those of the 1953 set of Katsina Middle School, Daura.
They were led by Senator Abba Ali, who said they visited Buhari to congratulate him on his re-election.
The President who was elated by the fact of the All Progressives Congress winning the majority seats in the 9th Senate, added that it was a plus for the government to improve on budget and budget performance.
He cited the case of the 2018 budget, which Buhari said was presented to the National Assembly on November 7, but was passed seven months after, causing implementation delays in the process.
The tenure of the 8th National Assembly will wind down fully on June 9, almost two weeks after Buhari’s second term would have been inaugurated on May 29.
Recall that the 8th Assembly had started on a shaky note over the perceived ‘wrong’ choice of its leadership, particularly the emergence of Senator Bukola Saraki as the Senate President.
The APC had programmed Senator Ahmed Lawan, the current Senate Leader, to become the president.
But Saraki, who was then a member of the APC, rallied support from the opposition Peoples Democratic Party to beat the APC to its game plan.
At the House of Representatives, the same scenario played out when Femi Gbajabiamila, the APC’s anointed candidate for the position of speaker, lost to the current occupant, Mr Yakubu Dogara.
Like Saraki, Dogara too teamed up with the PDP elements in the House to snatch the seat from a shocked Gbajabiamila.
From June 9, 2015 when the Assembly was inaugurated, the relationship between the Presidency and the National Assembly remained anything but cordial, as neither the President nor the ruling APC could effectively dictate decisions on both floors.
On Monday in Daura, Buhari promised that this time round, things would change for a positive relationship between both sides.