The Senate President, Ahmed Lawan, has said that the country can not properly function without the lawmakers.
Lawan stated that the legislative arm of government is so important that without it one cannot say that the country is democratic in its approach to issues.
The Senate president stated this on Friday while declaring open, a retreat for top management staff of the National Assembly and National Assembly Service Commission in Abuja.
Lawan, said that the Senate leveled all parts of the country because all states have the same number of representatives in the upper chamber as against the House of Representatives where states with higher populations produce the highest number of lawmakers.
He disagreed with those with the view that the Senate takes home a jumbo pay package, sayinf that the annual budget of the National Assembly is less than one per cent of the nation’s 2021 budget.
Lawan said, “Without the National Assembly and the legislature across the country, what you have is not democracy anymore.
“So the value of the legislature and National Assembly to Nigerians is democracy. If you take out the legislature, it might not be a dictatorship but certainly not a democracy.
“So when we always debate on jumbo pay and not the functions of the National Assembly – what we are able to do and what we are not able to do.
“Ask for what you think we should be doing rather than saying close down the Senate or the National Assembly. Do you understand the implications of what would happen if we close the senate? I am not saying because I am in the Senate.
“The Senate is a leveller because in the House of Representatives, population is major – that is why some states will have five, six members and others have up to 20.
“So if you say close down the Senate, there will be a day when people will cry foul.
” In the Senate, what Kano produces is what Bayelsa will produce. Three senators in Kano and three senators in Bayelsa, so that stabilises the system.
“In a budget of N13 trillion the National Assembly will get about N125bn to N128bn. That is less than 1 percent. So where is the remaining 99 percent.”