Mark stressed that no amount of blackmail will deter the institution from carrying out its oversight functions. He, however, cautioned members of the public against compromising lawmakers in the discharge of their duties, stressing that the National Assembly will continue to clear itself in its strong determination to meet the expectations of the electorate.
Speaking at the National Assembly-Private Sector Forum organised by the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) in Lagos, the Senate president noted that allegation of corruption against the National Assembly was exaggerated.
According to him, “There are those who say that the National Assembly takes the bunch of the budget. This is very ridiculous. I know that what goes to the National Assembly is not more than 2.5% of the total budget. The National Assembly members are always accused of corruption but Nigerians ,to a large extent ,are responsible for this alleged corruption.
”If a businessman gives a bribe to a lawmaker, is it only the lawmaker that is corrupt? If the business man didn’t offer the bribe, the lawmaker will not accept. But the question remains: Why did he accept it? If our National Assembly members are found wanting, we will discipline them.
“We will clean our house to earn the respect of those that elected us into our respective offices. We will continue to clean our house and those who bring us to shame will get their punishment accordingly.”
Stressing that the legislature as an arm of government is on a steady growth and improving by each legislative day, Mark recalled that the level of rancour that characterized the legislative houses between 1999 and 2003 has been reduced.
“We would continue to improve on legislative business until we attain a level where the average Nigerian will be satisfied with our performance”, he said.