The Chairman, Senate Committee on Information and National Orientation, Senator Suleiman Adokwe has advised Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to interact more with the National Assembly in the interest of a more harmonious relationship and conducive legislative environment for MDAs.
Senator Adokwe who gave the counsel when the Director General, National Orientation Agency (NOA), Garba Abari, paid him a courtesy visit at the National Assembly, commended the NOA for the initiative which he described as unique, considering the fact that most MDAs do not see the need to visit the Senate. He explained that the more the interaction between organs of government and the legislature, the more mutual understanding there would be and the smoother the wheels of progress will move.
He said “Even when the legislature invites MDAs to come and explain certain issues, they see it as a war… We are not enemies. We are supposed to be collaborators to deliver good governance and national development”. He therefore urged other MDAs to emulate the NOA by visiting the National Assembly to discuss legislative issues affecting them.
The senator also expressed hope that NOA will be well funded to enable if effectively discharge its mandate and especially communicate the “Change Begins with Me” social reorientation programme of government successfully to all Nigerians.
Earlier, Abari observed that the 2016 appropriations of NOA posed great challenges because of its overhead and capital content. He described NOA as a programme organization, hence the difficulty it faced following the low overhead and capital votes, adding that there is no aspect of our national life that does not require sensitization and NOA requires sufficient budgetary support to enable it discharge its mandate.
In another development, Abari has stressed the need for the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) to succeed in providing universal healthcare coverage for all Nigerians, describing healthcare as a very important aspect of the nation’s socio-economic development.
Receiving the NHIS Executive Secretary, Prof. Usman Yusuf in his office, the NOA Director General observed that good healthcare enhances the productivity of a people; hence the NHIS was key to the national development of Nigeria. As part of efforts to correct the widespread misinformation about the Health Insurance Scheme among Nigerians, Abari disclosed that NOA and NHIS will soon sign a Memorandum of Understanding to cement their partnership.
Prof. Usman Yusuf, on his part, was certain that the NHIS mandate to provide universal and affordable healthcare for all Nigerians requires the support of NOA to accomplish. “NHIS cannot successfully provide healthcare for all if it does not partner with NOA to reach Nigerians in the villages, hamlets and communities because NOA has the spread and the platforms to effectively mobilize Nigerians to participate in the scheme”, he said, urging NOA’s assistance in that regard.