BEING REMARKS BY THE DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF THE 9TH SENATE, SENATOR OVIE OMO-AGEGE, CFR DURING THE VALEDICTORY SESSION OF THE 9TH SENATE ON SATURDAY, 10TH JUNE, 2023
Mr. President; Distinguished Colleagues:
I stand here today humbled again by God’s word that there is “… a time to every purpose under the heaven.” (Ecclesiastes 3:1) As the mandate of this 9th Senate expires, the essence of tenured legitimacy and functioning of parliament in our presidential system of government is once again reenacting itself as a major cornerstone of our constitutional democracy. So, having been privileged to serve our people with distinction and honour in this Senate, this is a solemn moment to thank God who, by His grace and mercies, has sustained us with life, good health and the patriotic spirit to help shape a better nation.
Mr. President, humbly, my legislative leadership journey started 8 years ago when I was first elected by my good people to this Senate during the 2015 general elections. Following my re-election in 2019, you graciously elected me as the Deputy President of this 9th Senate. I was not by any means the most endowed in this Chambers of co-equals, yet you chose me. It was all of divine grace, nothing else. I am forever grateful for this honour. Thank you indeed.
May I restate it here that my election as the Deputy President of this Senate is a rare privilege for which our good people, my beloved family and I are also eternally grateful to His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR for all he did for this honour to be bestowed on me by our Colleagues. My gratitude also extends to our great Party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) then under the leadership of my dear elder brother, His Excellency, Adams Oshiomhole; our Governors and other eminent leaders across party lines and all over the country who worked for my emergence as DSP. God bless you all.
Mr. President, I am convinced that the verdict of God and history on every human leadership is inescapable. So, I believe that every Distinguished Senator has a duty to serve with unqualified patriotism in the Senate as our nation’s foremost legislative institution. Patriots who are privileged to serve here owe posterity a duty to leave behind a legacy of purposeful, impactful and inspiring legislative leadership. This happens only when we ultimately pass batons full of records of sterling achievements as compass to those who, having earned the electoral mandate of our people, are constitutionally enabled to inherit the privilege to serve here too. For me, looking back, I cannot thank God enough for what he has done for our people using this ordinary Orhomuru-Orogun man as His channel.
Mr. President, I am satisfied in my conscience that despite the emergence of unique challenges during the life of this 9th Senate, including a global pandemic, we have nonetheless played our role creditably as partners-in-progress with the Executive and Judicial arms of government. Working calmly with patriotic zeal and sincerity of purpose as statesmen and women, we proactively returned our national budgeting to the January to December budget cycle and defied all odds to enact major, groundbreaking legislations, including –
(a) the Deep Offshore and Inland Basin Production Sharing Contract (Amendment) Act, 2019 to give legal effect to fiscal incentives received by companies operating in Nigeria’s Deep Offshore and Inland Basin under production sharing contracts with the Federal Government;
(b) the Finance Act, 2020 by which we rightly established greater transparency in the management of funds held in dormant accounts across our banking system and amended 17 provisions of extant laws, including tax laws;
(c) the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA), 2020 which is a major update of the legislative framework for business operations in our country after thirty (30) years of stagnation and unsustainable inefficiencies;
(d) the hitherto jinxed Petroleum Industry Act which is intended to transform the nation’s petroleum industry, but which, I must say, is still work-in-progress especially on vexed questions regarding inadequate provisions for funds required by our oil-bearing and host communities to help them deal with issues of historical and increasing environmental degradation; and
(e) the Electoral Act, 2022 which is full of commonsense innovations intended to foster greater democratic stability through credible elections.
Mr. President, each moving and soul-searching valedictory account of patriotic service rendered here today by our Distinguished Colleague testifies to the proper functioning of this 9th Senate. I sincerely thank our Colleagues for their patriotic service to this blessed country. I am grateful for their trust and unallowed support for our common agenda and historic achievements under your overall calm, humble and purposeful leadership as a true brother, friend, partner and leader.
Mr. President, I thank God specially for your election as my worthy senior partner in the critical business of leading this diverse Chamber of distinguished and accomplished leaders. Thank you for leading this Senate humbly and well with wisdom, hearing ears and a good heart. Your active knowledge and constant recognition that this is an institution of co-equals under the Constitution and respect for all our colleagues and their interests irrespective of partisan differences is a chief reason for all that we achieved seamlessly and peacefully. Thank you, Mr. President indeed for your friendship, camaraderie and leadership. I pray that the Almighty God abides with you and your dear family.
May the Almighty God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Senator Ovie Omo-Agege
Deputy President of the Senate
Saturday, 10th June, 2023,
National Assembly Complex, Abuja.