1. Distinguished colleagues, I welcome you all back to this hallowed Chamber after an eventful summer break. I trust the time spent proffering solutions and engaging with constituencies on the electoral options to guide the vision of the next four years has been time well spent. The previously scheduled September resumption date was shifted by two weeks to allow members participate in the primary elections of the various political parties, and to fulfil obligations in that regard.

2. Let me use this opportunity to congratulate all our colleagues that were successful in the primaries. For those that were not successful, there will be other opportunities. Don’t despair. Let us accept the outcome in good faith and focus on the months ahead.

3. With the party primaries done with, it is time to refocus attention to our legislative duties. Going forward, I want to appeal to us all to always remember our duty as the upper chamber of the legislature, and with that comes a lot of responsibility. The next six months of politicking must not be allowed to derail three years of highly productive legislative work already done. The record in this regard is very clear. We can now conclude work on some of the critical legislative proposals that are in their last stages of being passed. These are Bills that we expect will create employment for our teeming youths, give access to credit for start-ups and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), and Bills to reduce our infrastructural deficit and expand private sector participation in the insfracture market.

4. It is also time to revisit some of the critical Bills that have been withheld by the Executive. We cannot afford to allow some of these pieces of legislation to go by the way side, because they are critical to the delivery of good governance and democratic dividend to our people. Some of them hold the key to reducing the chronic poverty in the country and to provide the much needed opportunities for our people. These are very important Bills including the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill (PIGB), the Electoral Act Amendment Bill, and the Federal Competition Commission Bill.

5. Distinguished colleagues, poverty and disease still plague our people, and our constitutional duty is to continue to focus on these issues and to proffer solutions. We have been doing our best in setting legislative policy direction in this regard. It bears reminding that we have succeeded thus far by acting in bipartisan spirit and as Nigerian leaders first and foremost. I will therefore urge that as we resume today, we leave party politics at the door and act in unity, with our eyes firmly on the key objectives of providing good governance to our people, creating a country that our youths can be proud of and can see futures for themselves within it.

6.  On my part, let me reiterate the promise I made to you three years ago when I swore to the Constitution to act at all times with fairness, and to uphold the rule of law and the Constitution in all my actions as the leader of the Senate. I pledge to continue to uphold these tenets. I will continue to act with due regard to the bipartisan ethos at all times. You can continue to hold me to this. I also urge you to maintain the same tenet in our legislative affairs.  

7. The benchmark must be maintained, the high standards must be sustained, and we must cap our achievements with exemplary performance in the little time remaining. We cannot afford to slow down. We cannot fail in our objectives, because to do so would be to shatter the expectations of Nigerians who elected us as their representatives. We must not betray the people’s trust.

8. We have achieved so much in the last three years of this 8th Senate, and have outperformed every previous Senate in this democratic era. The tale of the tape is unmistakable. It has been three years of unprecedented legislative progress in this country, with 229 Bills passed and 155 public petitions cleared. I thank you all most sincerely for the unity of purpose that has made it possible for us to record these achievements.

9. As we go into the 2019 General Elections, and the political atmosphere inevitably becomes more fractious and heated, it is worth reminding ourselves of the need to keep our eyes on the prize. This means getting the job done.

10. I call on each and every one of us to work for unity in the Senate and to contribute individually and collectively towards ensuring that we finish strong. The judgement of history will swing on how well we deliver on our mandate as legislators. What we do here on behalf of the Nigerian people is what we will be judged by. The Nigerian people expect no less of us, they deserve no less.

11. I wish us all a highly successful session. God bless you all. God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.


Abubakar Bukola Saraki MBBS CON (pronunciationⓘ; born on 19 December 1962) is a Nigerian politician who served as the 13th president of the Nigerian Senate from 2015 to 2019.[1][2] He previously served as the governor of Kwara State from 2003 to 2011; and was elected to the Senate in 2011, under the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), representing the Kwara Central Senatorial District, and then re-elected in the 2015 general elections