President of the Senate, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, has said that the 8th Senate will work to improve trade relations and investment in the country by the Republic of Finland as part of its focus to improving the economy and ensure a better business environment in the country.
This is even as the Institute of Directors (IoD) Nigeria, on Wednesday conferred a “Distinguished Fellow Award” on Saraki in recognition if his “sound and purposeful leadership” of the upper chamber, according to a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Sanni Onogu, in Abuja.
Saraki who spoke while responding to remarks by the Finnish Ambassador to Nigeria, Pirjo Snomela Chawdhum, during her courtesy visit to the leadership of the Senate, said Nigeria and Finland need to collaborate more in terms of technology acquisition and transfer.
He commended the Finnish envoy for her mission which is to ensure better trade relations with Nigeria, and her passion for encouraging girls in the field of Information and Communication Technology (ICT).
“Any programme that can empower our youth (especially the girls) and enable them become self-reliant or to secure gainful employment will be supported by the Senate,” Saraki said. “It is good to hear that the Ambassador’s focus is to improve trade relations between both countries.
“This has been the focus of the Senate in working to improve our economy and to make the country business friendly for all investors and our international allies.”
Similarly, Saraki appreciated the leadership of the Institute of Directors for their efforts to improve on the nation’s corporate governance both in the public and private sectors of the economy.
He thanked the Institute for commending the good working relations that exist between both chambers of the National Assembly.
He told the Directors that the Senate is focusing largely on the economy to help it improve in the ease of doing business and ensuring that the nation’s business laws are in tandem with those of other modern societies.
“We have worked closely with the private sector and we will work with the Institute of Directors in the area of good corporate governance,” Saraki said
He pledged that the National Assembly under his watch will continue to work to strengthen the institution of the parliament being the youngest arm of government in the nation’s fledgling democracy.
“Overtime, we will all understand that it is when the parliament is strong that we can better safeguard democracy and really fight corruption,” he said.
He pledged that the Bill for the establishment of the Institute of Directors now before the National Assembly will be considered and passed by the legislature while urging the body to avail the lawmakers of suggestions that would further boost its corporate governance and make the country business friendly.
The Finnish Ambassador to Nigeria, Pirjo Snomela Chawdhum, said her main objective is to increase trade and investment relations between both countries even as encourages girls to take to the field of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) as her personal initiative.
On his part, the Managing Director of Nokia Networks in Nigeria, Richard Edet, who was on the entourage of the envoy noted that the company’s investment in Nigeria is getting better with its focus on human capital development.
In the same vein, the President/Chairman of Governing Council of the IoD, Alhaji Ahmed Rufai Mohammed, said one of the purpose of the visit was to formally present a plaque for the highest membership honour of “Distinguished Fellow Award” of the Institute it conferred on Saraki in 2016.
He noted that the 8th Senate, led by Saraki, “has continuously ensured that the sanctity of devolution of power is respected by speaking with one voice, irrespective of the political affiliation of Senators. This to us, is a manifestation of sound and purposeful leadership.”