House of Representatives Leader Femi Gbajabiamila has pleaded with the citizenry to keep supporting President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration to rebuild the nation and the economy.
He said the President has laid a solid foundation for good governance during the first year of his tenure. Gbajabiamila admitted that Nigerians were passing through a difficult period as a result of 16 years’ mismanagement of the economy by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) administrations.
The House Leader said what the APC inherited from the former administration was beyond imagination, stressing that with patience and perseverance, “all will be well very soon”.
He spoke at a town hall meeting of his constituency (Surulere 1).
His words: “Things are very difficult in Nigeria today. Before our party – the All Progressives Congress (APC) – took over power in May 2015, we knew PDP had destroyed the economy. But what we were not sure of was the magnitude of the economic crimes. They had stolen and shared among themselves billions of dollars that could have been used to build infrastructure and add value to human life.
“The looting by the PDP was unprecedented and that is why the British Prime Minister, David Cameron, described Nigeria as ‘fantastically corrupt’. President Buhari has been working tirelessly to plug all the loopholes through which the PDP and their collaborators in the civil service siphon public funds to the detriment of common people.”
According to him, Buhari succeeded in achieving 80 per cent implementation of the 2015 budget prepared by his predecessor through shrewd management of scarce resources.
On fuel pump price increase, Gbajabiamila said: “Initially, I was opposed to it because it would compound the suffering of common Nigerians. But when I attended a meeting along with other principal officers of the National Assembly at the Presidential Villa where the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Mr. Ibe Kachikwu, laid bare the nation’s earnings from oil export and the amount spent on importation of fuel, then I was convinced that if we don’t deregulate, we won’t be able to pay salaries and government won’t be able to perform its statutory functions to the citizens.
“Members of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) have increased fuel pump price by 40 per cent since December, last year. Nigeria earns foreign exchange mainly from crude oil export. The price has slumped in the international market. The amount of dollars coming in has drastically reduced. The situation is very critical. The economic downturn is a global issue, not peculiar to Nigeria. Despite all this, Buhari has been able to turn around the country within one year.”
On his activities in the House, Gbajabiamila said he sponsored some bills in the last one year when the Eighth National Assembly came on board.
“I sponsored a bill that will make it a crime for an unlatched container to ply the roads; this I did following the tension at Ojuelegba when a trailer capsized and killed many people. The bill is awaiting third reading.
“I introduced a bill that will make it a crime for employers of labour to owe salaries; a bill to amend Immigration Act that will make it impossible for foreigners to take over jobs meant for Nigerians; the law has been amended.
“I co-sponsored Students Loan Bill seeking for the establishment of education bank that will offer loans to indigent students in tertiary institutions without interest,” he said.
Besides, the House Leader said he secured about 15 jobs for members of his constituency in the last one year.
“I facilitated the invitation of Mr. Ayodele Dada, the best graduate of the University of Lagos, for recognition and celebration on the floor of the House of Representatives.
“Even though Dada is from Ekiti State, he resides in Surulere, Lagos,” he said.
Lagos Central APC Senatorial Leader Prince Tajudeen Olusi hailed Gbajabiamila for his qualitative representation in the House.
He said his maturity and experience had helped him tremendously, such that he rose from floor member to Minority Leader and House Leader.
He noted that Gbajabiamila is serving his fourth term in the House because of his competence and loyalty to the party and pray that God would continue to provide him wisdom to deliver.
House of Representatives, members Jide Jimoh described Gbajabiamila as a dogged fighter and a good leader, who is highly committed to party ideals.
Party stalwarts at the briefing include Hon. S.S. Ajao, APC Chair, Surulere Local Government; Hakeem Dickson, former Chairman, Surulere Local Government; Alhaji Waziri Odia, former executive secretary, Surulere Local Government; the secretary, Mrs. Bamidele Hussain, Hon Jide Jimoh; Mrs. Bolanle Oke, who represented Sen. Oluremi Tinubu; former members of Lagos State Assembly, Hon Omowunmi Edet and Hon. Toun Adediran.
Others are: Adeseye Amigo, an engineer; Chief Chris Ekwilo, leader of Igbo APC in Lagos State; Alhaji Farouk Magaji, leader, Arewa Community, Surulere; Alhaja Latifat Gbajabiamila; Mrs. Sekete Dosunmu, market women leader, Surulere; Alhaji Tajudeen Ajide, Rasheed Shitta-Bey; Mr. Tajudeen Bakare; Mr. Anthony Macaulay, Mr. Kunle Oni and representative of Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN) Alhaji Suleiman Ajisakin.