Gbajabiamila Celebrates Lawan At 62, Describing Him As A Democrat

A file photo of the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan

 

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila, has felicitated with the President of the Senate, Sen. Ahmad Ibrahim Lawan, as he marks his 62nd birthday.

Gbajabiamila, in a congratulatory message, described the President of the Senate as a worthy partner and dependable ally in the task of nation-building.

He said Lawan has brought his wealth of experience to bear since his assumption of office as President of the Senate, being the most ranking member of the National Assembly to date, having served as a member of the Green Chamber between 1999 and 2007 before joining the Senate where he has been ever since.

The Speaker, who paid glowing tributes to the President of the Senate, said together, they have been working assiduously to give Nigeria and Nigerians legislation that would enable good governance in the country.

“I consider Distinguished Senator Ahmad Lawan, who is the President of the 9th Senate, a democrat and a patriotic Nigerian who believes in delivering good governance to the Nigerian people using the Legislature.

“I must say that the President of the Senate comes across as a very committed and dedicated lawmaker to the Nigerian project. In the past one and a half years, we have worked harmoniously to take the country forward.

“As you mark your 62nd birthday, I wish you God’s guidance and protection,” Gbajabiamila said.

Use Challenges Of 2020 To Work Towards A Better 2021, Gbajabiamila Tells Nigerians

Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila

 

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, has asked Nigerians to use the challenges of 2020 to work towards a better 2021.

In a New Year message by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Lanre Lasisi, the Speaker urged Nigerians to keep the hope alive in 2021.

He said Nigerians should use the experiences of the preceding year, 2020, which he described as very challenging, to work towards a better 2021.

The Speaker said he was optimistic that the year 2021 holds a lot of positives for Nigeria and Nigerians, hence the need for the citizens to remain positive.

Gbajabiamila also called for continuous unity and peaceful coexistence among Nigerians, saying “we have no other country than Nigeria; this is the only country we can call ours.”

“It is my hope and prayer that the year 2021 will be better than all the preceding years of our nation’s history.

“In this New Year, let’s remain resolute and determined in our nationhood. Yes, we may be going through challenges as a nation, but with our collective determination, we shall overcome,” Gbajabiamila said.

The Speaker also wished Nigerians a year full of prosperity.

Gbajabiamila Condoles With Families Of Islamic Scholar, Sheikh Lemu, Kwankwaso

A file photo of Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila.
A file photo of Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila.

 

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila has expressed his condolence to the Lemu family over the death of a renowned Islamic scholar, jurist and educationist, Sheikh Ahmed Lemu.

The Speaker said Sheikh Lemu, who passed away recently, led an exemplary life.

He said the life and time of Sheikh Lemu, a onetime Grand Khadi of Niger State, were full of service to humanity, noting that the late Sheikh was an embodiment of peace and unity.

Gbajabiamila said the late Sheikh Lemu would be remembered for his contributions to Islam as a religion and in the education sector not only in Niger State but also in the entire country.

Similarly, Gbajabiamila condoled the former Kano State governor, Rabiu Kwankwaso over the passing away of Alhaji Musa Saleh Kwankwaso, his father.

He said Alhaji Kwankwaso, who was the Makaman Karaye, lived a fulfilled life, saying it is painful for one to lose his father.

The Speaker sent his condolences to the Government and people of Niger State, especially members of the Lemu family, as well as Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso over the two separate losses.

He prayed Almighty Allah to grant the souls of Sheikh Lemu and Musa Kwankwaso eternal rest in Jannatul Firdaus.

Gbajabiamila Commends Lawmakers On Passage Of 2021 Budget

Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila

 

 

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, has commended the efforts of lawmakers in working to ensure that the country pulled through 2020, a year he described as trying and challenging.

In an address to wind down the activities of the House for the year during a special plenary convened on Monday in Abuja, the Speaker cited the coronavirus pandemic as a phenomenon that altered all calculations in 2020 and put the capacities of nations to whither the storm to test.

The session was convened to pass the 2021 Budget and close the activities of the House for the Christmas and New Year break.

In the case of Nigeria, Gbajabiamila recalled how the House responded quickly to the pandemic by not only initiating legislative interventions but also giving necessary backing to Executive proposals aimed at taming the deadly virus.

He cited the commitment of lawmakers to pass the 2021 budget of N13.5trillion to maintain the January-December budget cycle and make provisions for development, as one of such sacrifices.

“Today, we have passed the budget in the House of Representatives in good time to maintain the January to December budget cycle in line with the commitments we made when we resumed office.

“The January to December budget cycle is necessary to ensure effective implementation of our annual budgets to meet our nation’s development challenges. By our joint efforts and the grace of God, we will maintain this standard for every year we are in office, and leave a legacy for our successors to aspire to”, Gbajabiamila stated.

On the coronavirus pandemic in particular, the Speaker said much as it took all by surprise, the House acted swiftly to save lives, while members also made personal sacrifices.

Gbajabiamila explained, “Within the limits of our brutal realities, with our options limited by a scarcity of resources, by dilapidated infrastructure and outdated laws, we acted to slow the spread of the disease, to treat the sick, comfort the afflicted and provide for the most vulnerable of our nation’s citizens.

“The truth is, we have done better than many believed was possible, better than many nations, even the most advanced. Our economy has taken a big hit, but through a partnership with the private sector, the government has been able to prevent the nightmare scenarios that some predicted.

“Members of the House, together and individually, made financial contributions to support welfare provisions for citizens. There is virtually no constituency in the country that did not feel the impact of efforts by their representatives. I commend you all, and I thank you most sincerely.”

He recalled how the House, in an “unprecedented single-day session”, passed the Emergency Economic Stimulus Bill to provide targeted economic relief in response to the emerging threat.

Gbajabiamila noted that though the bill did not become law, it later became the foundation on which the government rolled out many relief packages to cushion the harsh effects of the pandemic on Nigerians.

He said, “That legislation never became law. Yet the bill’s specific objectives have been implemented through executive action to defer mortgages, remove duties on medical imports, provide salary relief and related financial support for Small and Medium Scale Enterprises in the country.”

The Speaker reeled out other major interventions by the House: “Despite an extraordinary torrent of misinformation and political mischief, the House moved forward with landmark legislation to reform our nation’s obsolete statutory framework for preventing and managing infectious diseases and pandemics so that we can be better prepared for the next time.

“We worked with the Executive to address medical doctors and healthcare workers’ welfare demands and resolve a labour dispute that would have resulted in strike actions and walkouts with devastating consequences for too many of our citizens, amid a raging and deadly pandemic.

“Because of the House of Representatives, “Hazard Allowance” became part of the medical and pandemic lexicon. The intervention by the House elevated the welfare of healthcare workers to a ministerial issue and saw to it that these hazard allowances were provided for and paid.”

He gave special recognition to health workers and all frontline personnel,who risked their lives so that the majority of Nigerians survived 2020.

Gbajabiamila did not forget to mention the convening of the
Conference of Speakers of African Parliaments, which he initiated as a broad collaboration to renegotiate the terms of the continent’s debts in order to free up much-needed resources for development.

He also spoke on insecurity, recalling the recent killings in Zarbamari and the abduction of young boys seeking to improve their lives through education in Kankara, saying that both scary scenarios were indications that the legislature and the executive would continue to collaborate to secure the citizenry.

While commending the efforts of the security agencies so far in tackling insecurity, Gbajabiamila promised that the House would provide more support in 2021.

“The 9th House of Representatives will continue to address the security challenges that threaten our country. We have initiated and will continue efforts to reform the statutory framework for police accountability through the Police Service Commission (Reform) Bill, which has passed second reading.

“We will continue to exercise our constitutional powers of oversight to demand more from the military and security services. Even as we make sure to provide the resources they need to train, equip and provide for the welfare of the men and women who bear arms on our nation’s behalf and in our name.

“The responsibility of undoing the damage of many years has fallen to us. We have a lot of work to do. We are each called to lead our nation towards the promised land, to restore the dignity of every man, woman and child who swears allegiance to our constitution and salutes our nation’s flag.

“We will improve Nigeria by building infrastructure that provides jobs, by protecting our people’s lives and property, and repairing the relationship between citizens and the state. This is what we must do to restore faith in Nigeria’s promise and prevent the risk of a destructive renegotiation of our nationhood”, he added.

At the session, the House passed N13.5trillion as the country’s budget for 2021.

The figure is up by N505bn from the original estimates of N13.08tn President Muhammadu Buhari laid before a joint session of the National Assembly on October 8.

The House approved $40 as the crude oil benchmark for the budget.

It approved N4.1tn for capital expenditure, N5.6tn for recurrent expenditure and N3.3tn for debt servicing.

The sum of N496bn was also approved for statutory transfers by lawmakers on Monday.

The House achieved the objective of keeping to the January-December budget cycle by passing the budget after spending slightly over two months at the legislature.

Newspaper Vendors Protest Killing Of Colleague By Gbajabiamila’s Aide

 

Newspaper vendors in Abuja have taken to streets to protest the killing of one of their colleagues, Ifeanyi Okereke Elechi.

Elechi was hit by a stray bullet from a security aide to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Honourable Femi Gbajabiamila, on Thursday evening.

The Speaker confirmed the incident in a statement released in the early hours of Friday.

 

Newspaper vendors on Novemebr 21, 2020, demand justice for their colleague who was shot by an aide to the Speaker of the House of Reps Femi Gbajabiamila on November 19, 2020. Photos: Sodiq Adelakun/Channels Television.

 

According to him, Elechi was shot by the stray bullet, which was only intended to disperse a crowd while he was exchanging pleasantries with the newspaper vendors on his was out of the National Assembly.

“A horrible incident has taken place. This evening as I left the national assembly, I stopped, as usual, to exchange pleasantries with the newspaper vendors at the corner,” he explained.

“Many of them have known me since I first moved to Abuja and it was a friendly exchange. Unfortunately, after the convoy set out in continuation of movement, unidentified men obstructed the convoy which got the attention of security men in the convoy who shot into the air to disperse them.”

Read Also: Gbajabiamila Confirms Death Of Vendor Shot By His Security Aide, Suspends Officer

The lawmaker narrated that some hours after they got to their destination, he was informed that the victim, identified as Ifeanyi had been hit by a stray bullet.

He said this was “contrary to an earlier report by men in the convoy that they applied their security discretion to shoot in the air.

“In the meantime; the officer who fired the fatal shot has been suspended from the convoy pending the conclusion of the investigation.”

While sending his condolences to the family of the deceased, the Speaker expressed distraught about the incident.


See more photos from the protests captured by Channels Television’s Sodiq Adelakun. 

 

Gbajabiamila Confirms Death Of Vendor Shot By His Security Aide, Suspends Officer

A file photo of Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila.
A file photo of Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila.

 

The Speaker of the House of Representative, Femi Gbajabiamila has confirmed the death of a newspaper vendor shot by one of his security aides on Thursday. 

Gbajabiamila who, in a series of tweets on his official handle in the early hours of Friday, narrated how the incident took place, explained that the vendor was hit by a stray bullet meant to disperse a crowd when he went to greet newspaper vendors while leaving the National Assembly.

“A horrible incident has taken place. This evening as I left the national assembly, I stopped, as usual, to exchange pleasantries with the newspaper vendors at the corner,” he explained.

“Many of them have known me since I first moved to Abuja and it was a friendly exchange. Unfortunately, after the convoy set out in continuation of movement, unidentified men obstructed the convoy which got the attention of security men in the convoy who shot into the air to disperse them.”

The Lagos lawmaker narrated that some hours after they got to their destination, he was informed that the victim, identified as Ifeanyi had been hit by a stray bullet.

He said this was “contrary to an earlier report by men in the convoy that they applied their security discretion to shoot in the air.

“In the meantime; the officer who fired the fatal shot has been suspended from the convoy pending the conclusion of the investigation.”

While sending his condolences to the family of the deceased, the Speaker expressed distraught about the incident.

“For one of them (vendors) to have been shot by my security detail is horrific and I cannot begin to imagine the grief and loss Ifeanyi’s family must feel on this sad day. No family should have to go through this,” he added.

“I have caused a report to be made to the local police station and an investigation has commenced. My value for human life and my respect for all people – irrespective of social-economic status – is what endeared me to these vendors and these are the reasons why I stop my convoy quite often to connect with them.”

 

Nigeria At 60: We Have Come A Long Way, Things Will Get Better – Gbajabiamila

 

 

The Speaker of the House of Representatives Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila has congratulated Nigerians for witnessing the country’s 60th Independence Anniversary.

Gbajabiamila said Nigeria has come a long way and has overcome many challenges in the past 60 years, noting that “things are going to get better.”

In a goodwill message to mark Nigeria’s 60th Independence Anniversary, the Speaker eulogised and paid glowing tributes to Nigeria’s heroes, who made sacrifices for the country to become what it is today.

Amidst myriad of challenges, Gbajabiamila said Nigerians are the ones that will save the country and help her to attain lofty heights.

“We all love our country Nigeria. Yet the truth is that our country has not always lived up to our expectations, and sometimes, it is hard not to be overcome by despair about the fact of where we are and the perils on the horizon. I want you to know that things are going to get better.

“I hold in my heart the abiding truth that there is nothing wrong with our country that cannot be fixed by what is right about our country – and there is nothing more righteous about Nigeria than its people.

“We are the ones who will save ourselves to attain the lofty heights of our national anthem and make for our children a nation where peace and justice reign.”

Saying that the tribulations faced in the past could have been enough to end the Nigerian project, Gbajabiamila said “Yet, here we are, still striving with determination and passion, to meet and exceed the lofty promises of our nationhood.

“Today, on our nation’s 60th Independence Anniversary, this is what we celebrate – our indomitable spirit, our collective determination to triumph against all the odds.

“We also celebrate our nation’s heroes; citizens of every tongue, tribe, and creed, who have stepped up to serve their communities, to help our country be better, to protect our land and keep us safe.

“We remember the men and women of our nation’s armed forces who are engaged in the various theatres of battle, defending our territory, and protecting our way of life. We remember their families at home. And we say thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

“We remember the warriors who have given their lives in service of the homeland – soldiers, doctors, and nurses – heroes all. From the going down of the sun and in the morning, we will remember them and their sacrifice, and honour their memory to the end of all eternity.

“We celebrate also, the ordinary heroes of our lives – parents who each day make enormous sacrifices to give their children a better life than they have had; public servants who do their duty with dedication and integrity; young people who are working hard to make our country better, using technology to design solutions that improve our lives by solving problems of healthcare access and financial inclusion, public infrastructure and access to quality education,” he said.

The Speaker said Nigeria is on a forward march to greatness and would not turn back, no matter the obstacles encountered.

Three Arms Of Govt Must Address Security Challenges Head-On, Says Gbajabiamila

A file photo of Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila.
A file photo of Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila.

 

 

The three arms of government must take all necessary actions to face and address the security challenges facing the country, the Speaker of the House of Representatives Femi Gbajabiamila has said.

He said this while declaring open a 2-day retreat and workshop on promoting effective legislation and oversight of the security sector in Nigeria organized by the House Committee on National Security and Intelligence in collaboration with the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS) foundation in Abuja on Thursday.

He said: “We are at this moment experiencing in many parts of our country, significant internal security challenges that have disrupted the lives of many of our citizens, and led to a loss of lives and property at a scale that cannot easily be quantified.

“These internal security challenges threaten the very existence of the Nigerian state because they undermine public faith in the government’s ability to fulfill its fundamental obligation to protect the lives and property of citizens.

“Across the three arms of government, we have a shared responsibility to take all necessary actions to meet these challenges head-on. This is what the people who elected us rightly expect.

“National security is generally understood to be the preserve of the executive arm of government. As a result, the general public and even the political class often do not know what the legislative role in national security is, or ought to be.

“This knowledge gap presents an ongoing limitation on the policy-making and oversight role of the legislature as it pertains specifically to the challenges we face in the national security sector. Workshops such as the one we have gathered here for today are an essential tool in reversing this gap,” the Speaker said.

Gbajabiamila said the retreat should be “an opportunity to critically assess the legislative role in ensuring a safe and secure country for our children.

“The realities of the moment require that we be willing to speak honest truths about the things we haven’t gotten right so that we can then focus our energies on making sure that we do better for the future.

“I encourage all of you to remember that a lot of the hopes we have for our country depend on our ability to guarantee the safety of our people and the security of property and investments. And from this remembrance, I hope we can find the motivation to do all that this moment requires of us.”

“Key followers of the House would notice that security has been a very important part of our work. It’s part of our legislative agenda. When I came in, I visited three key states affected by insecurity. I went to Katsina, Borno and Zamfara.”

“We now have in our process the means of alternative funding for the security agencies.

“I think we should have the roles of each security agency clearly defined. It’s important that we understand the separation.

“There’s no way you can have a government that thrives without security. Anything else relies on security. That’s why when this government came in, security was one of the legs,” the Speaker added.

In an address, the chairman of the House Committee on National Security and Intelligence, Rep. Sha’aban Sharada, said members of the committee were committed to seeing that all security agencies under them are provided with the necessary support to succeed in their mandate.

Saying the retreat could not have come at a better time than now due to the security challenges facing the country, Rep Sharada noted that the committee is currently working on a bill on proliferation of small and light arms as part of efforts to tackle insecurity.

He called on all security agencies to strengthen their efforts and that the citizens should give them the maximum support. He thanked the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung Nigeria for their support.

In a remark, the Resident Representative of KAS Nigeria, Dr Vladimir Kreck, said his organization has been partnering with different government institutions in Nigeria, including the House of Representatives, in the area of security to find lasting solutions to the challenges in the sector.

He said his organization’s partnership with the House of Representatives was very critical in addressing security challenges in the country, hoping that such would yield fruitful results in the end.

There were goodwill messages from the Governor of Zamfara State, Bello Mohammed Matawalle, who was the Chairman of the Committee in the 7th Assembly, and the Minister of FCT, Mohammed Musa Bello, both of whom were represented.

Gbajabiamila Visits Zaria, Describes Late Emir As Man Of Integrity

Femi Gbajabiamila, visits the Zazzau Emirate

 

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, on Tuesday visited the Zazzau Emirate where he commiserated with the Kaduna State Governor,  Nasir Ahmed El-Rufai and the family of the late Emir of Zazzau, Dr. Shehu Idris.

Gbajabiamila, who was received by the Secretary to the Government of Kaduna State, Balarabe Abbas Lawal, and some members of the Zazzau Emirate Council, said the late Emir was a man of integrity who dedicated himself to the service of his people.

The Speaker personally delivered separate condolence letters to the governor through the SSG and the emirate council through some senior emirate council members.

Noting that the demise of the late Emir was a great loss not just to the Emirate but also to the country as a whole, Gbajabiamila said the entire 360 members of the House were sad over the loss.

“The people of this great Emirate, let me say to you that you’re not alone on this loss. This is indeed a big loss to the people of the Emirate, the state and the country as a whole. I say a great loss because whenever you go to commiserate, you hear what a loss, what a loss, what a loss!

“But I say this with profound ‎seriousness because for those of us who have followed our late emir, who have come to know him, knew him for whom he was: a man of integrity, dedicated to the service of his people.

“I was here some time ago, late last year, in November, when we prayed and we sat, and it was like I had known him forever.

“Perhaps, one of the most impressive things for me was the way he pronounced my name with ease. It tells you the kind of person the late Dr Shehu Idris was,” he said.

The Speaker added that: “On behalf of myself and on behalf of every single member of the House of Representatives, on behalf of 360 of us, I pay this condolence visit in my personal capacity as one of his followers and in my capacity as the Speaker.

“They have sent me here to commiserate with you. We ask that the Almighty Allah will grant him Jannatul Firdaus, that He will forgive him his sins, and that his soul will rest in perfect peace.”

The Speaker was accompanied on the condolence visit by the House Leader, Rep. Alhassan Ado Doguwa, and some members of the House from Kaduna State.

Gbajabiamila Sympathises With Senator Wamakko, Describes Daughter’s Death As Painful

A file photo of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila.

 

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila has condoled with Senator Aliyu Wamakko over the demise of his daughter, Sadiya.

Gbajabiamila, who described the passing away of Sadiya as painful, said he shares in the grief of the Wamakko family.

In a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Lanre Lasisi, the Speaker prayed for the repose of the soul of Wamakko’s daughter.

“My heart and prayers go to the family of Distinguished Senator Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko.

“It is painful losing one’s daughter. I pray that Allah (SWT) will grant her soul Jannatul Firdaus and give the family the fortitude to bear this huge loss,” the Speaker said.

SERAP Files Suit Against Lawan, Gbajabiamila Over Failure To Publish Details Of Corruption Probes

SERAP Threatens To Sue UI, AAUA Over Increased Fees
A logo of the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP).

 

The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has filed a lawsuit against the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, and Speaker of House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila over their failure to publish reports of all completed public hearings and corruption probes by the National Assembly since 1999.

SERAP is also suing the duo for their failure to disclose the number of probes that have resulted in the indictment of suspects and to name such suspects.

In a statement on Sunday by the Deputy Director of the commission, Kolawole Oluwadare said that the suit followed recent public hearings by the National Assembly on corruption allegations in ministries, departments, and agencies, including the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), and Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF).

“Reports of several public hearings and corruption probes have remained secret, and the allegations unresolved”.

In the suit number FHC/ABJ/CS/1065/2020 filed last week at the Federal High Court, Abuja, SERAP is seeking: “an order of mandamus to direct and compel Dr. Lawal and Mr. Gbajabiamila to send all reports of completed public hearings and corruption probes to appropriate anti-corruption agencies to consider if there is sufficient admissible evidence to pursue prosecution.”

SERAP is also seeking: “an order for leave to apply for judicial review and an order of mandamus to direct and/or compel Dr. Lawal and Mr. Gbajabiamila to widely publish all reports of completed public hearings and corruption probes by the Senate and the House of Representatives, and to disclose the number and names of any indicted suspects since 1999.”

The commission is asking the court for “an order of mandamus to direct and compel Dr Lawal and Mr Gbajabiamila to sponsor a resolution to stop lawmakers from directly getting involved in the execution of projects by MDAs, and to ensure the proper and effective exercise of their oversight functions over corruption allegations including in the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF).”

The suit followed SERAP’s Freedom of Information (FoI) requests dated 25 July 2020, stating that: “The most effective way to deter corruption is to make the cost of engaging in these types of acts higher than the rewards. This end can only be accomplished by making public the reports and pursuing public accountability for corrupt acts.”

In the suit, SERAP is arguing that: “The court ought to compel Dr. Lawal and Mr. Gbajabiamila to publish the reports of hearings and probes and to send the reports to appropriate anti-corruption agencies for prosecution. Granting the reliefs sought would bolster public trust and confidence in the lawmakers’ oversight functions, and dispel the perception that many of the hearings and probes are politically motivated and serve a personal interest, rather than the general public interests”.

SERAP is further arguing that Nigerians have the right to information, as guaranteed under Section 39(1) of the Constitution of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), and Article 9 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, which the country has ratified and domesticated as part of its national laws.

The suit filed on behalf of SERAP by its lawyers Kolawole Oluwadare and Opeyemi Owolabi, read in part: “There is no legally justifiable reason why the information should not be made widely available to Nigerians, and why the prosecution of indicted suspects should not be pursued, where there is relevant admissible evidence.”

“Public officers are mere custodians of public records. There is a legitimate public interest in the publication of the reports of these public hearings and probes. The public hearings and probes can only serve as effective mechanisms to prevent and combat corruption if their reports are widely published.

“The exercise of oversight functions and powers by the National Assembly to conduct public hearings and corruption probes in MDAs should be regarded as a public trust. The National Assembly has a unique opportunity to enhance the integrity of its oversight functions on corruption matters in particular, and other constitutional roles, in general.

“Both the Senate and House of Representatives have over the years conducted several public hearings and corruption probes to expose the pervasive problem of corruption in MDAs. Publishing the reports and pursuing prosecution would give Nigerians greater confidence that their lawmakers can use their constitutional oversight functions to address corruption in Nigeria.

“Lack of transparency and accountability about the systemic and widespread corruption allegations in MDAs and among high-ranking public officials has continued to create a culture of impunity, and to have negative impacts on socio-economic development, as well as access of Nigerians to public goods and services, including quality education, adequate healthcare, clean water, and regular electricity supply.”

The commission however noted that no date has been fixed for the hearing of the suit.

Nigerian Business Group, Traders In Ghana Commend Gbajabiamila For Interfering In Dispute

Gbajabiamila Intervenes in Nigeria-Ghana dispute

 

The Nigeria-Ghana Business Council and the Nigeria Union of Traders Association Ghana (NUTAG) have commended the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila over his intervention in the trade disputes with the government of Ghana.

Members of the Nigeria-Ghana Business Council said through their President, Omoba Bambo Ademiluyi, that Gbajabiamila’s visit to Ghana has made a positive impact and paved the way for an amicable resolution to the trade dispute.

In a letter of appreciation and commendation dated September 5 and addressed to the Speaker, Mr. Ademiluyi said: “It is on record that your trip brought about the highest involvement of both governments in this dispute that has been on since 2007.

“Your proposals and presentations have given rise to two very vital solutions to the problem: 1. The review of the GIPC Act demanding a $1,000,000 deposit for foreign investors in Ghana as it concerns Nigerians. 2. The promotion of the Nigeria-Ghana Business Council backed by legislation to superintend on trade and business issues between the two countries.”

He said the formation of the business council as proposed by the Speaker was a welcome development.

“Our objectives and activities align with the proposal which is being introduced to superintend trade issues of the two countries.

“It is, therefore, our wish to express support for the formation of this council and request that we work with your team to see to a successful emergence of a government-backed Business Council.”

On their part, members of NUTAG said in another letter addressed to the Speaker dated September 6 that Gbajabiamila’s visit and engagement with the Ghanaian authorities were timely and the right step in the right direction.

In the letter, signed by the association’s President, Chukwuemeka Nnaji, the Nigerian traders urged the Speaker not to despair in ensuring that resolutions reached during the interface are implemented by all concerned parties.

The traders noted that Gbajabiamila’s intervention was a testimony that President Muhammadu Buhari and the government of Nigeria have the interest of Nigerians at home and abroad at heart.

The letter reads in part: “Your Excellency, please, allow me to seize this opportunity to thank you from the bottom of my heart on behalf of the Nigerian Union of Traders Association of Ghana (NUTAG), for your kind, responsible and timely intervention to quell the much travails we have been experiencing at the hands of Ghanaian authorities and our Ghanaian counterpart, Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA).

“Sir, the leadership of NUTAG and all Nigerian traders in Ghana, as well as other Nigerians living in Ghana, deeply appreciate your recent visit to Ghana in order to try and resolve the lingering trade impasse between Ghana and Nigeria; in unison, we hail this as the right step in the right direction.

“The move at once displays that the Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria led by His Excellency, President Muhammad Buhari has all Nigerian citizens very close at heart, both at home and abroad.

“We are indeed very grateful to you and the entire team who embarked on this journey, and we are optimistic that an end to our travails in Ghana is at hand.”

The president of the trade union, however, stated that a lot of Nigerian traders in Ghana are finding things difficult as their means of livelihood have been shut down.

The traders appealed to the Nigerian Government to engage with the Ghanaian Government to reopen the said shops pending an enduring solution to the impasse.