Don’t allow them steal our money, Gbajabiamila urges Reps Committees
The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila on Saturday urged all the Standing Committees to intensify oversight function by blocking all avenues being explored to siphon public funds by Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).
Hon. Gbajabiamila gave the charge during the closing remarks at the one-day retreat for House leadership and members at the unveiling of the updated Legislative Agenda.
While delivering the closing remarks, the Deputy Chief Whip, Hon. Nkiruka Onyejeocha, said: “In delivering contract with Nigerians, the Speaker had said that this is a contract with Nigerians. Of course, all of us know that what contracts means, it’s an agreement between two people and it’s binding. I’m saying here for the 9th Assembly this contract with Nigerians is sacrosanct. it’s non-negotiable and you know why it’s non-negotiable, it is because Nigerians elected all of us.
“They brought us here all the way from 360 constituencies, 36 states of this country, including FCT out of millions of Nigerians, 360 people are here deciding on their fates. And so that’s why the Speaker of the House of Representatives put this Committee together saying looking back after being in the hallowed chamber for the 5th time, that it is time to give back to Nigerians.
“That he has to think outside the box is not going to be normal and that is why whenever he’s presiding he sits down there to say yes they did it before but I’m doing it differently and I need to do it differently. And this is one of those different ways that he’s talking about contract with Nigerian people. And so in delivering on this contract, one thing is very clear that we must prove to be able to intervene in various ways including being proactive, not reactive.
“And if you go through this script you understand many people have said why do you need to allow people to do all they need to do without checking them and come back to investigate.
“So now moving forward, we will be proactive in tracking people and in stopping them before they steal our money. So in delivering this contract, Mr Speaker said I should urge that the Committees of the House and members of the Committees to work round the clock to track the funds that are being released to Agencies so that we don’t allow them steal and then we come back to investigate; meaning we should work hand-in-hand from the day of passing the budget to make sure that in post-COVID, we should be thinking outside the box and working harder than ever before.
“And he also said that in concluding this one-day retreat we should adopt all the submissions that have been made here today and that as a people, members of the House of Representatives, that our loyalty lies within us to obey the laws of the country, to work non within the limits of the law and to obey the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria which all of us have sworn to protect.
“And that is to be responsible to our people. Everybody that has been given responsibility should be able to do the responsibility. And he said that there’s no excuse for failure and that is why when he was concluding he said we have to do this contract because we do not have any option.
“There’s nothing else to do in Abuja, there’s nothing else to do in Abuja constituency, the only thing we have to do is representing our people and in representing our people, we must represent them with utmost good that we have.
“And that is also to say that we are not doing Nigerians any favour. So, do not think that by working hard you are doing anybody any favour; you are doing yourself favour because once you do well it reflects back to your family, it reflects back to your children and then we have a nation we can call ours and then we begin to be proud of being Nigerians.
“In conclusion, we are set as members of the House of Representatives, we are set as people who have been elected from our various constituencies, we are set as responsible Nigerians who have set ourselves aside and put ourselves forward to represent our people to improve on the milestones that have been achieved, to improve on the targets, to improve on the timelines and responsibilities of effective representation and fulfilment of the contracts with Nigerians,” the Deputy Chief Whip said.