• PDP, LP hope to make significant impacts
• Banire, ruling party bicker

Five days to the scheduled July 22 local council elections in Lagos, the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) appears to be gradually resolving the challenges that emanated from its controversial February 27 council primaries.

Although, most of the chairmanship and councillorship candidates of the APC started their campaign behind schedule, the party has however placed the setback caused by the primaries behind as it moves around the nook and cranny of the state soliciting for support of the electorate.

During the weekend, the lawmaker representing Lagos East senatorial district on the platform of APC, Senator Gbenga Ashafa led a grassroots campaign to solicit support for the party’s candidates across the district during the 18th Gbenga Ashafa Town Hall meeting. Read the rest of this entry »

Estate surveyors offer solutions

The House of Representatives yesterday set up an ad-hoc committee to investigate the recent flooding in Lagos and Niger states. Consequent upon a motion by Abubakar Lado (APC, Niger), the special committee is to meet with relevant government ministries and agencies with a view to avoiding a recurrence.

Lado was specific on the flooding in Suleja and urged members to observe a minute silence for the 40 persons who lost their lives in the incident.He further claimed that about 400 houses were destroyed in the process.

Lado said there was need for the House Committees on Special Duties and Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) to pay an urgent visit to Suleja for an on-the-spot assessment. Read the rest of this entry »

The leader of the House of Representatives, Mr Femi Gbajabiamila (Lagos-APC), on Wednesday, said a Bill proposing community service as an alternative to prison term for miscellaneous offenders in the country was underway.

Gbajabiamila said in Abuja that when presented and passed, the emerging law would check congestion prisons across the country.

He expressed concern over the state of prisons in the country, saying that no fewer than 100 inmates currently slept in one prison cell. He noted that this could breed more criminals in the society. Read the rest of this entry »

There is disquiet among notable chairmen of the 89 Standing Committees in the House of Representatives following the recent announcement by Speaker Yakubu Dogara to reshuffle the committees.
In his opening remarks at the second year anniversary of the eighth session of the House of Representatives, Dogara had queried the performance of some chairmen of the Standing Committees. Read the rest of this entry »

Students of Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, LAUTECH, have appealed to the Federal Government to take over the school.

The students made the appeal on Thursday at the National Assembly on the second day of their sit out at the entrance to the Assembly in Abuja to call attention to the protracted crisis that has kept the university shut since last year.

A large contingent of the students had arrived Abuja at 8 p.m on Tuesday and encamped at the main entrance to the National Assembly until Thursday afternoon after drawing the attention of the federal lawmakers.

Some of the students who spoke to PREMIUM TIMES on Thursday explained that the two owner states of the university, Oyo and Osun, have been unwilling and unable to fund LAUTECH since they established their individual state universities. Read the rest of this entry »

• Differ on observance of democracy day

The House of Representatives yesterday began a move that would see to the review of the national minimum wage every five-year. The development comes in the wake of consistent agitation by workers for better remuneration and welfare.

To bring its desire to fruition, the lower chamber of the National Assembly approved the second reading of the legislation, entitled the National Minimum Wage Act (Amendment) Bill 2017 and sponsored by House Leader, Femi Gbajabiamila, at the plenary presided over by Speaker Yakubu Dogara.

Leading debate on the general principles of the proposed bill, Gbajabiamila explained that the first review of the Act would be effective from January 1, 2017.

 He regretted that Section 173 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) and Section 1 of the National Minimum Wage Act failed to expressly specify a periodic wage review as obtains in other climes.

Underlining the need for the exercise, Gbajabiamila contended that the subsisting N18,000 national minimum wage could not sustain the average Nigerian family in the face of the harsh economic realities in the country. Read the rest of this entry »

The House of Representatives member representing Surulere Federal Constituency, Femi Gbajabiamila, on Friday donated 501 E-Learning tablets to secondary school students in his constituency.

Mr. Gbajabiamila, who spoke at the public presentation of the tablets, said the donation was one of his campaign promises of providing “life changing empowerment programmes” to his constituents. Read the rest of this entry »

The member of House of Representatives representing Surulere 1 federal constituency, Honourable Femi Gbajabiamila has expressed the need to modify the nation’s presidential system of government and customise it to suit the peculiarity of the country as a multi-ethnic country.

Gbajabiamila disclosed this while delivering a special lecture at the Osun State House of Assembly in Osogbo where the state governor, Rauf Aregbesola was honoured with Honourary Life Membership of the Assembly. Read the rest of this entry »

The Majority Leader of the House of Representatives, Mr Femi Gbajabiamila on Monday said the house was irrevocably committed to the anti-graft war of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration.
Gbajabiamila spoke in Lagos at the presentation of certificates and equipment to 50 youths trained on the installation and maintenance of Close Circuit TV (CCTV) cameras in his Surulere 1 constituency.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the two-day training, which ended on Friday, was sponsored by the lawmaker and facilitated by Willbong Consulting Limited.

The lawmaker said the anti-graft war was central to the development of the nation, adding the house would strengthen anti-corruption institutions and take other steps to ensure the success of the crusade.

He commended the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC ) for a job well done so far but said there was the need to further strengthen the agency to make it more result-oriented.

Gbajabiamila explained that the on-going amendment of the EFCC Act by the house was to address the grey areas in the law and strengthen the agency to fight the war better.

“We irrevocably support the anti-graft war of President Muhammadu Buhari and we commend the EFCC for doing a good job so far with the fight.

“However, we feel there are grey areas in the law establishing the EFCC and we think this, to a reasonable extent, can limit the success of the anti-graft war.

“That is why the house is currently amending the act to address its grey areas; the ultimate objective is to strengthen the EFCC in such a way that it is more efficient and it is more alive to its responsibility,“ he said.

The Majority Leader decried the death of a Nigerian in renewed xenophobic attacks on them in South Africa, describing it as regrettable.

Gbajabiamila, who recently led a National Assembly delegation to South Africa to interface with the country`s parliament on ending the attacks, pledged that the house would not relent until a lid was put on the problem.

“We condemn the renewed attacks on Nigerians in South Africa and we would continue to do our best to ensure that the problem is addressed.

“Yes, we were in South Africa recently on the issue. We are happy we have kick-started a process; it`s an on-going thing. We will continue to intensify efforts, knowing full well the problem cannot be solved in one day.

“The report of our trip is ready. We will present it to the House tomorrow (Tuesday) for further action. Really, efforts are on-going, I assure you we will get there,“ he said.

Speaking on the CCTV training, Gbajabiamila said it was his contribution to build human capacity and empower the youths in his constituency.

He said he decided to opt for a knowledge-based empowerment, rather than tangibles, because of his belief that knowledge and skills could take people farther in life.

“This is a knowledge-based empowerment. I believe more in this because when somebody has the right skills and knowledge, he can continue to make a living out of it forever.

“That is the idea. With this CCTV training, beneficiaries can work anywhere in the world because it is the same process,’’ he said.

Gbajabiamila urged the beneficiaries to put whatever they had learned during the two-day training to good use for the benefit of themselves and their communities.

He promised to help the beneficiaries of the training on issues bordering on starting-up and getting clients.

The legislator pledged to continue to deliver impact projects in his constituency.

Speaking at the occasion, Sole Administrator, Surulere Local Government, Mr Sherif Balogun, thanked the lawmaker for the programme.

He said the initiative would go a long way in solving the problem of unemployment in the area.

Balogun urged the beneficiaries not to go sleep after the training, but to use it as a platform to better their lives and the security of their communities.

“The best way to appreciate what our leader has done today is for you to put whatever you have learnt into good use.

“Don’t` relax after leaving here. Take aggressive steps. Make a success of your training. I am very sure your lives and the security of our communities will be better if you take the necessary steps,“ he said.

One of the beneficiaries, Mr Rotimi Ogundoye, thanked Gbajabiamila for the training and urged him to continue to deliver initiatives towards uplifting the people of Surulere.

Mr Femi Gbajabiamila, the Majority Leader in the House of Representatives, on Sunday said that the nation’s lawmakers would work toward speedy passage of the 2017 budget, but would not sacrifice thoroughness in doing so.

Gbajabiamila spoke with newsmen in Lagos on the occasion of his constituency’s celebration of the New Year baby at the Maternal and Child Care Hospital, Surulere.

He also donated gift items to children with health challenges at the Heart of Gold Children’s Hospice, also in Surulere, to mark the New Year.

The lawmaker said that though the budget was presented late, efforts would be put in place to pass it promptly.

”It’s unfortunate that the budget was presented late. I have always been an advocate that budget be presented in September or first week in October as done in advanced democracy.

”You don’t present the budget late in December and expect quick passage. The financial year is supposed to start by Dec. 31 or Jan.1.

”We cannot sacrifice thoroughness and good work on the altar of time, we still need to do our work; we will ensure we fast track the passage in the shortest possible time.

”When we go back to the house, we will double and triple all efforts and make sure that this budget is passed on time,” he said.

Gbajabiamila said that hopefully, the budget would revive the country’s economy and make life better for Nigerians.

”The good thing is that the budget year has been extended to March and there are safeguards in the constitution that provide that when the budget has not been passed during a certain period, there are certain things that can be done to keep the government running.

”But the budget will be passed soon and like it has been tagged -‘Budget of Recovery and Growth’, hopefully, that is what we will see in 2017,” he said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that President Muhammadu Buhari on Dec. 14, 2016 in Abuja, presented a budget proposal of N7.30 trillion for 2017 before a joint session of the National Assembly.