By Adedayo Akinwale and Udora Orizu
The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, has revealed that the lower chamber has passed a total of 37 bills in one legislative year.
Gbajabiamila disclosed this on Thursday during the first anniversary of the 9th House, saying that in the past one year, the lawmakers have been forthright and also presented themselves in the manner befitting of those whose voice carries within it the dreams of a nation.
He said: “We have in our first year passed thirty-seven (37) long-awaited and much-anticipated legislation including reforms of the federal government’s public procurement system, the Company and Allied Matters Act and the Deep Offshore and Inland Basin Production Sharing Contracts Act.
“We have proposed and passed legislation to achieve electric power sector reform, establish a process of presidential transition that ensures continuity in government and limits the possibility of political or constitutional crisis arising from anticipated or sudden shifts of presidential power.”
The Speaker stressed that the House heard the cries of Persons With Disabilities (PWDs) by passing the Physically Challenged (Empowerment) Bill, 2019 to promote accessibility and ensure that the barriers that stand in the way of people achieving their dreams no longer exist.
He further said that the House delivered the Nigeria Industrial Revolution Plan Bill, and the Raw Materials Research and Development Council (Repeal and Re-Enactment) Bill, both of which would place the country on the path to industrial self-sufficiency and economic growth that lifts people out of poverty, creates jobs that pay a living wage and ensures that more people can contribute to the continued development of communities across the nation.
According to him, “When the deadly coronavirus arrived on our shores, it exposed the structural weaknesses of our system. We did not foresee, nor were we prepared for the global devastation of the Covid-19 disease. We were not ready to fight an enemy of this nature, and our lack of preparation has caused a great deal of loss and despair across our nation. We are still at risk of more severe damage to our economy and our national security.
“All of this is in addition to the existing threat of disease and loss of lives at a scale we will not long forget. I pray for the ill and the recovering, and I commit the dearly departed to a peaceful afterlife and ask for God’s grace on those they have left behind.”
The Speaker stressed that amidst global upheaval, as a result of the killing of George Floyd and many others in the United States, “is a stark warning to us that if we continue to ignore the failings of policing here at home, the moment of reckoning will not long be upon us”.
Gbajabiamila said that it was therefore the responsibility of the House to harness this consensus and to fashion therefrom, a future that is fairer than everything that came before and abundantly more prosperous than it ever has been.
The Speaker noted that the alarming rate of assaults against women and children all over Nigeria calls for nothing short of a state of emergency, to mobilise government resources towards ending once and for all the scourge of sexual and gender-based violence in Nigeria.
He said it was in recognition of these realities and more that the House resolved to conduct a review of its Legislative Agenda of the House as the first step towards designing a post-Covid plan to “address the identified weakness of our nationhood”.