By Udora Orizu
The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, has said that the current state of insecurity in country has made vast swathes of Nigeria uninhabitable for citizens and unattractive to investors.
Gbajabiamila stated this on Saturday at the public presentation of the updated Legislative Agenda of the 9th House of Representatives tagged ”Our Contract with Nigerians”.
He said the country is at war, fighting insurgents in the North-east who want to remake the people’s world in the image of a medieval theocracy.
According to him, ”Before now, the extent of our difficulties was well known to us. We have population growth that far outpaces the rate of economic growth. Insecurity has made vast swathes of our country uninhabitable for citizens and unattractive to investment. We are at war, fighting insurgents in the North-east who want to remake our world in the image of a medieval theocracy. Our education system is producing graduates who cannot compete in the 21st-century knowledge economy.”
The Speaker said as a consequence of the new realities imposed on Nigerians by the Covid-19 pandemic, the House has updated its legislative agenda to contend with the emerging issues.
“This updated Legislative Agenda and the implementation plan which we have tagged ‘Our Contract with Nigerians’
sets out the new priorities of this 9th House of Representatives and commits us to a plan of action over the next year, and for the rest of our tenure.
“We have called this document a contract because that is what it is; a written account of what we owe the people and how we intend to meet our obligations within the shortest possible time. These documents represent our intention to be held accountable based on what we have freely committed to achieving, and which I am confident we will realize to the glory of God and the edification of our people.
“Our gathering here today is first to present this document to the public. More importantly, this gathering is intended as a convenient space for us to have frank conversations about how we will go about achieving the objectives we have set out in ‘Our Contract with Nigerians’. This is an opportunity to empower ourselves with the confidence to dare and the skills to deliver.
“I encourage all of us to use the time here today to learn from the speakers and each other, exchange ideas and develop individual roadmap that would guide our interactions as we work together to deliver a House of Representatives that meets the highest expectations of its citizens,” he said.
In his goodwill message, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, urged the lawmakers
to draw from their collective wealth of experience and constitutional powers to chart a course that will take Nigeria to a higher trajectory of sustainable development.
Mustapha noted that this is the right time for the legislature to recalibrate and reposition itself on the delivery of the expected outcomes of the contract with Nigerians, saying that the next three years will be very critical to the nation.
He stressed that the challenges are numerous but the solutions lie in the hands of members of the National Assembly which Nigerians look up to for solutions.
The SGF also said the impact of the coronavirus pandemic has disrupted all global systems, including governance, economy, law making, food production, transportation, education and health systems, amongst others, adding that the most advanced systems in the world have been tested to their limit.