The House of Representatives have been very active even while on recess, the Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila has said.
Gbajabiamila said Committees of the House have been engaging with stakeholders to achieve progress on several priority initiatives during the period.
Speaking at the resumption of plenary after the lawmakers’ annual recess, he said it was necessary for the House to take stock of its activities while on annual break.
He further stated that members have been meeting to work out strategies and develop plans for legislative action to address the many challenges of governance that the masses continue to face in the country.
Besides, he said House of Representatives played a key role in averting the Monday 28th September nationwide strike over hike in power and petroleum pump price.
The Speaker who met with the leadership of
the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) and the President of the Trade Union Congress (TUC) a day earlier, said it was incumbent upon the House as elected representatives to see how they can intervene and perhaps a third voice, would be able to broker some kind of amicable solution to the ongoing impasse while citing instances where the House had successfully intervened in such matters before now.
He also listed the Legislative intervention in the Nigeria- Ghana diplomatic face off as another contribution of the House in nation building.
He said the 9th House of Representatives has had cause to intervene on behalf of Nigerians in South Africa, Egypt, China and Ghana. These interventions resulted in specific and general improvements to the wellbeing of Nigerians in those countries.
He also spoke on the recent police reform bill which was signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari; saying that :the Act is the first significant reform effort in a generation. It is the beginning and not the end of such measures. The Nigeria Police Force, as it currently operates, has too long and too often failed to meet the expectations of the Nigerian people. There will be, in this 9th House of Representatives, further legislation to improve police performance across the board and to introduce mechanisms for individual and collective accountability in the Nigeria Police Force. Our objective is nothing short of a total overhaul of the culture and practice of policing in Nigeria.
He also said efforts are on to finalise the Armed Forces Trust Fund Bill, while assuring that the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) will be concluded by the 9th House to achieve wholesale reform of the oil and gas sector.
He also listed the e-parliament as part of the achievement of the current House. Gbajabiamila emphasized that the successful execution of the project was only possible through sheer persistence, hard work and total commitment.
For the first time in the history of Nigeria, the House of Representatives will sit in an entirely digitised chamber where the proceedings of the House, including records of votes, will be taken appropriately in real-time and archived for all history.
“Currently, the the chamber is now more or less paperless, all the documents needed for legislative business are unloaded,” he said