Special Address by Chief Host and Leader of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila at the 2016 Grassroot Empowerment Programme at Abati Barracks, Surulere, Lagos on Monday, October 31st, 2016
I welcome you all to this auspicious occasion of the 2016 Grassroot Empowerment programme. This is a periodic programme aimed at addressing needs of the people I
represent in the House of Representatives. I am first your representative before my election as the Leader of the House so your interest comes first before any other national assignment for "I am in the National Assembly by your mandate". I have taken this step given the state of the economy of our country and I know many of us only need little support to survive this temporary economic recession.
As the Leader of Government Business in the House I have good understanding of our economic situation. As much as many people in the Opposition do not want us talk about the mismanagement of the past, there is a past before the present, so reference must be made to this. Our country's economy was destroyed due to failure of leadership. Nigerians need to know depth of the rot we inherited to appreciate what the APC government is doing to recover stolen funds and put the country on a path of recovery. Even though the identified stolen funds and assets cannot be spent by government until all court cases are dispensed the APC is continuing to work hard to stimulate the economy.
The House of Representatives is working with the Executive to ensure that these saboteurs do not hijack the anti-corruption drive of President Muhammadu Buhari. We know Nigerians laboured hard to put this government in place and will not settle for excuses so the House will look into possible means of funding the projects in the 2016 budget such as the virement and borrowing plan of government before the National Assembly. Borrowing to finance infrastructural projects is not an irresponsible act, Lagos State did same and the concomitant development is obvious. The House of Representatives will respond to Mr. President's requests in the interest of Nigerians and quickly set the process in motion for its committees to carry out appropriate oversight functions on all project executing agencies until the 2016 budget is fully implemented according to law. Our interest in attracting federal presence to our constituencies is same as Mr President's resolve to keep his campaign promises so Nigerians can be assured that both arms of government will work harmoniously to bring the country out of economic recession soon.
The Empowerment programme of today is remarkable because I can see many people of Surulere overcoming the economic recession through these support equipments with proper planning. To those who are not privileged to be part of this set of beneficiaries be rest assured that your turn will come. My support programmes have been in different forms, earlier this year we supported our sporting youths through Femi Gbajabiamila Football Tournament held at the Teslim Balogun this year with NFF President and Nigeria Football Supporters Club Leadership in attendance.
We did not only rewarded football talents but also showcased Surulere as a sporting city center. We also got SMEDAN, a federal government agency to provide entrepreneurial training for 350 youths in Surulere, and also supported entrepreneurs such as promoters of Amala 360, Bank Olemoh Rice Spot etc. Our Solar Boreholes and Street Lights are all over Surulere 1 federal constituency and we intend to do more. Because we have no APC representation in our sister constituency (Surulere 2), I have continued to extend my programmes to them.
Let me also congratulate those who defected to our party. APC is a party of progressives, home to those who are willing to uphold democratic ideals. We have not attained perfection but we are getting there. Its my prayer that your defection will spur good tidings for our political family in Surulere. E ka bo si ile. As a form of goodwill and encouragement we have extended this empowerment to some of you.
Let me again charge beneficiaries of today's grassroot empowerment ceremony to use these equipments to make meaningful impact in the lives of your family and the society. We have empowered you so that economic activities in Surulere will increase. Don't sell them off, when you do that, it's yourself not APC or President Buhari that is sabotaging the economy. It's my prayer that these equipments will bring prosperity to your homes.
My commitment to robust representation in line with the mandate you have given to me is unshakeable and I crave for your continuous support to our government and party.
Thank You !