The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, has come out to say that the 9th National Assembly is very committed to safeguarding the interests of the people via the proper discharge of its legislative duties.
Femi revealed this in Lagos as he spoke at the “Gbaja 2019 End of the Year Grassroots Empowerment Programme.”
Gbajabiamila said that the criticism that the 9th Assembly was controlled by the executive is unfair.
According to him, because the legislature was on the same page with the executive on issues of national interests did not make it a rubber stamp.
He added that the National Assembly represents the people and is committed to their interests.
His words, “People, naysayers, critics, and people from other parties have said the 9th National Assembly is a rubber stamp to the executive.
“You know my reply when they say that to you? Tell them that you would rather have a rubber-stamp National Assembly that will bring progress than the one that is fighting the executive without progress.
“This is because when two elephants fight, the grass suffers. This is not a rubber stamp National Assembly; this is a National Assembly that represents the people and is committed to their interests.
“The people of Surulere Federal Constituency 1 did not elect me to go and be fighting the executive; Is that what you asked me to go and do? “Rather, you asked me to engage and collaborate with other stakeholders to deliver democratic dividends, part of which we are having today.
“This is a new dispensation where there will be checks and balances, there will be a separation of powers, we will disagree with the executive when there is need to do so and agree with them if there is need.
“But our watchword will be the interest of the people. That is the oath which I and my colleagues swore to.”
“Let me explain the January to December budget cycle better. The constitution says the budget cycle shall be from January to December or another time as prescribed by the National Assembly.
”But what the constitution intended is that January to December is the life span of the budget, and the reason for that is government can plan, investors can plan and there is enough time to execute what has been budgeted.
”We have had difficulty in implementation in the last 20 years like 40 percent, 30 percent, because of delay in passing and signing the budget.
”Investors lacked confidence, they could not plan because there is uncertainty because the constitution has been violated.
”So in the past 20 years, this is the first time we are having the January to December budget cycle and it took the emergence of the 9th Assembly to fulfill that constitutional provision.”
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