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Don’t beg MDAs for favours, Na’Abba, others advise Reps

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Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila (right), and others after the inauguration of the chamber’s standing and special committees in Abuja… yesterday.

•Gbajabiamila inaugurates 105 committees for effective oversight
Former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Ghali Umar Na’Abba has admonished members of the lower legislative chamber of the National assembly to shun favours from ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs).

Speaking yesterday during the inauguration of the chamber’s 105 committees in Abuja, the ex-presiding officer regretted that lawmakers go out of their way to curry favours from MDAs which they ought to oversee in the first place.

Na’Abba, who had a running battle with erstwhile President Olusegun Obasanjo during the fifth assembly, urged the legislators not to shirk their responsibilities of ensuring accountability and good governance in the country.

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Na’Abba, while speaking on behalf of ex-principal officers of the House, charged the parliamentarians to review obsolete laws, just as he beseeched them to work in concert with Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila to tackle the multifaceted problems besetting the nation.

His position was reinforced by one-time Director General of the National Institute of legislative and Democratic Studies (NILDS), Prof. Ladi Hamalai, who noted that such compromise was dangerous to the integrity of the legislative arm of government.

In his paper on the role of committees in the presidential system of government, he enjoined the lawmakers to live up to their constitutional duties.

To the erstwhile Clerk of the National Assembly, Ahmed Selim, there was need for a symbiotic relationship between the legislative and the executive arms to ensure good governance in the polity.

Gbajabiamila charged his colleagues to be dutiful in the discharge of “your constitutional responsibilities of oversight and lawmaking, taking every care to ensure that at all times, your conduct is without reproach, and motivated only by considerations of the best interest of the country.”

He continued: “You know as well as I do that our country for several years has been contending with serious challenges on multiple fronts. From the economy to national security, social justice to healthcare, infrastructure to the environment and climate change, this is a time that calls for determined efforts to achieve substantive reform and ensure that our country can overcome its challenges and take advantage of the opportunities that abound for economic advancement and social development.”

“I trust that as you recognise these realities, your efforts will reflect this recognition, and be motivated by it.”

The speaker further elicited the cooperation and collaboration of service chiefs and heads of MDAs to enable the National Assembly live up to the expectations of Nigerians.

He added: “It is only through our joint efforts that we can meet the objectives of the administration and keep the promises we have made to the Nigerian people.

“We in the House of Representatives intend without reservations to exercise the full authority of the legislature as it relates to the oversight of the MDAs. However, our purposes are not punitive, neither are our intentions adversarial, but in furtherance of our shared objectives of national development, peace, progress and prosperity for all.

“To this extent, we will be fully supporting and empowering our committees for effective oversight, particularly the Committee on Legislative Compliance.”


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