It gladdens my heart to give a record of my stewardship in the last 14 months in the saddle as the Senator representing the good people of the Lagos East Senatorial District at the National Assembly.
Recall that I was sworn in on the 15th of December 2020 as the Senator of the Federal Republic. I came in at a critical period in the nation’s history. It was a time we were slowly coming out of recession, which was also worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic.
In fulfilment of our legislative agenda, I have sponsored many Bills and Motions which cover different sectors including banking and financial services, the economy, copyright, health, infrastructure and the provision of the legal framework for the reduction of the cost of governance. We have also endeavoured to offer our possible best towards providing effective representation for our people.
As a member of the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, one of my primary responsibilities in the National Assembly is that of effective representation. In this light, every matter that concerns my constituency has received its deserved and prompt attention and has always been treated as such, like the petition I recently presented on the floor of the Senate on behalf of the Magodo Residents Association over the invasion of the estate by security agents from the Office of the Inspector General of Police and the Attorney General of the Federation.
In the course of my campaigns and interaction with our people, I made promises as to my legislative agenda and I have within the limits of this short time tried to fulfil them. In October 2021, I was made the substantive Chairman of the very important Senate Committee on Industries whose jurisdiction shall include:
(a) Standardization and quality control: (b) Industrial development matters generally; (c) Incentives for industrial development; (d) National industrial planning; (e) Small-scale industries; (f) Aid to industries; (g) Heavy industries set up by the Federal Government of Nigeria; (h) Participation of small business enterprises, procurement and government contracts; (i) Promotion and administration of technology transfer programmes;
(j) Industrial financing; (k) Privatization and commercialization: (l) Industrial Training Fund; (m) Annual Budget Estimates.
I have within this period brought to bear my background and experience in the discharge of my responsibilities as the Chairman. Already the Committee’s intervention is yielding fruits as the importance of industries to national development as a driver of industrialization through the creation of jobs, generation of wealth, diversification of the economy, import substitution and enhancement of exports among others are gaining prominence in our national life and receiving attention.
I am committed to working assiduously collaborating with the leadership of the Senate and the National Assembly, Ministries, Departments, Parastatals and Agencies under the purview of the Committee to continue to sustain our journey of transformation and attain our goals of industrialization
BILLS AND MOTIONS
The primary function of a lawmaker is to make laws. The expansion of government services and functions has contributed to an endless procession of ideas for laws. During the campaigns and at the commencement of my tenure in the Senate, I set a legislative agenda highlighting my core legislative interests.
The Bills and motions in focus for my legislative tenure which are already before the Senate for consideration and passage include the following Thirteen (12) Bills and Four (4) motions:
(1) Copyright Act repeal and re-enactment Bill, 2021 (read the second time) (2) Dishonored Cheques Act Cap D11 LFN 2004 (Amendment) Bill 2021 (read the first time). (3) Federal High Court Act (Amendment) Bill 2021 (read the first time). (4) The Federal Polytechnic Epe (Establishment, etc) Bill 2021. (5) The Utilities Charges Commission Act (Repeal) Bill, 2021. (6) The Control of Delegated Legislation (Control and Procedure) Bill, 2021. (7) The National Boundary Commission, Act (Amendment) Bill, 2021. (8) The National Economic Intelligence Committee (establishment, etc) Act (Repeal) Bill, 2021. (9) The National Economic Reconstruction Fund Act (Repeal) Bill, 2021. (10) The National Productivity Centre Act (Repeal) Bill, 2021. (11) The National Metallurgical Development Centre Act (Repeal) Bill, 2021. (12) The Energy Commission of Nigeria Act (Repeal) Bill, 2021.
(1) Motion on the ban of cryptocurrency in Nigeria. (2) Motion on the urgent need for the rehabilitation of the Ikorodu-Shagamu and Ikorodu-Itoikin-Epe roads to further bridge the infrastructural gap and enhance economic growth in Nigeria. (3) Motion on the need to position Nigeria and Nigerian businesses for continental growth through the African continental free trade zone (Afcftz)
STATUS OF BILLS AND MOTIONS
All the bills have been read the first time on the floor of the Senate while the Copyright Act (repeal and re-enactment) Bill, 2021 has been read the second time with the public hearing concluded and is awaiting the presentation of the report on the Bill by the Committee.
Also, sequel to the motion I moved calling on the Federal Government to urgently intervene in the Ikorodu/Sagamu Road and Ikorodu/Itoikin/Epe Epe Road, our intervention with necessary follow-up and leveraging on our network has yielded positive outcomes as the Federal Government has included the funding of Ikorodu-Shagamu, in the SUKUK Financing program and the Ikorodu-Itoikin in the 2022 budget.
THE NEEDS ASSESSMENT
Our leadership approach is modelled around Human-Centered Design. This approach mitigates the assumption of People’s needs and planning of solutions without their involvement.
Therefore, shortly after my inauguration, I commissioned an extensive NEEDS ASSESSMENT survey to ascertain the most pressing challenges facing respective communities under my district.
The scientific study supervised by competent researchers revealed startling and disturbing facts about the state of public infrastructure and socio-economic conditions of our people at the grassroots.
Based on the findings of the NEEDS ASSESSMENT, in January 2021, I kicked off the COVID-19 Relief Scheme for the vulnerable people in the Lagos East Senatorial district and it has been running since then. The beneficiaries include widows, women, unemployed youth, the aged and people with physical disabilities drawn from the 98 wards in the 16 Local Governments and Local Council Development Areas. As of today, we have about 2,500 vulnerable members of society being catered for.
In Ikorodu Central, Aga Primary School located in the Borokini area was overstretched due to the high enrolment of pupils. The four classrooms in the schools had become distressed and inadequate. I facilitated four blocks of 24 classrooms equipped with complements of furniture and 16 toilets and a Solar-Powered Borehole. The infrastructure has greatly improved learning outcomes in the school.
In Ibeju-Lekki, two blocks of 6 classrooms have been completed at RCM Primary School Iwerekun, Ibeju-Lekki. In Agboyi-Ketu LCDA, 1 block of 3 classrooms has also been delivered at Ajelogo Primary School. An ICT centre has also been facilitated at the Igbobi Junior High School, Somolu, Lagos.
The yearnings for health facilities by esteemed constituents were also heeded. I facilitated the construction of a 40-bed Health facility and Dental Centre at the Ikorodu Campus of the Lagos State Polytechnic (LASPOTECH), now known as the Lagos State University of Science and Technology. 200-solar-powered street lights were attracted to the institution.
In the same manner, another 30-Bed Health facility at Mascara Health Centre in Agboiyi Ketu LCDA was also provided to the people. Likewise, another 40-bed is under construction at Isiu, Ikorodu-North LCDA.
In Epe, a 960-spectator capacity mini-stadium was also facilitated for the benefit of people, especially the youth. The two-pavilion sports facility is equipped with Basketball and Volleyball courts and is almost ready for commissioning.
Equally, the popular Oluwo Fish Market in Epe has also been remodelled. I have rehabilitated the entire market and increased the number of shops from 259 to 319 comprising of lock-up shops, open sheds and 48 toilets.
To further empower businesses to thrive through the creation of enabling environment, we facilitated the supply and installation of transformers in several locations in the District including:
(1) Ito Progressive CDA, Ito Isiu (2) Igbopa Ifesowopo CDA, Ijede (3) Ire Ifelodun CDA, Igbogbo-Bayeku
(4) Magodo Community CDA, Oke Ota Ona, Ikorodu (5) Ikorodu GRA 2, Ibeshe, Igbogbo-Bayeku (6) Ifeloju Abule Eko,Ijede Ikorodu (7) Sekungba CDA Ikosi Ejirin (8) Isale Agoro CDA, Epe LGA (9) Ideraoluwa CDA, Eredo LGA (10) Olugayan CDA, Imota
The supply and installation of transformers to other communities like (1) Idegun CDA, Imota (2) Gbaga Olorunda CDA (3) Adamo (Ikorodu-North) (4) Agura Central Gberigbe ( Ikorodu-North) (5) Garden Estate (Agboyi-Ketu LCDA) (6) Agunbiade CDA ( Somolu).
For this year 2022, through collaboration with the leadership of the Senate, the National Assembly, Ministries, Departments, Parastatals and Agencies, we are determined to facilitate people-oriented projects in our other LGAs/LCDAs in the areas of; Health, Education and other required infrastructure.
I have been able to facilitate projects worth over 1 Billion Naira in key areas for our constituency in the 2022 Appropriation Act.
Ladies and gentlemen of the press, I will be the first to admit that the economic and security challenges facing the county are daunting. Indeed, at no time in our recent past has the nation’s economy, well-being, peace and unity been so vigorously and persistently challenged. I however urge you not to despair but to remain hopeful. I believe that as we work conscientiously and openly, and together with unity of purpose and solidarity and with God on our side, we shall overcome all these challenges facing us.
The next few months is a time to strive to be better people and to also leverage the lessons of the preceding months. Importantly it is not a time to be wasteful or careless about our economic activities, but rather a time to harness every economic growth that the realities of the past years have thrown in our hands.
As we also know that 2022 is the penultimate year to the general elections of 2023, it is important to begin to assess our individual aspirations towards ensuring that Nigeria becomes a better place and this can only be achieved by ensuring that we all get registered as eligible voters and prepare to exercise our civic responsibilities without fears.
In conclusion, I pledge that we will work even better this year to provide better and more robust effective representation for the people of Lagos East Senatorial District and “ensure greater good to a larger number of people”.
I assure you that I will not let our people down. In 2022, the tempo of #DoingGood won’t wane. We will not be distracted or deterred. Expect More!