The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila has condemned the mass departure of Nigerian youths to other countries of the world.
Gbajabiamila who has just been appointed as the Chief Of Staff to President Bola Tinubu, said that many young Nigerians have lost hope in the system and are leaving the country in droves to seek their fortunes in other lands.
Gbajabiamila stated that the trend must be stopped as a healthy vigorous and vibrant population were leaving.
The condemnation was contained in his valedictory speech.
He also said that adequate security must be provided to protect the lives and property of Nigerians.
He said that despite the considerable investments made to improve public infrastructure and the numerous reforms enacted to change the administration of the government, Nigeria still faces many significant challenges.
“These challenges have caused many of our fellow citizens to wonder if the promise of democracy will ever become real in their lives. Too many of our young people have lost faith entirely and are choosing in droves to seek their fortunes and their futures in other lands. We are losing some of our best and brightest, and if we don’t act now, the consequences of this loss will shortly become painfully evident. How do we ensure a healthy, vigorous, growing economy that provides opportunities for all who work hard to succeed through their labour and ingenuity? How do we protect our people from the marauders and insurgents, the petty criminals and assorted villains who wish to harm them, whether for profit or in service of other agendas? How do we restore faith in our young people so that so many of them no longer feel like the only way to achieve their best aspirations is to chase their fortunes in far away, often hostile lands? These are the critical questions all of us in government must answer or risk the unforgiving judgment of history. With each new day, we have an opportunity to make the hard choices and take the necessary actions to guarantee our nation’s future. With each new day, we have less time to act and a more outstanding obligation to act quickly,” Gbajabiamila said.
He noted a growing economy that would provide opportunities for all who work hard to succeed through their labour and ingenuity needs to be provided.
Gbajabiamila also highlighted the many achievements of the 9th House which have resulted in many legislative legacies to includes ” the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA), Nigeria Start-Up Act, Electoral Act, the constitutional review process, financial independence for State Houses of Assembly and State judiciary, as well as successful interventions in labour disputes, the January to December budget cycle and the Petroleum Industry Act as well as the Police Act amongst others.
“These reforms did not end police misbehaviour in our country; soon enough, there was a national reckoning. We responded by working with the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) to establish a new framework of accountability to hold erring members of the Police Force to account for their conduct in the performance of their duties and compel the Nigerian Police Force (NPF) to take responsibility for the failures of training and discipline that leads to such wrongful conduct. And we appropriated the sum of N500m through the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) to compensate victims of police brutality nationwide. I sincerely hope that the work of police reform will continue in the House of Representatives until we achieve a system of policing that meets our nation’s needs and reflects the best of us.”
The Speaker decried the inability of the 9th Assembly to remove constitutional barriers that have stood in the way of Women’s participation in politics.
He, therefore, urged the incoming 10th House of Representatives to do their best in removing some of the Constitutional barriers that have long stood in the way of women’s full participation in the politics, governance and economy of the country.
“To succeed in our shared ambition of building a prosperous and peaceful country, we must do everything within our power to ensure that our daughters and those yet to be born can grow up in a more open, more equal society than their mothers did.
“Unfortunately, we did not succeed in removing some of the constitutional barriers affecting women in politics, governance etc. This issue must continue to be at the fore of our national conversations. I hope the 10th House of Representatives will take up the mantle and do better than we did,” he stressed.
Speaker Gbajabiamila now Chief Of Staff to President Bola Tinubu, assured lawmakers that he would work to ensure a good relationship between the executive and legislature while respecting the independence of the legislature.
He said; “This fundamental belief in the responsibility of government to be a force for good has been my guiding light. It will continue to be so in my new endeavours. I humbly ask for your prayers and support in this new chapter.
“I assure you that in this new role, I will work to ensure a cordial and productive relationship between the executive and legislative arms of government whilst respecting the independence and prerogatives of the legislature.”
Gbajabiamila said; “The 9th House of Representatives is ending, and the 10th will shortly be convened. All of us, those whose time in office is ending, and those for whom duty continues, will face the judgment of history. I urge you to keep this in mind and let your actions be guided by the desire to ensure that you are not found wanting by man or God in the final judgment.”
The valedictory session brings to an end the 9th House which adjourned Sine Die.
The House reopens on June 13, to usher in the 10th Assembly.