The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr. Femi Gbajabiamila has said that the current border closure by the government is yielding good results as Nigerian farmers are smiling to the bank.
Mr. Gbajabiamila said the action has forced Nigerians to now consume locally farmed products, especially rice, thereby making the farming and businesses surrounding agriculture value chain more gainfully.
He spoke in Surulere, Lagos State, at his annual End of the Year Grassroots Empowerment Programme where he provided cash grants to some 500 beneficiaries in his Surulere 1 Federal Constituency to help boost their businesses.
The Speaker said “I must say the impact of closing Nigeria’s borders to foreign rice is yielding results. I am sure so many farmers are now smiling to the bank. The volume of Christmas rice sales made by Nigerian farmers speaks to the emerging culture of eating what we grow.”
Twenty-three (23) people also received cars as part of the Empowerment programme, computer business owners received Power generating sets and photocopying machines while students received laptops.
“My vision and mission is that by the time we are done in four years, Surulere will never be the same again, that is an assurance.
At least as of now, no fewer than 70 to 80 people in Surulere have become proud car owners in my time, and we will continue to do more.” The Speaker added.
While thanking his constituents for their support and the mandate they have been giving to him since 2003, Mr. Gbajabiamila said he would continue to work with the Executive arm to bring more developmental projects to them.
He said disputed the notion among some Nigerians that the current National Assembly is a rubber stamp of the Executive arm, noting that good collaboration between the two arms is always in the best interest of Nigerians.
Speaker Gbajabiamila said “It was for that reason that the 9th National Assembly ensured that the 2020 budget was passed in record time to return the country to the January to December budget cycle.
This new discipline will increase economic activities and afford the executive to implement the budget containing nationwide projects within the full financial year as against limited implementation scope in the past.
The fact is that the National Assembly is not a rubber stamp. This is a National Assembly that represents the interests of the people.
The people of Surulere did not elect me to fight the Executive but to engage and collaborate with stakeholders to bring dividends of democracy.
This is a new dispensation. There will be checks and balances. There will be separation of powers.
We will agree with the executive if we have to, and we will disagree if we have to.
Our watchword is to protect the interests of the Nigerian people. That is the oath I and my colleagues swore to.”