By; AMOS MATHEW, Kaduna
The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Honourable Femi Gbajabiamila has interacted with his constituents of Surulere 1 Federal Constituency through a virtual meeting as part of his constituency engagements with them.
The Speaker said during the interactive session, conducted via zoom, with leaders of different Communities Development Associations (CDAs), youth leaders and market women associations that he is ever committed to continue providing dividends of democracy to them.
As part of his interventions in the ongoing fight against COVID-19, Gbajabiamila promised to pay additional 50 per cent of the hazard allowance in addition to the current hazard allowance pay by Lagos State Government to about 450 doctors and other health workers at the Randle General Hospital, Surulere. The Randle hospital workers were once exposed Covid-19 cases in the constituency.
The Speaker told his constituents that he needs their continuous support to pilot the affairs of the Green Chamber as he is now the Speaker for the entire country, urging them to continue observing the COVID-19 protocols so as to stay safe.
He said in the last one year, a lot of community development projects he attracted were commissioned in the constituency ranging from rehabilitation of inner roads to provisions of solar street lights in places like Esther Dada – Ishaga link road, Yesufu Sanusi Street, Odeku Close off Adeniran Ogunsanya, Falolu Street off Akerele, among others.
He said in one year, 12 buses were distributed to notable organisations in Surulere such as market women associations, religious bodies, Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT).
In the area of education, the Speaker ensured the distribution of text books and reading materials to junior and senior secondary school students, commissioned a fully equipped ICT centre building in Stadium High School, Iyun road and Laptops and desktop computers were also given to outstanding students from 23 secondary schools in Surulere.
Other interventions, he said, included distribution of working tools to artisans as well as photocopy-enabled printers and generating sets for business centres.
Also, the sum of N43 million was given as cash grants to existing small scale entrepreneurs, and 23 Toyota salon cars were distributed to constituents who had expressed interest in providing ride hiking services.
The Speaker also noted that N22m cash relief was provided for vulnerable members of the constituency as well as food bags to 16,300 households as COVID-19 palliatives.
Gbajabiamila listed some upcoming interventions to include the commissioning of the Elizabeth Fowler Memorial School he facilitated, Surulere free Wifi project, N40m Covid-19 cash grants to petty traders and artisans in the constituency, N70m CBN flexible loan for SMEs, rehabilitation of 52 inner roads across all the wards, installation of new power sub-station at Randle among many others.
Speaking, the member representing Surulere 1 State Constituency at the Lagos State House of Assembly, Hon. Desmond Elliot, thanked the Speaker for his giant strides in Surulere, Lagos State and the nation as a whole.
“We’re proud of you Mr Speaker Sir. The people of Surulere will continue to thank you for the good works you’ve been doing. We’re excited that you’re from us,” he said.
In her contribution, the Chief Medical Director of Randle General Hospital, Surulere, Dr. Aduke Odutayo, appreciated the Speaker and the Lagos State Government for giving adequate attention to the hospital.
She appealed to the people of Surulere to understand that the hospital could not accommodate everybody at this time, noting that COVID-19 may stay for a while, but she advised residents to continue to observe the provided protocols.
The leader of legislative council in Surulere, Mrs Barakat Bakare-Akande, who spoke on behalf of other elected councillors, said: “We thank you for all you’ve been doing. We thank you for touching the lives of everybody in Surulere, especially during the pandemic. You’re truly a role model to us.”
Abdulrahman Akeem Ola, who spoke on behalf of all supervisory councillors in Surulere, said they wished the Speaker continuous good health and God’s guidance and protection so that he would continue with the good works he has been doing.
The Chairman of Crescent CDA, Mrs Joy Oritsesan, thanked the Speaker for providing a transformer to their area as well as distributing palliatives during the lockdown.
Also, the President of Adire Fabric Producers at Akerele in Surulere, Mrs. Clementina Olori, while thanking the Speaker for his efforts, said they needed help in the area of security to safeguard their places of business.
She also reminded the Speaker that despite his efforts, officials of electricity company still bring “exorbitant estimated bills” to them and have failed to provide them with prepaid metres.
The Adire producers President also appealed to the Speaker to intervene in the high levies members of the association are being charged by the local and state authorities as drainages are in a deplorable state.
Responding, Gbajabiamila said though the issues raised have to do squarely with local government, he would talk to the relevant officials to see what could be done, saying he would also contact the police to improve security.
Similarly, speaking on behalf of Petty Traders Market Women at Iponri Market, the Iyaloja of Iponri Market, Alhaja Badmus, thanked Gbajabiamila for all his interventions, which she said have helped them in their businesses.