Connect with us


Abbas Vows To Tackle Hardship, Insecurity, Gives Nigerians Fresh Hope



By Linda Ike

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Tajudeen Abbas has assured Nigerians of doubled efforts towards addressing economy and security challenges in the country.

Abbas acknowledged the concerns of Nigerians on the current state of hardship, insecurity and other issues facing Nigeria.

At a world press conference at the National Assembly, on Thursday, Abbas said that the conference was dedicated to addressing some of the most pressing national issues Nigerians face

He said: “As the Speaker of the largest representative body in Nigeria, representing all corners of Nigeria, I feel it a duty to address some pressing challenges we face as a nation. The very fabric of our society is being tested, our resilience strained, and our unity challenged. However, amidst these trials, our spirit remains unbroken, and our resolve to overcome and thrive grows stronger.

“As representatives of the Nigerian people, we cannot pay lip service to the plight of the same individuals who elected us into office to protect their interests. It is our resolve to see that Nigerians, wherever they are, live their normal lives in peace and relative ease.”

While noting that the House was “acutely” aware of the rising security challenges affecting different parts of the country, Speaker Abbas said as elected representatives, they also acknowledge the pain and suffering of every family that had been a victim of “brutal crimes and needless violence.”

“Let it be known that your cries have not fallen on deaf ears, and your tears have not gone unseen. We stand in solidarity with every Nigerian affected and commit to deploying robust legislative measures to empower our security agencies, ensure justice, and restore peace and order in our communities,” the Speaker stated.

He said it was natural to feel a sense of despair and frustration. “The impact of the challenges I have identified above is felt in every home, on every street, and in the hearts of every Nigerian. Yet, it is precisely in times like these that our true strength as a nation is revealed. Our resilience, unity, and indomitable spirit have seen us through difficult times before, and I have no doubt that these qualities will carry us through again,” he said.

He comiserate with those affected by the scourge of insecurity, “I want you to know that your government hears you loud and clear. We are taking decisive steps to address the root causes of this menace, deploying both military and diplomatic resources to ensure the safety and security of all Nigerians. It is a complex challenge, one that requires patience and time to resolve, but I assure you that we are making progress.”

Speaking on the economic front, Abbas said the government was equally committed to reversing the downturn and setting the country back on a path of sustainable growth.

He stressed: “The issue of food shortages is particularly close to my heart. Food security is fundamental to national security. We are implementing comprehensive strategies to boost agricultural production, improve supply chains, and ensure that affordable food is accessible to everyone, regardless of where they live.

“I ask for your patience as these measures take effect. Change, especially of the magnitude we are aiming for, does not happen overnight. It requires time, effort, and, most importantly, the support of every Nigerian. Each of us has a role to play in this journey towards a more secure, prosperous, and food-secure Nigeria. Whether you are a farmer, a business owner, a teacher, or a student, your contribution matters.

“Together, we can overcome these challenges and build a brighter future for our beloved country. As your Speaker, I am filled with renewed hope for what we can achieve together. In conclusion, I call upon every Nigerian, from the north to the south, from the east to the west, to join hands in solidarity. Let us support our government’s policies, let us be patient, and let us work together towards the common goal of a better, stronger, and more unified Nigeria.”

“As emphasised in our Legislative Agenda, the time has come for us to demand greater transparency from our security agencies and full accountability for all the funds spent and earmarked for spending in the sector. We kick-started our sectoral debates in November last year with the Service Chiefs and the Inspector General of Police to demonstrate the seriousness we attach to security.”

On the economy, the Speaker stated that members of the House were also aware of the challenges facing their constituents across Nigeria. Of particular concern to the House, he noted, was the high inflation rates, particularly the rate of food inflation. “As you are all aware, various factors, including insecurity, economic downturns and climate change-induced disruptions, have exacerbated this crisis,” he noted.

Speaker Abbas commended the “rapid and decisive response” of the President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, to the issue of food security. He recalled that the 2023 Supplementary Budget provided N200billion palliative package, mainly for grains, seeds, agricultural inputs and equipment for farmers. He noted that this momentum had been sustained in the 2024 budget, which he said had significantly improved budgetary allocations to all critical sectors of the economy, especially defense, healthcare, education and infrastructure

Speaker Abbas partly stated: “We in the National Assembly have supported and will continue to support the government’s efforts in finding effective solutions to these challenges. For the first time in the history of the Nigerian legislature, the 10th House set up a Committee on Nutrition and Food Security with a mandate to strengthen the legislative framework for nutrition governance in Nigeria, advocate for the inclusion of nutrition in government priority programmes and monitor resource allocation to nutrition in the annual budget estimates.

“I wish to reassure all Nigerians that the House will prioritise funding for programmes and initiatives to alleviate hunger and enhance security. We are fully committed to supporting policies that will stimulate our economy, provide relief, and ensure relief is felt in every home.

“In addition to promoting security so that farmers can feel safe to return to their farms, the House will support import and export policies that stabilise food prices and ensure adequate supply of essential food items at affordable rates, especially for our constituents living in rural areas. We also propose enacting legislation to enable swift government response to tackle food shortages, including emergency food aid and support for affected populations.”

Speaker Abbas stated that as Nigerians navigate through “these tumultuous times,” the importance of unity and constructive engagement could not be overstated, stressing that the synergy between the three arms of the government – executive, legislative, and judiciary – is paramount.

He said: “For this reason, I call on every citizen to engage in positive and constructive criticism. Your voices and opinions are invaluable, providing the compass that guides our actions and policies. At this juncture, ladies and gentlemen of the press, as the Speaker of the House of Representatives, my colleagues and I invite Nigerians to engage critically with us on important national issues. In fact, we encourage and welcome criticisms, but these must be constructive and targeted at building national unity and cohesion and advancing development.

“However, while we encourage freedom of expression and constructive dialogue, we must also be wary of the dangers of fake news and campaigns of slander and defamation, especially against the President and senior government officials.”

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *