By: Felix Ikpotor
The member representing Bonny/ Degema Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, Hon. Doctor Farah Dagogo has urged the National Assembly to halt the planned 37 billion renovation of the National Assembly.
He also said the purchase of vehicles for members of NASS should be shelved as well, noting that means of transportation should not be a thing of concern for members at the moment.
The Rivers-born lawmaker advised that the ‘renovation and car purchase’ be sacrificed ‘for now’ and rather channelled towards tackling the growing menace of out-of -school children.
A statement by the media aide to the lawmaker, Ibrahim Lawal said he gave the recommendation on Thursday when the House of Representatives held a Special Plenary Session on the out-of-school children issue.
At the session, Minority Leader of the House, Hon. Ndudi Elumelu, urged members to make sacrifices from their allowances and salaries to sponsor out of school children in their various constituencies.
Farah Dagogo said the National Assembly, especially the 9th Assembly, is known for its unalloyed sacrifices for the country and as such prioritizing and finding a lasting solution to the out-of-school debacle, will not be out of character for the Federal Lawmakers.
“First and foremost, I must commend the leadership of the House of Representatives for its well thought out plan with a Special Plenary on the menace of the out-of-school- children. Unfortunately, I wasn’t at that session but I am in complete tune and alignment with the positions canvassed for its solution.
Dagogo who was a former member of the Rivers State House of Assembly said: “I’m particularly happy that the Minority Leader urged members to make sacrifices from their salaries and allowances to curb the menace. That’s good but I think using a legislative backing to rework the 37 billion already budgeted for the renovation of the National Assembly for our out-of – school-children should be thoroughly considered”.
“Also, the planned purchase of vehicles for members should be jettisoned now and rather channelled to the project. Doing so diligently will prove the National Assembly, especially this 9th Assembly, as a group who are willing and ready to sacrifice their comfort for the benefits of the masses, who are also our constituents”.
“We all know the financial quagmire the country is facing today, government at various levels are working round the clock to improve the lives of the masses, but if we are truly desirous of getting this out-of-school children debacle right, renovation of National Assembly, purchase of cars and other sundry matters, should be shelved, the priotity should be how to better the lives of our children for the future. Even if most people would not want to admit it, the National Assembly is an institution known for taking proactive steps and measures that serves the interest of the country; this is another moment to test that character, ” he added.