In a no holds barred interview, Honorable Member of the Federal House of Representatives, RT. HON. OLUFEMI RICHARD BAMISILE discussed germane facts concerning the development of his constituency, proactive representation of Ekiti South at the National Assembly, Improved Procedures on Bills and National Budget among others. ABIODUN BORISADE excerpts.
Going by your antecedents in Ekiti Politics coupled with your rich profile in Public Service, kindly beam some lights on your portfolio for the benefit of the teeming readers.
I am Rt. Honourable Femi Bamisile, Ikota-Ekiti. By the grace of God, I am a member representing Ekiti South Federal Constituency II and the Chairman, House Committee on Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA). Highlighting my political credentials, with over 20years of experience, I have had the privilege of serving in the cabinet of virtually all the governors who have served Ekiti State. I have functioned in the capacity of a Special Adviser in the state as well.
“I was appointed as the Ag. Chairman of Ekiti State Sports Commission, and later as Special Assistant on General Duties. In 2003, I was appointed as the Liaison Officer of Ekiti House in Lagos; and in the same year (2003) I got involved in democratic process where I contested for the primary ticket of Ekiti State House of Assembly under the Platform of the then Alliance for Democracy (AD) which I won.
“I contested once again for the membership of Ekiti State House of Assembly in April 2007, which I also won and eventually emerged the Speaker of the third parliament between 2007 and 2009.
“These and a few more to mention clearly explain the span of time I have spent in public service and politics in Ekiti State. God willing, if life is there, I’m still counting my years in public service.”
Your political trajectory is commendable. Kindly explain in details, the challenges of your transition from state to national politics and how you are able to assimilate into the system at the Federal House of Representatives.
“For me, I have enjoyed every bit of experience since I was elected to represent my constituency in the Federal House of Representatives. Through the primaries, prior to my victory at the polls, the party (All Progressive Congress) ensured a free and fair process, although my candidacy was unopposed, many thanks to Governor Kayode Fayemi on his efforts to ensure a due process of the elections.
“Joining other colleagues, 359 of them from different federal constituencies having different ideas, orientations and agenda, though for collective national development, I can tell you categorically that the House is rich in experienced personalities who have served in various arms of public service and technocrats who have the skills to engineer a proactive legislation.
“Coming to this kind of platform with a level of experience and exposure, the edge for me personally is being a former Speaker of Ekiti State House of Assembly, the citadel of knowledge in the West. Knowing this, I had to do a reassessment of myself and fashion a way to project the desires of this state at the federal level. This is the case with other representatives of the state at the federal level. We work together for the collective good of the state.
“Following this reassessment, I was able to draw up a plan of operation to give my state a national scope of things to come on development and other areas of governance.”
Internationally, the dynamics are different. What are the long-term plans of the House of Representatives to ensure Nigeria gets a rightful place among the committee of nations in the scheme of development internationally?”
“The National Assembly has gone beyond deliberating basically on national issue. We have withdrawn our scope of operation to see how we can leverage on the economy of the world and find a strategic place among the league of nations. One of the major things we have looked deeply into is the duration of passage of bills into law. For instance, the budget of the country is being passed in the second half of every year and this cause a great deal of set back to the economic development of Nigeria. So clearly, the Senate and House of Representatives have developed a symbiotic relationship to fasten the process of bills and budgets passing.
“The National Assembly is not a rubber stamp body to the executive arm of government as claimed by some members of the opposition. We ensure due proceedings of our activities to fast track the running of government for the benefit of Nigerians. We have the likes of Speaker of House of Representatives Femi Gbajabiamila who was a five-time member of the House or that or Ahmed Ibrahim Lawan, President of the Senate of Nigeria, who is a four-time member too.
“These are examples of people who have ground understanding of Legislature in Nigeria. By the reason of this, we have a better approach to being proactive about the passage of budget for the good of the country. We cannot afford to fail the people and this will be evident in the passage of the 2020 budget by December 2019 and I am sure this will put us into perspective of gaining our rightful place among the league of nations as matters of legislation is concerned.
“The swift response of the National Assembly to recent issues such as the xenophobic attack in South Africa is another example of how responsive and proactive the House is on matters that concerns Nigerians. The Speaker had to cut his trip short from Tanzania to reconvene the House quicker than the stipulated date of resumption to deliberate on the issue and synergize with the Presidency on a strategic ways to resolve the issue with the government of South Africa.”
On a final note, with regards to your constituency, what do you want your people to hold you accountable for as regards to execution of projects?
“As an individual who is people-oriented, I work with my team often to strategize on developmental projects and activities for my constituency. By the end of the fourth quarter of this year, I will be announcing a list of constituency projects to embark on. As the Chairman of FERMA, I’m also looking to influence good road network linking my constituency to other parts of the state.
“Our projects will of cause cover the interest of youths, artisans, business owners alike. We are also not leaving out the projects on Social Investment Programmes for the benefit of my people.”