Dear Good People of Lagos East Senatorial District, it is my humble privilege to present this mid-term stewardship report for my second term activities in the senate of the National Assembly. I wish to use this opportunity to also identify with all Muslim faithful as they remain steadfast and abide by Allah’s precepts in this holy month of Ramadan. I pray that Almighty Allah in his grace and mercies will accept our service and supplication. Permit me to also use this medium to congratulate all Nigerians on the occasion of celebrating 18 years of uninterrupted democracy. I urge us all to continue to work together to make Nigeria great.
As you will vividly recall, I commenced the second term of my service to you as your senator when the eighth National Assembly was inaugurated on the June 9, 2015. I thank you once again for the mandate and the confidence reposed in me to deliver true service targeted at creating sustainable change at the national and local levels of government. I will be the first to admit that the eighth senate is still work in progress. With two years left, I can assure you all that we are not resting on our oars in providing legislative guidance towards steering the ship of state to calmer waters after many years of sailing through the storms of corruption.
The purpose of this mid-term stewardship report is to provide a basis for a mid-term assessment of service delivery in the spirit of accountability and responsibility required of public servants at all levels of government. This report is a highly summarized account of my activities over the past two years as a second term senator from June 2015 till June 2017. I have taken the liberty of uploading a very detailed and comprehensive version on my website (www.gbengaashafa.com) for your further study. Please do find the time to visit, read and share.
- LEGISLATIVE BUSINESS (BILLS, MOTIONS, COMMITTEE WORK)
In addition to chairing the Senate Committee on Land Transport, I am also an active member of the Senate Committees on Constitution Review, Water Resources, Establishment (Pension and public services), Foreign Affairs, Legislative Compliance and National Security & Intelligence.
NIGERIAN RAILWAY BILL 2016:
As the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Land Transport, I have been able to midwife the passage of the Nigerian Railway bill, 2016. This new law represents a radical departure from the norm as the new law has effectively broken down the railway sector into the Regulatory and Operations components in line with international best practices, thereby creating a level playing field for private and state sector participation. When implemented, it is forecasted that this new law will attract the largest infrastructural developments in the Nigerian rail sector, attract foreign direct investments and ultimately translate to millions of jobs.
NATIONAL TRANSPORT COMMISSION BILL:
The Senate Committee on Land Transport has also been working on the National Transport Commission Bill, which seeks to create an economic and safety oversight agency.
This commission, which will serve as an umbrella body for all transport agencies playing regulatory roles in Nigeria’s transport sector – ports, inland water ways, land transport and Aviation. This important bill which was introduced about 17 years ago has not been passed till date. The 8th Senate under the leadership of our Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki is committed to ensuring that the bill sees the light of day.
As earlier said, the bill when finally passed into law will establish the National Transport Commission. Another objective of this commission will be to create a multi-modal transport sector regulator which would regulate the economic framework for the provision of transport services and facilities; facilitate effective competition, promote competitive market, conduct and ensure that the misuse of monopoly or non-transitory market power is prevented in the provision of transport services, promote private sector participation in the provision of transport services. This regulator will also serve as an umbrella body, giving direction for the economic repositioning of the entire transport sector of our economy and be the main policy driver of the nation’s transport policy. The road to the passage of this all-important piece of legislation is at an advanced stage and I am confident that it will soon be passed, thus heralding the transformation of our transport sector in its entirety.
In addition to co-sponsoring other bills, I have directly sponsored six Bills since June 2015 and they are:
The Nigerian Drug Law Enforcement Agency Act Amendment Bill 2016
The Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport Bill 2016
The City University of Technology Bill 2016
Sporting Tax Holiday Bill 2016.
The Nigerian Postal Service Bill 2017.
The Nigerian French Language Village Establishment Bill 2017.
A Bill for the amendment of the National Sports Act, 2017.
Some of the Co – Sponsored Bills include:
A Bill For An Act To Establish Lagos State Special Economic Assistance Programme By Senator Oluremi Tinubu.
A Bill For An Act To Amend The Prisons Act Cap P.29 By Senator Oluremi Tinubu.
A Bill to provide the Establishment Of National Animal Identification and Management Bureau By Sen Abu Ibrahim;
A Bill to an Act to amend the Electoral Act No 6 of 2010 as amended by Senator Monsurat Sumonu
A Bill for An Act to Repeal The Prison Act Cap. P29 Of The Federation Of Nigeria 2004 And Enact The Nigeria Prisons And Correctional Service, To Make Provisions For The Administration Of Prisons In Nigeria: The Awaiting Trial Persons And For Related Purposes 2015 by Senator Shaaba Lafiagi.
In addition to making meaningful contributions whilst deliberating on other motions put up for discussion by my distinguished colleagues, I have also sponsored several motions, which include:
Motion on Fuel Tanker Tragedies on Nigeria Highways.
Motion on Nigerians involvement in illicit Global Drug Trade and increase in Domestic Abuse by Nigerian Youths.
Motion condemning the rising incidences of Jungle Justice in Nigeria.
Motion on urgent need for the Nigerian police force and other security agencies to intervene in the increased rate of kidnapping in the Lagos East senatorial district and securing the waterways.
Motion on the Outbreak of Meningitis: Urgent need to curb the spread and stop further deaths.
Motion On Inadequate Releases In The 2017 Budget And The Need To Expedite Releases In Order To Stimulate The Economy.
Motion on The need to check the rising menace of pharmaceutical drug abuse among youths especially in northern Nigeria. (Co-sponsor)
Motion on the Unity of Nigeria by Senate Leader, Senator Ahmed Lawan (Co-sponsor)
Motion on the urgent need for the Federal Government to redeem Local Contractors Debts. – Senator Oluremi Tinubu (Co-sponsor)
Motion on the need to avoid imminent disruption of full academic activities and closure of Federal University of Maiduguri, due to rising insecurity occasioned by the spate of suicide bomb attacks. – Senator Kaka (Co-sponsor)
INSPECTION OF RAILWAY COACHES AND WAGONS IN NIGERIA:
In my capacity as the Chairman, Senate Committee on Land Transport, I was on the Ministerial Delegation to inspect some of the new modern rail coaches expected in Nigeria by the Nigerian Railway Corporation, in Nanjing, China.
In line with the vision of His Excellency, President Muhamadu Buhari, Our goal remains the revitalization of our railways for the benefit of all Nigerians.
I also used the opportunity to reiterate the point that Nigeria is a fertile land open to FDI, confident of Return on their investment.
- CONSTITUENCY ENGAGEMENTS, SME EMPOWERMENT TOOLS AND SOCIAL WELFARE PROJECTS
Through our legislative office at the National Assembly, the constituency offices situated in all the Local Government Areas within our Senatorial District and other platforms of engagement (e.g. Social Media), I have directly facilitated several town hall meetings, empowerment sessions for SME owners in Lagos East and the siting of capital-intensive projects targeted at empowering a minimum of 10, 000 constituents of Lagos East. My actions are driven by a firm belief that one of the primary responsibilities of government is to implement economic policies that lift millions of our citizens out of poverty, and to use the resources at its disposal to create safety nets for the poor and vulnerable in our society.
Donation of 500 units of Sewing Machines.
Donation of 100 units of Tricycles
Donation of 200 units of Grinding Machines.
Donation of 20 units of Block Making Machine
Donation of 150 units of 1.2KVA Generators.
Donation of 10 units of 6.5KVA Generators
Donation of 2 units of Transformers (already installed in Somolu and Epe)
Completed construction of an ICT Centre with Supply of Computer Systems at Oreyo Secondary School , Igbogbo, Ikorodu.
Construction of Solar Boreholes in 7 locations (Somolu, Bariga, Ojota, Isheri-Magodo, Agbede-Ikorodu, Ketu, Ibeju-Lekki)
Town Hall meetings at Kosofe, Ikorodu and Magodo.
Free medical outreaches across all the LGAs in Lagos East senatorial district in December, 2016
Distribution of educational kits and back-to-school materials to more than 3000 pupils in Lagos East in December, 2016.
Awards of scholarships, financial assistance and medical assistance to constituents under the Gbenga Ashafa Trust Endowment (G.A.T.E).
Donation of security equipment to complement existing efforts at ensuring adequate security for two schools in Epe and Ikorodu.
Agricultural entrepreneurship program in conjunction with Small and MediumEn-terprises Development Agency of Nigeria for the first batch of (250) Constituents of Lagos East and the subsequent distribution of seed funds to beneficiaries. (February, 2017)
THE FIGHT AGAINST DRUG ABUSE:
Drug abuse is one of the biggest emerging challenges in Nigeria today and our young ones are unfortunately most susceptible.
In August, I teamed up with my neighbours in the valley view zone, Magodo on a community enlightenment drive against Drug Abuse.
Charity they say begins at home. Hence, we have decided to adopt the community approach. Together we can save the “minds” of our future.
The fight against drug abuse forms part of my legislative agenda & I have sponsored a bill and a motion to strengthen the fight against it.
COMMENDATIONS & AWARDS RECEIVED
I would also like to appreciate the Press Corps of the Nigerian Senate and The Amalgamated Commercial Motorcycle and Tricycle Riders Association of Nigeria who conferred me with awards as the PARLIAMENTARY ADVOCATE ON INFRASTRUCTURE 2016 and THE ARROWHEAD OF TRANSPORTATION respectively. Also, I was only recently conferred with the SPECIAL RECOGNITION AWARD for the work we did on the passage of the Nigerian Railway Authority Bill, 2015 by the National Assembly Business Environment Roundtable.
Other awards and recognitions include:
SENATOR OF THE YEAR AWARD – CITY PEOPLE GROUP
AWARD OF EXCELLENCE- MEGA TREND PRODUCTION 2016
POLITICAL LEADERSHIP – NIGERIA UNION OF JOURNALISTS (LAGOS TELEVISION CHAPTER)
SPECIAL RECOGNITION AWARD FOR THE WELFARE AND EMPOWERMENT OF WIDOWS – IBUKUN FOUNDATION FOR WIDOWS
GOLDEN MERIT AWARD – LAGOS STATE PUBLIC SERVICE CLUB IKORODU ANNEX
HEROES AWARD – THE ACHIEVERS INDIGENE OF ELEMORO LAND,IBEJU-LEKKI
While I acknowledge that nothing can be too much to do for the industrious and hardworking people of Lagos East Senatorial District and that indeed so much more can be done, I am grateful for the support we have received from our dear constituents so far. For our constituents who feel we haven’t addressed their concerns, we hear you and promise to do even better in the next half. I am equally aware that the myriad of socio-economic challenges facing the people in our local communities can best be tackled through the synchronized efforts of government at the federal, state and local levels. I recognize the efforts of all entrepreneurs and business owners who are contributing in no small measure to building the kind of trickle-down economic growth we are witnessing in Lagos State. I also commend those in the NGO space and civil society who continuously speak the truth to people in power and provide development opportunities for the less-privileged in their various communities. I wish to end by encouraging you all to continue to contribute your quota to nation building in what you do and wherever you find yourself.
God bless you all.
Senator ‘Gbenga B. Ashafa