The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon Abbas Tajudeen, has officially inaugurated the Surulere Study Centre of the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN), a project facilitated by the Chief of Staff to the President, Hon Femi Gbajabiamila. Additionally, Hon Abbas Tajudeen presided over the opening ceremony of the Femi Gbajabiamila Hall of Residence, a 484-bed facility at the University of Lagos (UNILAG), which was also facilitated by Gbajabiamila during his tenure as the Speaker of the 9th House of Representatives.
Addressing separate events on the same day, Speaker Abbas Tajudeen criticized the criticisms directed at the Zonal Intervention Projects, commonly known as constituency projects. He emphasized that these projects effectively address the needs of Nigerians, particularly at the grassroots level. Earlier in the week, Abbas had inaugurated an 80-bed hospital in Imota, Ikorodu, Lagos State, facilitated by Hon Babajimi Benson, the member representing Ikorodu federal constituency and the Chairman of the House Committee on Defence.
The Speaker highlighted the significance of legislative representation and constituency projects in a functioning democracy, especially within Nigeria’s presidential democracy. He clarified that these initiatives, funded through the government budget, are designed to meet the needs and enhance the living conditions of constituents. Abbas stressed that for many Nigerians, especially at the grassroots level, constituency projects represent the most direct and tangible connection to the government and democracy.
He dispelled misunderstandings about the purpose of constituency projects, emphasizing that they serve as lifelines connecting the government to the needs of communities. Abbas urged fellow legislators to follow the example set by Hon. Gbajabiamila and recommit themselves to constituency projects.
The Speaker commended Gbajabiamila for his efforts in securing funding and support for various projects, including schools, hospitals, and numerous infrastructure developments in Surulere 1 federal constituency and beyond during his tenure in the House. At the commissioning of the hospital facilitated by Hon Babajimi Benson, Abbas acknowledged the challenges facing Nigeria’s health sector, especially evident during the COVID-19 pandemic, where Lagos bore the brunt.
The commissioning of the 80-bed hospital represents a significant step toward addressing healthcare disparities and improving accessibility and quality. It signifies collective aspirations for a Nigeria where quality healthcare is a right for every citizen, serving as a beacon of hope and a vital resource in ongoing efforts to enhance the health and well-being of the community.
During his remarks, Gbajabiamila reflected on his journey, emphasizing the pivotal role played by the University of Lagos in shaping his life. He expressed fondness and pride in the institution, highlighting how it transformed him from a young man with ambitions to one with a well-defined plan.