By Gabriel ENOGHOLASE, Benin
SPEAKER of the House of Representatives, Mr. Dimeji Bankole, Saturday, in Benin-City, disclosed that investigations by the National Assembly have revealed that ministries, departments and agencies of government collected over N3trillion which were not remitted to the federal treasury.
He made this revelation while delivering the 35/36th convocation lecture of the University of Benin, entitled, “The Challenges and Prospects of Transforming the Nigerian Democratic Polity’.
He further disclosed that the renewed commitment of the National Assembly to its oversight activities, as it concerned the tracking and monitoring of budget implementation, has led to the recovery of over N750 billion unspent funds in two years.
According to him, “Before now, such discoveries and re-channeling of the unspent funds for the good people of Nigeria were unheard of. The National Assembly maintains that the rule of law, which is one of the tenets of democracy, must be followed.”
While referring to the 2010 UNDP Human Development Index report which ranked Nigeria 142 in the Low Human Development Category out of 169 countries surveyed globally, Bankole insisted that Nigeria with a reservoir of highly- talented and resourceful persons, had no business being identified with nations on UNDP Low Human Development Category.
He, therefore, canvassed investment in education, noting that the nation stood to benefit from positive development of increased investment in education, stressing that, “It is a known fact that, without quality research which results in improvement in science and technological inventions, we cannot solve the multi-faceted problems of development currently starring Nigeria on the face the face”.
The Speaker, while stressing that the electoral reforms of the National Assembly were targeted at greater transparency and credibility of elections, appealed to Nigerian youths not to allow themselves to be used for electoral rigging and political violence by self serving politicians.