Former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Dimeji Bankole, yesterday revealed that almost N1 trillion unspent budget was returned to the Federation Account during his regime as the Speaker.
Bankole said about N500 billion was returned in the first year of his tenure, while N300 and N120 billions were returned in the second and third years, respectively.
The former Speaker revealed this while speaking on the topic ‘Tertiary Education: The pathway to sustainable development’ at the Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye, Ogun State during the 4th open lecture series of the school.
Bankole revealed that despite advances by some undisclosed persons, he wouldn’t pass any appropriation bill into law until the unspent budget of the previous year was returned to the federation account.
He regretted that monies had not been returned to the federation account by his successors since he left office five years ago.
However, Bankole challenged higher institutions in the country to come up with strong characters who will get involved in leadership of the country through involvement in politics.
The former speaker said though he was the youngest speaker the country has produced, he was ready for the challenge before the opportunity came.
He said he had joined politics about 15 years before he became the Speaker and that he learnt politics very well through his father, Chief Alani Bankole and other politicians in Ogun State.
Bankole, who agreed that he was an extremely lucky Nigerian, said opportunities only favour those who are prepared for it.
He said Nigeria has enough research centres in the numerous higher institutions in the country which should become the performance indications of the country.
“Many people would say the youngest Speaker in Nigeria but many didn’t know that I have been in politics for 15 years before I became the speaker.
“I was following my old man and other politicians right from the younger age where I learnt grassroot politics and I learnt very well and when the opportunity came, I was ready for it because opportunity will only favour those who are prepared.
“Our institutions should come up with strengths and characters to get involved in politics. Nigerian’s future has suffered from bad leadership.
“We have research centres to produce leadership, research centres in our institutions should become the performance indication of this country,” Bankole said.

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