By Fidel Njamanze
Speaker of the Delta State House of Assembly, Monday Igbuya, Wednesday made a critical appraisal of the Delta State House of Assembly, describing the Sixth Assembly as “the most stable and promising.”
Igbuya who spoke in Asaba on the occasion of the first anniversary celebration of the Sixth Assembly said the House received a total of twenty-three bills (23), fifty-three (53) motions and eighteen (18) reports.
He listed the Delta State Oil Producing Area Development Law (Amendment), 2015, Delta State Contributory Health Commission Bill, 2015, Delta State Bureau of Land Instrument Preparation Charges Bill, 2015, Appropriation (Amendment) Bill, 2015, Delta State House of Assembly Service Commission Bill, 2015, Delta State Community Service Bill, 2015; 6) Delta State Economic Planning Council (Amendment) Bill, 2015, the Delta State Public Procurement Commission (Amendment) Bill, 2015, Delta State Agency for Control of HIV and AIDS Bill, 2015, Appropriation Bill, 2016, Delta State Structure for Signage and Advertisement Agency Bill, 2016 and Delta State Advisory Council on the Prerogative of Mercy Bill, 2016 as bills received by the assembly.
The House, according to Igbuya, also received the Delta State Security Trust Fund (Amendment) Bill, 2016, Delta State Anti-kidnapping Bill, 2016, Delta State Anti-Terrorism and Anti-Cultism Bill, 2016, Delta State Investment Development Agency Bill, 2016, Delta State Scholarship Board Bill, 2016, Delta State Violence Against Persons (Prohibition) Bill, 2016, Delta State Hotels and Restaurants Bill, 2016, Delta State Administration of Criminal Justice Bill, 2016, Delta State Internal Revenue Consolidation (Amendment) Bill, 2016, Delta State Public Procurement Commission (Amendment) Bill, 2015 and Delta State Agricultural and Rural Development Authority (Amendment) Bill, 2016.
Igbuya, in a joyous mood throughout the press conference, said “The governor has so far assented to the Delta State Oil Producing Area Development Law (Amendment), 2015, Appropriation Law, 2016, Delta State Contributory Health Commission Law 2015, Delta State Capital Territory Development Agency Law, 2015; and Delta State Technical and Vocational Education Board Law, 2015
“The Delta State Economic Planning Council (Amendment) Bill, 2015, Delta State Anti-kidnapping Bill, 2016, Delta State Advisory Council on the Prerogative of Mercy Bill, 2016; and Delta State Security Trust Fund (Amendment) Bill, 2016 have been forwarded to the state governor, Arthur Ifeanyi Okowa, for assent,” he said.
Igbuya who spoke at length about the yearning of Deltans for quick delivery of the dividends of democracy, dwindling oil revenue and its negative impact on the economy and capacity of government to meet basic commitments, described Governor Ifeanyi Okowa as a blessing to Delta State.
“In my inaugural address, I told the good people of the state that the legislature would maintain cordial working relationship with the Executive. The Assembly has since then enjoyed a harmonious relationship with the Executive, having so far approved several requests of the governor. It screened and confirmed nominees for appointment as commissioners of the Government of Delta State and several other positions,” he said.
Igbuya also spoke on the sanitization of some local governments in the state.
“We must also not forget the role of the Assembly in the sanitization of the Local Government system. In the light of great insecurity and evidence of financial fraud, occasioned by flagrant disregard for constituted authority, the House suspended the Executive Chairman of Uvwie Local Government Area.
“It subsequently set up an adhoc committee to verify the authenticity of the various petitions levelled against him. On grounds of financial recklessness, fraud and diversion of funds, the House relieved the chairman of his duties as Executive Chairman and Accounting Officer of Uvwie LGA”.
He continued; “Sequel to the impeachment notice forwarded to the House by 12 of the 15 councilors of Ndokwa East Local Government Area, the committee on Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs of the House suspended the Executive Chairman of the council. This was necessary to give the House the opportunity to carry out a thorough investigation into the issues raised. I am happy to inform you that she is back to her seat”.
Focusing on accountability and responsibility to the electorate, Igbuya said “Here at the Delta State House of Assembly, the will of the people is speedily carried out”.
“In the second year of the Sixth Assembly, we will focus on issues that will move us closer to the dreams and aspirations of our founding fathers. We will continue to offer the best representation to the people of Delta State. We will continue to support government’s effort at guaranteeing peace, security and welfare of all Deltans. We will strive to finish the work we have started. We will continue to put in longer hours in debating and making the laws that would move our state forward. We will welcome the battle of ideologies. We will encourage and engage in it, openly, honestly, and respectfully”
Amidst intermittent applause from Honourable members, staff of the assembly and journalists, Igbuya said members of the Assembly would closely monitor the implementation of the budget by providing effective oversight,
“We will continue to keep faith with our duties of Law making, Representation and Oversight functions of the Executive arm of government. We will continue to insist on probity, accountability and efficiency in the implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the 2016 Budget” he said.
He commended local and foreign journalists for their efforts in bringing to the spotlight the activities, deliberations, and resolutions of the House.
“Functions of the press transcend entertainment, education and mere information dissemination. Indeed, the role of the press in democratic dispensation and otherwise is to bring about real political change through robust discourse”.
He also praised his colleagues and the staff of the Assembly for their cooperation and contributions to the smooth running of the business of the House.