PRESS STATEMENT GIVEN TODAY, WEDNESDAY JUNE 8, 2016, BY THE SPEAKER, DELTA STATE HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY, RT. HON. MONDAY OVWIGHO IGBUYA, ON THE OCCASION OF THE FIRST ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION OF THE SIXTH ASSEMBLY AT DELTA STATE HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY PRESS CENTRE.
Gentlemen of the Press,
On behalf of my colleagues and the good people of Delta State (whom we represent), I warmly welcome you to this press briefing on the activities of the Delta State House of Assembly over the past one year.
I must commend your 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.
Before I proceed with the business of the day, let me quickly thank my colleagues and the staff of this Assembly for their cooperation and contributions to the smooth running of the business of the House.
We thank the Almighty God for giving us good health and strength to carry on with our task of Lawmaking.
I must also use this medium to pay glowing tribute to the good men and women, who contributed to the efficient functioning of this House thus far.
We have been through thick and thin together and have pulled through it all as one big family. Our victory is perhaps assured because the general interest of the people has always been our paramount concern.
The primary assignment of members of the Sixth Assembly of Delta State is to project the will of the various constituencies and to make laws that will engender good governance.
With regard to the above, I can say with great humility that the Sixth Assembly has recorded modest achievements which are summarized below:
1. The House received a total of twenty-three bills (23), out of which, ten (10) have been passed into law;
2. A total of fifty-three (53) motions were received and fifty two (52) approved;
3. Eighteen (18) reports have so far been received and adopted; and
4. A number of other issues are before different committees for consideration.
Bills Received by the House are:
1) Delta State Oil Producing Area Development Law (Amendment), 2015;
2) Delta State Contributory Health Commission Bill, 2015;
3) Delta State Bureau of Land Instrument Preparation Charges Bill, 2015;
(4) Appropriation (Amendment) Bill, 2015
(5) Delta State House of Assembly Service Commission Bill, 2015;
6) Delta State Community Service Bill, 2015; 6) Delta State Economic Planning Council (Amendment) Bill, 2015;
7) The Delta State Public Procurement Commission (Amendment) Bill, 2015;
8) Delta State Agency for Control of HIV and AIDS Bill, 2015;
9) Appropriation Bill, 2016;
10) Delta State Structure for Signage and Advertisement Agency Bill, 2016;
11) Delta State Advisory Council on the Prerogative of Mercy Bill, 2016;
12) Delta State Security Trust Fund (Amendment) Bill, 2016;
13) Delta State Anti-kidnapping Bill, 2016;
14) Delta State Anti-Terrorism and Anti-Cultism Bill, 2016;
15) Delta State Investment Development Agency Bill, 2016;
16) Delta State Scholarship Board Bill, 2016;
17) Delta State Violence Against Persons (Prohibition) Bill, 2016;
18) Delta State Hotels and Restaurants Bill, 2016;
19) Delta State Administration of Criminal Justice Bill, 2016;
20) Delta State Internal Revenue Consolidation (Amendment) Bill, 2016;
21) Delta State Public Procurement Commission (Amendment) Bill, 2015
(22) Delta State Agricultural and Rural Development Authority (Amendment) Bill, 2016
The governor has so far assented to:
1) Delta State Oil Producing Area Development Law (Amendment), 2015;
2) Appropriation Law, 2016;
3) Delta State Contributory Health Commission Law 2015;
4) Delta State Capital Territory Development Agency Law, 2015; and
5) Delta State Technical and Vocational Education Board Law, 2015
The under-listed have been forwarded to the state governor, Sen. Dr. Arthur Ifeanyi Okowa, for assent:
1) The Delta State Economic Planning Council (Amendment) Bill, 2015;
2) Delta State Anti-kidnapping Bill, 2016;
3) Delta State Advisory Council on the Prerogative of Mercy Bill, 2016; and
4) Delta State Security Trust Fund (Amendment) Bill, 2016
Gentlemen of the Press, the House of Assembly is conscious of the yearning of Deltans for quick delivery of the dividends of democracy. Although dwindling oil revenue has impacted negatively on our economy and has consequently limited the capacity of government to meet basic commitments, we remain committed to giving the best representation to our various constituencies and the state in general.
Permit me to use this medium to strongly commend His Excellency, Senator, Dr. Arthur Ifeanyi Okowa, for his unwavering support for the Assembly. 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.
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.
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.
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 Mrs. Nkechi Chukwura has been recalled.
Here at the Delta State House of Assembly, the will of the people is speedily carried out.
We strongly believe that our legacies would not be defined by how long we stay in the House or by whatever position we occupy. It will be defined by what we did with this great opportunity given to us by our people.
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.
Gentlemen of the press, I cannot thank you enough for your friendship and service to the House and our beloved state.
Rt. Hon. (Chief) Monday Ovwigho Igbuya