When Lawmakers Renewed Bond with Constituents

0

Remi Adefulu
For members of the 8th Lagos State. House of Assembly, Wednesday October 5, 2016 was another dream come true in furtherance of their promise to make the people the corner stone of government policies through regular interaction.

About the same time last year, they held the first-ever stakeholders summit initiated by its speaker Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa across the length and breadth of the 40 constituencies in Lagos State to seek Lagosians input into the 2016 budget.

This was in line with the agenda of the speaker, who had at the inception of his leadership promised to use the platform to interact with the people annually to promote good governance and accountability.

It was therefore unsurprising that this year’s meeting witnessed far more than it witnessed in terms of attendance across the state.

Even before 10:00am when the event was billed to start, artisans, students, activists, Obas’ Chiefs etc had thronged the various centres to rub minds with their representatives.
One of the unique features of the event with the theme “Neighbourhood/Community Policing Starts With Me” was that Lagos Assembly had structured the event to hold simultaneously across the state.

It was leant that this was designed to get Lagosians more interested in the security of the state for safer living in view of current security challenges in the country.

Setting the tone for event in Agege, Speaker Obasa said “this Constituency stakeholders’ meeting is aimed at briefing you on the activities of the Assembly in the last one year, our response to the challenges in the state as well as to obtain information from you on the peculiar security system in our constituencies with suggestion on how to combat same.

“I wish to state that it is in our determination to give meaning to good representation and good governance that we have come again with this second edition of the constituency stakeholders’ meeting which will enable us sit together to brief you on our activities in the last one year, to rub minds and obtain first-hand information concerning the state of affairs and assess the level of development and needs of our constituents.

“We submitted the collated complaints and request of our constituencies to His Excellency, the governor of Lagos State, Mr. Akinwumi Ambode, for Executive Action. I am pleased to inform, that the report has been receiving the attention of the governor, and part of your requests and our recommendations have been implemented across the state.

“Some of the complaints and requests that are being acted upon by the governor are, the pen Cinema overhead bridge at Agege, two roads in each of the Local Government Areas and Local Council Development Areas of the State, the Memorandum of Understanding on the fourth Mainland Bridge and very many other projects that are being executed across the state between the last constituency stakeholders meeting of Thursday, 12th November 2015 and today. “The Governor had through circular no. MEPB/B/2015/ 10 from the Ministry of Economic Planning and Budget with Ref. No: MEPB/B.2016/774/iv/7 dated 30th August, 2016 stated as follows:

“In line with the policy of the state government of inclusive governance, the process leading to Y2017 budget commenced with the yearly budget consultative forum which provided an avenue for citizens and residents of the state in the three (3) Senatorial Districts to make inputs into the budget. MDAs are enjoined to incorporate these inputs into their budget proposal (Annexure 1). In addition, members of the Lagos State House of Assembly held Constituency Stakeholders’ meeting across the 40 Constituencies of our state and the reports are equally available as inputs into Y2017 budget.

“This is our testimony to you that your contributions during stakeholders meeting are valuable and that our governor listens. It is our delight to note that since our last meeting, the first of its kind to hold simultaneously in the state, other agencies of government, both at the Federal and State level, have also held stakeholders meetings, engaging members of the public on policies and programmes of Government. This is a drive to bring governance closer to the people in order to facilitate participatory governance”.

Giving further account of his stewardship to his people, he disclosed that six major roads had been constructed in the area, while five others are on-going. This is aside the on-going Abule Egba and pen Cinema fly over bridges as well as pedestrian bridges at Cement bus stop, Dopemu and Iyana Ipaja.

The All Progressives Congress (APC) chieftain however tasked Lagosians to take good care of government projects in their communities to enjoy their benefits for a long period of time.
From Ikeja to Kosofe, Ikorodu, Epe, Alimosho, Somolu, Mushin, Eti-osa, and others, the scenario was the same. To underscore the importance of exercise officials of the Assembly and the state Ministry of works were on hand to document the people’s demand for two days.

Those who could not speak during the event were assured that their memoranda would be looked into by the lawmakers. One after the other, contributors at the events commended the Obasa-led Assembly for ensuring that some of their demands in 2015 had been executed. They however tasked the lawmakers to ensure that they continue in this light to ensure basic infrastructure were provided across the state.

Speaking on the exercise, the chairman, House committee on Information and strategy, Hon. Tunde Braimoh, assured Lagosians of the Lawmakers support. According to him, most of the requests made last year would be taken care in the Medium Term Expenditure Frame work (MTEF), which will last for three years.

He also paid glowing tributes to Governor Ambode for performing excellently well to the admiration of all so far. Braimoh who said the House had lived up to its billing as the foremost State Legislature in Nigeria, added that the pro-people bills passed by the House
were aimed at safeguarding the lives of Lagosians and attracting
investments.
-Adefulu is a Lagos based journalist