- Speaker explains why legislature deferred Local Govt Autonomy Bill
Omon-Julius Onabu in Asaba
The 6th Assembly of the Delta State House of Assembly said it has received 36 Executive Bills or 48% of all the Bills the House has to attend to during the last three years of the 6th Assembly.
Speaker, Delta State House of Assembly, Hon Sheriff Oborevwori, revealed this on Wednesday in Asaba while briefing journalists on the activities of the legislature, on the occasion of the third anniversary of the 6th Assembly.
Oborevwori however, noted that the cordial relationship between the state legislature and the Delta State Governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, does not imply that the legislative assembly was a rubber stamp of the governor.
He stressed that such a healthy relationship rather works for the good of the generality of citizens of the state in terms of good governance, adding that Delta State could not afford the kind of cat-and-mouse game currently existing between the executive and the legislature at the national level in the country.
According to the Speaker, the House received 36 Executive Bills, that is, bills sponsored by the governor or Executive Arm of Delta State Government, representing 48% of the total number of bills received during the period under review.
He disclosed that 39 out of a total of 75 bills received by the lawmakers since the inception of Okowa administration were sent in or sponsored by individual members of the House.
Specifically, Oborevwori said that during the period (8th June, 2015 to 7th June, 2018), the House received ”A total of seventy-five (75) Bills and Motions. Thirty-six (36) of these were Executive Bills while thirty-nine (39) were Private Member Bills.
”Twenty-seven (27) Bills have been passed and assented to while five (5) bills are awaiting assent.”
However, ten bills are at the Committee of the Whole House even as ten others are at various committees of the House, the speaker further said.
Among the bills passed by the House and assented to by the governor as laws are the Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development, Delta State Contributory Health Commission, Delta State Anti-kidnapping and Hostage Taking, Delta State Public Procurement Commission Agency and Remuneration, Salaries and Allowances, Gratuities and Pensions of Certain Public Office Holders and Bodies (Amendment).
Oborevwori also explained while the all-important Local Government Autonomy has not been duly attended to by the Delta State House of Assembly under his leadership.
The Speaker said the 6th Assembly had to defer deliberation on the Local Government Autonomy Bill following strong opposition to the bill by certain stakeholders including members of the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) who embarked on protests.
Although, three bills were sponsored during the administration of Goodluck Jonathan and President Muhammadu Buhari at inauguration promised to assent to the bill if the respective state Houses of Assembly did the needful, most of the states have apparently not be enthusiastic about the bill.
The National Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) recently claimed that only 10 state legislatures have so far attended to the bills, which seeks to amend Section 7, Sub-section 162 of the 1999 Constitution, bordering on political and financial independence for local government administration in Nigeria.
The contentious bills also sought to amend Section 7, Sub-section 313 and Section 162 of the 1999 Constitution in order to ensure an effective operation of the countryâ€™s local government system towards social, economic and political development.