The Speaker, Delta State House of Assembly, Rt Hon Sheriff Oborevwori has said that for the first time, a Speaker of the House was addressing the press on the activities of the House to mark its anniversary as Honourable Speaker and at the same time, a Gubernatorial candidate, saying that; “Together we have made history for ourselves”.
In his address at a press briefing in Commemoration of the Third Anniversary of the Seventh Assembly, held on Friday, June 10, 2022 at the Press Centre of the Delta State House of Assembly, Rt Hon Oborevwori who won the State PDP Governorship Primary on Wednesday, May 25th, 2022, said that he was highly elated to address the press on the activities of the Seventh Assembly of the House during its Third session which ended on the 9th of June, 2022.
Describing the day as a momentous and historic for the Delta State House of Assembly and the State in general, the State PDP Governorship Candidate stated that; “This is the first time a Speaker of the House is addressing the press on the activities of the House to mark its anniversary as Honourable Speaker and at the same time a gubernatorial candidate. Together we have made history for ourselves”.
Rt Hon Oborevwori, who is also the National Deputy Chairman of the Conference of Speakers of State Legislatures of Nigeria said that the Seventh Assembly since its inauguration in June 2019 had dutifully continued to perform its constitutional role of law making, representation and oversight of other arms of government.
“We have demonstrated strong will in scrutinizing requests from the Executive arm of Government, ensuring passage of realistic Budgets, robust engagement with Ministries, Departments and Agencies of Government, undertaking constituencies outreach, oversight of government’s projects and programmes, and passage of people oriented Bills into law for the development of the State”, he stated.
According to him, in the course of the Third Session of the Seventh Assembly, lawmakers in the State reaffirmed their commitment in contributing efficiently and effectively, legislative actions and programmes geared towards infrastructural development, empowerment schemes for youth and women, free maternal health, free basic and secondary education, peace and security for the people.
He said that; “As a House, this media briefing provides us an opportunity to showcase our successes, challenges and prospects in the last Session. Gentlemen of the press, despite the challenges of the new normal brought about by the Covid-19, in the Third Session, the Delta State House of Assembly was able to make remarkable progress in carrying out its constitutional legislative duties of lawmaking, representation and oversight functions without let or hindrance”.
The Speaker, who was flanked by Principal officers of the House disclosed that during the period under review, the House received a total of twenty five Bills; fifteen Executive Bills and ten Private Members’ Bills, adding that out of this number, twenty one Bills were passed; fifteen Bills plus one Bill received by the House in the First Session, but passed in the Third Session were assented to by the State Governor, Senator Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, “six of the Bills are awaiting assent while three are still undergoing consideration by the House. The House also approved 85 motions and resolutions in the period under review”.
He listed the Bills passed and assented to include: Delta State University (Amendment) Law, 2021; Delta State Audit Law, 2021; Delta State House of Assembly Service ( Establishment etc ) Law, 2021; Delta State Printing and Publishing Corporation ( Amendment) Law, 2021; Delta State House of Assembly Fund Management ( Financial Autonomy) Law, 2021; Delta State Judiciary Fund Management ( Financial Autonomy) Law, 2021; Delta State Livestock Breeding, Rearing and Marketing Regulation Law, 2021; Delta State Supplementary Appropriation Law, 2021; Delta State Audit ( Amendment) Law, 2021; Delta State House of Assembly Commission ( Amendment) Law, 2021; Appropriation Law, 2021; Asaba Specialist Hospital Law, 2021; Delta State Debt Management Law, 2021; Delta State Erosion and Watershed Management Agency Law, 2021; Delta State Regulation of Community Development Association Law, 2021; and Delta State Urban and Regional Planning Law, 2021″.
“Bills passed and awaiting assent: Delta State Manufacture and Use of Cotonou Boats Bill, 2022; Delta State Public Finance Management Bill,2022; Delta State HIV/AIDS Anti-discrimination and Protection Bill,2022; Delta State Waterways Tax, Control and Licensing of Boats (Repeal and Re-enactment) Bill, 2022; Delta State Forfeiture of Property Bill, 2022; and Delta State Maternal and Perinatal Death Surveillance and Response (MPDSR) Bill,2022”.
“Bills at different stages of consideration: Delta State Electric Power Sector Reform Bill, 2022; Delta State Environmental Conservation Bill,2020; and Delta State Farmers Registration, Monitoring and Certification Bill, 2022”, he added.
He also said that in the same period under review, the House hosted some Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and promised to partner with them for a robust lawmaking process and other areas that will promote good governance through the apparatus of the Legislature.
“The House knowing and recognizing the importance of the media in the development of our democracy has a cordial working relationship with the Press. In the Third Session, we had interactive session with the State Chairman and leadership of the NUJ. We also received in audience some chapels of the NUJ in the State. We will continue to count on the Press for the coverage of activities of the House. My office is open and you have unhindered access to verify any piece of information before going to Press”, Rt Hon Oborevwori said.
The Seventh Assembly, he said, has always harped on continuous training of Members and Staff for efficient and effective service delivery, revealing that; “In the Third Session, Members attended a rigorous and tasking leadership training at the Moller Institute, Churchill College, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom. The impact of that training has elevated the quality of work output in the House”.
“In this period under review, management staff of the House attended a Retreat to evaluate and strengthen the work ethics of staff to enhance service delivery. Staff and political aides were also sent for various specialised workshops and training respectively”, the Speaker said.
He noted that the Seventh Assembly believes in industrial harmony and therefore has maintained and sustained cordial relationship with the Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria (PASAN) and said that; “In the period under review, for the first time in the history of the House, the leadership of the House approved end-of-year party for staff and their families to unwind”.
The House, he pointed out, could not have achieved this feat without the support of Governor Okowa, disclosing that Delta State was among the first states to operate financial autonomy in the three arms of government and that respect of the Governor for the doctrine of separation of power among the three arms of government has resulted in economic growth, job creation, infrastructural development, peace and security in the State.
While also commending his colleagues for their unity of purpose, the Speaker said that; “Their exemplary support for the leadership of the House has turned the Delta State House of Assembly into one big family and the most vibrant State House of Assembly in the country”.
“I cannot forget the immense contributions and cooperation of management and staff of the Assembly for the success recorded so far. In the same vein, let me sound our appreciation to Deltans, residents and constituents for their love, prayers and support for the Legislature. We will not take your mandate and trust for granted”, he stated.
He also said that; “As we begin a new Session today, we will remain committed to the service of our people with all sense of responsibility and accountability. We will continue to apply ourselves to the job we are elected to do, so that together with the Executive, we shall FINISH STRONG”.