- By Jude Chijioke Ndukwe
Rt Hon Chinedum Enyinnaya Orji MNSE and his colleagues at the 7th Abia State House of Assembly have no doubt performed so excellently well that they receive accolades not only from right thinking Abians and neutrals but also from both the Presidency and the National Assembly for their dexterity in the prompt and exceptional discharge of their duties.
While Nigerians have persistently clamoured for ‘Restructuring’ as a panacea to the myriad of challenges besetting the nation, the National Assembly finally heeded the call to amend several areas of the Constitution that will enhance the sociopolitical and economic fortunes of the country by embarking on the amendment exercise after which it sent the work to the 36 state Houses of Assembly for their consideration and concurrence.
Knowing how important this is to Nigerians and the huge benefits that will accrue to Abians in particular and Nigerians in general from it, the Rt Hon Chinedum Enyinnaya Orji-led House of Assembly promptly worked assiduously on the Bill sent by the National Assembly in March this year, over an extended period of time, and passed same by giving its concurrence on June thus becoming the first House of Assembly to have completed work on the 44 items in the 5th Alteration of the Constitution. Seven other States have also eventually concluded theirs. They are Kogi, Ogun, Edo, Katsina, Lagos, Imo and Ondo. The National Assembly has lamented that Unless something drastic happens, they are set to miss the October deadline since two-third of the State Houses of Assembly is required to give their concurrence before they can conclude and pass the Amendments to the President for his assent. To celebrate Abia State House of Assembly’s feat, the National Assembly did a full page paid publication in Nigerian newspapers showering encomiums on the Abia Lawmakers.
The story was not different when the Abia State House of Assembly became the first and, till date, the only State House of Assembly that has domesticated the Diaspora Law by passing the Abia State Diaspora Commission Law, a feat that drew the applause of the Presidency at the time. Apart from its benefits to Abians in the diaspora, the Commission is already creating jobs for Abians.
Other Bills which the 7th Abia State House of Assembly under the leadership of Rt Hon Chinedum Enyinnaya Orji has passed include but not limited to the following:
1. H.A. B 1: The Abia State House of Assembly Service Commission, 16th July 2019.
This is to promote the true Independence of the Legislature as practised in advanced democracy
2. H.A.B. 3: The Abia State Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) Law 2019, 3rd December, 2019
3. H.A.B. 4: The Abia State University Teaching Hospital Management Board Bill 2019, 17th November, 2020
4. H.A.B. 5: The Abia State Donor Agency Trust Fund, 10th February, 2020
5. H.A.B. 6: The Abia State Consumer Protection Agency Law 2019, 17th November, 2020
6. H.A.B. 8: The Abia State of Nigeria 2019 Supplementary Appropriation Law, 10th December, 2019
7. H.A.B 9: Local Government Councils of Abia State Appropriation Law 2019, 10th December, 2019
8. H.A.B. 10: The Local Government Health Authorities of Abia State Appropriation Law 2019, 24th December, 2019
9. H.A.B. 11: The Abia State of Nigeria 2020 Appropriation Law, 24th December, 2019
10. H.A.B. 13: The Abia State Orientation Agency Law, 4th January, 2020
11. H.A.B. 16: The Abia State Agency for Free Home Healthcare Services for the Elderly, 17th November, 2020
12. H.A.B. 17: The Abia State Security Fund, 23rd March, 2020
13. H.A.B. 18: The Abia State of Nigeria 2020 Local Government Councils Approoriation Bill for a By-Law, 17th November, 2020
14. H.A.B 21: The Abia State Diaspora Commission Law, 22nd March, 2021
15. H.A.B. 30: The Abia State Water and Sewage Development Law, 16th March, 2021
16. H.A.B. 34: The Abia State of Nigeria Supplementary Apprpropriation Law 2020, 7th December, 2020
17. H.A.B. 37: The Abia State of Nigeria 2021 Appropriation Law, 29th December, 2020
18. H.A.B. 41: The Abia State Audit Law 2021 (A Law to Provide for the Appointment of a State Auditor General and an Auditor General for Local Governments in Abia State), 28th June, 2021
19. H.A.B. 42: Abia State Judiciary Fund Management Law, 2021, 5th July, 2021
20. H.A.B. 49: Abia State Government of Nigeria Supplementary Law 2021, 22nd March, 2021
21. H.A.B. 57: A Bill for an Act to Provide for the Fifth Alteration of the 1999 Constitution, 8th June, 2022.
22. H.A.B. 14: The Abia State Marketing and Quality Management Agency Law 2019
23. The Abia State Homeland Security Watch Law 2020
Other Bills being considered by the Assembly and which are at various points of completion are:
24. H.A.B. 12: The Abia State Electricity Power Authority (ABSEPA) and Power Stations Bill, 2019
25. H.A.B. 15: The Abia State Number Plate Production Authority Bill 2019
26. H.A.B 24: The Abia State Industrial Cluster Establishment Bill 2020 (A Bill to Establish Industrial Clusters in the three Senatorial Districts of Abia State)
27. H.A.B. 28: The Abia State Public Procurement (Amendment No 1) Bill 2020 (A Bill for a Law to Amend the Abia State Public Procurement Law No 5 of 2012)
28. H.A.B. 29: The Abia State Secret Cult and Similar Activities (Abolition and Prohibition) Bill 2020
29. H.A.B. 36: The Abia State Watershed Management Bill 2021
30. H.A.B. 38: The Abia State Safety Management and Building Control Agency Bill 2021
31. H.A.B. 43: The Abia State Registration of Industries Operational Permit Bill
32. H.A.B. 45: The Abia State Debt Management Office Bill 2021
33. H.A.B. 46: A Bill for a Law to Establish the Abia State Education for Employment Agency
34. H.A.B. 51: A Bill for a Law to Provide for the Establishment of Abia State Economic Planning Board
35. H.A.B. 53: A Bill for the Establishment of the Abia State University of Medical and Health Management Technology.
36. H.A.B. 55: The Abia State Tele-Health Care Agency Bill 2022
37. H.A.B. 56: The Abia State Food Banks Bill 2022
There are several other Bills and Motions of great impact on the people by the 7th Abia State House of Assembly that we will publish in the next part of this publication.
For example, in the heat of the then seemingly intractable border crisis between the people of Arochukwu LGA and their neighbours from Biase and Odukpani LGAs in Cross River State which always left several dead, the Abia State House of Assembly on the 16th of March, 2020, dispatched a high powered delegation led by the Deputy Speaker, Rt Hon Ifeanyi Uchendu to meet with relevant government functionaries including members of the Cross River State House of Assembly with a view to finding a lasting solution to the crisis.
The journey saw the delegation also meeting with the Deputy Governor of Cross River State, Prof Ijemot Evara Esu who also doubled as the chairman of the State’s Peace and Conflict Resolution body.
A strongly worded communique appealing to the warring communities was issued at the end of the meeting with other practical steps taken to ensure the restoration of peace to the areas, and it has remained so till date, thereby saving lives that would have ordinarily been lost if the Assembly had not intervened.
One doesn’t need to look too hard to see the importance of these Laws passed by the Abia State House of Assembly under the leadership of Rt Hon Chinedum Enyinnaya Orji as they concern security, job creation, promotion of democratic principles and ideals, protection of the fundamental human rights of citizens, youth empowerment among other dividends of democracy to the people.
There are also several Motions and oversight functions of the Assembly on the Executive that have also yielded positive results for the people.
We shall be looking at these and more in our subsequent writings.
Even at this stage, with the scanty information provided so far on the activities of the 7th Abia State House of Assembly, we make bold to state that the Abia State House of Assembly will rank among the best three if not even the best among Houses of Assembly in the entire federation.
Go and verify! Some of the live transmissions and our regular updates on the plenaries of the House will help you except you are being deliberately mischievous, loquacious and cantankerous
(…to be continued)