Rivers State House of Assembly Committee on Agencies and Commissions, has promised to make the office of the Clerk of the House comparable to that of the Head of Service (HOS) as in the executive arm of government.
A member of the committee, Hon. Golden Chioma gave this indication while reacting to a submission at a public hearing organised by the committee on the proposed “Assembly Service Commission Amendment Bill.”
The lawmaker, who was emphatic on giving workers of the legislative arm befitting salary structure and designation, urged the clerk not to under rate his status.
He directed the clerk to approach his counterparts at the National Assembly to provide the House with the operational structure for domestication, noting that the head of the Assembly Service cannot be equated to a permanent secretary in one Ministry.
In his submission at the public hearing, Sir Emmanuel Ogele said the principal law was first enacted in 1999, amended in 2006 before the current effort, stressing that the tenure of the members of the commission should be five years as against four.
On the status of the clerk, he stated that since the enactment of the law, no definite backing has been given to the office like other states that made the office an equivalent of permanent secretary.
Sir Ogele, the clerk of the Assembly, advocated for different salary structure and welfare for legislative workers in line with their peculiar duties, pointing out that the office of the Deputy Clerk should also be made clear by the law.
Speaking on behalf of the Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria (PASAN), Mr Anthony Egobueze (Jnr) supported equating the clerk to the office of the Head of Service and that the status of the Deputy Clerk should be designated and appointed from among the Clerks at table.
The secretary of the Assembly Service commission, Mr Eze Chindah submitted that the commission is seeking to take absolute control of the workforce in terms of promotion and discipline, while those on secondment should decide either to convert or go back to their parent Ministry.
The chairman of the committee, Hon Azubuike Wanjoku, assured the participants that the committee will do a thorough work to capture the valuable contributions that would facilitate their job.
Hon. Wanjoku said the committee would look into personal squabbles in the various units, but seek to have interpretable and equitable inputs, noting that the House would come up with laws that will put the workers in a good stead.
Enugu Assembly Approves N200m Virement For Auditor-General Offices
The Enugu State House of Assembly has approved the virement of N200 million for the offices of the State Auditor-General and Auditor-General for Local Government.
The Tide source reports that the house also passed the 2021 State Audit Amendment Bill at an emergency plenary session.
The Leader of the House, Mr Ikechukwu Ezeugwu, said the approval of the virement became necessary to provide funding for the two newly created offices, which were not envisaged during the 2021 appropriation bill.
Ezeugwu said the funding would include capital and recurrent expenditures, adding that the N200 million would be provided by the office of the governor.
According to him, the virement would give the offices the needed independence to effectively discharge their statutory responsibilities.
Also contributing, the member representing Awgu South Constituency, Mr Johnson Chukwuobasi, said the new offices would be redundant without funding.
The Speaker, Chief Edward Ubosi, said the fund was meant to perfect the Audit Amendment Bill passed by the Assembly.
Ubosi said it would be an irony to create the offices without approving funds that would make them functional.
He said such a development would amount to building something on nothing.
In another development, Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi has forwarded a list of nominees for the State Civil Service Commission (SCSC) and Local Government Service Commission (LGSC) to the House for confirmation.
The nominees for the SCSC included Mrs Eucharia Offiah (Chairman), Mr Nathaniel Anike, Mrs Chinenye Odike and Mrs Stella Ekweremadu (members).
Also nominated for the LGSC were Prof. Ossy Okanya (Chairman), Mr Frederick Ugwu, Mrs Florence Igboji, Mr Peter Nnaji and Mr Eugene Odoh (members).
The Speaker directed the nominees to submit 25 copies of their Curriculum Vitae on or before Monday, August 2 to the House.
Saraki Was Not Arrested – Aide
Former Senate President Bukola Saraki, has broken his silence on his repeated invitation by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, stating that as a free citizen, he has nothing to hide.
Saraki in a statement by his Media aide, Yusuph Olaniyonu, said he visited the office of the EFCC on his volition to clarify an issue that the commission may have to raise with him.
He clarified that he was not arrested but he made himself available to show he has nothing to hide.
Saraki in the statement wrote: “It will be recalled that following the order of the Federal High Court, Abuja, on the Fundamental Human Rights case filed by Dr. Saraki during the period of the former chairman of the EFCC which precluded the commission from investigating him until the matter is dispensed with, the commission at the last hearing on July 14, 2021, pleaded with the judge that the order was preventing them from doing their job.
“Following this complaint, Dr. Saraki, as a responsible citizen, on his own volition approached EFCC that at the earliest convenient date, he was willing to visit the commission’s office and clarify all issues they might have to raise with him.
“He, therefore, visited the commission’s office on Saturday (31st July) afternoon and also answered some questions.
“He is back home. He was not arrested,” Part of the statement read.
Saraki also assured EFCC that he has nothing to hide and will always make himself available to clarify any issues that may require his attention.
Jegede: PDP Lambasts Akeredolu
The Ondo State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party has reacted to the statement credited to Governor Rotimi Akeredolu, inviting Mr Eyitayo Jegede to join him in moving the state forward.
Akeredolu, the candidate of the All Progressives Congress in the October 20, 2020 state governorship election had his victory in the election upheld by the Supreme Court last Tuesday.
Shortly after the judgement of the apex court, the governor called on Jegede, the candidate of the PDP to join him to move the state forward.
In a statement issued by the Publicity Secretary of the PDP in the state, Mr Kennedy Peretei, on Saturday, the PDP described the Akeredolu’s invitation as a laughable one.
According to the statement, the PDP said the current administration in the state is a failure and Jegede will not be part of such administration.
The statement read, “Our party and its candidate cannot be part of a government that has thrown out many students of tertiary institutions in the state because their parents can no longer pay the astronomical school fees charged by the Akeredolu Government.
“Our party and its candidate cannot be part of government that has crippled the health care system in the State. We cannot be part of a government that has withdrawn free shuttle buses for school children.
“It is unthinkable that Akeredolu can ask our candidate to join a government that has pauperised civil servants in the state through the payments of 30 per cent salaries that are not even regular. Civil servants now have to take loans to be able to pay house rents or send their children to school. The Academic Staff Union of Universities of Olusegun Agagu University of Science and Technology, Okitipupa Chapter has just embarked on an indefinite strike. What has been the government’s response to all these myriad of problems?
“It is important to stress that, before the October 2020 election, Eyitayo Jegede, SAN and the PDP drew up a well-articulated manifesto on education, health care delivery, agriculture, industrialization, welfare of civil servants and much more in contradistinction to what is obtainable now in the state. To this extent, there is no meeting point between what was designed by the PDP and Akeredeolu’s score card.
“The Supreme Court verdict has also exposed the impunity which is the trademark and the foundation of the APC and its government at all levels. All the seven Justices of the Supreme Court agreed that, Mai Mala Buni acted in clear violation of Section 183 of the 1999 Constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria (as Amended). This has become the talking point of the political space since the judgement was delivered. Our jurisprudence on election matters has been enriched and everyone is grateful to Eyitayo Jegede and the PDP for not allowing the APC to drown our democracy in the sea of their impunity.”
The opposition party advised Akeredolu to channel his energy to improving the welfare of Ondo citizens instead of “grandstanding and clicking of wine glasses over the Supreme Court judgement”.
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