Speaker Tasks Firm On Environment

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The Rivers State Waterways bill 2017, among other legislative matters, took the lead in last week’s proceedings at the Rivers State House of Assembly.
During the deliberations, members threw their weight behind the bill aimed at improving safety and network in the riverine communities of the State.
Member representing Emohua in the House, Hon. Sam Ogeh said the bill was timely, assuring: “it will better the lot of our people”.
Apart from fortifying security on the waterways, Hon. Ogeh said the bill will also improve the revenue profile of the State, while arguing that Nigeria’s dependence on oil was not healthy.
Ogeh’s view was uphold by the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Ikuinyi-Owaji Ibani who held that the advantages of the bill outweigh its short comings.
“I believe the bill projects into the future and achieving higher quality of life for our people”, Ibani noted.
It was against this backdrop that the Speaker, relying on order 45 (5) (2) of the House, committed the bill to the Committee Stage under the Transport Committee.
It’s expected that by Wednesday this week a public hearing will be organised for the input of stakeholders and the general public before the bill will be subjected to further debate.
The House reconvened last Wednesday with debate on the referred Committee Report on Public Complaints and Petitions chaired by Chief Whip, Hon. Evans Bipi.
The petitions that were deliberated upon include the Total E&P Trunk 25 pipeline oil spill that took place in 2015 affecting about eight communities in Ahoada-East Local Government Area.
Majority Leader of the House, Hon. Martins Amaewhule moved motion for the adoption of corrections on the report. Thereafter amendments were approved by the House.
Shortly after the amendments which bordered on the date of the spill, an intense debate ensued which led to the adoption of the Committee Report on Total E&P Oil Spill in 2015.
Members who contr5ibuted to the debate include Friday Nkeeh of Khana Constituency 11, Deputy Speaker, Hon. Marshal Uwom and member representing Ahoada East1, Hon. Edison Ehie.
The Speaker took voice votes and urged the Clerk to convey the decision of the House which emphbasized the need for the French multinational to carry out an environmental remediation actively to be overseen by the State Ministry of Chieftaincy and Community Affairs and the State Ministry of the Environment.
Another report which took majority support of the House members was that between one Mr. Elekima Princewill and the State Hospital Management Board. Mr. Princewill had petitioned the Board for the way and manner he was treated after he was allegedly accused of embezzling about N11,000 belonging to the board.
The House was sniffed over the manner the Board sacked Princewill and also failed to pay him his benefits even after a report by the then Attorney-General absolved him.