The week under review witnessed many activities by the legislators. The Speaker, Rt. Hon. Ikuinyi-Owaji Ibani attended a conference of Female Medical Laboratory practitioners and also met with members of the Assembly Press Corps.
Last Monday the House Committee Chairman on Local Content, Youths and Empowerment. Hon. Igwe Aforji met with the management of West African Containers Terminal over their failure to enter into a Memorandum of Understanding(MOU) with indigenes of Onne, their host community in Eleme Local Government Area.
Aforji who represents Eleme State Constituency said the committee had summoned the Community Liaison Officer(CLO) of the company to provide all relevant documents of the former MOU and the current one before the committee in their next meeting.
In another development the Civil Society Organisations (CSO) have commended the State House of Assembly for the way it managed the flood menace in the state.
A member of the CSO, Enefaa Georgewill said the lawmakers and the committee were proactive in their duties. So far, he opined that the Assembly has demonstrated that its alive to its oversight functions as the representatives of the people.
He however, urged that more efforts be made to address the rising spate of sea piracy in the riverine areas, especially Bille and Bakana, as he called for more proactive measures to check the criminal activity on the waterways.
Last Thursday, the Speaker in a meeting with members of the Press Corps has advised on the need to report the legislature without bias.
Rt. Hon. Ibani was of the opinion that objective reportage of the Assembly will drive development in the state. He further urged the press to ensure that they focus their attention on areas that will improve the society, considering the role they play as pressmen.
The Speaker assured the press of support towards improving their duties as regards areas they are facing challenges, noting that the Assembly is open and will not hide anything from the public.
Promising to address the current welfare and upkeep of pressmen, Ibani assured that efforts are being made to improve on coverage of the Assembly.
Earlier, Chairperson of the Press Corps, Ijeoma Tubosia in her address through her deputy, James Victor stated that the visit was to intimate the speaker of the emergence of a new exco and to commiserate with him over the death of his brother.
Before the Speaker met with the Press Corp, he attended a conference of Female Medical Laboratory Scientists in Port Harcourt. He charged them to always be fair to those who patronize their facilities.
He commended them for the initiative in organizing themselves, while challenging their male counterparts to do same.
Bayelsa Assembly Committee on Environment To Curb Unlawful Sand Dredging Activities.
With various complaints and pettitions by communities impacted by the activities of illegal sand dredging and mining in the Bayelsa State, the state House of Assembly has organised a public hearing on a bill to regulate the operations of sand dredging to ensure that the environment is not adversely impacted on.
The bill tagged ” Regulation of Sand Dealing and Dredging Operations Bill 2019″ according to the House Committee on Environment is aimed at gathering inputs from experts, technocrats and the public in order to formulate a people-friendly bill that will serve the best interest of Bayelsans.
The House Committee Chairman on Environment and member representing Nembe Constituency one, Hon. Ebi Ben Ololo noted that the public hearing became necessary on the need to remediate the environment and tackle the challenges posed by sand dredging operations in the state.
” The importance of this bill cannot be overemphasized because it can save lives. You are aware a number of times so many communities and their representatives have sent pettitions to this House, specifically the Chairman House Committee on Environment as per the environmental degradation that has taken place as regards the illegal sand dealing and dredging activities in various communities all around the state”, he said.
“With those number of complains and pettitions we thought it wise to put up a bill to take care of those issues. Most important thing is that we all know that public hearing is a mechanism by which parliamentary Committees obtain information, deal with the information obtained and also exchange views with experts and the public so as to fine-tune whatever bill there is for the public hearing to come up with a top class bill that will be people- friendly and also save lives of the people in Bayelsa”, he added.
” Lots of suggestions, contributions, opinions and interactions have been made as regards this very important bill, like we have assured the representatives of the various groups that we will go back in our committee, look at those very important areas where they have suggested and also fine tune the bill. So that in no distant time we will come up with a very formidable bill that will stand the test of time. That the people will benefit from”, Ololo reassured.
He lauded participants for their insightful contributions and opinions during the public hearing, promising that the Committee would do justice to come up with a bill that would meet the expectations of Bayelsans.
In her contribution, House Chief Whip and member representing Yenagoa Constituency 2, Hon. Ebiowu Koku Obiyai lamented the deliberate connivance between communities and the sand dealers, warning that if nothing is done to regulate the activities of sand dredgers Bayelsa communities will be eroded away.
The House Whip also expressed concerns on the activities of companies carrying out dredging business near bridges and sued a delibrate efforts by all in order to save the bridges from collapse.
By Ariwera Ibibo-Howells, Yenagoa.
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