The Bayelsa State House of Assembly has passed the State’s Appropriation Bill into law. At the final approval, the House jacked up the proposal from N178.56 billion submitted to it last December by Chief Timipre Sylva to N187.5 billion.
The Assembly Deputy Leader, Hon. Hawkins kalabo representing Southern Ijaw Constituency II, set the ball rolling when he moved that the bill be introduced for third reading for the House to consider its adoption.
His motion was seconded by his colleague representing Southern Ijaw Constituency Hon. Kroukia Dorgu.
Thereafter, the Speaker of the House, Hon. Werinipre Seibarugu directed the reading of the bill for members to make final impact and at the end of which, the House overwhelmingly endorsed the passage of the Appropriation Bill.
Also, the state Judiciary Workers Bill 2007 was passed into law. The bill seeks a review of salaries, allowances and fringe benefits paid to the state judicial workers.
The passage of the bill follows the adoption of the report of the House Joint Committee on Judicial and Justice and Public Service and Establishment Committees on the Judicial Workers bill at day’s sittings.
The motion for the bill’s third reading was moved by Hon. Hawkins Kalabo, and seconded by Franklin Otele representing Yenagoa Constituency III.
The Speaker, Hon. Seibarugu, presiding, noted overwhelming debate of members in favour of the bill called for voting after necessary correction had been made.
Addressing the House later, the Speaker expressed appreciations to members for their commitment and sense of duties in ensuring the passage of the two bills into which according to him would help to facility the trend of development in the state.
He remarked that because of the importance of the bills, especially that of appropriation, they forteited their Christmas break.
The speaker lamented that going on break had always been misinterpreted by critics in the state who accused the lawmakers of incompetence and laziness.
“One thing with going on break is that any time we embark on break, some people say that this House is not doing anything, but they have forgotten that many other Houses of Assembly hard since gone on their break”, he said.
He therefore, announce a break of one month that will expire on April 20, after which the House will reconvene for its normal duties.
Yiaga Africa Blames Govt For Voters’ Apathy
Independent election observer group, Yiaga Africa, has expressed worry that increasing voters’ apathy as witnessed in the Anambra governorship election may not have been caused by insecurity but increasing loss of confidence in government.
A board member of the group, Ezenwa Nwagwu held the view in Awka during a post-election reflection meeting with leaders of Civil Society Organizations.
Nwagwu reiterated that the ugly trend was not necessarily occasioned by insecurity that had always heralded elections in the past, but growing disconnect between the government and the masses, saying it is time populace held government to account to bridge the gap.
He said: “Election is over. Now we have to watch governance and the only way to do that is to clearly design pathways through which we can hold the government accountable.
“One of the ways is for the citizens to engage the government with budget process. Government every year estimates what it uses the people’s resources to do for them.
“Unfortunately, the people involved don’t show any interest, and four years later, the same people will start complaining that government has failed, even when there was nothing to track.
“We need to see how the Media and Civil Society groups can collaborate and produce what I call a citizen charter demand that they can hand over to the new Governor-elect.
“They can liaise with other professional bodies to conduct infrastructural assessment in the state and use that as a document to organize a town-hall meeting to engage government officials.”
Nwagwu also identified what he termed “fear and complaint industries” as major impediments to the growth and development of the state, insisting that the two factors must be shut to enable people of the state enjoy democracy dividends.
He added: “We need to close up the two industries of fear and complaint that have gripped the state, especially after the election so people can leverage the benefits of governance.
“If we continue with this scare-mongering and complaints, we will only succeed in having few persons taking over the government and dictating the pace.”
CVR: Fresh Registrations Hit 4.2m
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) said that fresh registration in the ongoing Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) has hit 4,297,494.
The commission disclosed this in the second quarter, week seven, weekly update released by the commission in Abuja recently.
The commission said that as at 7 a.m. on Monday, November 22, 1,856,771 persons have completed their online and physical registration.
According to statistics provided by the commission, 1,856,771 persons who completed their registration, include 941,098 males, 915,673 females.
It also added that 741,183 persons completed their registration online, while 1,115,588 completed it through physical registration.
Saraki Visits Benue Over Presidential Ambition
A former President of the Senate, Dr Bukola Saraki, has visited Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State over his ambition to vie for President in 2023.
Saraki, after a close door meeting with Governor Ortom, also met with the State Working Committee members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to familiarise them with his intention to kick start consultations for his ambition to rule the country.
He said that the nationwide defection of party loyalists from the All Progressives Congress (APC) to the PDP was an indication that there might not be anyone left in the party before the next election.
“A party that cannot organise its affairs has no business leading this country. A party that has organised its affairs is ready in leading this country and that is the PDP,” he said.
Saraki added that the North Central Zone has paid its dues by working so hard in keeping the country together as one united entity just as he pointed out that, “this time we must stand for our own and charity begins at home.”
The ex -senate president, who was accompanied on the visit by former Governor of Kogi State, Idris Wada, former National Chairman of the PDP, Kawu Baraje, Senator Suleiman Adokwe and Prof Iyorwuese Hagher, Chairman of Council, Saraki for President Campaign, thanked the Benue governor for standing out for the zone.
Earlier, Governor Ortom, eulogised Saraki for being one of those Nigerians that had contributed immensely to the development of democracy.
Ortom said it was time to rescue the country from bottom, a position it was placed by the APC government, to the top, adding that Saraki deserves the presidential seat to enable him salvage the country from its current mess.
On his part, the State Chairman of the PDP, Sir John Ngbede, represented by his deputy, Isaac Mfo, said the party in the state had remained intact even as he assured the presidential hopeful that they would back his ambition to rule the country.
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