…Deepens Democratic Dividend through Legislative Process
By Chioma Ndife
The 7th Assembly of Anambra State House of Assembly has celebrated her first year in office amidst several achievement recorded by the legislators to deepen the democratic dividend.
The celebration which commenced with a thanksgiving Mass led by the Catholic Bishop of Awka Diocese, His Lordship, Most Rev. Paulinus Ezeokafor, took place at the Legislative Complex, Awka, on Friday June 12.
Fides gathered that the House Members used the opportunity provided by the Democracy Day to celebrate their first year anniversary in the house and to take stock of what they have been able to do and areas where they failed in their legislative processes.
Speaking at the event, the Speaker, Mr. Uche Okafor noted that the legislature was charged with three basic functions; representation, law-making and oversight functions.
‘In the area of representation, members of the 7th Assembly have been exemplary in their relationships with the people that they represent going by the number of people-oriented resolutions passed so far.
‘At the last count, not less than 80 people-oriented resolutions touching diverse areas of our people’s welfare have been passed by the House.
“Members have been upbeat in the way they have continued to relate with their constituents on the COVID-19 pandemic; enlightening the people on basic hygiene and massively providing relief materials to their constituents,’Okafor said.
‘In the past one year, a total of 19 bills compromising executive and members bills have been introduced at the floor of the House.
‘Of this number, 10 have been passed and five assented into law, some of the bills that have become law, include the COVID-19 and other Dangerous infections Disease Prevention and Eradication Bill.
There was also, ‘the 2020 Appropriation bill, Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University Teaching Hospital (COOTH) Repeal and Reenactment bill, the State Information and Communication Technology Bill.
‘The Anambra State Public Procurement Amendment Bill and Anambra State Agency for Erosion, Watershed and Climate Change Bill that may enable the State to access external funds for controlling adverse effects of the climate change, including ecological problems in our State.
‘Our major target in the new year is to put a legislative budget and research office (LEBRO) that will also house a mini printing press.
‘This is with a view to having an outfit for expert review and analysis, to promote good governance as well as regular publication of the House known as `Hansard’ and other House periodicals.
The speaker noted that the achievements which the house was able to make in the past one year was possible due to the support and encouragement of his colleagues, the principal officers and the staff members of the Assembly.
‘I assure Ndi Anambra that with your continued support and prayers, we, your representatives, will be steadfast in defense of democracy and good governance.’’
Speaking to journalists, The committee chairman for Information and Public Enlightenment, Mr Okechukwu Okoye (Aguata 2) said: “the relationship between the Executive and the Legislative arms of government over the past one year has been cordial.
‘This is reflected in the achievement of government in various sectors including security of life and property and efficient way that the state has battled COVID-19 pandemic,’’ he said.
Also speaking, the Member Representing Njikoka 1, Hon. Timothy Ifedioramma said that the synergy existing between the executive arm of government and legislative arm was for better nation building, saying that such synergy do not undermine the principle of separation of power. He disclosed that the House has developed plans on how to achieve more success in their second year and regretted that the coronavirus pandemic brought decline in the postulation of the year’s, saying that the House would operate based on the size of their budget.
On his part, the Member Representing Njikoka 11 Constituency, Hon. Pete Ibida, described the 7th Assembly’s first year in office as very productive based on the number of laws, bills and motions they were able to enact and move.