7th Anambra Assembly marks one year in office

7th Anambra Assembly marks one year in office

By Chinaza Nwachukwu Onitsha
The 7th Anambra State House of Assembly used opportunity provided the Democracy Day of June 12 celebrations to mark its first year in office.

The ceremony took place at the Legislative Complex, Awka with Thanksgiving Mass officiated by the Catholic Bishop of Awka, Diocese, Bishop Paulinus Ezeokafor.

In a homily, the bishop r commended the cordial relationship existing between the legislature and the executive resulting in peaceful progress in the development of the state.

“Be good representatives of your different constituencies, so that the dividends of democracy will get to the grassroots”.

Bishop Ezeokafor, then, condemned killing of innocent citizens in their farms in some agro communities across the country, such that some of them were now scared of going to their farms to avoid being murdered by killer herders.

“We know the economic implication of not having farm produce; the prices food items will increase and hunger will become the order of the day.”

“I call on the Federal Government to rise and put a stop to all forms of killings of innocent citizens in the country”.

Addressing the people, 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.

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“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,’’ Mr 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”.

He adds: “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.

Hansard, according to Wikipedia is the traditional name of the transcripts of Parliamentary debates in Britain and many Commonwealth countries. It is named after Thomas Curson Hansard, a London printer and publisher, who was the first official printer to the Parliament at Westminster.

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Mr Okafor said: “whatever we are able to achieve in the past one year has been due to the support and encouragement of my 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 defence of democracy and good governance.’’

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.

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