It is Monday 23rd September, 2019.
Welcome to a new Legislative Day after the annual recess of the Abia State House of Assembly.
The Sergeant-At-Arms ushered the Speaker Rt.Hon. Chinedum Enyinnaya Orji, and other Principal officers to the hallowed Chambers of the Abia State House of Assembly.
The Member Representing Umuahia North, Hon. Kelechi Onuzurike prayed before the commencement of the House sitting at exactly 11:28am.
Observations and Adoption of VOTES and PROCEEDINGS of Tuesday 16thJuly, 2019.
The Speaker Rt.Hon. Chinedum Enyinnaya Orji asked the House members to check Votes and Proceedings of 16th, July, 2019.
“Distinguished Colleagues, you are welcome to today’s Plenary Session this 23rd Day of September, 2019. Before we proceed, can we go through the Votes and Proceedings of Tuesday 16th July.
The Deputy Majority Leader, Hon. Paul Taribo moved a motion that the Votes and Proceedings of Tuesday the 16th Of July 2019 be accepted by the House as working documents while Hon. Sir. Abraham Oba seconded the motion. The Speaker Rt.Hon. Chinedum Enyinnaya Orji put the motion into vote while the House responded in the affirmative.
Correspondence from the Governor Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu.
The Speaker Rt. Hon. Chinedum Enyinnaya Orji read a letter forwarded to the House by the Governor of Abia State, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu on the nomination of would be members of the Abia State Executive Council
The Speaker read the names of the Commissioner nominees. The Speaker also read a letter from the Auditor General of Abia State on the audited report of the accounts of the Abia State Government.
MATTERS OF URGENT PUBLIC IMPORTANCE/ PERSONAL EXPLANATION.
The Member Representing Umuahia North, Hon. Kelechi Onuzurike brought a Personnal Explanation over the verdict of the Election Petition Tribunal which upheld his election as the lawmaker representing Umuahia North State Constituency. Hon .Onuzurike also moved that the House suspend her rule to enable other lawmakers make input over the renonvation of the Chambers of the Abia State House of Assembly.
” Mr Speaker you are aware,I have been having a legal battle,Mr Speaker I want to thank you for your support, the Tribunal few days ago affirmed my election. Secondly Mr. Speaker, drawing from your inaugural speech,Mr Speaker you did say that you would build for this very House of Assembly.
“Mr Speaker you have bequeathed to us an edifice glorious to behold,I plead that we suspend Order 9 of our Rule Book,this is to enable my colleagues to also express their gratitude that you have done well.
The member representing Umuahia South State Constituency, Hon. Barr. Jerry Uzosike supporting the motion moved by Hon. Onuzurike said the lawmakers may have to consult the Speaker in terms of renovation of some of their buildings.
” It looks to me Mr Speaker that you chosed your words very well on the day of your inauguration, Mr Speaker some of us that have build houses in the Past can engage you on consultancy services” He continued,
“Mr Speaker the environment is well beautified, we cannot overlook without thanking you for making it. I hereby Second this motion”
The member for Isialangwa North Hon .Ginger Onwsuibe commended the Speaker over the renovation of the Chambers of the Abia State House of Assembly. “Mr Speaker, the 7th Assembly has succeeded to getting the Executive Act,I want to commend you Mr. Speaker and I also want to commend our colleagues for all the support they have given to you.
The member representing Arochukwu State Constituency Hon. Mike Ukoha appreciated the Speaker over the renovation of the Chambers of the House. ” Mr. Speaker and my dear colleagues, I want to make it clear that I am proud of the Speaker’s leadership, it remains on record, that the Abia State House of Assembly performance in the last 100 days in office was everywhere. Mr Speaker, my dear colleagues, I am proud. On that note I support that motion.”
The member representing Aba South State Constituency, Hon.Obinna Ichita in his contribution said the Speaker did what was expected because of his past legacies. “I just need to add that what you have done is exactly what we have expected, ” If you could just do this little things and people are proud of it,I just imagine when you would do the other things ”
The member representing Umunneochi State Constituency, Hon. Barr. Okey Igwe appreciated the Speaker on the Chambers renovation.
“Mr Speaker, I will not over labour the point, they said that cleanliness is next to Godliness”
The Speaker Rt.Hon. Chinedum Enyinnaya Orji appreciated the members of the House of Assembly for their Support. He reiterated his earlier vow that the current House would not tolerate any form of disobedience of any Resolution passed by the House. “We will not tolerate any form of neglect, disobedience of any Resolution passed by this House of Assembly at least under my watch”
The Speaker called on the Clerk Sir John Pedro Irokansi to read out the Orders of the day.
The Clerk Read the Orders of the Day.
(1) Presentation of the Legislative Blue Print of the Abia State House of Assembly 2019-2023
The Deputy Leader of the House Hon.Paul Taribo moved that the item number one be skipped, the Minority Leader Hon. Abraham Oba Seconded the motion.
The Speaker subsequently put the motion into vote while the House responded in the affirmative.
The Deputy Leader of the House moved that the House move into the Committee of the Whole to screen the Commissioner nominees with the mace covered.
The First Commissioner nominee Hon Kalu Uduma was ushered in by the Sergeant At Arms.
The Speaker of the House Rt.Hon. Chinedum Enyinnaya Orji urged the nominee to identify his immediate lawmaker.
Mr. Kalu Uduma said
“Mr Speaker my immediate representative is not on seat but my next lawmaker is Hon. Mandela Obasi.”
The lawmaker representing Ohafia North State Constituency, Hon. Mandela Obasi urged the House members to clear the nominee.
” Mr Speaker he is a well known PDP man,I urge the honourable members to allow him to take a bow.
The Speaker asked the House for contributions.
The lawmaker for Isiukwuato State Constituency Hon Emeka Okoroafor……
The Speaker said in line with the practice of having a former member of the House of Representatives before us,I will not allow any question to be asked him. The Speaker asked the Commissioner nominee to take a bow and leave the Chambers.
The Next Nominees was ushered in.
He is Hon. Chijioke Paul Madumere a former nember of the Abia State House of Assembly in the 4th House.
The Speaker asked him to identify his lawmaker which he said is Hon. Jerry Uzosike.
Hon. Jerry Uzosike said the Commissioner designate is a consensus commissioner from Umuahia South.
“Mr Speaker, we have full confidence that he will discharge his duties very well,I also seek that this House grant him that Legislature privilege to take a bow and go.
The Speaker said in line with the privileges granted to past lawmakers, the nominee should take a bow and leave the House of Assembly.
The Next Nominee Hon. Theophilus Ugboaja was ushered into the Chambers.
The Speaker asked the Nominee to identify his lawmaker.
The lawmaker for Ikwuano, Hon. Stanley Nwabuisi urged the House to allow the nominee to take a bow in line with Legislative Practice.
The Speaker asked the nominee to take a bow and exit the Chamber.
The Sergeant at Arms ushered in the next nominee, Engr. Emma Nwabuko.
In his introductory speech,The norminee said he hails from Umuahia North,an Engineer by profession and immediate past Principal Secretary to the Abia State Governor Dr Okezie Ikpeazu.
The Speaker of the House Of Assembly Rt Hon Chinedum Enyinnaya Orji asked the norminee to identity his next lawmaker in the absence of his immediate lawmaker.
Hon Kelechi Onuzurike, the lawmaker for Umuahia North said he has the brief of his colleague Hon. Chukwudi Apugo that the House screens the man that will work for the betterment of Abia State.
The Speaker asked for Questions.
The Speaker asked the norminee what he has to offer.
In his response the norminee,said he is here to serve to ensure that the privilege given to him is protected.
” I must allign myself in imbibing what the Governor have in mind.
Hon. Munachim Alozie asked the norminee if he is willing to improve in the level of monitoring of projects which he assured the lawmakers and Abians that he would do. The lawmaker for Ukwa West Hon. Godwin Adiele asked the norminee for his advice and blueprints to the Government of Abia State to handle the potholes in Abia State of he is assigned the Works Ministry.
The norminee in his response said there is an Agency in charge of maintenance of roads to ensure that they don’t go too bad, he said his advice would be to ensure that those Departments involved should always go around to fix bad roads in Abia.
The Honourable lawmaker for Ohafia North Hon. Mandela Obasi asked the norminee when he is ready to pave way for the younger ones.
In his response, the norminee said what matters is service and not age of someone.”It is the prerogative of the Governor to appoint,I did not go to the Governor to go and fight for it, so if the Governor finds me fit,I will not reject the offer.
The lawmaker representing Umuahia South State Constituency Hon. Jerry Uzosike the inability to manage Information flow from the State Government.
The nominee in his response, said there are procedures in information dissimilation, he said it depends on whoever the Governor chooses because the right is with the Governor to direct whoever he wants to disseminate information.
The Speaker asked the Nominee to make his answers brief.
The lawmaker representing Isialangwa North State Constituency, Hon. Ginger Onwusibe in his contributions about the norminee said he is a man who had been tested before and found worthy,he asked the House to ask him few questions and allow him to go.
The lawmaker for Aba South Hon. Obinna Ichita in his contribution said he had confusion on the answer given by the nominee to the question by Hon. Jerry Uzosike.
” What was your advice when you visited Faulks Road to see how it was constructed ” The Commissioner norminee in his response said as at 2017,he remembered that Faulks Road was not fully constructed.
” This is one of the period when you can drive in faulks road and go straight to the main Road”. After answering the questions, the Speaker asked the nominee to take a bow and leave.
The Clerk Announced Mrs Ojo Loveth as the next norminee to undergoe screening.
The Speaker asked the norminee to introduce herself and identify her lawmaker whom she said is Hon. Emmanuel Ndubuisi.
The lawmaker for Bende South State Constituency, Hon Emmanuel Ndubuisi said the norminee is known to him and urged his colleagues to ask her little questions and clear her.
Hon .Barr Thomas Nkoro in his questions asked the norminee about her Tax Clearance.
The Commissioner norminee in her response said her nomination came very late. The lawmaker for Umunneochi State Constituency, Hon. Barr. Okey Igwe asked the norminee to articulate the greatest problems facing her immediate Constituency and Abia North Senatorial District.
The norminee answered many questions including things that concerns women “Women are marginalized, but I thank the Governor for remembering women by my normination.
The Speaker asked the nominee how she would carry the grassroot along in her new office if the House screens and confirms her as a Commissioner in the Abia State Executive Council.
The lawmaker for Aba South Hon Obinna Ichita asked the norminee over discrepancies in her name .
“I have a statutory Marriage Certificate which got burnt” the norminee said.
The member representing Arochukwu Hon. Mike Ukoha asked the nominee how he would carry teachers along in her new role which the norminee said he will.
The Speaker, Rt.Hon Chinedum Enyinnaya Orji asked the nominee to take a bow and leave the Chambers after answering questions from the lawmaker representing Osisioma Ngwa North State Constituency.
The Sergeant At Arms ushered in the next norminee Dr. Aham Uko.
The Speaker Rt. Hon. Chinedum Enyinnaya Orji urged the norminee to identify his immediate lawmaker and do an introduction of himself.
He said his immediate representative is Hon. Kelechi Onuzurike Hon. Onuzurike, the lawmaker representing Umuahia North State Constituency said the norminee, Dr Aham Uko has the capacity and the sagacity to work for Abia State. “Mr Speaker, I have the mandate of my people to ” Ndi Ohuhu” to present him for screening.
The Speaker asked the norminee how he would grade his performance as the former Commissioner for Environment in Abia State. The norminee said he performed up to 80%.
Hon Stanley Nwabuisi asked the norminee how he would manage Abia State finances if he is assigned the Ministry of Finance since he is an Economist.
The norminee said he would put in his wealth of experience to ensure smooth management of the Ministry.
Speaking further, the norminee said the State Government does not need the services of an external consultant in the management of her resources.
“I think that we have all it takes to get it right,it depends on leadership, we must get it right at every point in time. If you look at our wage bill,I don’t think its sustainable “the norminee stated. After answering other questions, the Speaker urged the norminee to take a bow and leave the Chambers.
The Sergeant At Arms ushered in the another Commissioner norminee, Dr. Solomon Ogunji.
The Speaker asked the norminee to identify his lawmaker which he did by naming Hon. Paul Taribo.
The lawmaker representing Bende North State Constituency Hon. Chijioke Chukwu asked the norminee what he would do that would increase the exportation of agriculture in the State.
The norminee, Dr. Solomon Ogunji said exportations is not always healthy to a growing state.
Hon. Mandela Obasi advised the nominee to stop demolition of areas where the government is not planning to work.
Rt.Hon. Kennedy Njoku asked the norminee what happened to funds allocated to him when he held sway at NEWMAP.
In his Response, The norminee, Dr. Ogunji said the funds were judiciously used. On the issue of demolition, he said they were illegal structures that needed to be demolished.
Hon.Mike Ukoha asked the norminee to tell the lawmakers what he knows about Open Gutters. Also, Hon. Barr.Jerry Uzosike asked the norminee what he would do about project execution in case he is made the Commissioner for Works.
The lawmaker representing Isuikwuato State Constituency Hon. Barr Emeka Okoroafor asked the norminee how he could handle erosion problems if confirmed as a commissioner. The lawmaker Representing Umunneochi in his questions said there is a road that leads from Umunneochi to Anambra and even Enugu State and asked the nominee if he would raise the issue of the construction of that road in his first Executive Council Meeting.
In his response, Dr. Ogunji, said he would advise that the government completes the projects it has embarked on before getting another approval. On the Open Drain,he said it is not only the duty of the Ministry of Environment. Also on the issue of Isuikwuato he said was that NDDC awarded a contract and it wasn’t done,he said the Local Government is not proactive.
The Speaker asked the norminee to take a bow and leave.
The Sergeant At Arms ushered the next Commissioner norminee, Sir Gabriel Onyendilefu.
The Speaker asked the norminee to identify his lawmaker which he did by naming Rt. Hon. Chikwendu Kalu the lawmaker representing Isialangwa South State Constituency. Rt.Hon.Chikwendu Kalu in his contribution said the nominee is a man of impeccable character and would perform well as a Commissioner.
The norminee was asked to take a bow and leave.
The Sergeant At Arms ushered in the next norminee, Mr. Ezekwesiri Ananaba from Ugwunagbo.
His representive, Hon. Munachim Alozie said the people of Ugwunagbo has asked him to ensure the nominees cleared by the House.
The nominee while responding to questions by the lawmakers said that his first time as Commissioner in Abia State between 2005 and 2007 was memorable as he achieved Mega Stations in the State through his Ministry, the Ministry of Petroleum.
The Speaker asked the Sergeant At Arms to escort the nominee out from the Chambers.
The Majority Leader of the House, Hon. Solomon Akpulonu moved that the House return to Plenary, it was seconded by the Minority Leader Hon. An Abraham Oba seconded the motion.
The Speaker reported progress made by the House.
NEXT ITEM ON THE ORDER PAPER
The Speaker asked the Clerk, Sir John Pedro Irokansi read the next item on the Order Paper was ADJOURNMENT.
The Majority Leader of the House Hon. Solomon Akpulonu moved a motion that the House adjourns Plenary to reconvene on Tuesday the 24th of September, the Minority Leader Hon. An Abraham Oba seconded it, while the House answered in the affirmative when the motion was put into the vote by the Speaker Rt.Hon.Chinedum Enyinnaya Orji.
The House subsequently adjourned Plenary to resume on Tuesday 24th September 2019.
Courtesy: Media Unit, Office of the Rt.Hon Speaker, Abia State House of Assembly.