The House commenced Plenary after the adoption of the Votes and Proceedings of Tuesday, October 6, 2020.

Notice of Presentation Of Bills

(1) H.A.B 31: The Abia State Environmental Trust Fund (ABSET) Bill, 2020 (A Bill for a Law to Establish the Abia State Environmental Trust Fund (ABSET) and for other matters connected therewith, sponsored by the Majority Leader, Hon Solomon Akpulonu.

The Bill passed its First Reading.

(2) H.A.B. 32 : The Abia State Office of Surveyor General Bill, 2020.

(A Bill for a Law to Provide for the Establishment of the Office of the Surveyor General of Abia State and for other Matters Connected therewith, sponsored by the Majority Leader, Hon Solomon Akpulonu.

With the Motion of the Majority Leader, the Bill was passed First Reading.

ORDER OF THE DAY

(3) Presentation of the Reports of the House Committee on Public Accounts, Anti- Corruption and Due Process on the 2017 Audit Report on the Accounts of the Seventeen Local Government Councils and Education Authorities of Abia State.

The Leader of the House, Hon. Barr. Solomon Akpulonu who presented the Report said after a critical appraisal of the oral presentation by the Seventeen Local Government Councils recommended that the Councils block all unnecessary revenue leakages in order to improve the revenue of the State.

The Committee urged the House to pass the Audit Report.

The House adopted the Report as a Working Document after its presentation by the Leader, who represented the Committee.

The Speaker, Rt Hon. Chinedum Enyinnaya Orji committed the Report to the House of Assembly Committee of the Whole for further legislative action on a future legislative date.

H.A.B 24: The Abia State Industrial Clusters Establishment Bill, 2020 ( A Bill For A Law to Establish the Industrial Clusters in the Three Senatorial Districts of Abia State and for other Matters connected therewith, sponsored by the Lawmaker representing Bende South State Constituency, Hon. Emmanuel Ndubuisi.

With the Motion by the Majority Leader, the House entertained the Second Reading of the Bill.

In leading the debate, Hon Emmanuel Ndubuisi said the Bill is anchored on three cardinal points of industrialization, income generation and job creation.

“These Industrial Clusters to be established in the three Senatorial Districts of Abia State will help the State GDP to grow”, he said.

“It will help provide local jobs for our teeming youths and it will also reduce youth restiveness”, he concluded.

He urged the Lawmakers to support speedy passage of the Bill.

The Speaker thanked the Lawmaker for leading the debate and called for Support for the Bill.

After listening to the submissions from Lawmakers, the Speaker committed the Bill to the House Committee on Industry for further legislative action.

(8) H.A.B 23: The Abia State Commission for the Welfare of Disabled Persons Bill, 2020 (A Bill for a Law to Establish the Abia State Commission for the Welfare of Disabled Persons and for other Matters connected therewith, sponsored by Hon. Paul Tharibo.

In leading the debate, Hon. Chief Paul Tharibo, the Lawmaker representing Ukwa East State Constituency said the Bill seeks to establish a Commission to take care of Disabled Persons in the State.

“This Bill seeks to ensure that our children with any form of physical disability are free from all forms of neglect and deprivation.

He enumerated other benefits of the Bill and urged the Lawmakers to see to the speedy passage of the Bill into Law.

“The rights and privileges of persons living with disability will be assured if this Bill is passed into Law”, he submitted.

After listening to the respective submissions of Lawmakers, the Speaker committed the Bill to the Committee of the Whole for further legislative action.

(9) Consideration of the Report of the Ad-Hoc Committee on “The Indiscriminate Erection of Stalls in Ekeoha Shopping Center, Aba- A Genocide Waiting to Happen” in the Committee of the Whole.

With a Motion by the Leader of the House, the House dissolved into the Committee of the Whole and considered three Reports.

On the Report of the Ad-Hoc Committee On the Indiscriminate Erection of Stalls in Ekeoha Shopping Center Aba, – A Genocide Waiting to Happen”, it was resolved as follows:

(1) That the Abia State Governor, Dr.Okezie Victor Ikpeazu, do suspend forthwith the Commissioner for Trade and Investment, Hon Cosmos Ndukwe, the Chairman Of Ekeoha Shopping Center Traders Association, Mr Friday Dimiri, and the Chief Security Officer of Ekeoha Shopping Center, from Office to enable the Ad-Hoc Committee complete its assignment.

(2) That all security agencies in the State carry out Investigation on the attack on the Members of the Committee and the attempt to snatch a gun from one of the security men attached to a member of the ad-hoc committee.

The House also considered the Report of the House Committee on Public Accounts, Anti-Corruption and Due Process on the 2019 Audit Report on the Accounts of the State.

RECOMMENDATION:

(1) That the Office of the Accountant-General as a matter of necessity should develop a workable medium through which monthly reconciliation of accounts of MDAs in the state would be carried out

(2) That in view of the dwindling revenue from the Federation Accounts occasioned by the fall in in oil prices, the State Government should as a matter or urgency further overhaul the machinery of her revenue collection so as to boost the internally generated revenue (IGR) of the State.

(3) That as a matter of necessity, the State Government should further review the revenue windows whose performances over the years have been abysmal with a view to improving their performances.

(4) That the State Planning Commission in liaison with the Board of Internal Revenue (BIR) should employ more pragmatic approach in forecasting revenue targets so as to arrive at a realizable revenue targets for the MDAs in the State.

(5) That the House should mandate the Board of Internal Revenue to remit to MDAs their monthly returns to curb negative variances for recurrent revenue recorded by some of them

(6) That the State Government should release monthly overheads to MDAs to enhance their performances.

(7) That the State Government should as a matter of necessity further empower the Office of the Auditor-General by providing her with all the necessary working materials.

(8) That the Committee having painstakingly gone through the submissions of MDAs and satisfactorily addressed all the issues raised in the 2019 Audit Report on Accounts of the State, do hereby urge the House to clear and pass the Audit Report

The House adopted all the recommendations of the Committee.

The House also considered the Report of the Ad-Hoc Committee on H.A.B: 4, The Abia State University Teaching Hospital Board Bill, 2019.

House adopted the Report and passed the Bill into Law.

ADJOURNMENT.

The House adjourned plenary to resume back on Tuesday, 13th October, 2020.

Courtesy: Media Unit, Office of The Speaker, Abia State House of Assembly.

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