Plenary Proceedings of the Abia State House of Assembly for Tuesday, 16th July, 2019

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It is Tuesday, 16th July, 2019.

Welcome to another Legislative Day at the Abia State House of Assembly.

The Sergeant-At-Arms ushered the Speaker, Rt Hon Chinedum Enyinnaya Orji, the Deputy Speaker, Rt Hon Ifeanyi Uchendu and other Principal Officers into the Hallowed Chambers of the Abia State House of Assembly.

The Member representing Umuahia East State Constituency, Hon Chukwudi Apugo , prayed before the commencement of the House sitting at Exactly 12:42pm.

Observations and Adoption of VOTES and PROCEEDINGS of Monday, 15th July, 2019.

The Speaker asked the House Members to check Votes and Proceedings of Monday 15th July, 2019.

“Distinguished Colleagues, you are welcome to today’s Plenary Session of Tuesday, 16th day of July, 2019. Before we proceed, as it is customary, may we go through the Votes and Proceedings of Monday, 15th July, for the purposes of Correction, Amendment and Adoption.

NO CORRECTION AND AMENDMENTS

The Leader of the House, Hon. Solomon Akpulonu, moved a Motion that the House adopt the Votes and Proceedings of Monday, 15th day of July, as correct and as a Working Document. The Motion was seconded by the Minority Leader, Hon Abraham Oba, while the Speaker put the Motion into voice vote to which the House responded in the Affirmative.

Composition of House Standing Committees

The Speaker announced the composition of various Standing Committees of the Abia State House of Assembly which would aid in the smooth running of the Assembly and carry out oversight functions.

The Committees are as follows:

(1) Ethics, Privileges, Rules and Business Committee

Hon Solomon Akpulonu ——- Chairman

Mr Kenneth Okorie ———– Secretary

Hon Abraham Oba

Hon. Jerry Uzosike

Hon. Emeka Okoroafor

Hon. Stanley Nwabuisi.

(2) Public Private Partnership

Hon. Mike Ukoha – Chairman

Mr Kingsley Alozie – Secretary

Hon. Godwin Adiele

Hon. Stanley Nwabuisi

Hon. Munachim Alozie

Hon. Emeka Okoroafor

(3) Commitee on Works and Project Monitoring

Hon. Ginger Onwusibe – Chairman

Mr Godwin Oriuwa — Secretary

Hon. Okey Igwe

Hon. Chukwudi Apugo

Hon. Aaron Uzodike

Hon. Emeka Okoroafor

Hon. Stanley Nwabuisi

Hon. Mandela Obasi

Hon. Abraham Oba

(4) Committee on Finance…

Hon. Paul Tharibo – Chairman

Okoronkwo Abigail — Secretary

Chidinma Ogbajie – Assistant Secretary

Hon. Ginger Onwusibe

Hon. Emeka Okoroafor

Hon. Aaron Uzodike

Hon. Okey Igwe

Hon. Kelechi Onuzuruike

Hon. Emmanuel Ndubuisi

(5) Commitee on Civil Service Matters and Legislative Compliance

Rt. Hon. Chikwendu Kalu – Chairman

Alili Onyemachi – Secretary

Hon. Jerry Uzosike

Hon. Emmanuel Ndubuisi

Hon. Okey Igwe

Hon. Godwin Adiele

Hon. Abraham Oba

Hon . Nnamdi Allen

(6) Commitee on Trade and Investment/Industries

Hon. Munachim Alozie – Chairman

Eke Michael — Secretary

Hon. Solomon Akpulonu

Hon. Abraham Oba

Hon. Obinna Ichita

Hon. Aaron Uzodike

Hon. Emeka Okoroafor

Hon. Okey Igwe

Hon. Jerry Uzosike

Hon. Stanley Nwabusi

Commitee on Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs

Hon. Solomon Akpulonu – Chairman

Ukpai Nduka – Secretary

Hon. Stanley Nwabuisi

Hon. Emmanuel Ndubuisi

Hon. Emeka Okoroafor

Hon. Aaron Uzodike

Hon. Chukwudi Apugo

Hon. Mandela Obasi

(7) Committee on Appropriation

Rt. Hon. Kennedy Njoku – Chairman

Emeka Otumchere – Secretary

Rt. Hon. Chikwendu Kalu

Hon. Solomon Akpulonu

Hon. Godwin Adiele

Hon. Mike Ukoha

Hon. Emeka Okoroafor

Hon. Kelechi Onuzuruike

(8) Committee on Public Accounts.

Hon. Chukwudi Apugo – Chairman

Hon. Paul Tharibo

Hon. Mandela Obasi

Hon. Solomon Akpulonu

Hon. Chijioke Chukwu

Hon. Munachim Alozie

Hon. Nnamdi Allen.

Hon Abraham Oba

Hon. Obinna Ichita

Hon. Stanley Nwabusi

Hon. Okey Igwe

(9)Committee on Housing

Hon. Nnamdi Allen – Chairman

Anosike Chima – Secretary

Hon. Jerry Uzosike

Hon. Emeka Okoroafor

Hon. Paul Tharibo

Hon. Chukwu Chijioke

Hon. Mandela Obasi

Hon. Okey Igwe.

(10) Commitee on Agriculture and Natural Resources

Hon. Chukwu Chijioke – Chairman

Ngozi Nwachukwu – Secretary

Hon. Mike Ukoha

Hon. Emmanuel Ndubuisi

Hon. Nnamdi Allen

Hon. Ginger Onwusibe

Hon. Emeka Okoroafor

Hon. Kelechi Onuzurike

Hon. Godwin Adiele

Hon. Obinna Ichita

(11) Commitee on Transport

Hon. Abraham Oba — Chairman

Hon. Obinna Ichita

Hon. Kelechi Onuzuruike

Emmanuel Ndubuisi

Hon. Munachim Alozie

Hon. Jerry Uzosike

Hon. Chukwudi Apugo

(12) Committee on Lands, Survey and Urban Planning

Hon.Aaron Uzodike – Chairman

Okezie Chijioke – Secretary

Hon. Chukwudi Apugo

Hon. Solomon Akpulonu

Hon. Emeka Okoroafor

Hon. Paul Tharibo

Hon. Okey Igwe

Hon. Obinna Ichita

(13) Commitee on NDDC, ASOPADEC and Petroleum Resources

Hon.Godwin Adiele – Chairman

Rita Ehibudu – Secretary

Hon. Emmanuel Ndubuisi

Hon. Obinna Ichita

Hon. Okey Igwe

Hon. Mandela Obasi

Hon. Jerry Uzosike

Hon. Stanley Nwabuisi

(14) Commitee on Public Utilities and Water Resources.

Hon. Obinna – Chairman

Odum Mary – Secretary

Hon. Solomon Akpulonu

Hon. Kelechi Onuzurike

Hon. Stanley Nwabuisi

Hon. Emmanuel Ndubuisi

Hon. Ginger Onwusibe

Hon. Nnamdi Allen

Hon. Chukwudi Apugo

Hon. Mike Ukoha

Odum Mary – Secretary

(15) Commitee on Health, Women Affairs and Social Development

Hon. Stanley Nwabuisi

Gloria Ndubusi – Secretary

Hon. Paul Tharibo

Hon. Chukwu Chijioke

Hon. Kelechi Onuzurike

Hon.Okey Igwe

Hon. Jerry Uzosike

(16) Commitee on Sports & Youth Development

Hon. Emmanuel Ndubuisi – Chairman

Ugochukwu Irobunda – Secretary

Hon. Chukwudi Apugo

Hon. Aaron Uzodike

Hon. Ginger Onwusibe

Hon. Godwin Adiele

Hon. Munachim Alozie

Hon. Solomon Akpulonu

(17) Committee on Environment

Hon. Kelechi Onuzurike – Chairman

Amaka Ukwurocks — Secretary

Hon. Emmanuel Ndubuisi

Hon. Solomon Akpulonu

Hon. Jerry Uzosike

Hon. Paul Tharibo

Hon. Mandela Obasi

Hon. Mike UKoha

Rt. Hon.Kennedy Njoku

Hon. Chukwu Chijioke

Hon. Stanley Nwabuisi.

(18) Commitee on Education

Hon.Thomas Nkoro — Chairman

Florence Nwankwo — Secretary

Rt. Hon .Chikwendu Kalu

Hon. Ginger Onwusibe

Hon. Chukwudi Apugo

Hon. Emeka Okoroafor

Hon. Stanley Nwabuisi

Hon. Nnamdi Allen

Hon. Kelechi Onuzurike

Hon. Kennedy Njoku

Hon. Jerry Uzossike

Hon. Obinna Ichita

(19) Commitee on Justice and Judiciary

Hon. Emeka Okoroafor — Chairman

Chibuzor Kalu – Secretary

Hon.Thomas Nkoro

Hon. Solomon Akpulonu

Rt. Hon. Chikwendu Kalu

Hon. Jerry Uzosike

Hon. Uzodike Aaron

Hon. Mike Ukoha

Hon. Nnamdi Allen

(20) Commitee on Boundary and Security Matters

Rt. Hon. Ifeanyi Uchendu – Chairman

Promise Onukwuo — Secretary

Rt. Hon. Chikwendu Kalu

Hon. Solomon Akpulonu

Hon. Okey Igwe

Hon. Mike Ukoha

Hon. Godwin Adiele

Hon. Paul Tharibo

Hon. Stanley Nwabuisi’

(21) Committee On Solid Minerals

Hon. Okey Igwe —- Chairman

Veronica Kalu — Secretary

Hon. Jerry Uzosike

Hon. Godwin Adiele

Hon. Emmanuel Ndubuisi

Hon. Nnamdi Allen

Hon. Ichita Obinna

(22) Committee On House Services

Hon. Mandela Obasi — Chairman

Clerk of the House —- Secretary.

(23) Public Petition Committee

Hon. Emeka Okoroafor – Chairman

Bright Nwachukwu — Secretary

Hon. Jerry Uzosike

Hon. Emmanuel Ndubuisi

Hon. Mike Ukoha.

(24). Committee On SDG, Planning Commission and DONOR AGENCIES.

Hon. Barr Jerry Uzosike – Chairman.
Hon. Barr. Solomon Akpulonu.
Hon. Chukwudi Apugo.
Hon. Mike Ukoha.
Onyeama Chukwuemeka – Secretary.

MATTERS OF URGENT PUBLIC IMPORTANCE.

The Member Representing Isialangwa North State Constituency, Hon. Ginger Onwusibe, brought a Matter of Urgent Public Importance over the INLAND CONTAINER DEPOT proposed to be built in his Constituency by the Federal Government.

“Mr Speaker, Isialngwa North is the ancestral Home of the Ngwa Community, I have their mandate to bring this matter that is very important not only to them but the people of South East. It is about the Inland Container Depot, it is an equivalent of what we know as Dry Seaport”, he said.

“It is a Port of Final Destination. Some years ago, the Federal Executive Council approved its establishment in the Six Geopolitical Zones, one of it, is the one sited at Ntigwa, the Foundation has been done.

“Whereas the Deed of Exchange of the land has been executed and compensation to the tune of N98M has been paid to the land owners.

‘Whereas the State is yet to Comply with necessary deliverables; whereas the contractor has applied and has several times visited that site, our people are worried over the delays to its estbalishment’’

PRAYERS FOLLOWING THE MOTION

(1) That the Abia State Government be persuaded to provide necessary deliverables to enable the project take off.

(2)To also Persuede the Federal Government to review the IPB agreement.

“I want this Honourable House to support this persuasion so that this Inland Seaport can be established in our Dear State’’, he prayed.

The Speaker thanked the Honourable Member for bringing the matter to the House.

“The matter you have brought up is an economic matter, it will have an Impact on the economy of the State. I wish to throw it open for Members to bring their contributions’’, he said.

The House Leader, Hon. Solomon Akpulonu, drew the attention of the House to the House Rules.

” I want to Refer us to Order 9 Rule 59 Sub 1″. The Matter of Discussion shall be referred to the Speaker, the issues we entertain in Matters of Urgent Public Importance are urgent Matters, I am supporting this one because it is of economic importance to our State so that the Government will do what is necessary to make the Project a success.

“I refer us to that Order so that our members can take note next time”, he said.

The Speaker thanked the Leader for his eventual support to the Motion and opened the floor for contributions.

The Member Representing Umuahia South State Constituency, Hon. Barr. Jerry Uzosike, urged the House to Support the Motion because of its importance.

“I want to thank the Leader of the House for accepting the matter to sail through not minding the infractions. The Leader is claiming that the matter is about his area, but this matter borders on Isialangwa which is very close to Umuahia South.

“We need this work, we need the Terminal, let us not forget that serious attention is being given to Terminals in Kaduna. If Kaduna State is doing everything possible to secure a Dry Port, it means southeast-based businessmen and women won’t need to suffer to clear their goods and transport same over a long distance if this one is established.

“So I support this Motion so that Abia can move at the same time with ithers’’, he said.

The Member Representing Ohafia North State Constituency, Hon. Mandela Obasi, in his Support to the Motion said establishment of the Port will create more job opportunities for Abia State.

“I rise to Support this Motion, Mr Speaker. I could remember that as a business man being an importer, I import my goods through Port Hharcourt. Abians are going to benefit form this proposed Port; it will also open working opportunities for our people. On that note, I support this Motion’’, he said

The Speaker asked if there was any Opposition to the Motion.

“Having examined and ljstened to Members, I think our Resolutions should read thus:

RESOLUTION:

(1) Apply oersuasive action to ask our State Government to do the needful. If there are certain conditions and understanding that have not been met, we would ask the Government to do what ever that is necessary to meet up with them”.

Leader of the House, Hon. Solomon Akpulonu, moved a Motion for the suspension of the House Rule to enable other Members who have Matters of Urgent Public Importance to come up with them.

“We have another Matter of Urgent Public Importance. I would refer the House to Order 9 Sub 4. I Hereby move that we suspend that rule to allow other Members bring their Matters of Urgent Public Importance.
The Minority Leader, Hon. Abraham Oba, seconded the Motion while the Speaker put the Motion to Vote and the House echoed in the Affirmative.

MORE MATTERS OF URGENT PUBLIC IMPORTANCE

The Member Representing Bende South, Hon. Emmanuel Ndubuisi, brought a Matter of Urgent Public Importance over the near total collapse of the Umuahia- Bende Road.

“May I, with utmost respect and humility, bring to the notice of this House the near total collapse of Umuahia-Bende Road. Ordinarily, one may wonder why I am concerned about Umuahia East. I want to inform this house that Bende people are the highest beneficiaries of this road.

“The road has huge economic value. As I speak, trucks cannot ply that road any more; there are a lot of Cocoa in Bende, but it cannot be brought to town because trucks cannot Ply that road.

PRAYERS FOLLOWING THE MOTION.

(1) That the House persuade ABROMA to carry out palliative measures on the road.

(2) That the House persuade FERMA to use a reputable contractor to reconstruct that road.

(3)That the House Commitee on Works carry out oversight on that road.

The Speaker, Rt. Hon. Chinedum Orji, drew the attention of Honourable Members to the fact that the road in question is a federal road.

“I am aware that the Member for Bende South is aware that the road is a federal road being done from the Ohafia end instead of Umuahia. I am asking why the construction didn’t pass from Umuahia through Bende because if they had started work in on it from the Umuahia end, the collapsed portion would have been reached and fixed. However, having said that, the Motion is open for contributions.

Member for Umuahia East, Hon. Chukwudi Apugo, in his support to the Motion also sought for urgent attention to another area in his constituency.

“I want to support this Motion. I know it is a federal road, we would only talk. Mr Speaker, let us not do only talking here but also make the Federal Government to reconstruct that Road. Let me also use this opportunity to bring to our notice another landslide in my Constituency in Okwuta Ibeku.

“It needs an urgent attention from the State. Mr Speaker, Honorable Members, I strongly implore you, I seek for an urgent attention to the people of Okwuta Ibeku’’ he said.

The Member Representing Ohafia North State Constituency, Hon. Mandela Obasi urged the House to support the Matter of Urgent Public Importance brought by the Lawmaker For Bende South.

“Mr Speaker, I rise to support the Motion by Hon Member for Bende South, I remember when I was the Chairman of Ohafia Local Government Area, I used to ply that road and it didn’t used to take up to 30 minutes, but now that road takes up to 1hour 30minutes. I want to also plead that the Ohafia-Abiriba Road be considered”, he said.

The Member representing Bende North, Hon. Chijioke Chukwu, while supporting the Motion also urged the House to intervene to ease movement of the people from Ozuitem to Bende.

“Mr Speaker, that road is not only of high economic value to Bende South, but to Bende North, too. If the road linking Umuahia to Bende Local Government Area is cut off, you can imagine how painful it will be.

“We equally appeal to the State Government to reconnect the road in Ozuitem to Bende to help the Bende man get access to his Local Government Area. I rise to support the Motion with all sincerity”.

The Member representing Aba Central State Constituency, Hon. Abraham Oba, in his support to the Motion also pointed out about an a road in his constituency which is about being cut iff by erosion.

POINT OF ORDER

Leader of the House, Hon. Solomon Akpulonu, raised a Point of Order over deviation from the Motion on ground by the Honourable Members.

‘’Mr Speaker, let me refer us to Order 11, Rule 71, Sub 4: ‘A Member must confine his contribution to the subject matter’. Mr Speaker, the initial Motion we are discussing about is Bende Road. Honorable Members should restrict themselves to it”.

The Speaker Sustained the Point of Order and urged Members of the House to adhere striclty in discussing the matter in question.

Hon. Kelechi Onuzuruike observed that the Leader of the House allowed the deviation by the Member for Umuahia East, Hon. Chukwudi Apugo, but raised a Point of Order when other Members were bringing their own separate Issues.

“Mr Speaker, I rise to make an Observation in what the Leader has just done; the Leader allowed the Member for Umuahia East but raised a Point of Order for others. I move that he desist from raising double standards’’, he said.

The Speaker reminded the Honorable Member that he reserves the Power to call anyone to Order.

“In order not to deny Members of their right, I believe that when we have a Matter of Urgent Public Importance, we should try as much as possible to restrict ourselves to the subject matter “.

The Deputy Speaker, Rt. Hon Ifeanyi Uchendu, supported the Matter of Urgent Public Importance raised by Hon. Emmanuel Ndubuisi.

“I rise to Support the presentation and to thank the Member for Bende South Mr Speaker we must do something fast’’, he said.

Resolutions.

(1) It is hereby resolved that since the work is being handled by FERMA, we write to FERMA concerning the urgent need not to allow that road to be cut off or collapse.

(2) We also call on ABROMA, as a matter of urgency, to do whatever palliative work they can do on that road.

Personal Explanation.

The Member representing Ukwa West, Hon. Godwin Adiele, informed the Houses of the election of one of his constituents and staff of the Abia State House of Assembly as the National Financial Secretary of Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria.

“I rise to Inform this Honourable House that a staff of this Assembly on the 11th of July, 2019, contested an election in PASAN and won as the National Financial Secretary of PASAN’’, he said.

ORDERS OF THE DAY.

Clerk of the House, Sir John Pedro-Irokansi, read the First Item on the Order Paper.

(1) Continuation of HABI2019 ‘A Bill seeking the establishment of the ‘Abia State House of Assembly Service Commission and Other Related Matters’..

The Leader Moved that the House dissolves into a Commitee of the Whole. It was seconded by the Minority Leader.

The Mace was then lowered for the House to dissolve into a Commitee of the Whole.

‘’Distinguished Colleagues, you are welcome to the Commitee of the Whole’’ the Chairman, Rt. Hon. Chinedum Enyinnaya Orji, announced.

After careful scrutiny, the House affirmed that clauses in Pages 7,8,9,10,11 and 12 were accepted by the Committee to form part of the HAB1 Bill.

REVERTING BACK TO PLENARY.

Leader of the House, Hon. Solomon Akpulonu, noved a Motion that the House revert back to Plenary for purposes of reporting progress of what happened at the Committee of the Whole by the Speaker. The Minority Leader seconded the Motion while the Speaker put the Motion to Voice Vote and the House responded in the Affirmative.

The House reverted back to Plenary and the Speaker reported what happened in the Committee of the Whole to the House.

3RD READING OF HAB1 2019.

The Leader, Hon Solomon Akpulonu, moved a Motion that the House amend the Order Paper and insert 3rd Reading of the Bill to the Items. The Minority Leader seconded the Motion, while the Speaker put the Motion into vote and the House responded in the Affirmative.

“Honourable Members, this is the time for us to go through this Bill Page by Page,Paragraph by Paragraph” the Speaker announced.

PASSAGE OF THE BILL INTO LAW

‘’This law maybe cited as the Abia State House of Assembly Service Commission and shall come into force from the 16th day of July, 2019’’ The Speaker announced.

The Abia State House of Assembly Service Commission Bill was Subsequently passed into Law.

Order Paper.

The Clerk of the House Sir. John Pedro-Irokansi Read the Next Item on the Order Paper.

ADJOURNMENT

The Leader moved a Motion that the House Adjourn Plenary to 23rd day of September 2019. The Minority Leader seconded the Motion.

Before putting the Motion into Vote, the Speaker encouraged House Members to be steadfast in their oversight functions and do them without fear nor favour.

“We pay Serious attention to Oversight Functions; no Member here should be cowed, or intimidated. No amount of blackmail should stop you from your Oversight Function. Your Oversight is to aid this Government”.

The Speaker then put the Motion for Adjournment Into Vote.

‘’The Motion moved by the Leader and seconded by the Minority Leader is that we adjourn our sitting to Reconvene on the 23rd day of September 2019’’.

The Abia State House of Assembly therefore adjourned Plenary to reconvene on the 23rd of September 2019.

 

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

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