It is Monday 18th November, 2019.
Welcome to a new 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 to the hallowed chamber of the Abia State House of Assembly.
The Member representing Osisioma Ngwa North State Constituency, Rt Hon Kennedy Njoku, led the prayed before commencement of the House sitting at exactly 12:25pm.
The Majority Leader, Hon Solomon Akpulonu, moved a Motion that the House do suspend its rule to accommodate Members of the State Executive Council and other aides of the Governor of Abia State who was also present. The Deputy Minority Leader Seconded the motion with the House responding in the Affirmative when the Speaker put the Motion up for Vote.
Observations and Adoption of VOTES and PROCEEDINGS of Wednesday, 12th November, 2019.
The Speaker asked House Members to check Votes and Proceedings of Tuesday, 12th November, 2019.
“Distinguished Colleagues, you are welcome to today’s Plenary Session this Monday, 18th Day of November, 2019. Before we proceed, as usual, may we go through the Votes and Proceedings of Tuesday, 12th November, 2019.
In the absence of any correction, the Majority Leader of the House, Hon Solomon Akpulonu, moved a motion that the House adopts the Proceedings of Tuesday, 12th Day of November, 2019, as correct and as a Working Document of the House. The Deputy Minority Leader, Hon Chukwu Chijioke, seconded the Motion with the Lawmakers responding in the affirmative when the Motion was put up for vote by the Speaker.
The Votes and Proceedings of Tuesday, 12th November, 2019, was subsequently adopted.
The Speaker, Rt Hon Chinedum Enyinnaya Orji, recognized the Presence of past Lawmakers present at Plenary.
NOTICE OF PRESENTATION OF BILLS.
(1) H.A.B.9 : Local Government Council of Abia State Appropriation Bill, 2019. Sponsor: Majority Leader.
A Bill for a Bye-Law to appropriate the sum of Twenty Eight Billion, Eight Hundred and Seventy Five Million, Two Hundred and Thirty Thousand and Fifty Naira only (N28,875,230,000.50).
The Majority Leader, Hon Solomon Akpulonu, moved a Motion that the House do allow the Bill to scale First Reading. The Deputy Minority Leader,Hon Chukwu Chijioke, seconded the Motion with the House Members responding in the affirmative when the Speaker put the Motion up for Vote.
The Bill subsequently Passed First Reading.
(2) H.A.B.10: Local Government Health Authorities of Abia State Appropriation Bill, 2019. Sponsor: Majority Leader.
(2) A Bill for a Law to appropriate the sum of Five Billion, Seven Hundred and Eighty Two Million, Nine Hundred and Twenty Nine Thousand, Eight Hundred and Thirteen Naira (N5,782,929,813) only for the services of the Seventeen Local Government Health Authorities of Abia State of Nigeria for the Year ending 31st Day of December, 2019, and for other related Matters.(Presentation and First Reading).
The Majority Leader of the House, Hon.Solomon Akpulonu, moved a Motion that the House allow the bill to scale its First Reading. The Deputy Minority Leader, Hon Chukwu Chijioke, seconded the Motion with the House Members responding in the affirmative when the Speaker put the Motion up for vote.
ORDER OF THE DAY.
Clerk of the Abia State House of Assembly, Sir JohnPedro Irokansi, read the Orders of the Day as follows:
(1) Presentation of the Abia State 2020 Draft Budget Estimates by the Governor, His Excellency, Okezie Victor Ikpeazu PhD.
The Majority Leader moved that the House do allow the Executive Governor of Abia State, Dr Okezie Victor Ikpeazu, to access the hallowed Chamber of the House. The Deputy Minority Leader seconded the Motion with the House Members responding in the affirmative when the Speaker, Rt.Hon Chinedum Enyinnaya Orji, put the Motion up for Vote.
The Governor was Subsequently ushered into the hallowed Chamber of the House.
The Speakerd welcome the Governor thus:
“Your Excellency, the Governor of Abia State, Dr Okezie Victor Ikpeazu, you are welcome to the hallowed Chamber of this House. With the kind permission of the House, I hereby invite you to present the 2020 Budget Estimates to the House”.
Presenting the Budget, the Governor enumerated several interventions by his Administration.
“This is the reason we have tagged this Budget a “Budget of Economic Repositioning”
“In Preparing this 2020 to 2022 Multi-Year Budget, we considered proper prioritization of peoples needs, putting appropriate measures to plug revenue leakages.
“Our watchword in 2020 Budget shall be prudence in the management of State resources”.
The Governor thereafter itemized the funds expended by his administration for the outgoing 2019 Fiscal Year.
The Governor said there will be deliberate efforts to sustain and improve the internally generated revenue of the State.
“Our focus remains to check the economic development of the state; we shall checkmate revenue leakages.
“In 2020, we will work to ensure the completion of all ongoing Projects.
“We would ensure that only programmes provided for in the 2020 budget that shall be funded.
“Mr Speaker, the 2020 Budget is estimated at N136,617,847,316.”
The Governor divided the Budget into Capital and Recurrent Expenditures.
“Mr Speaker, the 2020 proposed Capital Expenditure is N69,815,600,000 only Representing 51% of the total Budget.
“We are meticulous to ensure that Abia State excels…
“We have officially stopped the extension of all Civil Servants retirement and ensured that all promotions are in line with Civil Service rules.
“Mr Speaker and Honourable Members, we intend to engage those competitive advantages because the key driver is the Abia Private Sector.
“The first set of construction work for the Enyimba Economic City shall commence in the year 2020”, he said.
The Governor commended the 6th Abia State House of Assembly for giving Legislative backing to the Enyimba Economic City Project.
“We shall engage every instrument to ensure the advancement of the projection of Abia to the entire world”, he stated.
The Governor assured the Abia State House of Assembly that his administration will ensure that revatilization of all moribund industries in the State.
“This administration will continue to support and cooperate with our state owned Tertiary Institutions in the delivery of quality education to our children.
“Abia State University has run four academic sessions without any disruption; the disruption at the Abia State Polytechnic has been addressed”
“Once again, I wish to thank the Abia State House of Assembly for their support in these reforms.
“Government is mindful of the challenges faced by pensioners. In the year 2020, Government shall embark in recapturing of pensioners to ensure that only genuine pensioners are paid”.
The Governor then went on to list many ongoing World Bank Projects in the State.
“We are aware of the soil erosion problems in some parts of the State, the NEWMAP program will take care of some of these Issues.
“We shall continue to collaborate with other Federal Agencies to ensure we deliver quality projects and services to our people.
“Other details of this Budget will be made available by the Honourable Commissioner for Finance.
“Mr. Speaker, I have not only come to present the Fiscal Estimates for 2020, I have come to seek
your usual hand of brotherly fellowship towards repositioning Abia State in 2020. We are
undaunted by the challenges of the global economy, we do not shrink back from facing the rough
tempest of the peculiarities of the Nigerian economy. Instead, these winds provide the wings
upon which we ride to realizing the vision the people of Abia set for us when they elected us
together to pilot their affairs. We have no doubt that working together, we can deliver on our
promises and commitments.
This House has been an admirable partner in the attainment of our corporate objectives and I have no doubt that we will do even more in 2020. I once more thank you immensely, and indeed
all Abians, for the immeasurable support and understanding as I lay the Abia State 2020
Appropriation Bill before you for your anticipated expeditious consideration and passage.
“Thank you and may God continue to bless Abia State”
The Governor thereafter went ahead to lay the 2020 Budget on the Table.
In his remarks, the Speaker, Rt Hon Chinedum Enyinnaya Orji, thanked the Governor, Dr Okezie Victor Ikpeazu, for his speech and commended the Governor and his team for presenting the Budget early unlike what was been obtained in the previous years.
“This Honourable House will like to thank the Governor for helping to make the House of Assembly complex wear a new look.
“It is on record that this Assembly’s renovation was supposed to be part of your 100 Days in office Achievements.
“The 2020 Budget is expected to facilitate the completion of ongoing projects in the state.
“The problem now that you face is the funds to execute these projects. We hope that with the presentation of this Budget, this House of Assembly through its oversight functions will help in its actualization.
“This House of Assembly will use the tools available to it, to bring to Justice anyone who will sabotage this.
“Your Excellency, the Oversight Function of this House, is not and will not be a Witch-hunt but it will be to help you in actualization of these highlighted Projects.
“This House of Assembly will help you within our Constitutional rights to actualize this.
“We want to encourage you to disregard all manner of propaganda; the 7th House of Assembly will give an accelerated hearing to see to the passage of this Budget in good time, he said.
The Majority Leader, Hon Solomon Akpulonu, moved that the House allow the Governor and his entourage to take a leave of the hallowed chamber of the House. The Deputy Minority Leader Seconded the Motion with the House Members responding in the affirmative when the Speaker put the Motion up for vote.
The Majority Leader moved that the House adjourn her Plenary to Tuesday the 19th of November, 2019. The Deputy Minority Leades Seconded the Motion with the House Members Responding in the affirmative when the Speaker put the Motion up for vote.
The Abia State House of Assembly subsequently adjourned Plenary to Tuesday the 19th Day of November, 2019.
Courtesy: Media Unit, Office of the Speaker, Abia State House of Assembly.