It is Tuesday October 15th, 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 Ikwuano State Constituency, Hon. Stanley Nwabuisi, prayed before the commencement of the House sitting at exactly 12:45pm.
Observations and Adoption of VOTES and PROCEEDINGS of Wednesday, 9th of October, 2019
The Speaker asked the Members to check Votes and Proceedings of Wednesday, 9th of October, 2019.
“Distinguished Colleagues, you are welcome to today’s Plenary session this 15th Day of October, 2019. Before we proceed, may we, as usual, go through the Votes and Proceedings of Wednesday, 9th of October, 2019.
In the absence of any correction, Majority Leader of the House, Hon. Solomon Akpulonu, moved a motion that the House adopt the Proceedings of Wednesday, the 9th day of October, 2019, as correct and as a working document of the House; the Minority Leader, Hon. Sir Abraham Oba, seconded the motion with the Lawmakers responding in the affirmative when the Motion was put up for vote by the Speaker, Rt Hon Chinedum Enyinnaya Orji.
The Votes and Proceedings of Wednesday 9th October was therefore subsequently adopted.
MATTERS OF URGENT PUBLIC IMPORTANCE, PERSONAL EXPLANATION.
The Speaker announced the invitation of the House to the inauguration of the Commissioners Designate at the International Conference Centre, Umuahia, by 10am.
The Member Representing Isuikwuato State Constituency, Hon Emeka Okoroafor, raised a matter of untimely retirement and seizure of salaries of one Mr Amalam Chibuzor.
“He was employed by the State Civil Service as a Teacher in 1982, he had the approval for study leave without pay and restoration after his Study.
“He was prematurely retired in October 2017; he is making claims of monetary compensation for being so prematurely retired”.
The Chairman House Committee on Public Petitions, Hon. Emeka Okoroafor, was asked by the Speaker to lay the petition on the table, and he did.
“This petition is hereby committed to the House Commitee on Public Petitions for their consideration and they are to report back to the House within two weeks”, the Speaker said.
Majority Leader, Hon. Solomon Akpulonu, brought a Matter of Urgent Public Importance on the processes of payment of staff salaries in Abia State.
“Mr Speaker, during the tenure of the last House, we were being paid salaries on 10th of every next month until this current 7th House intervened which now see us going home with our salaries promptly every month end”
“Mr Speaker, the company (Lloydant Business Services) that was contracted for this salary processing doesn’t even pay tax to the Abia State Government. Our salaries are being prepared in Enugu even though I learnt that Lloydant contract will be expiring anytime soon.
(1) We Suspend Lloydant Business Services and their system of processing salaries
(2) That we empower the House Committee on Finance to look into the processes on the payment of salaries in Abia State.
The Speaker called for contributions from the Members
The Lawmaker representing Isuikwuato State Constituency, Hon. Emeka Okoroafor, aligned himself with the Motion moved by the Leader.
“Mr Speaker, the 1999 Constitution has empowered this House to look into the administration and distribution of funds appropriated by this House.
“I hereby support that we terminate the contract of Lloydant”.
The Member representing Ugwunagbo State Constituency, Hon. Munachim Alozie, in his contribution said it was sad to hear that the salaries of Abia State workers are being processed in Enugu.
“I support that we call for immediate suspension of the contract of Lloydant”, he said.
The Member representing Isialangwa North State Constituency, Hon. Ginger Onwusibe, said he recalled that almost all the reports by the Ad Hoc Committees of the House indicted Loydant Business Services.
“I want to Support the motion as moved and move a step further that we call on the Executive to suspend all services of Lloydant Business Services in Abia State.
“It is a shame that they take the salaries of this State to prepare in Enugu; they pay their taxes there and not even in Abia State”.
The Member representing Umuahia East State Constituency, Hon. Chukwudi Apugo, recalled that the House had in the 6th House passed a resolution on the matter.
“Mr Speaker, we must go beyond this Lloydant thing and go a step further to look into the Salary Committee, we must start from the root to solve this problem”.
The Member representing Arochukwu State Constituency, Hon. Mike Ukoha, aligned with the Lawmaker for Umuahia East State.
“I wonder that such a company preparing salaries for Abia State is taking such Business to another State which means there is lack of Transparency.
The Member representing Ukwa West State Constituency, Hon. Godwin Adiele, supported that the prayers in the Matter of Urgent Public Importance be granted as prayed.
The Speaker, Rt Hon.Chinedum Enyinnaya Orji, thanked the Members for their contributions saying “This House will not hesitate to remove that clog, no matter who is involved.
“I do not see the reason why the salaries of Abia State workers will be prepared in another State and brought here for payment.
“Any resolution of this House must be respected”, the Speaker said.
(1) We resolve again that the Salary Committee be disbanded.
(2) The services of Lloydant be disengaged immediately pending the outcome of the report of the House Committee on Finance.
The House subsequently adopted the Resolution as read by the Speaker.
The Leader moved that the House amend House Rule to enable them take one more Matter of Urgent Public Importance; the motion was seconded by the Minority Leader, Hon. Abraham Oba, while the House responded in the affirmative when the Speaker put the Motion up for Vote.
The Minority Leader of the House, Hon. Sir Abraham Oba, brought a Matter of Urgent Public Importance over the disturbance of a Transport Company plying Aba – Port Harcourt route.
‘Mr Speaker, the complaints is against Mr Chukwuma Ahuoma, and his task force who has been extorting money from buses that ply Aba – – Port Harcourt Rd, the sum of N1000.
“Mr Speaker, we have conducted a lot of research on enabling laws that established National Union of Road Transport Workers and we did not find where Mr Chukwuma was empowered to extort monies from motorists.
( 1) That the House takes an urgent step in resolving the situation which has lingered since 2007.
The Speaker Committed the Matter to the House Committee on Transport to look into and report back to the House within two weeks.
The Lawmaker representing Umunneochi State Constituency told the House about his appointment of four of his constituents to assist him in his assignments and the loss of one of his constituents.
The Speaker thanked the Lawmaker on his resolve to make farming attractive in his Local Government Area of Umunneochi.
The Lawmaker representing Arochukwu State Constituency, Hon. Mike Ukoha, announced that the women of Arochukwu will be hosting the First Lady of Arochukwu which theme is to look into elderly of Arochukwu. “I am very happy this afternoon to invite my colleagues to that event.
ORDERS OF THE DAY.
The Clerk of the Abia State House of Assembly, Sir John Pedro Irokansi, read the Orders of the Day as follows.
NOTICE OF PRESENTATION OF BILL
(1) HAB 4: The Abia State University Teaching Hospital Management Board Bill 2019 sponsored by Hon. Chukwu Chijioke et al
Leader of the House, Hon. Solomon Akpulonu, moved that the house allow HAB 4 to go for First Reading. The Motion was seconded by the Minority Leader with the House responding in the Affirmative when the Speaker put the Motion up for Vote.
HAB4 Subsequently passed First Reading.
Next Item on the Order Paper.
(2) Presentation of the Report of the Ad Hoc Investigative Committee on Hospital Management Board (HMB), Umuahia.
Leader of the House, Hon. Solomon Akpulonu, moved a Motion that the Chairman be allowed to present the Report. The Minority Leader seconded the Motion while the House responded in the affirmative when the Speaker put the Motion up for Vote.
Presenting the Report, the Chairman of the Ad Hoc Committee, Hon. Aaron Uzodike, recalled that the House in its sitting of 2nd of July, 2019, set up the Committee over the inability of the Hospital Management Board to pay its staff.
(1) That the Hospital Management Board has a total of 18 Hospitals under it
(2) That it has a total of 1,040 staff under It.
(3) That the purported high wage bill is because of the salary structure of HMB which is not peculiar to Abia State.
(4) The least paid nurse receives N50,000 per month.
(1) That the monthly subvention to the institution be restored.
(2) That there should be massive rehabilitation of the hospitals.
(3) That Government should provide drugs and equipment
(4) That Government should consider using PPP, at least, one in each Senatorial Zone.
(5) That there should be adequate security in Government Hospitals especially in the rural areas.
(6) That there should be proper evaluation of the IGR from them
(7) That the laid off workers be recalled
(8) That the State Government should compose an audit committee.
( 9) That Doctors on special duties should not be paid if they are not rendering their services et al
He proceeded to lay the Report on the Table.
The Leader moved that the House adopt the Report as a working document of the House. The Minority Leader seconded the Motion while the House responded in the affirmative when the Speaker put the Motion up for Vote.
The Speaker committed the report to the committee of the Whole for further legislative action on a future day.
Next Item on the Order Paper.
(3) Presentation of the Legislative Blueprint (ROAD MAP) of the 7th Abia State House of Assembly (2019-2023).
The Majority Leader moved that Mr Speaker present the Legislative Blueprint of the 7th Abia State House of Assembly; the Minority Leader seconded the Motion while the House responded in the affirmative when the Speaker put it up for Vote.
Presenting the Report, the Speaker said the Blue Print of the 7th Abia State House of Assembly is due to the expectations of the good people of Abia State on the Assembly.
He said the Blue Print will tackle unemployment and revenue leakages in the State and that they will operate a House of Assembly that will respond to Citizen demands.
The House shall be committed to the use of Template and Standardized minutes of Reporting.
He said the House shall also ensure regular training and retraining of staff at the Assembly.
The Oversight Function of the House is drawn from Sections 128 and Section 129 of the 1999 Constitution as Amended which is to ensure that Government oolicies are implemented.
The House shall ensure that its powers are not misused.
The House shall maintain a healthy and robust relationship with the Executive and ensure liaison of the House with the Special Adviser to the Governor on Legislative Matters.
The House will collaborate with the Media, both electronic and print.
The House intends to review holistically enabling laws on revenue generation.
The use of revenue agents for the collection of non flying revenue will be discouraged by the 7th Abia State House of Assembly.
The 7th Abia State House of Assembly shall beam its light on funds received from donor agencies.
The House shall provide the necessary Legislative Blueprint to give Umuahia a face-lift and the relocation of the Isi Gate traders.
Abia Laws were last Published into volumes in 2005.
In the conclusion, the Speaker said the House shall collaborate and ensure an efficient and effective implementation of the Blueprint.
Leader of the House, Hon. Solomon Akpulonu, moved that the House adopt the Legislative Blueprint as a working document of the 7th Abia State House of Assembly.
Next Item on the Order Paper.
(4) Consideration of the Report of House Committee on Education on Indiscriminate Increase in Fees/Levies by the Abia State University, Uturu.
Leader of the House, moved that the House refer Item Number 4 to another Legislative Day and move to the next Item which is Adjournment.
“Mr Speaker, I hereby move that we adjourn our Plenary of today to Monday 28th Day of October, 2019.
the Minority Leader Seconded the Motion while the House responded in the affirmative when the Motion was put up for Vote by the Speaker.
The House subsequently adjourned Plenary at exactly 2:31pm to the 28th Day of October, 2019.
Courtesy: Media Unit, office of the Rt.Hon.Speaker, Abia State House of Assembly.