Okowa Briefs Assembly Today

BY LUCKY OYIBO
Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, will, today, address members of the Delta State House of Assembly on the financial status of the state.
The Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Monday Igbuya, who announced this at yesterday’s plenary, said the briefing will take place in, the main chamber of the Assembly Complex, Asaba, at 10:00 am prompt.
Earlier in the week, Governor Okowa, in a letter to the state Assembly, had noted that the state has reached an unsustainable level of indebtedness exacerbated by declining oil prices and the consequent low FAAC receipts.
According to him, the new administration met a huge bank/capital market debt burden of about N96.62 billion with a scheduled monthly repayment of N4.6 billion, in addition to the monthly repayment of Delta State Infrastructure Development Bond of N50 billion obtained in 2011.
Meanwhile, the House, presided over by the Speaker, yesterday passed two executive bills for second reading.
These include the Delta State Contributory Health Commission Bill, 2015 and the Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (Amendment) Bill, 2015.
The passage of the bills for second reading followed separate motions moved by the Majority Leader, Hon (Barr) Tim Owhefere and seconded by the Minority Leader, Hon Festus Okoh and Hon Erhiatake Ibori, respectively.
The Speaker, Hon Igbuya slated the second reading on the bills to Tuesday, June 30, 2015 respectively.
In a related development, the House has urged Governor Ifeanyi Okowa to direct the state Head of Service, Mr. Patrick Origho to, as a matter of urgency, ensure that Mr. Abel Esievo, having been confirmed by the House takes over as Director-General, Local Government (State) without further delay.
This was sequel to a motion moved by the member representing Warri North 11 Constituency, Hon (Barr) Dennis Omovie and seconded by the member representing Ughelli South Constituency, Hon Reuben Izeze.
The motion moved by Hon Omovie was followed by an amendment motion moved by the member representing Isoko South 11 Constituency, Hon. Prince Johnson Erijo and seconded by the member representing Ughelli North 1 Constituency, Hon (Barr) Samuel Mariere.
Resuming debate on the motion, Hon. Omovie noted that Mr. Abel Esievo was denied access to the Office of the Auditor-General – Local Government (State) by somebody not known to law having been confirmed by the honourable House.
While describing it as an act of disrespect to the constituted authority in the State, Hon Omovie prayed the House to ensure the motion sees the light of the day in guaranteeing the sanctity and authority of the House.
Hon Omovie also said the Head of Service should show proof of compliance within the next 24 hours to the Office of Mr. Speaker.
Other members who spoke in favour of the motion including the Majority Leader, Hon Tim Owhefere, Hon Johnson Erijo, Hon Evance Iwhurhie, Hon Samuel Mariere, Rt. Hon Peter Onwusanya and Hon Reuben Izeze, urged the governor to find out the person(s) that stood to deprive the implementation of the House for proper sanction.
They said Mr. Esievo was the legitimate occupant of the office known by law as confirmed by the state House of Assembly, saying the resolution of the House must be respected at all cost.
The Deputy Majority Leader, Hon Oboro Preyor representing Bomadi Constituency and his counterpart in Burutu 1, Hon Daniel Yingi, opposed the motion, saying there is no existing petition before the House that Mr. Abel Esievo has been denied his legitimate office.
In their separate submissions, they noted that the onus lies on the state governor to implement the directive of the House or not.
The resolution of the House, however, scaled through when the Speaker called for a voice vote and the governor was urged to do the needful.