It is Wednesday, October 9, 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, the Clerk, Sir JohnPedro Irokansi, and other Principal Officers into the hallowed Chamber of the Abia State House of Assembly.

The Member representing Ugwunagbo State Constituency, Hon Munachim Alozie, prayed before the commencement of sitting at exactly 1:19pm.

Observations and Adoption of VOTES and PROCEEDINGS of Tuesday, 8th of October, 2019

The Speaker asked the House members to check Votes and Proceedings of Tuesday, 8th of October, 2019.

“Distinguished Colleagues, you are welcome to today’s Plenary session this 9th Day of October, 2019. As it is Customarily, may we, as usual, go through the Votes and Proceedings of Tuesday 8th 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 Tuesday, 8th 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.

Subsequently, the Votes and Proceedings of Tuesday, 8th of October, 2019, was subsequently adopted.

MATTERS OF URGENT PUBLIC IMPORTANCE/PERSONAL EXPLANATION.

ORDER OF THE DAY

Clerk of the Abia State House of Assembly, Sir John Pedro Irokansi, read the Order of the Day as follows:

Motion on the need for the State Government to Fund SDGs in Order to Benefit from the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) sponsored by Hon. Jerry Uzosike, Member representing Umuahia South State Constituency.

The Clerk Read the next item on the Order Paper.

(1) HAM1 Motion on the Need to Reposition the Abia State Road Maintenance Agency for Effective Service Delivery.

The Majority Leader moved a motion that the House allow mover of the Motion, Rt. Hon. Ifeanyi Uchendu, to present his contributions on the motion. The Minority Leader seconded the Motion while the House members responded in the affirmative when the Speaker put the Motion into vote.

“Whereas the Abia State Road Maintenance Agency (ABROMA) was established to monitor and maintain all state Roads within Abia State

“Whereas inadequate maintenance of roads has been identified as the major factor leading to road accidents, high cost of transportation and poor economic development

“Whereas the intervention of the state government in addressing the issue has not yielded the desired result

“And whereas for effective management and maintenance of newly constructed roads by the State Government, there is urgent need to reposition the Abia State Road Maintenance Agency for better service delivery, through increased funding and formulation of modern road maintenance policies and management strategies.

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“Mr Speaker, Distinguished colleagues, I therefore pray that the current management of ABROMA be invited to this House for an interactive session”, he prayed.

The Member Representing Ohafia North State Constituency, Hon.Mandela Obasi, supported the motion and urged the House to invite ABROMA to the Assembly.

Hon Godwin Adiele, the lawmaker representing Ukwa West State Constituency supported the Motion.

“I want to support this motion because one of the things that help states to develop is good roads, Therefore, I consider this motion very necessary. I join my voice that we invite ABROMA”.

The lawmaker representing Isuikwuato State Constituency, Hon.Emeka Okoroafor, commended the mover of the motion, Rt Hon Ifeanyi Uchendu, and supported the call for the management of ABROMA to be invited.

The Member representing Obingwa West State Constituency supported the motion but suggested that the House cause increase in the funding of the Agency.

“I suggest that we go ahead to resolve that Government should fund ABROMA rather than going round to invite the Agency”, he said.

The Minority Leader, Hon. Abraham Oba, on his part also thanked the mover of the Motion.

“I want to align myself to the mover of this Motion that ABROMA management should be Invited so that we know what their handicap is” he Said.

The Member representing Arochukwu State Constituency, Hon.Mike Ukoha, supported the motion by saying that no state can function well without good roads.

“It is appropriate to invite the management of ABROMA to this Honourable House so that it will be holistic when the house is taking a stand, everything will be on the Table”.

The Member representing Umuahia South State Constituency, Hon. Barr Jerry Uzosike, aligned with the submission of Hon Thomas Nkoro.

“I do not think that it is inefficiency that is the problem of ABROMA. It could be beyond that”.

The Member representing Ugwunagbo State Constituency, Hon Munachim Alozie, supported the motion but said the house can invite the management of ABROMA during its Executive session.

Member representing Bende South State Constituency, Hon Emmanuel Ndubuisi, supported the motion as he said it will also make the Agency to intervene in Itumbauzo Road domiciled in his constituency.

The Leader of the House, Hon.Solomon Akpulonu, in his contribution said the issue with ABROMA is funding.

“We have to reactivate the contributions of agencies of government to fund ABROMA, that is to say that we have to look at this law establishing the agency again. If it is taxing the people to support ABROMA, I think we should do it”.

The Speaker, Rt Hon Chinedum Enyinnaya Orji, thanked the Members for their contributions which he said were devoid of sentiments.

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“The essence of setting up ABROMA is construction of rural roads and maintenance of Urban ones”, he concluded.

RESOLUTIONS:

(i) That government should ensure the funding of the Agency (ABROMA)

(ii) That the Management of ABROMA should be interviewed by the House at her Executive Session at a date to be communicated by the Clerk.

The Clerk of the House Read the Next Item on the Order Paper.

(2) The Abia State Equal Opportunities Bill 2019 Sponsored by the Speaker.

Leader of the House moved a motion that the Order Paper be amended for the House to take an Urgent Motion on the Need for the State Government to Fund SDGs in Order to Benefit from the United Nations General Assembly 74th Conference Fund sponsored by Hon Barr Jerry Uzosike who presented the Motion.

The Minority Leader seconded the motion with the House responding in the affirmative when the Speaker put the Motion up for vote.

The lawmaker representing Umuahia South State Constituency said the motion is on the need for the State Government to fund SDGs in Order to Benefit from the United Nations General Assembly 74th Conference Fund.

“Whereas the United Nations General Assembly made a serious commitment to fund SDGs in order to achieve the set goals while pointing out that release of counterpart funds for the SDGs by the UNGA is based on activities and performance of each State.

“Whereas States without records of ongoing performance would not benefit from the huge UN funding”

“Mr Speaker, Honourable Colleagues, I pray this House to urge the Governor to leverage on the policy thrust of UNGA 74 and make monetary provisions for counterpart funding of Sustainable Development Goals as the Northern States have done, so that Abia can also qualify and be among the first states to be captured in the Funding plans of UNGA”, he moved.

The Member representing Ikwuano State Constituency said he supported the motion wholeheartedly.

For the Member representing Aba North State Constituency, Hon Aaron Uzodike, he supported the Motion because, according to him, Abia State will always be the ultimate beneficiary in it.

The Member representing Arochukwu State Constituency, Hon Mike Ukoha, in his support to the motion said that Abia should contribute in the best way possible in order to benefit from the program.

The Member representing Ugwunagbo State Constituency in his contributions said the Governor of Abia State has been trying in providing counterpart funding for some of these agencies.

“But Mr Speaker, seeing and considering the urgency of UNGA74, I will support this motion that the State Government should do all it can for our State to benefit”, he said.

The Member representing Obingwa West State Constituency supported the motion and leveraged on the contributions of Hon Munachim Alozie to drive home his point.

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“I want to say that we should amend the prayers by appreciating the State Governor and urge him to do more in providing for the participation of Abia for UNGA74” , he said.

The Member representing Umunneochi State Constituency, Hon. Barr Okey Igwe, thanked the mover of the Motion and aligned himself with the sentiments and reasonable contributions by other Members.

“Let me point out few points. The difference between developing countries and the western world is that over there, there is abundance of funding, but here in Africa, we have issues of funding.

“In closing, I strongly pray Mr Speaker to throw his weight behind the motion to encourage the Governor to support the program”, he said.

Majority Leader of the House, Hon. Solomon Akpulonu, in his support said the State Government has released monies for some agencies to start up their programs.

“I am very sure that government has tried its best in the area of counterpart funding”, he enthused.

The Speaker on his part said the motion is very simple and straightforward.

“The importance of SDGs as encapsulated through the National Planning Commission cannot be overemphasized.

“That is why we need to give Legislative backing to the Executive to raise the money to meet up this United Nations’ required standard.

“One thing we have to bear in mind is this, there is no free money anywhere; if the donor agencies are giving you their own, they expect you to also provide yours”, he concluded.

RESOLUTION

(1) We are directing the Chairman House Committee on SDGs and NEWMAP to go on a further factfinding mission and report back to the House on Monday.

(2) As usual, we are urging the Governor as the Head of Government to do everything within his powers to make monies available for the Planning Commission for Abia State to be part of the UNGA benefits.

The House adopted the Resolutions.

The Leader of the House moved that the House refer other items on the Order Paper and move straight to Item 9 which is Adjournment.

“I hereby move that the House adjourn Plenary to resume back on Monday, 14th of October, 2019”.

The Speaker made some announcements on meetings of some of the House Standing Committees.

The Minority Leader, Hon. Abraham Oba, seconded the adjournment moved by the Majority Leader while the House Members responded in the affirmative when the Speaker put it up for vote.

The Abia State House of Assembly subsequently adjourned at exactly 2:34pm to Monday, 14th of October, 2019


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