By Ndubuisi Orji and Obinna Odogwu
One year after their inauguration, political office holders in both the executive and legislative arms of government have being giving account of their stewardship to the electorates. The leadership of the Anambra State House of Assembly is no exemption.
The Speaker, Rt Hon Rita Maduagwu at a recent interaction with journalists, as part of activities to mark her one year in office, at the Assembly Complex said the people of the state have the focus of the assembly under her leadership in the past one year.
She said putting the people first by the Anambra Assembly in the discharge of its legislative duties especially in the area of lawmaking has helped in deepening participatory democracy in the state.
Maduagwu, disclosed that based on their resolve to make a positive mark in the total development of the state, “the lawmakers immediately after their inauguration commenced their legislative responsibility with vigour which made them to be the first among its counterparts inaugurated same day in the country to pass a bill within their three months in office.”
She stated that within one year in office, the lawmakers have been able to pass several bills and motion. According to her, the implementation of these laws and motion by the executive arm of government is already impacting positively on the people of the state, and has indeed helped in the enthronement of good governance in the state.
“The House has within one year passed the 2016 Appropriation Bill, the Anambra State Housing Corporation Bill, the Anambra State Vigilante and Security Bill as well as Tourism and Hospitality Bill 2016, in addition to numerous people-oriented resolutions emanating from Motions.”
“The four bills have greatly enhanced good governance and uplifted the living condition of the citizenry. The lawmakers have enthroned participatory democracy in their various constituencies through town hall meetings and constituency briefings which have enriched the quality of our bills and motions” she maintained.
The lawmaker, who doubles as the South East Chairman of the Conference of Speakers of the Houses of Assembly in Nigeria, revealed that their cordial working relationship with other arms of government in the state has translated into good governance in the state.
“Another important area of mention is the uncommon cordial relation existing between the House and the other arms of the government. The House is obviously happy with the Executive owing to Governor Willie Obiano’s implementation of all the bill and resolutions of the House. The House also intervened in the strike action by the State Judiciary workers and the strike was called off six days after the House’ intervention” the speaker said, even as she thanked God for granting the legislators “the grace and enablement to discharge their duties creditably within their first eventful one year in office.”
Chairman, House Committee on Finance and Appropriation, Obinna Emeneka attributes the progress the house has made since its inauguration last June to the leadership qualities of the speaker. He said apart from carrying members of the house along in the running of the assembly, Maduagwu has ensured that there is cordial relationship between the state legislature and the other two arms of the governments in the state.
Besides, Emenaka, who represents Anambra East constituency attributes the stability in the assembly and the cordial relationship between the house and the executive to a clear understanding of the manifestoes of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), which is the ruling party in the state and the calibre of men and women in the current Anambra Assembly.
Emenaka said the Assembly has equally passed motions urging the citizens to pay their taxes, adding that a bill is also in the works to ensure that all revenue leakages are blocked. He this is because why the house is committed to making laws that will enhance good governance and by extension, the quality of life of the people, there is also the need for the citizens to pay their tax promptly.
“ The present Anambra House of Assembly is committed to making good laws for the state. Apart from the laws we have made to enhance security in the state, boost the Internally Generated Revenue(IGR) and block leakages in the finances of the state, we have also passed several motions and resolutions that has positive impact on the people.
“Amongst other bills, we are presently working on a bill to establish Anambra State Budget Research office. There is also a bill for a law to use bank and pos to collect government revenues such as sundry taxes, levies and fees and other related matters
“The speaker has being providing a purposeful leadership. Things tends to work better when you have a ranking member as speaker. The speaker has a good relationship with her colleagues,” the lawmaker said.