Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Ogun Assembly gives Amosun conditions for Bond bill

Members of the Ogun State House of Assembly gave Governor Ibikunle Amosun certain conditions for the passage of the executive bill seeking an enabling law to raise bonds and other financial instruments. 

Bill titled, “A bill for a law to provide for the raising of loans through issuance of bonds, notes and other securities and for connected purposes,” passed through the first reading last week.

Sitting of the House  where the bill went through second reading, most of the lawmakers that debated it cautioned against wholesale passage.

Though the legislators supported the bill, which according to them would provide framework for accessing and repayment of loans, they reasoned that certain clauses in the bill ought to be amended before its passage into law.

 They highlighted sections 10 and 11 of the bill, which deal about the power to raise loans and issuance of bonds, as requiring amendment for the bill to scale through. 

While opening debate into the controversial bond bill, the Majority Leader, Israel Jolaoso, called on members of the House to give the bill accelerated passage.

  Jolaoso, representing Ewekoro State Constituency, said the bill was imperative in view of the enormity of projects the government intends to embark upon. 

  His position was corroborated by John Obafemi (Remo North), who noted that the bill should be supported irrespective of political affiliations.

But Adijat Adeleye-Oladapo, representing Ifo II State Constituency, drew the attention of the House to Sections 10 and 11 of the bill, saying such might erode the powers of the legislature on public funds.

Adeleye-Oladapo, who recalled that she joined other lawmakers to oppose the bond bid by the immediate past administration of Otunba Gbenga Daniel, noted that the current bond bill also needed thorough scrutiny. 

The lawmaker submitted that the executive bill should be amended to retain the legislative's powers over public funds.

Corroborating her, Victor Fasanya (Abeokuta South I), said the executive must not access loans without recourse to the House of Assembly.

Fasanya, an ACN member, however, expressed optimism that the shortcomings of the bill would be addressed in the proposed public hearing by the House.

The Minority Leader, Job Akintan, cautioned the members against toying with the powers of the House over control on public funds.

Akintan, representing Ketu State Constituency on the PDP platform, also called for a public hearing on the bill, adding that the government should be transparent in its financial dealings.

He said, "We are about to make another history; a history that will make development or mar development. We should pass a bill that will outlive everyone of us.

"Apart from oversight, power over public fund is the second power the House has. We should strengthen that power and not erode it. We should follow necessary due process and have an elaborate public hearing on it to have people's input.

"We should carry the people of the state along. The executive should be transparent in financial dealings. This is people's money and we are going to account for it. We are just trustees."

Akintan also decried the alleged conflicting figures from government about the state's debt profile.

After the debate, the Speaker ordered that the bill be referred to the House Committee on Finance and Appropriation for further action.

  The sitting presided over by the Speaker, Suraj Adekunbi, also witnessed the defection of three lawmakers elected on the platform of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) into the ruling Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN).

The lawmakers include Olusola Sonuga (Ikenne), Babatunde Edunjobi (Egbado South) and Adeyemi Harrison (Ogun Waterside).

  They cited the protracted leadership tussle and instability within their former party as the major reason for declaring for ACN.

  Before the House adjourned to Tuesday September 25, Adekunbi read the letters of three lawmakers who dumped the PDP for the ruling ACN.

  The defection of the lawmakers brings the number of ACN lawmakers to 20 while PDP and Peoples Party of Nigeria (PPN) have three members each.  

No comments:

Post a Comment