ODHA passes 46 bills into laws in 4 years
By Adekola Afolabi & Jubril Bada
No fewer than 46 bills have since been passed into laws by the Ondo State House of Assembly in the last four years of the outgoing 8th Assembly, investigations by The Hope have revealed.
The current 8th Assembly which was inaugurated on June 1, 2015 by the immediate past governor of Ondo State, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, is expected to wind down in less than three weeks, June 1, 2019.
Investigations by The Hope revealed that since inception about four years ago till date, the hallowed chamber has made meaningful impacts in the governance of Ondo State through the passage of 46 separate bills into laws, majority of which emanated from the executive arm of government.
The laws included those passed under the leadership of the present Speaker of the House, Bamidele Oleyelogun and his predecessors, Malachi Coker and Jumoke Akindele.
The current leadership of the Assembly under Bamidele Oleyelogun, accounted for over 21 laws. The laws included, Fiscal Responsibility Law, Procurement Law, Ondo State Public Finance Management Law, among several others. Several resolutions have equally been passed by the hallowed chamber.
Some lawmakers who spoke on the development described the outgoing 8th Assembly as full of experienced and committed members who did their best to surpass the achievements of the 7th Assembly, especially in making good laws that would ensure overall development of the state.
One of them, Olugbenga Araoyinbo, the House Majority Leader and lawmaker representing Akoko North-West constituency 2, said there is no bill passed into law by the Assembly that would not be beneficial to the people of the state.
“Are you talking about Health Insurance Scheme bill, Consumer Protection bill, or BIR bill, name it, all of the bills passed into laws by the 8th Assembly are targeted toward improving the lives of our people.
“Look at the BIR bill, and I’m sure you are aware that the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) of the state has improved tremendously. If all these bills were not passed into laws, the situation would have been worse. So, I must confirm to you that we have really done beautifully well in the 8th Assembly”, Araoyinbo added.
Also, former Majority Leader of the House and PDP lawmaker representing Ondo West constituency 2, Ifedayo Akinsoyinu, said what caught his attention most in all the bills passed into laws was that of the anti-kidnapping law.
According to the longest serving lawmaker in the Assembly, the 8th Assembly has been able to impact positively on the governance of the state, especially in the area of lawmaking.
“The anti-kidnapping law did not only prescribe prosecution and punishment, upon conviction of that offence, it has gone further to say wherever the kidnappers take their victims to, the house will be demolished or forfeited to the state government. So, whoever wants to give his or house to tenant must be careful.
“Despite the challenges and ups and downs, the 8th Assembly has been able to fare very well because of the kind of experienced members from different constituencies. So, I can tell you, as an experienced lawmaker, that the current 8th Assembly is a tremendous improvement over the past 7th Assembly”, he stressed.
Akinsoyinu who has spent 16 years in the House, however, called on the incoming 9th Assembly to improve on the outgoing 8th Assembly to further better the lives of the people of the state.
On his part, the current Speaker of the House, Bamidele Oleyelogun, under who most of the impactful bills were passed into laws, attributed the laudable feat of the 8th Assembly to the harmonious and robust working relationship between the executive and the legislature.
He particularly lauded his colleagues for their commitment to their respective legislative duties which, he added, further led to the landmark achievements.
According to him, those laws have greatly assisted government to properly plan and improve socioeconomic development of the state.
Oleyelogun mentioned some of the bills to include; Social Protection Law, Ondo State Public Finance Management Law, BIR law, Investment Promotion law, among several others.
He explained that the laws have tremendously helped the governor of the state, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, to impact meaningfully on the governance of the state, especially in the areas of aggressive road infrastructure, increased IGR, creation of industries at Ore Industrial Hub, renovation and building of schools, and jobs creation, among others.
The Speaker assured that the incoming 9th Assembly would do more to improve on the gains of the 8th Assembly for the development of the state and betterment of the people.
Under the watch of the present Speaker of the House, Bamidele Oleyelogun, over 21 bills were passed into laws, while the rest were passed into laws under the leaderships of the other speakers.
Recently, five bills were passed into laws at a sitting presided over by Oleyelogun, which the whole House unanimously accepted as the first of its kind in the history of the State House of Assembly.
The laws included; Ondo State Legislative Funds Management Law, 2019; Ondo State Judiciary Fund Management Law 2019; Ondo State Consumer Protection Agency Law 2019; Ondo State House of Assembly Service Commission Law ,2019; and a bill for a law to amend Ondo State University of Medical Sciences law 2014 to integrate the State School of Nursing and Midwifery, Akure and allied matters.
Also, no fewer than four bills are currently undergoing rigorous legislative scrutiny and may be passed into laws before the current Assembly finally winds down its activities.