A bill to amend the Lagos State Public Procurement Agency Law so as to enhance transparency and fight corruption, has scaled through the second reading during the plenary session of the Lagos State House of Assembly.
According to the members of the House, the need for this amendment became imperative to enhance performance and effectiveness of procurements in the state.
The lawmakers, who took turns to deliberate on the bill, said that the composition, initial deposit to contractors and fund assessment should be looked into.
While speaking, the Chairman, House Committee on Finance, Hon. Yinka Ogundimu, pointed out that the tenure of principal officers of the board and the advanced payment to contractors should be looked into in the amendment.
Ogundimu added that the 20 per cent initial payment to contractors stipulated by the existing law was too small and had occasioned the increase in the number of abandoned projects.
He said that the review would enhance performance and delivery of standard work by contractors.
Also speaking, Hon. Bisi Yusuff representing (Alimosho I) said that the amendment would foster independence and transparency in the operations of the board for the benefit of Lagos residents.
In his ruling, the Speaker of the House, Rt (Hon) Mudashiru Obasa, said the Public Procurement Agency (Amendment) Bill, 2018, had become necessary to deal with corruption in the state procurement operations.
Obasa said, “The essence of this amendment is to banish corruption and to encourage transparency and probity in the award of contracts”.
The speaker urged the House committee to look into the board composition, first payment to contractors as well as language of carrying out procurement activities.
He said that there should be an increment in the initial deposit to contractors to 40 per cent as well as inclusion of the use of indigenous language in carrying out procurement processes to encourage local contractors.
He, however, directed the committee to report back to the House in three weeks.
Meanwhile, the House also read for the second time, Private Partnership (Amendment) Bill, 2018 as well as the Lagos State House of Assembly Commission (Amendment ) Bill, 2018.
Lagos Assembly calls on Buhari to caution Police over interference in State Houses of Assembly activities
Lagos State House of Assembly has called on the President Muhammadu Buhari to direct the Inspector of Police, Ibrahim Idris, to call his men to order over the level of interferences by the Nigeria Police in the activities of the State Houses of Assembly.
These resolutions followed a motion moved by the Chief Whip of the House, Hon. Rotimi Abiru Under Matters of Urgent Public Importance, who lamented the desecration of the legislature by the police and executive arm across the country.
According to Abiru, “Some people are interferring with the proceedings of the Houses of Assemblies. It is clear in the constitution that the the three arms of governments are interdependent.
“We see the involvement of security forces. What happened in Benue is commendable. The Speaker was impeached but there was crisis but the Chief Judge of the state has ruled that the judiciary has no power to interfer in the business of legislature.
“The role of Nigeria police is to maintain peace and not to shut down the parliament. The police are very quick in taking sides,” Abiru submitted.
The Speaker, Rt. (Hon) Mudashiru Obasa stated, “I also join you to commend the Chief Judge of Benue State, Justice Aondover Ka’kaan,who made the pronouncement. Since 1999, we have seen shutting down of parliaments. We should remind the police that no arm of government is above the other. The police have no power to close down parliament.
“The developed world had also passed through such process, but they had the citizens that rose to defend the parliaments. When any House is being shut down, we should have people in such states that would sue the commissioners,” Obasa said.
The Speaker however cautioned his colleagues in taking legislative business very serious, saying “though anyone could emerge the Speaker among members but it should be in accordance to the rule.”
Hon. Segun Olulade reiterated that “it is wrong for any arm of government to impede on the other. When you shut down legislature, you have shut down the people. Members of parliaments should be allowed to resolve their differences.”
Hon. Rotimi Olowo pointed out that “what is happening in Benue and Anambra states is executive recklessness…we are not in military autocracy. When you shut down an arm of government, it is ultra vires. We need to write the IG to put a stop to this.”
On his part, Hon. Abiodun Tobun maintaned that sovereignty belongs to the people, adding that “the people have willingly surrendered their sovereignty to the lawmakers but what we have witnessed is that they try to intimidate the parliamentarians. When police are coming into the chambers, that is the work of the fifth columnists.”
Hon. Funmilayo Tejuoso sated that the legislature is the voice of the people, saying that the police and the executive must be careful in jumping to other people’s jurisdiction.
LAGOS ASSEMBLY DECRIES DRUG ABUSE AMONG YOUTHS
Members of the Lagos State House of Assembly have decried the menace of drug abuse among youths in the State, calling on the Governor Akinwunmi Ambode to treat the matter with urgency , direct relevant ministry/agency to take urgent step to stem the tide of the prevalent attitude among the youths.
The lawmakers also advised Pharmaceutical Association to deregister erring pharmacy/chemist who sells banned drugs to the youth to serve as deterrent to others.
The resolution of the House was sequel to a motion moved by Hon Desmond Elliot, representing Surulere Constituency 1, under matter of urgent public importance.
Hon Desmond and other colleagues had in the motion observed that youths in recent times have found the habit of using drugs for purposes other than their prescribed use such as for pleasure, to feel or get high, perform better in certain situations or to change their perception of reality or for other purposes and in manner that are not consistent with the prescribed community at large
The motion had further noticed that the illicit use of drugs among youth now transcends the contemporary use of conventional hard drugs like cocaine, heroine, cannabis and India hemp consumption, Colorado, skushii, skunk and kerosene gas which are mixed with drinks to conceal their content.
According to the motion, the youths now abuse the combination of these substances with two popular drugs tramadol and codeine which are commonly used for treatment of cough and severe pains which are easily purchased over the counter, most times without doctor’s prescription.
The lawmakers also expressed concern over proliferation of pharmaceutical practice by impostors and unqualified pharmacists, nurses and road side hawkers selling to these youths aftermath of which inspire them to commit heinous crimes like rape, cultism, armed robbery etc, not foreclosing the eventual consequences and daming health defects which is not limited to mental disorder, liver cirrhosis and many socio- economic problems and related crimes in the State.
They therefore seek the cooperation and understanding of other lawmakers to call the Governor to address the situation by directing Commissioners for Information, Health ,Youth and Social Development to embark on advocacy and collaborates with entertainments, social ambassadors and celebrities towards curbing this menace among the youths.
Contributing to the motion, the Majority Leader, Hon Sanai Agunbiade said that the issue has become so worrisome. Meanwhile, Hon Segun Olulade opined that this emerging trend among our youths may negates their future, he advised that every member should be involved in the advocacy against the problem in their various Constituencies
Hon Adefunmilao Tejuoso solicited for legislation to regulate chemist and pharmaceutical practice in the State.
Hon Bisi Yusuf, in his submission observed that parenting in this day is eroding , “No parents care for their wards as this leads to broken homes”
Meanwhile, all the lawmakers that contributed to the issue condemned the act which according to them need urgent attention by government and the society.
The Speaker , Rt. Hon Mudashiru Ajayi Obasa, in his remark ,admonished all parents to rise up to their responsibilities by giving their wards adequate care and proper upbringing.
He condemned the eroding attitudes of communal understanding and concern towards raising of children in the society, and therefore urge that all hands must be on deck towards achieving an egalitarian society.
He directed the Clerk, Mr Azeez Sanni, to forward the resolution of the House to the Governor for necessary actions