Imo Assembly Deputy Speaker Resigns After Speaker

Map of Imo State

 

The deputy speaker of Imo State House of Assembly, Ugonna Ozuruigbo, has resigned.

The lawmaker representing Nwangele state constituency tendered his resignation letter on Thursday and the letter was personally signed by him.

The letter was addressed to the Speaker and members of the state House of Assembly.

Ozuruigbo explained in the letter that he was resigning to enable him to function well as a member-elect of the national House of Representatives.

READ ALSO: 21 Lawmakers Pass Vote Of No Confidence On Assembly Speaker In Imo

“As you already know, I have been sent to another four years mission by my federal constituency in Imo state, at the federal House of Representatives, Abuja.”

“This new task has come with its own challenges and expectations, especially need to play key roles in the formation of the National Assembly leadership, and time to strategically position, to pursue the greater interests of Imo state, South East and Nigeria, at the federal legislature. Currently, these will make my availability in Imo state irregular.”

“Hence, I seek your undertaking as I either save the office of Imo state Deputy speaker by resigning or allow my new engagements to suffer the office of Imo state Deputy speaker by holding same tenaciously.”

“Thus, for your efficiency and the good of Imo people, I hereby resign as the Rt Hon. deputy speaker of Imo state House of Assembly (8th House), effective from the date written above,” the resignation letter read in parts.

The deputy speaker’s resignation comes less than 24 hours after 21 out of the 27 state lawmakers served impeachment notices on the speaker, Acho Ihim and the majority leader, Lugard Osuji, after suspending them.

Imo Speaker, 17 Other Lawmakers Defect From APC, PDP

Ex-Adamawa Deputy Governor Tahir Dumps PDP For APC

 

Eighteen members of the Imo State House of Assembly including the Speaker, Acho Ihim, have defected from the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and the People’s Democratic Party.

The lawmakers left their parties to join another party, Action Alliance (AA).

Speaker Ihim made the announcement while reading a letter written by the defectors on Thursday during an emergency sitting at the chamber of the State House of Assembly in Owerri, the state capital.

He explained that 15 lawmakers of the ruling APC, including himself, as well as three lawmakers of the PDP, decided to join AA to further their political life.

According to him, the APC members cited the injustice, impunity and abuse of rule of law allegedly by the leadership of the APC as their major reasons for dumping the party.

With the latest development, the Action Alliance party has the majority of the number of members in the House while the APC remains the minority.

Hours after the news of the defection broke, the APC Chairman in the state, Daniel Nwafor, as described the decision of the lawmakers as unfortunate and regrettable.

Mr Nwafor told Channels Television in a telephone interview that the defection by the lawmakers would affect the party.

He was, however, confident that the APC would remain strong and work hard to win elections in the state in 2019.

“I have received the news of the defection of some APC lawmakers to Action Alliance and I must say it’s regrettable and unfortunate,” the APC chairman admitted.

He added, “Their defection will surely shake our party, the All Progressives Congress, but we will not be deterred.

“We have to remain strong and restrategise to cover up for the loss, it’s politics. We have to unite in our party and remain focus so we can win the general elections come 2019.”

The PDP leadership has yet to react to the defection of its lawmakers in the House.

Imo Legislators Promise Better Performance In 2016

ImoThe Imo State House of Assembly has promised the people of the state a robust and life impacting legislation in 2016.

The Chairman of the House Committee on Judiciary and Local Government Affairs, Honourable Arthur Igwim, made the disclosure at a constituency briefing in Ideato North Local Government Area of Imo State, southeast Nigeria.

Igwim assured the citizens of the state that the legislators would work closely with the executive and judiciary arm of the government to deliver the dividends of democracy.

He expressed satisfaction with the legislature’s good relationship with the executive and promised that the lawmakers would sustain the bond irrespective of party affiliation to ensure that Imo State citizens enjoy the benefits of electing them into legislative offices.

The legislator urged the people of the state to support the Governor Rochas Okorocha-led administration and lawmakers in their renewed drive to make Imo State an investment haven.

Fuel Scarcity: Imo Lawmakers Set Up Taskforce To Check Marketers

Fuel-Scarcity-in-NigeriaThe Imo State House of Assembly has set up a joint taskforce to monitor independent oil marketers and ensure that they stop taking undue advantage of the present fuel scarcity.

While the fuel scarcity persisted, the lawmakers said it was concerned about the groaning agony faced by Imo citizens in getting fuel, as oil marketers had exploited the masses.

The taskforce is made up of some lawmakers, Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), Independent Petroleum Marketers, and Ministry of Petroleum in the state.

They were also mandated to see how the fuel crisis in the state could be alleviated.

At a meeting with all stakeholders in the oil sector held at the Imo state House of Assembly in Owerri, the Chairman, House Committee on Petroleum in the Imo State House of Assembly, Henry Ezediaro, expressed displeasure with the sharp practices by independent oil marketers.

The meeting pointed out that oil marketers were selling petrol at 200 Naira and above which is far above the Federal Government’s approved price of 87 Naira.

They also pointed out that the DPR in the state had not lived up to expectation in sanctioning erring oil marketers who hoard fuel or sell above the government’s approved price.

After the meeting, the Zonal Operations Controller of the DPR in the state, Andy Akpamgbo, told reporters that the DPR in the state would not hesitate to sanction any erring petrol station.

Imo State To Create 12,000 Jobs In 2 Years Through Agriculture

agricultureThe Imo State Government has promised to create over 12,000 jobs for its unemployed youths within the next two years through agriculture.

The State Governor, Rochas Okorocha, disclosed this in Istanbul, Republic of Turkey, after a 4-day business trip to Turkey.

Leading a delegation of businessmen from the state and some other top government functionaries, the Governor said that cardinal in his industrialization plan for Imo State, is to develop agriculture as a viable alternative to oil.

“It is necessary at this point to think more of agriculture as the mainstay of the economy which can serve as the only alternative to oil which keeps falling in value every day”, the governor said.

The Speaker of the Imo State House of Assembly, Rt Honourable Acho Ihim, who was also part of the delegation, said lawmakers in the state have put in place relevant laws that will be suitable for investors to partner with the state government in her industrialization programmes.

Some other top government functionaries and Imo businessmen, who were also on the delegation, commended the Okorocha-led administration for the initiative of partnering with Turkey to industrialize the state and create more jobs for unemployed youths in the state, especially through the development of sustainable agricultural programme in all the communities of the state.

With a population of a little above 77 million as at December 2014, the agricultural sector of Turkey has been the largest employer of labour.

According to recent publication by IMF and the Economist, Turkey has become one of the few countries in the world that is self-sufficient in terms of food and also one of the largest producer and exporter of agricultural products in Europe and around the world.

Imo Assembly To Issue Bench Warrant On Defiant Oil Companies

imo-state-house-of-asemblyThe Imo State House of Assembly has threatened to issue a bench warrant on top officials of some oil companies doing business and operating in Imo State.

This threat is coming after the oil companies failed to honour an invitation to appear before the lawmakers in order to explain the reason for allegedly failing in their Corporate Social Responsibility to both the host communities and state government, especially in the payment of outstanding ground rents and other statutory payments amounting to N40 billion.

Before ordering the officials out of the Assembly premises in deep anger, the Speaker, Rt Honourable Acho Ihim, told the officials that a new date will be fixed for the top management officials of the oil companies to appear before the house.

Mr Ihim stated that failure to honour the invitation will be tantamount to compelling the House to invoke Section 129 (B) of the 1999 Constitution, which invokes a bench warrant on the top officials wherever they may be.

Oil companies involved includes Shell, Chevron, Addax, Agip and Waltersmith Oil.

However, efforts to speak with the officials present at the House of Assembly proved abortive, as they all turned down interviews.

In June, the Imo State House of Assembly passed a bill urging the State Governor, Rochas Okorocha, to demand the immediate payment of outstanding ground rents and other statutory payments amounting to 40 billion Naira from oil companies operating in the state since 1978.

Alvan Ikoku University Status: Imo House Appeal For Reversal

alvan ikokuReactions have continued to trail the reversal of the University status given to the Alvan Ikoku College of Education Owerri by the Federal Government.

During a plenary session of the Imo State House of Assembly, the members appealed to the federal government not to shortchange the school’s university status  by the immediate past government of former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan knowing well that the institution has all it takes to be a university.

Speaking on a motion moved by a member representing Ikeduru State Constituency and Chairman House Committee on Education, Hon. Uche Oguwuike, the motion rejected the move by the Federal Government to reverse the status of the University of Education to a College of Education.

The motion which was supported by majority of the State Lawmakers also mandated the Imo state Governor Rochas Okorocha to lead a high powered delegation to interface with President Muhammadu Buhari-led government and the Federal Ministry of Education to see how this issue can be resolved as soon as possible and ensure that the school maintains its university status.

Imo Lawmakers Demand 40 Billion Naira Unpaid Oil Rates

oilThe Imo State House of Assembly has passed a bill urging the State Governor, Rochas Okorocha, to demand the immediate payment of outstanding ground rents and other statutory payments, amounting to 40 billion Naira from Oil companies operating in the state since 1978. 

As contained in the bill, the Governor is expected to direct the Chairman of the Board of Internal Revenue in the state to mandate the companies to pay up all outstanding ground rent and other statutory payments owed the since the said period.

It also directed the oil companies to comply and henceforth pay all entitlements due the state as at when due.

While deliberating on a motion moved by the member representing Oguta State Constituency, Honourable Henry Ezediaro, the House decried the continued short-changing of the state by oil companies, stating that the companies have capitalised on the peaceful disposition of the people to deny them of their rights and privileges.

The motion, which was supported by three other House members, maintained that with the present economic challenges facing the nation and its resultant effect on state governments, the House would explore all channels to assist the Executive Arm of Government in generating additional funds, to enable it render services to the people of the state.

The Lawmakers decried the actions and negligence of the plights of their host communities in the area of providing social amenities, stressing that such will no longer be tolerated.

However, a nine-man committee was set up to supervise the debt recovery, interface with the oil companies and report their findings to the House within 60 days.

Okorocha Presents N141.2 Billion 2015 Budget

ImoThe Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha has presented the sum of 141.2 billion naira to the Imo State House of Assembly as the total budget for the 2015 fiscal year.

While presenting the budget tagged “Budget of Total Rescue and Sustainability” to the Imo State House of Assembly, the governor said 43% will be allotted to recurrent expenditure, totaling 60.7 billion naira while 57% will be allotted to capital projects, totaling 80.5 billion naira.

He said the policy thrust of the 2015 budget is derived from the rescue mission agenda of the his administration which anchored on a 4 year development plan that derived its bearing from the vision of his administration which are belief in God, free education, massive infrastructural development and increased agricultural production to ensure food sufficiency and food security.

The governor added that the 2015 budget will mainly focus on delivery of social services to the people of Imo State.

Governor Okorocha said the expected revenue projections for 2015 is 119.7 billion naira for recurrent items and capital receipts of 21.5 billion naira.

The 2015 budget is just less than five percent increase from the 2014 budget which is 137.7 billion naira.

Imo Assembly Probes Dep. Governor Over N458 Million Bribe

The Imo State House of Assembly has commenced investigation of the state Deputy Governor, Mr. Jude Agbaso, who is alleged to have solicited N458 million bribe from a road contractor.

Briefing journalists in his office at the Assembly complex in Owerri, the Imo State capital, the Speaker, Mr. Ben Uwajimogu said the investigation was instigated by a temporary report submitted by an ad-hoc committee verifying the award of road contracts in the local government areas as well as the municipals.

The Speaker claimed that during the verification exercise, a contractor handling some major road contracts in the state confessed to the ad-hoc committee that the deputy governor, who at the point of awarding the contract also doubled as the Commissioner for Works, demanded the sum of N458 million from him as gratification, with the promise of giving him more jobs.

The deputy governor has denied all the allegations, insisting that he never had any dealings with the said contractor.

The Speaker, however, maintained that investigations are still on-going by the ad-hoc committee, adding that the Assembly will get to the root of the matter.