South-south, South-east Lawmakers Oppose Grazing Bill

Lawmakers, Grazing BillLawmakers in Nigeria’s South-south and South-east geo-political zones have opposed the proposed grazing bill of the federal government.

The legislators also urge their counterparts at the National Assembly to kick against the bill, saying it is not in the interest of the nation’s unity.

The opinions were formed when they converged at Owerri, the Imo State capital, south-east Nigeria for the first parliamentary session of South-south and South-east State Assemblies to discuss the issues bothering on the proposed grazing bill as well as issues of militancy and bombings in the Niger Delta.

In his welcome address, the host and Speaker of the Imo State House of Assembly, Rt. Honourable Acho Ihim, hinted that the South-south and the South-east states have many things in common in the region, not leaving out challenges,stressing the need for the first joint parliamentary session to bid a way forward in addressing their challenges.

Reacting to the grazing reserve proposals and activities of herdsmen in the geo-political zones, a lawmaker from Abia moved a motion on the position of legislators in both region.

After much deliberations and contributions, the legislators opposed the grazing bill, urging all Assemblies in the region to pass bills restricting cattle rearing and prohibit grazing of cattle from one location to another.

They insisted that the proposed bill to establish and control grazing routes and reserves should be rejected.

After the session, some of the lawmakers hinted that the theme of their gathering would go a long way to unite the South-south and South-east zones, as well as Nigeria in general.

In attendance were the Speakers from Ebonyi, Delta, Cross River, Imo, Edo, Bayelsa, and Abia states while Deputy Speakers from Akwa Ibom, Anambra and Enugu states represented their speaker amidst a large number of legislators from the the two zones.

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.