REMARKS AT THE BILL SIGNING CEREMONY ON THE 27TH OF DECEMBER, 2019
I wish to welcome you all to this unique event. I am not oblivious of the fact that this is in the middle of our Christmas festivities and so a social sacrifice for some. But suffice it to say that this is the spirit of the Rebuild Imo team and to borrow words from our elder Dr. Paschal Dozie, the spirit of the new Imo.
Mr. Speaker, Deputy Speaker, Hon. Members of the Imo State House of Assembly, as a parliamentarian myself, I see today as the faithful culmination of any legislative process. Accent is an action that seals the success of the process and procedure determined by the constitution.
Having said that, this Assembly – the 9th Assembly, under the able leadership of Rt. Hon. Chidi Collins has lived up to expectation. They have worked with us to give prompt, diligent and passionate attention to the legislative needs of the people of Imo. They have constituted themselves into veritable partners in the Rebuild Imo project.
As an administration, we have had a total of eighteen (18) bills passed into Law under our watch (including few of them by the 8th Assembly). 18 bills in a 6-month period is no mean feat. Of these 18 bills, 12 have previously been signed into Law, including the 2019 Supplementary (Re-ordered) Appropriation Bill which was signed last week.
Today, I will be giving accent to 6 more bills namely;
1. Imo State Water Bill
2. Imo State Pools betting, Gaming, Casino and Lotteries Board Bill
3. Environmental Transformation Commission (Amendment) Bill
4. Law Reform Committee (Amendment) Bill
5. Imo State Power and Rural Electrification (Amendment) Bill
6. Imo State 2020 Appropriation Bill
Imo State Water Bill
The Water bill on its part is very revolutionary. It is a consolidated document that not only sets out the State’s Water Policy, but establishes four unique agencies to superintend it. Suffice it to say that this law is in line with best practice and meets the expectation of our partner multilateral agencies.
Imo State Pools betting, Gaming, Casino and Lotteries Board Bill
The Imo State Pools betting, Gaming, Casino and Lotteries Board law will provide contemporary regulation for a sector that is fast becoming technology driven, and a veritable source of revenue for the state.
Environmental Transformation Commission (Amendment) Bill
The ENTRACO law provides a review of the old tariffs as contained in the 2009 Law. It will catalyze the desired environmental transformation we need in Imo.
Law Reform Committee (Amendment) Bill
The bill upgrades the Law Reform Committee to the level of a commission with functions of Law reform as well as to consolidate all the laws of the state.
Imo State Power and Rural Electrification (Amendment) Bill
This bill is an amendment to the original law providing for a more expanded and responsive management for this all-important agency.
Imo State 2020 Appropriation Bill
This is the flagship of the bills I am signing into Law today. This appropriation bill was professionally and painstakingly prepared. Having signed up to the Open Government Partnership, we had a few pre-requisites to follow. For Instance, the process was participatory and so involved constituents and civil society, even before we presented it to the Assembly. It was also transparent, as we have made the documents available to the public from the onset.
But for me, the highlight of the 2020 Appropriation Bill is the fact that it is being signed before the start of the traditional budget year in January. By this, the fiscal year may now commence as envisaged on the 1st of January, 2020. Once again, this is no mean feat, especially when you consider that the 2019 Appropriation bill was signed into Law at the end of May of that year.
As we bring this event to a close, I further appreciate the State legislature for its dutiful approach to its constitutional responsibilities, I look forward to more signing ceremonies in this legislatively pro-active era.
Imo bu nke anyi nile.