Reactions as Abia House of Assembly Marks One Year with Passage of Only Five Bills; Legislators Attend Capacity Building Retreat (Video) | #NwokeukwuMascot


Mixed Reactions as Abia House of Assembly Marks One Year with Passage of Only Five Bills; Heads for Retreat to Commemorate Anniversary | #NwokeukwuMascot

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The Abia State House of Assembly's first year in office has been met with mixed reactions, primarily due to the passage of only five bills out of the 15 presented for consideration. During a press conference in Umuahia, Speaker Rt. Hon. Emmanuel Emeruwa disclosed that the House had enacted:

1.) The 2023 Appropriation Bill.

2.) The Greater Aba Development Authority (GADA) Bill.

3.) The 2024 Appropriation Bill.

4.) The Governor and Deputy Governor Pension Review Bill.

5.) The Medicine and Health Commodities Bill.

The Speaker, Emeruwa acknowledged the slow legislative progress but assured that the remaining ten bills had passed either their first or second readings and would be addressed in due course. Additionally, he highlighted that within the review period, the House handled 46 petitions, raised 55 motions, and passed 50 resolutions.

An analysis of the passed bills reveals that four, including the two annual Appropriation bills, were executive bills, while only one was a new initiative from the House itself. This has drawn criticism from various quarters.

A former Speaker Rt. Hon. Chikwendu Kanu, a chieftain of the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), criticized the Assembly's performance, rating it at 10%. 

Photo: Group pictures of the Abia 8th Assembly from the retreat

"In terms of the bills that they have passed, I don’t think that much has been done. For only five bills to be passed in a legislative year leaves much to be desired. It’s most unsatisfactory for a House," Kanu stated.

Kanu also criticized the House for failing to swear in Hon. Aaron Uzodike (PDP), representing Aba North state constituency, despite a Court of Appeal ruling in his favor.

“The inability of the House to swear in Hon. Uzodike after getting Appeal Court judgment is another big minus for the House”, the former Speaker fumed, challenging the legislators to stand on their feet.

In contrast, former Deputy Speaker Rt. Hon. Emeka Stanley commended the Assembly's efforts, noting the challenges faced by first-time legislators.

“For a House that just started its first tenure you couldn’t expect more because most of the members are first timers. They are not used to the act of lawmaking. There is a learning process.

“So, if they could make up to five laws and pass up to 30 motions and other resolutions, they have tried.” Stanley said. The former deputy speaker added that a more accurate assessment should be made after the Assembly's second legislative year.

However, to commemorate their first anniversary, the Assembly members attended a workshop retreat in Akwa Ibom. The event, aimed at capacity building, featured various experts who provided insights on effective representation and lawmaking. 

Photo: Hon Erondu Uchenna Erondu JNR, Member Representing Obingwa West State Constituency.

Mr. Aniekeme Finbarr, Special Assistant to the Governor of Akwa Ibom State on Social Reorientation, lauded the Assembly's efforts and emphasized the importance of engaging constituents and addressing their needs.

Photo: Mr Aniekeme Finbarr in a handshake with the Abia Speaker, Rt Hon Emmanuel Emeruwa

“Bridging the Gap between Effective Representation and Constituency Expectations” and “Modern Strategies to Achieving Effective Lawmaking, Legislative Advocacy and Policy Influence”, Finbarr’s stated. He shared modern strategies for achieving effective lawmaking, legislative advocacy, and policy influence.

…Watch the video for the 3-Day-Retreat below 👇🏽 

Another facilitator, Mr. Usman Ibrahim, discussed the importance of clarity, precision, and consultation in legislative processes. "The success of a legislature depends, to a great extent, on the quality of its laws and the extent to which it can utilize its legislative powers to discharge its functions," Ibrahim noted.

The retreat aimed to enhance the lawmakers' skills in representing their constituents and contributing meaningfully to the state's development. The workshop underscored the legislators' duties to their parties and the people they serve, reminding them of their role as mirrors of society.


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