Ondo Assembly seeks financial autonomy
• Alleges marginalisation, neglect of lawmakers
• Benue Assembly passes N190b 2018 Appropriation Bill
• Suspended Ekiti lawmaker arrested, taken to Abuja
Ondo State House of Assembly has urged the state governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, to offer financial autonomy to the Assembly.The House members, who lamented that they are financially “handicapped,” noted that they could not spend without the consent of the Executive arm of government, adding that the financial autonomy would considerably end the hardship experienced in the course of discharging their duties.
The 26 lawmakers, who were fanning themselves with papers during the plenary yesterday due to enormous heat, decried the deplorable condition of the Assembly complex, which was built by the government of late Pa Adekunle Ajasin over four decades ago.
The Deputy Speaker, Uroju Ogundeji, who raised a point of importance, appealed to the governor to release funds for the House to allow members embark on constituency projects, which they never had the opportunity in the last three years.Also, the Minority Leader, Sola Ebiwonjumi, debunked reports that the state government had procured utility vehicles and gave the lawmakers constituency allowances.
The Speaker, Bamidele Oleyelogun, who disclosed that the little contributions of the lawmakers to their constituents were from personal efforts through loans, enjoined the governor to attend to their needs.In another development, Benue State House of Assembly has passed the state’s Appropriation Bill of N190.030 billion for the 2018 fiscal year.
The bill represents an increment of over N11.5 billion over the N178.3 billion that was presented to the Assembly by Governor Samuel Ortom last December.
Chairman, House Standing Committee on Appropriation, Adam Okloho, stated that the over N11 billion was as a result of non-inclusion of some on-going projects by the Ministry of Finance and additional request by Pubic Sector Entities (PSEs) for inclusion of some critical projects, among others, which were omitted from the initial estimates.
Meanwhile, the suspended member of Ekiti State House of Assembly, Gboyega Aribisogan, has been arrested by security agents and allegedly whisked to Abuja.Aribisogan, who was suspended from the State House of Assembly in October last year for anti-party activities, was said to have been arrested at about 6.30 a.m. yesterday.
His younger brother, Sola, who confirmed the arrest to newsmen, said about 10 security men from the police,Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) and Department of State Service (DSS) effected his arrest.Sola disclosed that the lawmaker might have been arrested to give clarification on some “sensitive” stories carried by his newspaper, the New Democrat.