By this time last year, exactly the 13 of June 2019, the Ninth Imo state House of Assembly under the leadership of Rt. Hon..Chiji Collins, took off. The Isiala Mbano lawmaker, after defeating other contestants emerged as the Speaker of the Imo state House of Assembly.
Soon after the inauguration, the Ninth Assembly rolled out its legislative agenda of enhancing stability in the legislative activities and to ginger economic growth and development. They agreed to make their agenda the framework that would guide their legislative activities throughout their term
Imo State House of Assembly in the agenda resolved to maintain a cordial relationship between the legislative and the executive arms of government to curb increasing youth unemployment, drug abuse, alleviate poverty and the menace of substandard infrastructure, construction of quality projects, youth and women development, blocking revenue leakages,provision of modern markets, provision of portable water, construction of roads and schools, passage of The Imo State Governor’s/Speaker Pension and Privileges (Repeal) Law,, the Imo State Traditional Rulers Council (Amendment) Law.
Others include; security of lives and property, provision of more state owned institutions of learning and equipping old one, fight against corruption, accountability, equitable distribution of democracy dividends, provision of electricity, construction of bridges, erosion control, workers welfare, protection of Imo, citizens, oversight on the executive, as well as, general development of infrastructure.
Since the commencement of the Ninth Assembly, scores of bills have been presented in the Assembly, with about 24 of them passing second reading and the lawmakers as well proposed bills, moved and adopted motions at the plenary. In the last one year, most of these bills and motions have garnered praises for the 9th Assembly.
Some of the actions taken by the speaker Chiji Collis-led House upon resumption of office include the speedy passage of the 2020 budget, the Imo State Universal Basic Education (Amendment) ,the Imo State Sport Commission (Establishment) Law, the Imo State Power and Rural Electrification Agency (Establishment) Law and the State Markets Development Authority Law.
Others are, the Imo State Facility Management Agency (Establishment) Law, the Imo State Hotel Occupancy and Restaurant consumption tax Law, the Imo State Signage and Advertisement Agency (Establishment) Law, the Imo State Employment and Empowerment Trust Fund Law, the Imo State Power and Rural Electrification Agency (Amendment) Law, the 2019 Imo State of Nigeria Supplementary (Re-Ordered) Appropriation Law, and the Environmental Transformation Commission (Amendment) Law.
The following bills were also passed into law within the first one year of the Rt. Hon. Chiji Collins led House,the Law revision committee (Amendment) Law, the Imo State Water Law, the 2020 Imo State of Nigeria Appropriation Law, the Imo State Pools Betting, Gaming, Casino and Lotteries Board Law, the Imo State Revenue Administration (Amendment) Law, The Imo State Administration of Criminal Justice Law, and the Imo State Environmental Transformation Commission (Amendment) Law.
Others are, the COVID-19 and other dangerous infectious diseases prevention and eradication Law, the Imo State Waste Management Agency (Establishment) Law, the Imo State Land Use Charge Law, the Imo State University of Agriculture and Environmental Studies (Amendment) Law, The Imo State Governor’s/Speaker Pension and Privileges (Repeal) Law and the Imo State Traditional Rulers Council (Amendment) Law.
On motions, several Honorable members had sponsored and adopted several motions including those condemning rape, corruption, embezzlement, murder, wrongful enthronement of a traditional ruler, contract abandonment, as well as those that proposed for tax cuts for the less privileged, inspection of private schools, improvement of state infrastructure and construction of bridges, roads, schools, water bole holes, fencing of markets, construction of new markets, motion for stiffer penalty for rape just to name a few.
The Ninth House also made efforts and interventions in the fight against COVID-19 pandemic by donating part of their salary and supporting the Executive with proactive laws and motions.
In order to ensure the smooth take off of legislative activities in the House, the Speaker constituted the Standing Committees of the House and expanded the number of committees for efficiency, while also accommodating members of the opposition parties.
The Speaker equally ensured that the House took a definite stand when Nigerians suffered xenophobic attacks in South Africa.
At different times, Speaker Chiji Collins had intervened in planned strike by different bodies and brought amicable resolution to the issues at hand, leading to the suspension of planned strikes at various times.
Indeed, Rt. Hon. Chiji Collins led House has done very well in their first one year in office with prospects of surpassing and adding more strides in the months ahead. There is a saying among Ndigbo that when a man plies his trade in the area of his destiny, it would appear as though he is riding on the crest of magic. Also, when an experienced Dibia (native doctor) performs a sacrificial rite, the speed of the results makes it appear as though he hand-fed the spirits. Both have been true in the life of the 9th Speaker of the Imo state House of Assembly.
Congratulations IMHA Congratulations Rt.Hon.Chiji Collins