Osun Assembly May Not Pass Agencies’ Estimates If…

By Israel Afolabi

Some agencies and parastatals in the State of Osun might face difficulties in the course of cosideration of their 2018 budget estimates, as the House of Assembly has declared that any Ministry, Department and Agency of government and tertiary institutions with unresolved audit queries would not have their estimates considered.

Chairman, House Committee on Finance and Appropriation, Hon Kamil Oyedele who made the declaration said that such organisations would have to obtain clearance from House Committee on Public Accounts before their estimates could be considered by the legislature.

While stating the readiness of the lawmakers to speed up the process, he noted that agencies without enabling laws would have their estimates merged with that of appropriate ministries.

The lawmaker charged Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of government to submit 35 copies of their proposed estimates to the House through the office of Economic Planning, Budget and Development.

He also required for submissions of the 2017 budget performance reports for each of the component heads and sub heads of revenue and expenditure as well as work plan and strategy to realise projected revenue by revenue generating agencies.

Hon. Oyedele also stated that necessary machineries’ should be put in place to ascertain the status of some agencies such as Osun State Planning Commission, Reality Radio Vision Services, OSSADEP and OSSADEC.

He disclosed that the committee has put in place mechanism to ensure compliance with the rules and regulations by different organisations when they come to defend their estimates before the legislature.

According to him, the agencies of government in the state must come with last year’s budget performance and their 2018 estimates defence as a measure to get their estimates approved.

He said part of the consideration for the budget is the proposed minimum wage review, as well as allowing the international financial practice standard to form the guideline in passing the budget.

He maintained that the house has given the committee four weeks to meet with heads of ministries, department and agencies with a view to ensuring compliance with the set rules and regulations.

Strike: Osun Assembly Pleads For Workers’ Patience

Osun State House of Assembly under the leadership of Rt. Hon Najeem Salaam has appealed to the state workforce to show more understanding and be more patient with the government over the issue of modulated salary.

The assembly made the appeal in a statement by the Chairman, House Committee on Information and Strategy, Olatunbosun Oyintiloye following the declaration of indefinite strike by the state Chairman, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Jacob Adekomi to be started on December 27 in the state.

The parliament said that since the government has promised and shown commitment to pay the balance of the modulated salaries when the economy of the state improves, there should not be any fear on the part of the workers’ unions.

According to the Assembly, the state government was transparent enough in the apportionment of funds coming to the coffer of the state by setting up a committee led by a Veteran labour leader, Comrade Hassan Sunmonu to handle the apportionment, of which the labour leaders were also involved.

Regretting that the economic crisis has been causing the irregularities over the salary matter, it noted that though things were improving, but the workers should be more patient for thing to take proper shape.

Noting that the state Assembly was also monitoring the financial capacity of the state to finally resolve the salaries hullabaloo, it stressed that the parliament would no relent until the issues surrounding the modulated salaries are resolved.

Identifying with the plight of the workers, it said it is unfortunate that the economic situation of the country which is not limited to Osun has forced the government to adopt alternative means of addressing workers welfare.

It added that the workers should be persuaded by the fact that the political office holders in the state are also being paid 50 per cent of their total pay due to economic crisis.

The Assembly then urged the workers unions to be more patient, as they are the engine room of the government that will ensure the continuation of the developmental programmes and projects of the government.

Osun Assembly Issues Relocation Order To Traders

By Israel Afolabi

The State of Osun House of Assembly has directed the State Ministry of Commerce, Cooperatives, Industries and Empowerment to relocate traders at the Oroki Market, popularly referred to as Alekuwodo Market to the new space provided for them at Awosuru Area of the state capital by Friday, December 15 (today).

Chairman, House Committee on Commerce, Cooperatives, Industries and Empowerment, Hon. Babatunde Olatunji gave the directive on Thursday at an interactive meeting with concerned stakeholders at the State House of Assembly Complex Osogbo, State of Osun.

He said the state government has provided all necessary facilities for the traders at the new market site, considering the fact that the present location is very dangerous to their lives and property.

The Commissioner in the Ministry, Mr. Ismaila Alagbada had told the lawmakers that the government had served the traders with quit notice of 21 days since July, which has since expired but the traders refused to comply.

He added that the issue of relocation has started since 2013, adding that, government has been very patient enough with the traders’ reluctance to relocate.

However, in their separate contributions, the representatives of the traders, Mr. Ojolowo and Mrs. Erinjogunola Bola agreed that the government had earlier served them with notice and they had appealed that the relocation order be reversed on several occasions.

The duo further appealed to Government at the meeting to extend the order till after yuletide season.

“We want government to have little patience till next year because the new market is not yet filled up as it has scanty occupiers”, they pleaded.

However, Hon. Olatunji made it known that the purpose of the interactive meeting was to see to the welfare of the traders in the state and also instructed that the affected traders should be given consideration in the empowerment programmes of the State Government.

According to him, “We have all resolved that from December 15, 2017, Awosuru market will come alive with commercial activities. “We also agreed that those on the road side will relocate to the new market at Awosuru”, he added.

Olatunji appreciated market men and women at Akindeko for their support to the present government and lauded the State Government for making trading convenience for traders and implored the latter to move to the new market site for their safety.

Meanwhile, other committee members urged the representatives of the traders to discuss the details of the meeting with their co-traders at Akindeko market.

The Assembly further directed the Ministry of Commerce, cooperatives, Industries and Empowerment to ensure quick access of the traders at Oroki market, Alekuwodo in Osogbo to Government Enterprise Empowerment Programme (GEEP) facilities so as to hasten their relocation and smooth commencement of marketing activities at the new market site.

They urged the traders to embrace the new development of the government of Osun and adhere to its directives in their best interest.

Alagbada assure the traders at Akindeko Market scheduled to move to Awosuru market site of adequate facilities to make trading convenient for them and assured them of safety of their lives and property.

According to him, “We now have enough space at the new market to accommodate every trader and this government made things convenient for market users in Osun”.

“We are now appealing to other street traders to move down to the new market at Awosuru because there would not be a market at Akindeko again from December 15, 2017”.

In her contribution, the Executive Secretary, Osogbo West Local Council Development Authority (LCDA), Alhaja Temilade Olokungboye stated the council’s readiness to cooperate with traders and stakeholders to make the new market thrive.

She commended the State House of Assembly for intervening.

She said, “With our meeting today in the House of Assembly, we are satisfied because we believe in moving the market forward”.

She added that the council has issued warning to property owners on the other side of Ola-Egbon Chemist not to harbor any of the traders in their own interest.

Osun Assembly Reiterates Commitment To Protect Environment

By Israel Afolabi

The State of Osun House of Assembly will not hesitate to give urgent attention to regulatory bills seeking to protect the environment, as well as prevention of hazards that could jeopardize the interest of the people.

This was disclosed by the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Najeem Salaam who was represented by his Deputy, Hon. Akintunde Adegboye while presiding over the House during deliberation on the State of Osun Regulation of Sand Dealing and Dredging Operation Bill 2015 at the floor of the State Assembly Complex Osogbo.

Akintunde observed that the bill was coming at the appropriate time when stakeholders are clamouring for adequate protection of the environment.

He noticed that the bill require urgent attention because of its importance to the state and also acknowledged the damage done to the environment through illegal sand dealing and dredging.

In his words, “it is a good bill that requires urgent attention because it is necessary to set a
database for the miners in the state. The bill will not only control activities of operators but prevent environment degradation that could result from illegal operation”.

However, the speaker who noted other merits of the bill maintained that it requires accelerated Passage as he stressed the need for urgent consideration by the House.

Earlier, the Majority leader of the House, Hon. Timothy Owoeye presented the bill in which he explained its policy thrust to the House, saying it seeks to introduce license and permit to stakeholders in the mining sector.

According to him, “the bill which seek to regulate sand dealing and dredging through license and permit will checkmate illegal activities by the operators”,.

He noted other areas of policy thrust to include increase in revenue generation, creation of database for identification, streaming of operation and protection of environment.

Owoeye also added that there is illegal dredging and mining activities in Atakumosa East, Oriade, Atakumosa West and Obokun due to lack of bill to regulate the activities of miners in the state.

Other lawmakers, in their separate contributions, emphasised on the benefits accruable from the bill as they agreed on the need for priority attention and accelerated passage.

They added that State of Osun regulation of sand dealing and dredging operation bill will preserve our land and reduce environmental pollution.

They also said that there is need to regulate the bill for the interest of our people and bring sanity into the dredging activities of the operator.

The bill has scale through the second reading on the floor of the house.

Osun Assembly Confirms DMO DG, Judicial Commission Members

Osun State House of Assembly has confirmed the nomination of Mr. Adejumo Babatunde Titus as the State Director General of Debt Management Office.

In a statement signed by the Chief Press Secretary to the Speaker, Mr. Goke Butika, the state parliament asked Adejumo to prepare the debt portfolio of the state with a view to furnish the parliament with the details.

Speaker Najeem Salaam after the approval of Adejumo’s nomination ordered that the Public Accounts Committee of the House should summon him for proper disclosure so that it would be made public.

Besides, nominees of Judicial Service Commission: Nathaniel Agunbiade, Olarotimi Makinde, Oyewale Abel Olutayo and Olagunju Oloruntomilola Christopher were also confirmed.

Osun Assembly Passes UBE Bill

By Israel Afolabi

State of Osun House of Assembly has passed the State of Osun Universal Basic Education bill, 2017.

The bill, which is one of the bills of which debates were suspended penultimate week, was passed at the plenary on Monday after the SUBEB team had convinced the parliament on the need for its passage.

According to the speaker, Honourable Najeem Salam, “The State of Osun Universal Basic Education law will accelerate the works of the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) in the state”.

“The bill will give the board opportunity to operate in line with the laid down rules and regulation as well as advancement of the education system in the state.

He added that, “this is the best thing we can give to the state to ensure smooth running of education.

Salaam then urged the operators of the law, when eventually assented to by the governor to work within its ambit of ensure that the bill place the state’s primary education in its rightful position.

Meanwhile, the parliament has mandated the nominees to the state Judicial Service Commission to appear for screening from 16th October 2017 at the State Assembly Complex Osogbo.

Also, the House of Assembly ordered the Ministry of Works and Infrastructure to submit details of quantity design of major ongoing road projects across the state by Friday.

The projects include, MKO International Airport, Olaiya/Ita Olokan road, Oba Adesoji Aderemi East byepass road, Gbongan-Akoda road and Old Garage-Kwara state boundary amongst others.

Osun Assembly Suspends Debates On Executive Bills

By Israel Afolabi

The State of Osun House of Assembly has suspended further debates on the Universal Basic Education Bill 2017, Education District Offices Bill and Teachers Establishment and Pension Office Bill 2012, all pending before parliament.

Stating this at the plenary on Tuesday, the Speaker, Honourable Najeem Salaam said, the Assembly would not proceed on the consideration and passage of the bills, “until when we are convinced with the working relationship of the concern agencies”.

The Assembly had earlier on Monday directed that the officials of the Ministry of Education, Teachers Establishment and Pension Office (TEPO), Education District Offices and State Universal Education Board (SUBEB) should appear before it with a view to clarifying salient issues as to the clashes in the functions of each of the agencies as reflected in the bills.

Sequel to their appearances, the Assembly said the scenario that played out had shown that there was no good working relationship among the agencies, directing the Ministry of Education and other adjoined agencies to go back and rework the bill.

The Speaker said, “The house is not yet convinced to forge ahead with the passage of the bills. We now direct the concern authorities to go back and rework the provisions and the functions therein in the bill for the house to proceed if at all we want to pass it into law.

“Without this from the concerned authorities, the house may throw out this bill as not necessary for the State of Osun”, he ruled.

The speaker had earlier noted that the bills would assist the Ministry of Education to be more productive when passed into law, saying it would “enhance productivity in education sector”.

He added that the bills would assist in teachers’ promotion, retirement and transfer within the three districts of the state.

In his remark, the Chairman House Committee on Education, Hon. Oladoyin Bamisayemi said, “the bills will ensure career profession of professionals in the education sector.

Osun Assembly Stops ‘Group Loans’ Amongst Teachers

By Israel Afolabi

The State of Osun House of Assembly has ordered the stoppage of group loans amongst teachers in the state.

Chairman, House Committee on Education, Honourable Oladoyin Bamisayemi gave the directive at a meeting with primary school teachers and officials of the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) in a bid to resolve the dispute arising from alleged over-deductions of salaries in respect of loans obtained.

The directive followed the complaints of fraud by teachers that their salaries were being over-deducted for the repayment of the collected loans, which were meant to take care of welfare of the teachers.

Bamisayemi lamented that his committee has received a lot of negative reports concerning the deductions in teachers’ salaries across the state by SUBEB officials for the repayment of the loan.

According to him, “As a matter of urgency, the house had to meet and resolve the issue before it gets out of hand especially in  Ife-South local government area where some affected teachers almost collapsed”.

The chairman added that the meeting was called to ascertain the reason behind the deductions of teachers’ salaries in the state and to what extent.

To know the details on all the loans collected in the affected local government, the parliament has mandated all the banks involved to appear for proper verification and clarification on the group loan deduction.

The Assembly then ordered that the group loan should be stopped in the state, just as it ordered the SUBEB to stop deduction of teachers’ salaries until it gets to the root of the matter.

In his contribution, the state chairman, Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), Comrade Wakeel Amudah said the idea of group loan started in 2005 and it was meant for members’ welfare, but unfortunately changed to aid corruption amongst officials.

Comrade Amudah confirmed that NUT members were also not sincere to the extent that some members had to forge NUT letter to obtain the loan, which has now backfired.

Meanwhile, in their separate remarks, members of the house committee blamed the concerned teachers for their involvement in group loan which is now difficult for them to bear.

LG Autonomy: Osun Assembly Lauds NULGE On Peaceful Procession

Speaker, State of Osun House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Najeem salaam has lauded the leadership of the Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) in the state for their peaceful procession on local government autonomy, saying the state parliament was impressed by their coordinated March, and would look into their demand when the constitutional amendment passed by the National Assembly is transmitted to the state Assembly.

Speaker Salaam who received the letter addressed to the state legislature on the need to support the local government autonomy by the leadership of the Union at his office, asserted that the parliament was a shrine of democracy where opinions and demands of the people are ventilated; assuring the local government workers that the state lawmakers would not work against the collective demand of their constituents.

He asked the leadership of NULGE and other critical stakeholders to take interest in the process of lobby when the amendment begins at the state assembly, noting that the union should bear in mind that 36 state Houses of Assembly would be involved in the process and two-third majority would be needed to get the desired result.

Appreciating the lawmakers, the state President of NULGE, Engineer Jacob Adedeji expresses his pleasure on the reception given to the union, saying that spoke volume on their support for the workers at the Local Government; asking the parliament to support the autonomy of the councils for the benefit of their growth.

Meanwhile, it was a fun-fare at the state parliament as the union members were singing and dancing to music after the procession before they returned to their union office.

State Government of Osun, House of Assembly legality questionable

Justice Yinka Afolabi of an Osun State High Court has declared that the suit filed by a rights activist, Barrister Kanmi Ajibola was more than asking the court to nullify the state tax law signed by the governor, Mr. Rauf Aregbesola but was also challenging the legality of the state coined the “State of Osun” and the “State of Osun House of Assembly”.

At his sitting in Ilesa High Court on Monday, February 06, 2017, Justice Afolabi gave the House of Assembly legal team headed by Barrister Rachael Ojimu a wake-up call that the notice of preliminary objection and the counter affidavit filed on behalf of the state legislative was improper.

In a six paragraphs affidavit sworn to by Akintunde Ayodele, a litigation clerk in the Department of Legal Services, House of Assembly, it contended that the “State of Osun Land Use Law, 2016” signed by the governor did not contravene any law and that in the interest of justice, the suit should be dismissed.  However, ounsel to the applicant, Barrister Samuel Echeonwu stated that apart from the fact that the first respondent, Governor Aregbesola refused to reply to the matter, the second respondent, the state lawmaker filed its preliminary objection out of time

“It appears there was a deliberate act by the respondents in this matter. As for us, we are ready to move on with the hearing of this matter today”, he stated. Mrs Ojimu, who is also the Assembly’s Director of Legal Services explained that the preliminary objection was filed on December 1, 2016 has replied to all issues raised by the applicant.

But Justice Afolabi who adjourned the case till March 26, 2017 for definite hearing chided the state counsels, saying it was unfortunate with the way cases involving government were being handled by them. “I think government should be paying cost for any delay in court processes. Maybe by then, they will be very serious with cases in court. This is a case that is challenging the legality of the house of assembly. It is case to know whether the State of Osun Assembly exists in the first instance or not. It is a constitutional matter this court has jurisdiction to entertain”, he stated.
Barrister Ajibola had argued in his suit filed on October 4th, 2016 that by the provisions of the 1999 constitution, there was nothing called the “State of Osun

He asked the court in his suit that the land use law by that its name, “the State of Osun Land use Charge Law 2016’ and its maker, “State of Osun House of Assembly” were unlawful and unconstitutional.

“I believe that ‘State of Osun’ is an impish coinage and unknown to the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The first Defendant, that is the Governor of Osun State, took his oath of office as the Governor of Osun State.

“I believe there is a difference between ‘Osun State Government’ and ‘State of Osun Government’. I believe ‘Osun State’ does not mean the same thing as the ‘State of Osun’”. “I believe that ‘Osun State House of Assembly’ does not mean the same as ‘State of Osun House of Assembly’. I strongly believe that the ‘State of Osun Land Use Charge law, 2016’ is made for the state unknown to the Constitution of Federal Republic.

Osun Assembly Charges Nigerians to be Optimistic in 2017

The Osun State House of Assembly has charged Nigerians and people of the state in particular to be optimistic that things would be better in the country in 2017 and urged citizens to be patriotic by supporting government at all levels in their efforts to deliver the dividends of democracy.

The New Year message of the Assembly was contained in a press statement signed by the Chairman of House Committee on Information and Strategy, Olatunbosun Oyintiloye.

Oyintiloye said the Assembly was not oblivious of the efforts of the federal and state government to alleviate the suffering of the masses.

He said the Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon Najeem Salaam had stressed the need for the citizenry to be optimistic and embrace the New Year with high sense of purpose and positive resolve.