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Our over-reliance on a mono-product is unhealthy and unsustainable

“Our over-reliance on a mono-product is unhealthy and unsustainable” Being text of remarks by the Speaker, Delta State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Monday Igbuya

My Dear Honourable Colleagues, it is indeed a privilege to welcome all members to the first sitting of the Delta State House of Assembly for 2016. Let me use this opportunity to formally wish you a Happy New year and also commend your efforts in the last seven months. We have shown uncommon resilience, maturity and understanding. Our display of competence, patriotism and commitment to duty which we demonstrated while carrying out our legislative duties and other assignments, has in no small means translated to the success the House has enjoyed.

Let me remind this House that legislation as we may have found out is a serious business for serious minded people. I therefore urge members to brace up for the ever-evolving and unfinished business of State development as the months ahead will no doubt be challenging.

My standpoint is hinged on the obvious fact that Nigeria and indeed Delta state still depends solely on oil as its main stay. Presently the price of crude oil at the international market is put at around $38.

In the face of declining crude oil price, it is clear that our over-reliance on a mono-product is unhealthy and unsustainable. This reality makes it even more pertinent that the Federal and State governments work assiduously to develop other sources of revenue outside the oil and gas sector. The continued diversification of our economy into other sectors such as manufacturing, agriculture, trade and services is now inevitable. In this era of paucity of funds occasioned by the drastic fall in crude oil prices, the responsibility of curtailing wasteful and unnecessary spending falls solely on us.

Emphasis should therefore be directed at strict fiscal guidelines and ensuring oversight instruments to insist on accountability, probity, transparency and efficiency in the implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the 2016 budget.

I wish to quickly reiterate that the Delta State House of Assembly has been adequately positioned to meet the demands of making well focused research and people oriented laws that will impact positively on the people of the State. This is contingent on our firm belief that as the pillar of democracy, the legislative arm must be a catalyst of change, working in concert with the other arms of government in providing democratic dividends to the people.

With your continued support and encouragement, we can maintain and keep this firm belief and responsibility placed on us by our individual constituencies.

Distinguished colleagues, as we look forward to another year of robust and fulfilling legislation, we cannot but pat ourselves on the back for what we have achieved thus far. In the last seven months, this great House made appreciable progress in some very vital areas in the life of this administration

* The Passage of Delta State Territory Development Agency Law, 2015

* Delta State Technical and Vocational Education Board Law 2015

* Delta State Contributory Health Commission Law, 2015

* The Amendment of the Delta State Oil Producing Development Law, 2015.

These were some of the landmark progress recorded by our efforts.

In 2016, we intend to push ourselves further and accomplish even much more to the benefit of Deltans.

Let me emphasize that the mandate given to you is sacred which primarily is to represent the interest of the good people of Delta State and which must not be compromised or betrayed for pecuniary gains. Therefore, we must consciously and diligently work hard to secure a better life and greater opportunities for them through viable and pragmatic laws and other legislative instruments that would ensure viable socio-economic and infrastructural transformations in all the 29 constituencies in the State.

Let us at this point renew our priorities, listen to one another more attentively and remind ourselves of the ways by which our aspiration and destiny are intertwined as a people. The Task before us is enormous but not insurmountable. My distinguished colleagues, we are equal to it and we will rise to any challenge that lies in our path.

Let me use this opportunity to appreciate our constituents for their continued goodwill and confidence. Let me also use this medium to educate our numerous constituents that it is time we do away with the entitlement mentality whereby we over burden our legislators with mundane requests borne out of the fact that you have supported and helped them to win elections. While I agree that the legislators have the moral responsibility to assist their constituents within their means, constituents should not overstretch their request to the extent that legislators would be afraid or discourage to run their constituency offices with utmost efficiency or even run away from their constituency.

It is equally proper at this juncture to thank God for victories at the Court of Appeal. Let me congratulate everyone who experienced this sweet victory. Let me also commiserate with those who were not successful at the Court of Appeal. I also welcome members who will be joining us in this assembly as a result of their victory at the Court of Appeal.

In the same vein, I want to congratulate His Excellency, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa for his resounding victory at the Court of Appeal. Infact, it was the best Christmas gift to Delta state.

For the interest of the growth and development of the state, it will be ideal for our brothers, Chief Great Ogboru and Chief O’tega Emerhor to work with the present administration. Governor Ifeanyi Okowa is an advocate of an all-inclusive government. Instead of continuous litigations that distract and impede growth, it is for the interest of the people of our dear state for them to work with the government to move delta state forward.

Fellow colleagues, I welcome you to 2016. We can achieve economic expansion, peace co-existence and good governance in 2016.

I will continue to encourage greater interactions with all members, as well as maintain oneness in this house regardless of ethnicity or party affiliation.

My distinguish colleagues; I thank you all for the stability that the Assembly has experienced so far. Let us work together as a team for the progress of our dear State.

I must say, it’s really good working with you in this Honourable House.

Thank you and God bless.

Rt. Hon. Monday Igbuya

Speaker, DTHA

12-1-2016

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