By Adekola Afolabi
The Ondo State House of Assembly has passed five separate bills into laws.
The five bills are; a bill for a law to establish the state Board of Public Procurement and the Bureau of Public Procurement as the regulatory authorities responsible for the monitoring and oversight of Public Procurement and related matters; and a bill for a law for the prudent management of Ondo state’s resources, to ensure longterm macro-economic stability of the state’s economy, secure greater accountability and transparency in fiscal operations within a longterm plan and medium term fiscal policy framework, and the establishment of a Fiscal Responsibility Committee to ensure achievement of the state’s economic objectives and other matters connected therewith.
Others are: a bill for a law to provide for the establishment of Ondo State Information Technology Agency (SITA) and related matters; a bill for a law to provide for the establishment of an independent office of the Auditor-General and provide for audit of public accounts and for other purposes ancillary thereto, as well as a bill for a law to establish the Ondo State Development and Investment Promotion Agency and to provide a regulatory framework and condusive environment for investment development, promotion and facilities in the state and other matters connected thereto.
At the Friday plenary sitting presided over by the Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Bamidele Oleyelogun, the legislators unanimously passed the five separate bills into laws through a voice vote.
The bills were passed one after the other following the submission and adoption of reports of Chairmen of various Committees on the floor of the hallowed chamber.
The House also adopted the amendments proposed by various committees before the passage of the bills.
The Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon Bamidele Oleyelogun, commended all the lawmakers for their dedication to legislative duties, saying that all the various committees saddled with different responsibilities lived up to expectations.
Earlier, the Majority Leader of the House, Hon. Olugbenga Araoyinbo, in his separate motions for the passage of the five separate bills, averred that the bills when passed into laws would block leakages in the public sector, engender efficient service delivery and ensure accountability in governance.
Araoyinbo also specially appreciated the various committees on behalf of the House for their excellent performance, adding that none of the various committees failed in the discharge of their duties.
He called on other lawmakers to give total support for the passage of the bills which he added would promote transparency in the public sector.
While submitting his reports on three different bills including Public Procurement Bill, Fiscal Responsibility Bill and Public Accounts Audit Bill, the Chairman, House Committee on Finance and Appropriation, Hon. Sunday Olajide, noted that the provisions in the bills would go a long way in ensuring effective and efficient management system within the public service.
Olajide explained that four bills such as Public Finance Management Bill, Fiscal Responsibility Bill, Public Procurement Bill and the Audit Bill were part of the Public Sector Reform Bills meant to reform the way the business of government was being run to curtail sharp practices, strengthen good governance and reduce corruption in the public service.
He added that his committee worked tirelessly and compared notes before submitting its final reports.
On his part, the Chairman, House Committee on Commerce and Industry and Minority Leader of the House, Hon. Comrade Sola Ebiwonjumi, while submitting his committee report hinted that the bill would bring more investors to the state and promote economic development.
Ebiwonjumi said the bill would address some of the Lacuna Operations which were hitherto not addressed by the Ondo State Development and Investment Promotional Agency, emphasising that the passage of the bill would assist the state government to attract more investors to the state thereby creating job opportunities for unemployed youths.
Also, the Deputy Majority Leader and Chairman, House Committee on Education and Auxiliary, Hon. Olusegun Ajimotokin, after submitting his report ,observed that the SITA Bill would promote better research and enhance information technology among students, public servants and other member of the public.