By Tuesday Olokode
Members of House of Assemblies drawn from the six States of the South-West region on Friday, November 29, 2019, converged in Ikeja, the Lagos State Capital on the occasion of its inaugural meeting of the Southwest Legislative Reform Implementation Committee, (SLRIC).
The meeting which took place at R & A City Hotel Ikeja, had representatives from Oyo, Ogun, Osun, Ekiti, Ondo and Lagos States.
Speaking at the meeting, the Majority Leader, Lagos State House of Assembly and Chairman, Southwest Legislative Reform Implementation Committee, Hon. S.O.B Agunbiade, said the meeting was to brainstorm on the development of Legislative Reform Agenda for Southwest with a view to harnessing legislative practices in the Zone.
“Today, is the first meeting of SLRIC holding in Y2019/2020 and the aim is to ensure there is legislative act in southwest,” he said.
Agunbiade enjoined the committee to build a solid foundation for legislature in the region, to achieve future action plans that would transform the region. He further maintained that the committee would also follow the terms of references that would be agreed on at the end of its first quarterly meeting to develop and validate Legislative Reform Solutions to serve as working document for it, MegaXpression News reports.
“Driven by the conviction that the Legislature in the country needs further development and improvement in its activities, the Southwest Speakers, making the Southwest a test case decided on a purposeful integration of the legislature in the Southwest”
“We need to remind ourselves that though, SLRIC is the initiative of the Southwest Speakers, the enormous responsibilities of the Speakers in their respective houses of Assembly, is the reason that the responsibilities of SLRIC were entrusted to the Majority Leaders of the respective Assemblies. The SLRIC is thus saddled with responsibilities among which others include:
“1. Championing learning events across and between House of Assembly on legislative reform practices and solutions in the Southwest Region.
“2. Serve as a platform for sharing learning and effective practices across the region with particular reference to legislative practice and procedure as well as facilitate the development of legislative institutional framework, mechanisms, and system that will enhance the functionality of the House of Assembly in the Southwest Region.
“3. Serve as a link between citizens’ groups, institutions and professional bodies (including the DAWN Commission) that are willing to work with the SHoA to enhance the delivery of public goods and services (e.g Constituency engagement, Town Hall meetings and so on).
“4. Constantly engage the conference of Speakers of State Legislators through the Deputy Chair – Southwest zone for easy adaptation of National laws and policies in the region,” Agunbiade explained.
He commended the pathfinder role of the first pioneer Chairman of the SLRIC who is now the Speaker of the State of Osun House of Assembly, Hon. Timothy Owoeye, saying his resilience, determination and doggedness are the virtues that have brought SLRIC this far.
Agunbiade further revealed that, “to go into the first quarterly session of the committee, it is important to state for the records that within the short period of our inauguration to date, we have undertaken the following activities.
“1. Cross learning among Southwest legislators in participatory oversight engagement, which was held in Abeokuta, Ogun state).
“2. Cross learning and experience sharing on Lagos State approach on Constituency engagement held at Ibadan, Oyo, state.
“3. Facilitation of technical sections on MTEF for engaging year 2020 budget by Houses of Assemblies in the Southwest. And lately,
“4. Workshop/Technical session for the members and staff of Southwest State Houses of Assembly committees on public accounts, audit-general for states and for local governments on PAC roles, processes, procedures and audit function held in Ondo State and most recently.”
The SLRIC Chairman, Hon Agunbiade, also applauded Reform and Learn (PERL) for a wonderful assistance offered to SLRIC since the committee was birthed. “The support of PERL has been so encouraging, re-enforcing and ever assuring,” he added.
He thereafter appreciated colleagues for the support they have given him since the beginning of his tenure as SLRIC Chairman. He revealed that the success of this first quarterly session is owed to the Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Obasa Mudashiru Ajayi who is the Patron of SLRIC and through whom he commended other Principal Officers of the House.