Drama As Lawmakers Loyal To Wike Ask Gov. Fubara To Represent 2024 Budget Already Signed Into Law
The Rivers State House of Assembly led by Martin Amaewhule, said it is expecting Governor Siminalayi Fubara to submit the medium-term expenditure framework and the 2024 Appropriation Bill to the lawmakers.
The 25 lawmakers disclosed this during their resumed sitting on the floor of the Rivers’ Assembly quarters along Aba Road in Port Harcourt on Tuesday.
They made the call after they deliberated on the delayed submission of the audited account of the state by the Public Accounts Committee.
The Speaker, Amaewhule after listening to explanations from the committee granted their request for an additional three weeks to do a thorough job and report back to the House. Amaewhule advised the Auditor General of the State to make available the state accounts to the assembly as required by the Constitution.
Our correspondent reported that the lawmakers also agreed to write to Fubara to notify him of their planned recess so that it can align with his calendar.
According to a statement issued by Martins Wachukwu, media aide to the Speaker, the House gave the first reading to the Traditional Rulers Law (amendment) bill, advertisement and use of state-owned property prohibition (repealed) bill.
The statement said the member presenting the bill sponsored by the Majority Leader, who is also a member representing Akuku Toru Constituency I, Major Jack, averred that the bill seeks to amend some sections of the principal law, and when passed, will make the Traditional Rulers Law be in tune with current realities.
In the same vein, the House gave the first reading to a bill which seeks to repeal the Rivers State Advertisement and Use of State-owned Property (Prohibition) Law No.7 of 2022.
The Bill was sponsored and presented by the Member representing Port Harcourt Constituency II, Tonye Adoki.
Speaking on the Order of the Day, the Speaker, Amaewhule, cited relevant Sections of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as altered, which empowered the State House of Assembly to receive a Report of the audited account of the State, and therefore urged the House Committee on Public Accounts to investigate why the Auditor-General of the State has not submitted the 2022 audited account of the State to the House.
The statement further said earlier, that the Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee, . Major Jack had requested the House to give the Committee more time to enable the Committee to do further inquiry and consultation before submitting its report. The committee has been given three weeks to submit its Report to the House.
Commenting further, Amaewhule hinted that the Rivers State House of Assembly is yet to receive the state’s Medium Term Expenditure Framework and the 2024 Appropriation Bill.
“When put to vote, the House unanimously agreed to write to the Governor, Siminialayi Fubara, to notify him of the delay in presenting the Medium Term Expenditure Framework and the 2024 Appropriation Bill to the House in line with the 1999 Constitution as altered,” the statement added.
It remains to be seen if the Governor will represent the budget to the lawmakers after he had signed into law, the 2024 Appropriation Bill of N800bn.
The signing happened less than 48 hours after he presented the budget estimates to the State House of Assembly led by Edison Ehie who has now rejected his position.
The signing ceremony was held in the conference room of the Governor’s Office at the Government House.
Fubara explained that with the budget providing a framework for spending in 2024, his administration will undertake notable critical road projects that will connect more communities across several local governments to meet age long yearnings of Rivers people