Abia gets law for oil producing area development, amends LG law
Presenting the two passed bills for the governor’s assent, the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Chief Agwu U. Agwu represented by his Deputy, Barrister Chinedum Elechi said that the two bills were passed by the house on July 8 and August 25, 2009 respectively.
Elechi said that while the ASOPADEC Bill was privately sponsored by him, the other was of Executive Sponsorship, adding that both were given due and adequate considerations before passage by the members.
According to him too, while “under consideration both bills enjoyed an overdose of goodwill from every member because when fully implemented, the laws will through their socio-economic and physical manifestations touch a whole lot of Abians and add value to their lives in the present realities of the country”.
The two laws particularly the ASOPADEC Law, he said, were modelled after the Niger Delta Development Commission and passed with the socio-economic and political problems of the Niger Delta Area of Nigeria which Abia is part of in view expressing optimism that it will not only help to cushion the adverse effects of oil exploration and exploitation on the immediate oil producing communities, but indeed give Abians a sense of belonging, achievement and fulfilment.
Similarly, he said that the amended Local Government Law empowers the State Independent Electoral Commission to further divide each local government area of the state into more electoral wards not less than 22 and not more than 26, based on the peculiar circumstances of the LGAs.
Elated by the passage of the laws, governor Theodore Orji who assented to the two bills on presentation to him said that in the case of the ASOPADEC one, a Board will immediately be set up and given the special funds to effect the development of the Oil Producing areas of the state as applied to Niger Delta areas.
The governor said that the two laws were yearned for long ago and described them as evidence of his government’s seriousness to address the objects for which they were enacted.
He commended the people of the state oil producing areas for remaining calm unlike their Niger Delta counterparts but expressed joy that following the action of President Umaru Yar’Adua’s amnesty deal, the issue of unrest that prevailed in the Niger Delta was brought under check.