Delta state house of Assembly was on Wednesday chastised by the state chapter of the Association of Professional Bodies in Nigeria (APBN), over its inability to carry out its constitutional oversight functions especially as its affects the generality of Deltans.
Chairman of the Association, John Aikpokpo-Martins, who led his executive on a courtesy visit to the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Mr. Sheriff Oborevwori, chastised the Assembly, lamenting that the lawmakers who have continued to rest on their oars and abandoned their oversight functions especially as it concerned the implementation of roads contracts among others.
According to APBN Chairman, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa led government has embarked on execution of projects, but bemoaned the disturbing situation where projects executed in less than two years now in sorry state adding that “if the House of Assembly who has the power to appropriate money and the oversight function, I think that oversight should go just beyond looking at the fact that we voted money, the money was used. How was that money used? Was it used for the purpose of which it was meant for and to what specification?”
The Association, while noting the dilapidation of roads constructed by the Okowa led administration less than two years, challenged the legislature to as a matter of urgent and importance wake up from their slumber by not only making sure that the contracts are awarded but are awarded to the specification of the contractual agreement.
The group reminded the state house of Assembly speaker of the roads and other projects executed by the Late Samuel Ogbemudia such as the Warri-Sapele road which still remained standard till date and wondered that roads built within two years have all gone bad stressing that what is worth doing is worth doing well.
On the poor funding and strangulation of the Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (DESOPADEC), the APBN boss, who lamented the way and manner the affairs of the commission was been piloted by governor Okowa, expressed worries saying that the law that set up the commission made it explicit clear that the money coming from the 13% derivation must go to the commission.
Aikpokpo-Martins, who is a lawyer by profession, however noted that before now there has been pockets of complaints that the commission was not working, but now is worse as the commission is almost going moribund. “The House has power for an oversight function on how money is appropriated to DESOPADEC, and we are using this opportunity to appeal to the House to look critically look into what is going on in the Commission, so that DESOPADEC can work for all Deltans.”
On the dirtiness of the oil rich state, the Association, took a swipe at the Okowa government over its failures to implement the Urban and Regional Development Law which has led to the high rate of dirt in the State, saying Delta state is one of the dirtiest states in the federation, a situation which APBN said has prevented would be investors from considering Delta a business destination.
“We want investors to come to Delta State but no investor will come to a dirty environment. Delta State is one of the dirtiest states in Nigeria. It is our state, we love it but the fact is that we also travel outside the state. We have been to Uyo, Calabar and even when I went to Kastina and Sokoto, I was marvelled by what I saw. A very well planned town and I was very ashamed.
‘We have all the money in Delta State but what is going on. We found out that the major reason why we are not going forward is because we have not been implementing the urban and regional development law which the House of Assembly passed and was assented to. It is a law therefore but that law has not been implemented in the way it was passed by the House.” the group stated.