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Delta State House Of Assembly Passes Freedom Of Information Bill

By Kenneth Orusi, The Nigerian Voice, Asaba

The Delta State Freedom of Information Bill has been passed by the Delta State House of Assembly (DTHA).

The passage of the Bill followed the consideration of the report of the Joint House on the Delta State Freedom of Information Bill at a Committee of the Whole following a motion moved by the Majority Leader, Hon Tim Owhefere seconded by Hon Reuben Izeze.

Reporting progress, the Speaker, Rt Hon Sheriff Oborevwori who presided over plenary said the members resolved at the Committee of the whole that having gone through the bill, the House should suspend the rules and pass it.

Thereafter, the Majority Leader, Hon. Tim Owhefere moved separate motions for the House to suspend orders 77,78 and 79 and take the third reading to enable the House pass the bill .

The motions were seconded by Honourables Samuel Mariere and Kennedy Daubry and adopted through a voice vote.

The Speaker, while thanking members for their support in the passage of the bill said the bill will enhance the principles of democracy as the people will now have access to information.

The Delta State Freedom of Information bill is for a law to make public records and information more freely available, provide for public access to public records and information.

The bill is also meant to protect public records and information to an extent consistent with the public interest and the protection of personal privacy ,protect serving public officers from adverse consequences of disclosing certain official information without authorization and establish procedures for the achievement of those purpose and for related matters.

Also at plenary, the House received and adopted the report of the House Committee on Environment, Oil and Gas on a bill for a law to establish the Delta State Environment Management Agency and to repeal the Delta State Environmental Protection Agency Law.

The adoption of the report followed the presentation of the report by the Chairman of the Committee Hon. Daniel Yingi.

He told the House that the bill was committed to the House Committee on Environment, Oil and Gas after it's second reading on January 30,2019 with the mandate to further scrutinise the Bill.

He said the Committee organised planning where stakeholders from the Ministry of Environment, representatives of the Ministry of Justice,non governmental organization and the Environmental Health Officers Association as well as from the academia where useful contributions were made.

Hon Yingi said the passage of the bill into law will help the state in ensuring environmental sustainable development and also increase the revenue profile of the state .

Thereafter the Majority Leader Hon. Tim Owhefere moved motion for the House to receive and adopt the report.

The motion was seconded by the Deputy Majority Leader Hon. Oboro Preyor and adopted.

The House has slated April 4, 2019 for a Committee of the Whole.