UDUAGHAN TASKS INCOMING N'ASSEMBLY ON NEW REVENUE FORMULA, GAS FLARING
•Delta State Governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan
Delta State Governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan yesterday tasked the in-coming National Assembly to enact legislations that would address critical national issues such as new minimum wage and gas flaring. Uduaghan, who was represented by his Deputy, Prof. Amos Utuama (SAN) gave the challenges at the opening ceremony of the induction workshop for members-elect of the National Assembly which held at the Government House, Asaba.
He urged the incoming National Assembly ' to look into revenue allocation and come up with a more equitable formula. The present formula is no longer sustainable owing to the recent increase in workers' minimum wage. If something is not done urgently, most states and local governments might go bankrupt under the burden of salaries and wages.
' I urge you to introduce laws that will impact positively on all Nigerians. The National Assembly should serve as a platform to address challenges, especially those associated with poverty and unemployment.
'There is the need to also address ecological matters, which pose serious threats to various communities both here in Delta State and other parts of the country. I sincerely hope that your schedule will allow you time to see some of our communities, which are under threats of being washed away by erosion.
'The incoming National Assembly should critically examine the issue of continued gas flaring across the Niger Delta. Apart from its environmental hazards, useful resources are being wasted in flaring when it can be harnessed for our energy needs and exports.
'The laws you pass should be able to engender peace and security in our dear country since there can be no sustainable development in the absence of peace, security and the attendant harmonious co-existence,' he said.
He observed that 'as the representatives of the people, you will be looked upon to provide direction and chart the course for the future.
'You have been called to serve and to render invaluable services to our people by ensuring that the gains of democracy far outweigh its pains.'
According to him, legislative effectiveness depends on the ability of parliament to take informed decisions independent of other institutions of governance. 'Beyond legislative drafting, increasing the capacity of parliaments to perform as competent public policy making agents and facilitating the translation of policy into effective laws, require that those in the legislature represent the interests and serve the needs of the people and work collectively to define these interests into policies and legislative priorities.
'These responsibilities will in turn, call for opportunities to engage public opinion, have access to independent information, do technical analysis and acquire skills to cultivate policy expertise within the committees of both the Senate and the House respectively.
'We are all aware of the many competing and often conflicting demands that you will soon be confronted with from your parties, families, constituents, media, friends and from concerned citizens at large. I urge you to be tactful in handling the various demands.'