TEXT OF SPEECH DELIVERED BY RT. HON. MUDASHIRU AJAYI OBASA, SPEAKER LAGOS STATE HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY AT THE MEDIA/CIVIL SOCIETY ORGANISATION PARLEY HELD ON MONDAY, MAY 28, 2018
I am pleased to welcome you all to this forum, being an annual event that has been made habitual by me to give account of our stewardship as members of the 8th Assembly.
Ladies and gentlemen, you will all agree with me that as the elected representatives of the people, it is expedient for us to present our score card for necessary appraisal by the electorate and for the purpose of setting the records straight. We are mindful of the huge responsibilities invested in us, as well as the expectations of the electorate; and we are glad to give account of our activities at the Lagos House of Assembly in the year that just rolled by as we have been doing since the beginning of this administration.
All praises be to the almighty Allah for sustaining us thus far. In spite of the challenges we confronted, the members of the 8thAssembly have remained undaunted and resilient in the legislation of bills for the enhancement of the growth and development of the state and for the fostering of the total wellbeing of the people.
As you are aware, the Lagos State House Assembly has been a force to reckon with in the legislation of bills for sustainable development and in its excellent disposition towards plenary activities.
We firmly believe that the legislature, and indeed the Lagos House of Assembly, as one of the major institutions in a democratic system, has a critical role to play in promoting fair governance.
In the year under review, however, we continued to blaze the trail in formulating laws for the benefit of the good people of Lagos State and in the promotion of a truly inclusive, participatory, open and people-oriented democracy.
Since last year when we met like this, we have successfully passed a total of 9 bills into laws while we have also made 45 resolutions. Some of these laws address issues related to our environment, power and energy sector, transport, as well as education.
Distinguished guests, as stated above, resolution, as a powerful legislative instrument, has been used in tackling various issues that directly affect us as Lagosians. For instance, the need to preserve our cultural heritage from going into extinction necessitated the resolution of the Lagos State House Assembly to call for a compilation of buildings of architectural value and longstanding history that are relevant for preservation. This House also mandated the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture to affix State crest or mark such buildings as listed under the State Law.
In the same vein, the need to commence public sensitization on the importance of preserving sites, monument, and locations of historical relevance in the state, necessitated the call to the Commissioner for Education to include studies of our cultural heritage in the school curriculum in Lagos State.
Distinguished guests, let me use this opportunity to state that no meaningful development can take place in an unsafe environment. The rapidity of our response to emergencies determines the level of security of lives and property. Thus, this House of Assembly called for the urgent upgrading of all fire service stations in Lagos State with modern firefighting trucks, service equipment and personnel, to enable the Agency combat fire incidents with a view to preventing loss of lives and property in the State during fire or flood disaster.
On this note, however, I would like to state that without the support of the esteemed management and staff of the Assembly, our efforts as lawmakers would have been futile.
I also thank the good people of Lagos State for their unflinching support and vote of confidence in us.
Let me, similarly, state that, as legislators, we believe that the Press and Civil Society Organisations have a major role to play in the promotion and sustenance of democracy. CSOs are like watchdogs, always checkmating the activities of the government that are detrimental to the welfare of the people. Through constant advocacy, government lobbying and regular public engagements, they have been bridging the gap between elected officials and the electorate.
Likewise, it has been proven beyond reasonable doubt that informed citizens are the foundation for a strong democracy. As such, the Nigerian Press has been sensitizing the public through timely circulation of information on the activities, policies, and plans of the government on one hand; and the rights and responsibilities of citizens on the other hand.
Let me use this moment, therefore, to empathise with you on your colleagues who lost their lives; those who were maimed and harassed for us to achieve democratic governance in Nigeria. It seems that we have forgotten these patriots; better still maybe we are carefree or careless as to our investment in democracy.
I said this because of the latest development as regards the legislature across the country both at the federal and state levels where the legislative arm of government is being dishonoured and disregarded by rejecting its invitation as well as the stealing of mace. We must remember that legislature is the basis of democracy. Without legislature there will be no check and balances let alone the separation of power. So, I call on you all to rise up and protect legislature to defend our democracy.
While appreciating your support for the Lagos House of Assembly in the past one year, I implore you not to relent in partnering with us to ensure the progress and development of our great state.
Thank you so much for honouring our invitation today. As always, we are open to answering your question and embracing your constructive criticisms.
Once again, I welcome you to this forum and I thank you for listening.
Itesiwaju ipinle Eko lo je wa l’ogun
Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Ajayi Obasa
Speaker, Lagos State House of Assembly.