Delta and Akwa-Ibom State Houses of Assembly have again renewed their bid to entrench regional integration among lawmakers in the South-South geo-political zone by applauding the efforts of President Goodluck Jonathan on the recent state of emergency and the subsequent proscription of insurgent Islamist sects in three volatile Northern Nigerian states.
At a special joint-sitting presided by the Speaker of Delta State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon Victor Ochei and his Akwa-Ibom State counterpart, Rt. Hon. Sam Ikon at the Delta Assembly Chambers on Wednesday, June 13, 2013, both legislature enjoined President Jonathan not to rest on his oars but to fully exercise relevant constitutional provisions to actualize desirable security for Nigerians and to attain a peaceful and co-existing entity.
Far reaching decisive motions and resolutions concerning the proposed transformation of the South-South region by the Federal Government, were however exaustively debated by the two Houses of Assembly.
A motion moved by the Deputy Speaker of the Delta state House of Assembly, Hon. Basil Ganagana and seconded by the Akwa-Ibom Deputy House Leader, Hon, (Mrs) Ekaette Ebong Okon, commended President Jonathan for the declaration of state of emergency in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states as well as the proscription of Jamaatu Ahlis-Sunna Liddaawati Wal Jihad, otherwise known as Boko Haram and Ansaru Islamic fundamentalist sects.
“The President should not rest on his oars until he fully actualizes the provisions of Section 14 (2) (b) of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 as amended”, the motion reads.
The joint Assembly, in a second motion moved by the the Deputy Majority Leader, Hon Johnson Erijo (Delta), Deputy Speaker, Hon Kierian Akpan (Akwa-Ibom) and seconded by Hon Ime Ikon (Akwa-Ibom) and Hon Tim Owhefere (Delta), also called on President Jonathan to direct the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs and Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to ensure that work commences on the proposed Coastal road project from Calabar to Lagos.
“The President should use his good offices to urge all oil exploration and exploitation companies operating in the South-South region including the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and other stakeholders in the oil industry to as well partner with the relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) for the construction of the Coastal road project which will serve as a catalyst for both regional integration and enhance economic activities in the South-South region.
“He should direct all relevant government agencies to remit to the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) outstanding funds of the Commission to enable her fully implement the Niger Delta Development Master Plan.
“He should also as a matter of urgency direct the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs to expedite action for the speedy completion of the East-West road so as to avert loss of lives and valuable time.”
Leading the debate on the coastal road construction, the Deputy Majority Leader, Hon Johnson Erijo (Delta) including Hon Ime Okon (Akwa-Ibom), Hon Samuel Mariere (Delta), Hon Kufre Etuk (Akwa-Ibom), said the construction of the Coastal road project would serve as a catalyst for both regional integration and enhanced economic activities in the South-South region.
A third motion moved by the Akwa-Ibom state House Leader, Hon. Okpolupm Ikpong Etteh and supported by his colleague, Hon. Ime Okon further called on President Jonathan to direct the Federal Ministries of Transport and that of Niger Delta Affairs, Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and other relevant government agencies to to immediately commence the construction of a Railway Line linking the South-South region to Lagos and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
The Deputy Speaker, Hon Kierian Akpan (Akwa-Ibom) who led debate on the motion with Hon Tim Owhefere (Delta), Hon Edwin Joseph (Akwa-Ibom) and Hon (Mrs.) Pat Ajudua (Delta) for the construction of a railway line, said it remained the easiest and cheapest form of transportation that is commonly used in advanced countries, saying the Federal Government should expedite action to boost economic activities of the people of the region that produces the major resources for Nigeria’s development.