PUBLIC INFORMATION ON THE TWO NEW BILLS I INTRODUCED AT THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
- Hon. Tunji Olawuyi (AJULOOPIN)
July 18, 2019.
This public information has become imperative to enlighten the general public about the premises for the two bills I recently introduced on the floor of the Federal House of Representatives.
Incontrovertibly, robust and positive feedbacks have welcomed the newly introduced bills. Right from conception, consultation and development of the Bills, I have received tremendous encouragement from wide-ranging stakeholders, within my Constituency, Kwara State and across Nigeria. However, this information is still needed to address misgivings in certain quarters and update everyone about the rationales regarding the bills introduced at the Federal Parliament.
The two Bills I introduced on the floor of the House are:
1. Nigerian Iron and Steel Development Act (Repeal & Enactment) Bill, 2019.
2. Federal College of Education, Omuaran (Establishment) Bill, 2019.
The Nigerian Iron and Steel Development Act (Repeal and enactment) Bill is long overdue. The Iron and Steel industry in Nigeria is currently regulated under blurred, disparate and haphazard legislation. The Bill proposed now will review, bring up to contemporary standards and harmonise all the dispersed laws. The key objectives are to:
- improve quality assurance in the industry
- eliminate monopoly and arbitrariness
- increase the volume and balance of trade in the Iron and Steel sector
- encourage and optimise local content
- expand the total size of the industry with a view to enhancing revenue accruals to the Federal treasury.
This Bill, consolidative in nature has been developed after wide consultation and inputs from critical stakeholders in the iron and steel industry. It has now passed the first reading.
The Federal College of Education, Omuaran (Establishment) Bill, 2019 has also passed the first reading in the House of Representatives. This Bill is premised on the following:
a. The need to expand educational opportunities for youths and other eligible citizens in the Ekiti/Irepodun/Isin/Okeero Federal Constituency, environs, Kwara and the entire Nigeria at large.
b. Dearth of qualified teachers in the different disciplines and subjects remains, perhaps, the greatest challenge confronting Nigeria's educational system.
c. Specifically, the FCE Omuaran will be of great utility to prospective students in the Federal Constituency, Kwara and neighbouring proximate communities in Osun, Ekiti and Kogi States.
d. The FCE Omuaran will serve as a melting point for academic pursuits and human resource generation by way of training and retraining of 'standard-gauge' teaching professionals.
e. The institution, once in operation, will also serve as a channel for engagement of qualified persons into academic and non-academic staff positions; contributing to offsetting the unemployment index in the nation.
f. Furthermore, this institution will increase economic activity around the radial perimeter of its location within Kwara and the adjoining communities in neighbouring states.
The choice of Omuaran for the FCE, Omuaran is based on a set of multi-related and strategic factors:
1. Geo-spatially, Omuaran is uniquely central to all axis of the Ekiti/Irepodun/Isin/Okeero Federal Constituency.
2. By far, within the region, it has one of the greatest proximate and accessibility index with respect to all the adjoining demographic delineations that have been listed. It is the largest and most strategic city in the entire Igbomina-Ekiti axis of Kwara. As a result of its multi-directional accessibility, all the bordering delineations and communities, (from Kwara to Osun, Ekiti and Kogi States) will directly benefit optimally from the pluripotent advantages that a tertiary institution of the stature proposed will bring.
3. Importantly, Omuaran, Local Government headquarters for Irepodun LGA and 3rd largest city in Kwara State is the headquarters of the Ekiti/Irepodun/Isin/Okeero Federal Constituency as well as the Kwara South Senatorial District. It is therefore noteworthy that strategic as it is, this city has no single federal or state government tertiary institution. With the attendant huge resident population, establishment of at least one public-funded tertiary institution in this strategic demographic centre is very much needed.
- Take-off of The FCE Omuaran is feasibility-wise an instant win. Blessed with abundant, vast plain land and picturesque; a site for the permanent institution is instantly available.
- Additionally, standardised options which can temporarily house the College, pending completion/relocation to the permanent location abound in Omuaran already; significantly reducing establishment cost.
- In terms of infrastructure, Omuaran is modestly replete with basic infrastructural parameters including healthcare facilities, staff accommodation and others that will ensure a seamless and cost effective Take-off.
Misconceptions/Clarifications regarding the two bills:
1. These Bills will not in any way affect budgetary provisions for Zonal Intervention Projects (ZIPs) in the Federal Constituency.
2. ZIPs for the Ekiti/Irepodun/Isin /Okeero Federal Constituency in the yearly budget of the federation are evenly distributed on needs-basis across the Constituency.
3. Currently, I have inaugurated a Constituency Central Working Committee (CCWC) made up of members drawn from all component areas. The CCWC is providing further foregrounding for me in ensuring that ZIPs are optimised for all parts of our Constituency. This is the first time in the history of our Federal Constituency that such a working group interface will be established.
4. Apart from consideration and utilisation of the ZIPs, legislative interventions are critical in my blueprint for actualising positive improvements by way of governance in the lives of all my esteemed constituents and Nigerians at large. Evenly spread and anchored on needs basis, comparative advantage and other realistic factors, the coming months are full of lofty promises for all, from Oke-Ero, Ekiti to Isin & Irepodun LGAs.
5. The first consolidative Bill on Iron and Steel Development which I introduced is an industry-wide legislative intervention which will affect all Nigerians. It is important to buttress this point so as to create a true reflection on the duty and tasks of a legislator in the National Assembly. Although the representative mandate I hold is for the citizenry of my Federal Constituency, however, the oath of office I swore to is to the entire Republic of Nigeria.
6. Indeed, the second Bill which also passed the first reading is in reality an intervention for the entire Nigeria! The Federal College proposed belongs to the people of Nigeria and not to the host communities. Officials of the institution may be mobilised from any part of the country.
7. It is pertinent therefore to state that in carrying out this kind of interventions, it may be impossible to satisfy every whims and sentiments. I am oath-bound to be fair, realistic and place fundamental interests above other sentiments.
8. With absolute confidence, I assure all our people in the Federal Constituency that I will use this seat you have asked me to occupy at the National Assembly to bring to everyone and delineation, the positive dividends that ought to come their ways.
9. We shall succeed, let us stand together.
10. God bless you all!
HON. TUNJI OLAWUYI (AJULOOPIN)
Member, Federal House of Representatives
EKITI/IREPODUN/ISIN/OKE-ERO FEDERAL CONSTITUENCY.