BY Obute James
The Chairman, House Committee on Ethics and Privileges, representing Egbado South and Ipokia Federal Constituency of Ogun State, Hon Kolawole Lawal, is one of the few federal lawmakers who did not hesitate to point to direction they are going in terms of the legislative duties.
This is evident in his contributions to debate on motions and bills in the chamber, response to his constituency’s challenges and constituents’ complaints, bills sponsoring and presentation of motions among other legislative activities.
Within the last few months of the 9th National Assembly Hon. Lawal has sponsored and co-sponsored several bills and presented motions that have direct impact on his constituency, Ogun State and entire Nigeria.
Though the major responsibility of legislators is law making and oversight for the wellbeing of the nation, Lawal has within the last few months of the life of this National Assembly carried out several constituency programmes and projects.
He also contributed immensely to his constituents during the lockdown an effort to contain the spread of the Coronavirus popular called COVID-19.
As the Chairman, House Committee on Ethics and Privileges, Lawal led by example both in comportment and conduct.
The members of his the committee emulated his character by maintaining decorum at all times and thus ensuring the peace, harmony and stability in the House of Representatives.
MOTION ON THE EXPANSION AND REHABILITATION OF 01 IDIROKO/OWODE-OTA ROAD.
The purpose of this motion is in respect of the economic importance of this international road which was constructed in the early Sixties (1960s).
This road is responsible to a large extent for the high revenue generation of the Nigeria Customs through the transnational movement of goods and services.
The huge economic impact of this road was again confirmed in August 2019, when the Ogun State Command of NCS reported that it generated about N1.28 billion in July, an achievement of about 99.08 percent above the targeted income for that period.
The Idiroko/Ota road is also the only recognised road in the constituency which serves as the gateway and link between the neighbouring countries and Nigeria.
The motion was voted on and adopted on 7th November 2019. As a result of the adoption of the motion, Hon. Lawal in collaboration with relevant House Committee continue to liaise and plead with FERMA, Ministry of Works and other relevant agencies to commence work on the road as soon as funds become available.
During the commissioning of his constituency head office in Ogun State recently, Lawal confirmed that FERMA has sent Engineers for on the- spot assessment of the bad portion of the road, shortly before the state government carried out a palliative measure on it.
MOTION ON THE CONSTRUCTION OF A LINK BRIDGE TO TONGEJI ISLAND IN IPOKIA LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA OF OGUN STATE
Tongeji Island is a bed of natural resources which hosts a large deposit of crude oil in commercial quantity.
The Island also holds huge potential for revenue generation from tourism if properly harnessed.
According to Lawal at the moment, the presence of the Nigerian government is not as pronounced as it should be, and this gives an edge to their neighbours to weigh in and exploit the situation.
He lamented that if care is not taken and action expedited, this could result in another “Bakassi scenario”
A motion for a link bridge which will enhance the movement of people and encourage investments on the island was moved on November 14, 2019.
The motion was consequently voted on and adopted on the floor of the House of Representatives.
MOTION ON THE NEED TO REHABILITATE AND DUALISE THE ITAOSHIN- ILARO-OWODE YEWA-IKOGA ROAD IN OGUN WEST AND CENTRAL SENATORIAL DISTRICTS OF OGUN STATE
According to Hon. Kolawole, the motion was moved in view of the relief and succour that this road will bring to the entire people of Ogun West in movement and in transporting farm produce and in the movement of goods and services.
The motion was presented on the floor of the House of Representatives on December 5, 2019. It was consequently voted and adopted.
MOTION ON THE NEED TO SUSPEND THE POLICY HALTING THE SUPPLY OF PETROLEUM PRODUCTS TO TOWNS WITHIN 20 KILOMETRES TO THE INTERNATIONAL BORDERS BY THE NIGERIAN CUSTOMS SERVICES IN ORDER TO STOP THE SMUGGLING OF THE PRODUCT OUT OF THE COUNTRY
Following this motion, Lawal in collaboration with relevant security agencies and national intelligence committee of the House, some filling stations were listed and permitted to be opened between Okeodan and Idiroko to ease the suffering of our people and save our people from the potential and possible collapse of Ajilete bridge due to persistent vehicles hold up on the bridge.
He however, lamented that “It is sad that the situation at, and around the Ajilete bridge still exists.
We will continue to pursue the improvement of the situation through mobilisation, political and legislative collaboration.
Ministry of Works need to carry out an urgent structural assessment of the bridge by its team of structural Engineers.
We cannot fold our arms only to run helter skelter when disaster strikes
MOTION ON THE URGENT NEED FOR REHABILITATION AND RECONSTRUCTION OF IDIROKO INTERNATIONAL LAND BORDER IN OGUN STATE
Hon. Kolawole Lawal said the land border which was constructed in the 1960s needs an urgent facelift in some areas and outright reconstruction in most areas.
According to him, the land border lacks modern technology, equipment and security tracking devices.
Modern Custom Services no longer rely on absolute force in the form of pursuing fleeing smugglers and shooting innocent citizens.
Intelligence gathering and smart custom services using modern technology is what makes the difference in other developed countries of the world.
The motion also seeks to improve the working conditions of the security operatives posted to the land border.
The motion was presented on the 26th November 2019 and adopted by the House the same day.
He said while still awaiting work to commence on all these roads, he has sponsored the grading of link roads in all the 22 wards in the constituency in February 2020 to ease movement of persons and goods.
MOTION ON GAS TERM REVIEW FOR ECONOMIC GROWTH
Lawal who had worked for many years in the petroleum industry, said he was not oblivious of the need for improvement on some areas of the industry, hence this motion.
This motion was moved with the aim of getting the Federal Government to review the contract terms in the Production Sharing Contract (PSC) to accommodate gas terms such as Gas Development Agreements, Cost Recovery, Profit Sharing etc.
When implemented, stakeholders will be able to determine the current situation in the gas sector and create ways to attract investments and set out terms that will grow the economy with special reference to creating legal backing for price mechanisms.
A BILL FOR AN ACT TO ESTABLISH THE FEDERAL UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY, IPOKIA OGUN STATE
A bill for an Act to Establish the Federal University of Technology, Ipokia Ogun State was moved for the educational advancement of Yewaland in particular, and for the training of technology-manpower for the whole country.
He said a University of Technology in their constituency will guarantee the objective of tapping of abundant resources.
The Bill passed the 2nd reading on 10th December 2019. The required further legislative and executive processes are ongoing to ensure this generally and widely desired initiative sees the light of the day.
A BILL FOR AN ACT TO AMEND THE BORDER COMMUNITIES DEVELOPMENT AGENCY (BCDA)
A bill for an Act to amend the border communities Development Agency (BCDA) was sponsored By Hon. Lawal to enlarge the scope of the Agency’s coverage to ensure proper designation of the border communities in both the state and in other border communities in the country.
The Bill if amended, will also reform the composition and functions of the agency to enhance effectiveness.
All Border communities throughout the country will benefit immensely from a reformed and more effective agency, according to him.
A BILL ON A REGULATORY AGENCY FOR THE TREATMENT OF CANCER
Hon. Kolawole also sponsored a bill for the regulation of cancer care under the healthcare.
The Bill passed the second reading in November 2019 schematic.
He said cancer is a deadly disease which respects no age, race or gender.
According to him, in the UK with its advanced health system, it is reported that around 165,000 cancer deaths are recorded annually.
This accounts for more than 28% of all deaths in that country in 2017. And in the US, cancer related deaths account for more than 1 in 3. 22% of deaths.
“Back home in Nigeria, WHO reported that a total of 41,000 Nigerians (out of an estimated 166,000 reported cases) died due to cancer in 2018. So we can see that cancer treatment calls for concerted efforts, and regulated care in order to be able to combat it.
I was reliably informed by Oncology experts that the key to reducing mortality in cancer-related cases hang around early detection, concerted, accessible & affordable treatment, provision of state-of-the art equipment and training (and retraining) of healthcare personnel.
It therefore became pertinent for me, under our schematic theme of Health to sponsor a bill to facilitate the process which will help to fight cancer,” he said.
BILL FOR THE ALTERATION OF THE CONSTITUTION OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA 1999.
He said this alteration is a recurring attempt which had been severally undertaken by some of his predecessors but which never got the assent of the President before the end of the previous legislative assemblies and thus has to be restarted all over again.
This Bill seeks to alter the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria by changing the name of Egbado South & Egbado North Local Government Areas to Yewa South &Yewa North Local Government Areas.
According to Lawal, this is to align with the law as legislated by Ogun State House of Assembly and consequently gazetted by the State Government following the assent of the State Governor. It successfully scaled the first reading when presented on the floor of the House.
EMPOWERMENT & TRAINING FOR YOUTHS
According to Hon. Kolawole Lawal, Youths deserve every support required to be gainfully employed and empowered in order to place them in a position to be able to contribute meaningfully to the development of both the constituency, state and Nigrria at large.
Lawal said they “recognise the need to give them leverage and offer them a platform to exploit their potentials to the maximum, thus we facilitated some trainings in ICT.
The choice of ICT was in recognition that the world is now technology driven.
“We also facilitated training in peace and conflict resolution, community conflict early warning and early response and advocacy for Women because peace is a prerequisite of sustainable development,” he said.
According to him, he engaged over 80 aides across all the wards to act as liaison between them and the constituents and also placed them on monthly stipends.
They embarked on quarterly empowerment for the leaders and members in all the wards and also gave back to the stakeholders during the festive periods.
The following trainings were undertaken:
1. IT website development training and desktop publishing for youths in Egbado South/Ipokia Federal Constituency – 2 phases
2. Advocacy for Women and Peace Building sensitisation program for youths in peace building in Egbado South – 3 phases
3. Community conflict early warning and Early response programme in our constituency – 3 phases
4. Distribution of Generator sets to some individuals in our constituency
Lawal noted that “one thing that continues to make us sad in our constituency is the incessant killings of our people albeit, through stray bullets from the reckless and sporadic shootings by Men of NCS when in pursuit of suspected smugglers.
It is a serious matter which calls for concern. Those killings have always left us sad, frustrated and angry to say the least. But we had always displayed equanimity regardless.”
In November, 2019 Lawal laid a petition on behalf the people on the floor of the House of Representatives for the extra-judicial and unwarranted death of some school students in Ihunbo.
The petition was initiated by Hon. Sikirat Ajibola who is the representative at the OGHA and together with her team of lawyers – Barr Bamiwola and Barr Orisadare.
According to Lawal, he continues to engage the leadership of the NCS both at the State and Federal levels.
CONSTRUCTION AND COMMISSIONING OF ULTRA-MODERN MULTI-PURPOSE CONSTITUENCY OFFICE.
Hon. Lawal’s ultra-modern multi-purpose constituency office was recently constructed and commissioned. According to him, it will give his constituents access to him and the government.
“…The multi-purpose constituency office will hopefully bring me – as the elected Representative closer to my people. It will also afford my people to be part of governance by having unfettered access to drop their suggestions and concerns with me or with the staff of the constituency office at any time.
“We embarked on the construction of this multi-purpose constituency office to make you feel welcome and give you a sense of belonging.
“Please be assured that the doors of the building are wide open to every constituent, so feel free to walk in at all times, to let us know your thoughts on how best we can achieve our objectives of sustainable development..
“This place should be seen as a home for all our constituents,” he said.
INTERVENTION IN COVID-19 PANDEMIC AND OTHER ACHIEVEMENTS
• Sponsored and delivered food relief packages to some vulnerable families across all the 22 wards in the constituency as COVID – 19 palliatives.
• Cash incentives to some families to assist with economic situation on an on-going basis
• Provision and distribution of hand sanitizers for our people in all the 22 wards.
• Sponsored television jingles on the State electronic media to create awareness and educate ourpeople on the scourge of Covid-19.
• Facilitation of boreholes in Irogun Olorunda, Iwoye and Idolorisa.
• Sponsored and funding of the grading of link roads in all the 22 wards in the constituency in February 2020 to ease movement of persons and goods.
• IT website development training and desktop publishing for youths in Egbado South/Ipokia Federal Constituency – 2 phases.
• Advocacy for Women and Peace Building sensitisation program for youths in peace building in Egbado South – 3 phases.
• Community conflict early warning and Early response programme in the constituency – 3 phases.
• Distribution of Generator sets to some individuals in the constituency.
• Painting of Tailors house in Owode Yewa (The secretariat of Owode Yewa Tailoring Association).