BENIN CITY – The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has signed into law four bills including the bill for the establishment of the Edo State Public Building Maintenance Agency and the Flood Erosion and Watershed Management Agency.
Obaseki who received the four bills for his assent at the Government House in Benin City, thanked the legislature for their commitment and dedication, and by making history with the passage of the four important bills.
Other bills assented to by the governor are: the bill for the establishment of Flood, Erosion and Watershed Management Agency; amendment bill for the harmonized provision of the retirement age of staff of Polytechnics and Colleges of Education 2021, and the bill to repeal the Edo State Private Property Protection Law 2017 and re-enact the Edo State Private Property Protection Law 2021.
The governor said the passage of the four bills demonstrates that the Edo State House of Assembly is living up to expectations and diligent in performing its constitutional responsibilities.
According to him, “the four bills signed into law are significant because they deal with important issues affecting us in terms of governance.
“We are concerned about environmental issues; working with the World Bank in terms of erosion control, we have spent so much ameliorating devastations caused by erosion menace and other environmental hazards. This law helps us institutionalize that process as we move forward.
“This law helps us have an institution that will help ameliorate the conditions that create these disasters. The law regulates communities on how to use land and have an agency that will ensure that preventive measures are taken to avert this whole scale environmental destruction as a result of erosion and flood control.”
The governor also hailed the legislature for facilitating the harmonization of the retirement age for staff of polytechnics and other colleges of education in the state, adding, “I thank you from heeding to the call of citizens.”
Obaseki said in a bid to restructure government, his administration has moved the issues of public building into one agency to help government plan its own Infrastructural needs and maintain government assets.
He said: “The government is quick in building assets with no institutionalized means of maintaining them. It’s important to have the agency to carry out the responsibility of maintenance as government spreads infrastructural needs of the people across the State.”
Speaking on the amended private property protection law 2017, Obaseki noted that “this law affects law and order in the State. With this law, we are not only banning the Community Development Associations (CDAs) but also all sorts of splinter groups like Okaigele or people who have come up to forcefully take other people’s landed properties in their communities.
The governor further stated: “We have been waiting for this law to reconstitute the committee on protection of private property. Now that we have the law, we will be reconstituting this Committee within a fortnight using this law and utilizing more stringent measures to deal with erring individuals or communities trying to dispose innocent individuals of their landed properties.
“We are setting up a special court to swiftly try offenders and if guilty, they will certainly face the consequences.”
Earlier in his remarks, the Speaker of Edo State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Marcus Onobun, thanked the governor for working closely with the legislature.