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Delta Assembly Passes Freedom Of Information Bill

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Delta Assembly

The Delta State Freedom of Information Bill has been passed by the Delta State House of Assembly, (DSHA).

The passage of the Bill followed the consideration of the report of the Joint Committee on the Bill at a Committee of the whole following a motion moved by the Majority Leader, Hon Tim Owhefere, and seconded by Hon Reuben Izeze.

Speaker, Hon Sheriff Oborevwori, who presided over plenary said the members resolved at the committee of the whole that having gone through the bill, the House should suspend the rules and pass it.

Thereafter, Owhefere moved for the suspension of orders 77, 78 and 79 to enable the House pass the bill.

The motion was seconded by Hons Samuel Mariere and Kennedy Daubry and was adopted through a voice vote.

The Speaker, while thanking members for their support for the passage of the bill, said it would enhance the principles of democracy as the people would have access to information.

The Delta State Freedom of Information bill is for a law to make public records and information more freely available, provide for public access to public records and information.

The bill is also meant to protect public records and information to an extent, consistent with the public interest and the protection of personal privacy, protect serving public officers from adverse consequences of disclosing certain kinds of official information without authorisation and establish procedures for the achievement of the purpose and for related matters.

Also at plenary, the House received and adopted the report of its Committee on Environment, Oil and Gas on a bill for a law to establish the Delta State Environment Management Agency and to repeal the Delta State Environmental Protection Agency Law.

The adoption of the report followed the presentation of the committee’s report by it’s Chairman, Hon Daniel Yingi.

He told the House that the bill was referred to the Committee on Environment, Oil and Gas after its second reading on January 30, 2019 with the mandate to further scrutinise the bill.

Yingi said the Committee organised a public hearing where stakeholders from the Ministry of Environment, representatives of the Ministry of Justice, Non-Governmental Organisations, and the Environmental Health Officers Association made useful contributions.

He said the passage of the bill into law would help the state in ensuring environmental sustainable development and also increase the revenue profile of the state.

Thereafter, Owhefere moved for the House to receive and adopt the report. The motions was seconded by the Deputy Majority Leader, Hon Oboro Preyor and adopted. The House has slated April 4, 2019 for a Committee of the Whole.

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