Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has called on National and State Assembly Commissions to provide strong and effective institutional support to the legislative houses, for greater independence of the legislature.
Wike made the call, yesterday, when he declared open the seventh National and State Assembly Commissions Conference in Port Harcourt open. He said the effective performance by the national and state assemblies would help in the development of democracy.
“It takes strong, independent and efficient national and state assemblies to advance the basic development goals. Legislative houses also need strong and effective institutional support to be effective. This is where the role and relevance of national and state assemblies become necessary.
“Creation of the Assembly Service Commissions is vital as it has made the national and state assemblies one of the most independent in Africa.”
The governor said the recruitment, promotion and discipline of parliamentary staff by the national and state assembly commissions would ensure the executive does not control the legislative arm.
He said there is need for a cooperative relationship between the national and state assemblies for the entrenchment of democratic values at all levels.
In his address, Chairman of the National Assembly Service Commission, Dr Adamu Fika, said in spite of the benefits of the State Assembly Service Commission to the development of the legislature, many states were yet to establish their commissions.
He appealed to all state governments yet to establish their assembly service commission, to do so, for the independence of the legislature.
He said: “The theme of this year’s conference, which is, ‘Enhancing synergy for service delivery in the legislature’, is meant to strengthen the foundation of the legislative service, by building a strong collaboration, to enhance nationwide synergy for service delivery.”
Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, represented by Deputy Chief Whip, Parley Iriase, said the House would work towards ensuring all states establish their assembly service commissions.
Clerk of the National Assembly, Alhaji Sani Omolori, said the conference was necessary as it would build the capacity of parliamentary staff to work effectively.
Also, Chairman of Rivers State Assembly Service Commission, Chidi Amadi, said the state is glad to be the first to host the conference after seven years.
Elsewhere, Wike said his administration has provided entrepreneurial motivations for business to thrive in the state.
He made the remark at the 2018 Conference for Emerging Entrepreneurs (CEE 2018) organised by the United States of America Consulate, Lagos, at the Institute of Petroleum Studies (IPS), University of Port Harcourt.
The governor, who spoke through his deputy, Dr. (Mrs) Ipalibo Harry Banigo, said through its Micro Finance Agency and the Ministry of Women Affairs, Rivers state government has provided soft loans to Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs).
He said the state government has also provided interest-free government-backed bank loans to 25 private medical institutions as well as harmonising taxes in the state to provide an enabling environment for growth and stability of enterprises.
Wike said the state government has approved a Rivjobs Project, aimed at tackling the prevalent challenges organisations face in finding quality talents to recruit, while job seekers find it difficult to get notification on job openings within the state.
The platform, he said, would also provide online training which would expose youths to entrepreneurial skills, adding that government has also approved the development and launch of Rivers Creek Tech, to serve as a habitat to support technological entrepreneurship and innovation.