…Sponsors several bills and motions
…Embarks on constituency programmes and projects
BY OBUTE JAMES
Hon. Toby Okechukwu, House Deputy Minority Leader and representative of Aninri/Awgu/Oji River Federal Constituency of Enugu State is one of the federal lawmakers who did not hesitate to point out the direction they are going through their contributions in the chamber and other legislative activities.
Though Hon. Okechukwu represented Aninri/Awgu/Oji River Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives in the 7th and 8th National Assembly where he did very well, the emphasis here is on the 9th National Assembly which was inaugurated on 11th June 2019.
Within the period under review, 11th June, 2019 to 11th June 2020, there was hardly any House of Representatives Plenary Session where Hon. Toby Okechukwu did not contribute to either motion or bill. He sponsored and co-sponsored several bills, presented a lot of motions and embarked on constituency progrmmme.
He has attracted numerous projects to his constituency and devoted significant attention to education and human resource development through the Toby Okechukwu Foundation.
HON. TOBY OKECHUKWU’S MOTION AND BILLS FROM 11TH JUNE, 2019 – 11TH JUNE 2020
One of such motions include “Need to Ensure Speedy Rehabilitation of Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu. This motion which came through Matter of Urgent Public Importance ( Order Eight, Rule 4) was presented on 9th October, 2019.
Following the motion, the House resolved to “Call on the President of Nigeria to intervene and ensure immediate commencement of works at the Airport;
“Call on the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing to, in the interim, expedite repairs of the major roads leading to alternative routes and airports in the South East to alleviate the suffering of members of the public;
“Mandate the Committee on Aviation to interface with the Minister of Aviation to ensure immediate commencement of works at the Airport.”
On 26th November, 2019 Okechukwu under Matter of Urgent Public Importance presented a motion tilted “Need to investigate the security breaches and violence at the November 16, 2019 elections in Kogi and Bayelsa States.”
Sequel to to motion, the House resolved to mandate the Committees on Police Affairs, Army, Justice, Electoral Matters and Human Rights to investigate the pre and post election security breaches in Kogi and Bayelsa States, including the alleged presence of fake police officers and unmitigated violence during the election and make recommendation for further legislative action. One minute silence was observed in honour for those that lost their lives.
On 19th May, 2020 he presented a motion titled, “Need to Investigate the Status of Medical Research in the Fight against COVID – 19 and Other Diseases in Nigeria.”
The motion sought for a House Resolution to mandate Ad-hoc Committee on COVID-19 to:(investigate the extent of government’s coordination, supervision and funding for medical research in the fight against Coronavirus pandemic and other diseases in Nigeria and as well as make appropriate recommendations on medical and sustainable measures for the health sector and report back within three (3) weeks;
The House also resolved to investigate the NCDC on the local treatment of the COVID-19 in Nigeria and equally investigate the local manufacturing of the kits and the way forward.
One of the bills sponsored by Okechukwu within the period under review include Federal Roads Bill 2019 (HB.362) and National Roads Fund Bill, 2019 ( HB. 367). The two bills passed First Reading on 9th October, 2019 while they scaled Second Reading on 5th November, 2019 after the Debate on General Principles. They were referred to relevant committees for further legislative action on the same day.
On 30th January, 2020 the bills were Passed by the House and Transmitted to the Senate for concurrence.
CONSTITUENCY PROGRAMME AND PROJECTS
Though the primary responsibility of legislators is lawmaking and oversight function, Hon. Toby Okechukwu dd not leave anyone in doubt regarding his efforts to touch the lives of his constituents positively through constituency programme and projects which he normally carries out via Toby Okechukwu Foundation.
One of such interventions within the last one year of the 9th National Assembly is payment of WAEC registration fees for 590 students for 2019/2020 academic year. According to him, education is what every child needed to ensure he has a brighter future.
He has also embarked on other projects including rehabilitation and building of classroom blocks.
Some of his interventions also include provision of street light, youth empowerment and assistance to the less privileged people including women.
During the lockdown due to COVID-19 pandemic, Okechukwu provided palliatives to cushion the effects of the lockdown.