By Aaron Ossai
Massive infrastructural developmental projects will commence as soon as the presidency assents to the 2017 Appropriations bill passed by the National Assembly, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon Yakubu Dogara, has said.
The Speaker made this disclosure when he paid His Imperial Majesty, Eze Dr. Isaac Ikonne, a courtesy visit at his palace in Aba, Abia State.
He was in the state to commission some federal projects attracted to the state by Hon Ossy Prestige, the lawmaker representing Aba federal constituency at the House of Representatives.
Dogara, who was also conferred with the title of Ome Udo 1 of Aba at his palace in Aba, mentioned road construction and railways as part of the infrastructure captured in the 2017 Appropriations Bill.
“I’m happy to report that in the 2017 budget, there are provisions to take care of critical infrastructure and our roads will be provided for.
“Talking about the railways, one of which passes through Umuahia, so many infrastructures were approved in the budget approved by the National Assembly. We believe that very soon, the executive will sign the budget into law and work will kick start,” he informed the paramount ruler.
On the role of traditional institutions in the country, Dogara restated that the National Assembly is favourably disposed to assigning constitutional roles to them, saying the institution has a lot to offer in terms of peaceful and harmonious coexistence of the different and diverse people of Nigeria.
He said, “Our strength will always be in our diversity and the only way we can harness the benefits of our diversity, especially for national development, will be if we are able to bring together all the traditional institutions in order to work for peace. As a National Assembly, we are committed to according the traditional institutions with constitutional role which hitherto was not available.
“This will be captured in the constitutional amendment which we have said that as soon as we are done with the budget, we will pass. But since it is a constitutional issue, some of us are who are learned in the art of constitution making know that it is not only the job of the National Assembly to amend it. It will take the concurrence of two third of all state assemblies, including your own assembly here in Abia.”
He urged the people of Aba to continue to re-elect members like Hon Ossy Prestige who are giving them quality representation so that they will build on their projects on ground and be eligible to run for leadership positions in the legislature.
Thanking His Imperial Majesty, Eze Dr. Isaac Ikonne, for the title of Ome Udo, which means peace maker, Dogara assured him that he will continue to ensure that he continues to promote peace in Nigeria by ensuring that justice is upheld.
Earlier, while crowning Dogara with the title, the traditional ruler stated that the honour was in appreciation of the Speaker’s relentless efforts at bringing peace, unity, harmony and development to the National Assembly and Nigeria in general as well as his support to the to President Buhari, who himself is a traditional title holder of Ogbuagu 1 of Aba.