A four Day Post-Induction Retreat for Members of the 8th Delta State House of Assembly, Tuesday, opened in Asaba, with a call on participants to be above board in the drive for excellence in leadership and governance of the state.
Speaker of the House, Rt Hon Emomotimi Dennis Guwor in his opening remarks, said the retreat is an offshoot of the pre- inauguration induction training of Members which took place in Abuja between the 8th- 12th of May, 2023.
Guwor explained that as the representatives of the people and as strategic partners, they are expected to play pivotal and active role in government, noting that government can only utilize resources of the State as appropriated by the Legislature.
Disclosing that training and capacity building of Members has been firmly mainstreamed into the work plans of the 8th Assembly, the Speaker, said the Retreat would provide the Lawmakers with necessary insight on how best to navigate complex governance issues in the course of their legislative duties.
“As legislators, you need more than common sense in applying the Standing Orders and Rules of the House, as well as, your approach in oversight function in Committees’ assignments. The strategy and skill sets for a well informed and meaningful debates, ditto other legislative functions must be deliberately learnt.
“Fortunately for us, our development partner, Africa Resource Centre, is here to facilitate this programme and guide us through the labyrinth of legislative niceties we confront daily as legislators. I have no doubt in the ability of the resource persons to meet our expectations”, Guwor stated.
Continuing, he said “My dear colleagues, this Retreat is a golden opportunity for us to expand our knowledge and proficiency in legislative processes to meaningfully engage in our constitutional duties. Already, the House has received and equally processing the Delta State Fiscal Strategy Paper ( FSP) 2024 – 2026.
“We are expected to scrutinise and approve the FSP to enable the State Governor, His Excellency, Rt. Hon. Sheriff F. O. Oborevwori, present year 2024 Budget to the House. In the course of the Retreat, a renowned budget expert will take us through the nitty gritty of the Fiscal Strategy Paper/ Medium Term Expenditure Framework( FSP/MTEF).
The Speaker on behalf of the leadership and Members of the Assembly, congratulate Governor Sheriff Oborevwori, on his victory at the Governorship Election Petition Tribunal last Friday on Friday, even as he urged all Deltans irrespective of political party inclinations to join hands with the Governor to advance the State through the M.O.R.E Agenda.
The Acting Clerk of the House, Oto Aghoghopia, while welcoming the Speaker and Members of the 8th Assembly to the programme, said the retreat is in furtherance of the earlier Pre- inauguration induction programme organized for Members of the 8th Assembly.
Aghoghopia explained that after the General elections, the Management of the House in synergy with Africa Resource Centre, had pooled resources together for pre-inauguration induction to serve as introduction to legislative practice and procedures to the newly elected Members.
He stated that the experience of that training was enormous and that many useful observations and recommendations were made during training sessions.
The Clerk noted that the management of the House took cognizance of the observations and dutifully passed them on to the leadership of the 8th Assembly.
Aghoghopia expressed the hope that the leadership of the House through the ongoing retreat will address some of the strategic areas of legislative practice and procedures.
The lead Consultant and facilitator, John Mutu commended the leadership of the Delta State Assembly for always partnering with African Parliamentary Resource Center to share and contribute in the vision of the House.
Mutu stated that as partners in the process for good governance, the Center will continue to inspire a generation of leadership that is innovative, responsive, accountable and effective in delivering public goods and services.
Resource persons, including a Leadership Expert, Prof Olabisi Olasheinde-Williams, Head of National Assembly Budget and Resource Office, Nasiru Saidu Muhammad, a University Don, Dr Otega Okinono and the Executive Director, African Parliamentary Resource Center, Mr John Mutu, will take participants through the three main topics lined up for the four day retreat.
The topic include, “Leadership Tips, Budget Presentation and Appropriation Process”, “Fundamental of Legislative Oversight and Mental Health”, and “Understanding the Standing Orders of the House”.
There would also be plenary discussions, questions and answers and oversight mock sessions during the retreat which ends on Friday this week.