Lagos State House of Assembly 2012 REPORT

Review, the laws and resolutions passed, and the areas of priority for 2013. 
By Olaide Adedeji. January 2013.

There was no dull moment during the critical legislative year. Lawmakers achieved a shift in collective focus. Unlike 2011, the Lagos State House of Assembly passed more bills and resolutions for good governance in 2012. 
The deputy speaker of the House, Hon. Kolawole Taiwo, affirmed this. “We have moved from establishment laws to ‘law and order’ laws and we will continue with it this year. This is because we know that if we can let our people see reason now, why we need to live based on law and order, we would have solved several problems, “he concluded.
The House passed 11 bills into law in 2012. The most important of them, according to Hon. Taiwo, was the traffic law. Although the law was trailed by a lot of controversies and protests by commercial motorcycle riders, popularly called Okada, leading to destruction of property and sometimes loss of lives, the law has come to stay, more so when a suit filed by the Okada riders against the state government as a result of the law was thrown out by the courts. Many Lagos residents agree that the law has instilled sanity on Lagos roads, although it has deprived a lot of people their means of livelihood.
Other laws passed include: The 2012 Appropriation Law; A law to amend the Lagos State Law Reform Commission; A Law to amend the High Court Law Cap. H3 Laws of Lagos State; A Law to provide for Lagos State Polytechnic; A law to amend and re-order the 2012 Appropriation Law; A law to establish the Lagos State Scholarship Board; 2013 Appropriation Law, and The Cremation Law.
The Cremation Law which was passed at the last sitting of the House in December 2012 remained controversial until the day it was passed because of the opposition of some religious groups and individuals to it. Hon. Taiwo however said that though the bill was controversial, “we passed it to correct imbalances on how we bury our dead, particularly unclaimed and unidentified corpses”. The law provides for cremation on unclaimed corpses in morgues and their voluntary cremation.
About twelve bills are at different stages of passage. Prominent among them are: Consumer Protection Agency Bill; Lagos State Revenue Administration Bill; Lagos State Oil and Gas Corporation Bill; Facilities Management and Maintenance Bill; Freedom of Information Bill; Lagos State Lands Registration Bill; Lagos State Anti-Terrorism Bill; Lagos state House of Assembly Budget and Legislative Research Office; Local Government (Administration) (Repeal and Re-enactment) bill etc.  About seven other bills are awaiting executive briefing.
The Lagos State Revenue Administration Bill would have been passed in December 2012 but for the disagreement between chairman, Hon. Adefunmilayo Tejuosho and Vice Chairman, Hon. Oluyinka Ogundimu and other members of the Finance Committee over the committee report presented to the House.
The Deputy Speaker also revealed: “The Consumer Protection Agency bill is one of the ‘law and order’ bill though it is yet to be passed, it is going to assist us; we lack political will to face reality when it comes to controlling the quality of products that come into our society. We will pass the consumer protection law which will move us from quality control to quality assurance which is the global standard. And we will be sure of a quality that is acceptable to our environment.”
The House was applauded for recorded the early passage of the 2013 Appropriation Law. Governor Babatunde Fashola, while signing the bill into law, confirmed this had not happened in a long time.
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