Lagos speaker tasks media, CSOs on democracy

Mudashiru Obasa, Speaker Lagos State House of Assembly

The Speaker, Lagos State House of Assembly, Mr Mudashiru Obasa, has called on media professionals and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) to do more to protect Nigeria’s democracy.

Obasa made the appeal at a parley with media professionals and CSOs in Lagos on Monday.

“CSOs and the media have played great roles in the promotion of democracy, bridged the gap between the electorate and the government, as watchdogs.

“I call on you to rise up to protect our democracy more,” he said.

According to him, the legislature remains the kernel of democracy.

Obasa said that the House had served the state well and met the hope of the residents in the last three years.

“We have formulated laws for the growth of the state.

“We have passed nine bills into law and made 45 resolutions. Some of these affect the environment, transport, power and arts, among others.

“No meaningful development can take place in an unsafe place; we have equipped the fire service,” he said.

The speaker said that the House had worked hard for the growth, development and peaceful coexistence in the state.

Obasa said that the state’s Land Use Charge Law was necessary for the government to have access to funds for developmental purposes.

The lawmaker, however, said that a committee was working to review the charges downwards.

On refuse disposal, Obasa said that the House did not recognise Visionscape Group as the new waste manager in the state.

A participant at the parley, Prof. Ishaq Akintola, applauded the House for achievements including support for the Lagos State University (LASU).

Akintola, the Director of Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), described as laudable, the increase in maternity leave from three months to six months for women working with the state government.

Dr Qasim Akinreti, the Chairman, Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Lagos State Council, urged the House to come up with a bill on prompt payment of salaries of journalists.

Akinreti advocated special salaries for journalists in state-owned media.

Mrs Titilope Akosa from the Centre for 21st Century Issues called on the House to intensify efforts to ensure participation of members of the public in law-making processes.

Akosa urged the Assembly to consider a gender equality and opportunity bill.

She added that the state budgets should be made available online for CSOs to analyse and monitor.

Earlier in his address of welcome, Mr Tunde Braimoh, the Chairman of the House Adhoc Committee on Information, Strategy and Security, hailed the speaker for exemplary leadership.

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