Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Ikuinyi-Owaji Ibani on Friday resigned from his position, immediately after the House passed the 2016 Appropriation Bill into law.
This is as the member representing Okrika Constituency in the House, Hon. Adams Dabotoru Dima, was elected as the new speaker of the House, which 23 lawmakers voting in favour of him nomination.
Ibani, who represents Andoni Constituency in the House of Assembly, is among about 30 members of the House, whose elections were nullified by the Rivers State Elections Petition Tribunal sitting in Abuja.
The former speaker, while announcing his resignation, which he said was based on personal reasons, thanked friends and foes alike for the support he received through out his tenure as Speaker between June 1 this year to date.
He said, “At this juncture, I would want to step down as Speaker Rivers State House of Assembly, reasons personal to me.”
Meanwhile, the Rivers State House of Assembly yesterday passed the 2016 Appropriation Bill of N307 billion at about 7:00pm, less than two hours after Governor Ezebunwo Nyesom Wike presented it on the floor of the House.
The presentation of the 2016 Appropriation Bill came barely a week after the Assembly passed the 2015 Supplementary Appropriation Bill of N104.2 billion.
The House had through a motion moved by its Leader, Hon Martin Amaewhule to suspend Order 50 of the House Rules relying on Order 51 gone ahead to debate on the budget.
Debating on the budget after the House was converted to a Committee of the Whole, Amaewhule argued that the budget has taken all sectors of the state economy into consideration, and called for its speedy passage.
Also, Deputy Leader, Hon Dinebari Loolo, submitted that the budget is targeted to meet the needs of the people, adding that it would afford Rivers people to benefit from the government at the centre.
Commenting, the Speaker, Rt Hon Ikuinyi-Owaji Ibani said the House had taken into account all variables in the budget.
Earlier, Wike, in presenting the 2016 Appropriation Bill of N307billion tagged “Budget of Consolidation around 5.20pm on the floor of the House, remarked that the 2015 budget could not be adequately implemented as funds were diverted by the previous administration.
Wike stated that sources of revenue for the budget would include, federal allocation, VAT, IGR with a benchmark projection of crude oil price at 35 dollar per barrel. He further stated that the government would complete ongoing projects and award new ones where necessary.
According to him, recurrent expenditure stands at N120 billion, while capital expenditures will gulp the sum of N187 billion naira, respectively.
The governor also stated that the government would diversify the economy of the state from oil to agriculture and industrialisation in order to curb unemployment and as well assist security agencies to fight crime and criminality.