he role of the Legislature in a democratic setting is indispensable as it remains the focal point of governance. The Oyo State House of Assembly an off shoot of the old Western Regional House of Assembly 1956, has been impacting positively on the government in the State and the nation at large. It is on record that the motion for the independence of the nation was passed at the Hallowed Chamber of the Assembly. A number of legislations have been enacted that transformed the socio-economic landscape of the State to enviable height. The Assembly has been making laws for peace, order and good governance of the State.
The legislature does not only create new laws, it can review existing laws in line with the dictates of modern society. It can also amend or repeal laws that are outdated. The laws reflect the changing conditions of the society and the social environment. The laws are in tandem with the ever changing requirement of the society. For example, enactment of the Revenue Administration Law, 2015 was a response to the need to improve on the internally generated revenue. In the same vein the rampant kidnap cases in the past year prompted the Assembly to enact the Kidnapping (Prohibition) Law, 2016 to check the dastardly act. The Education Trust Fund Law, 2016 also aimed at improving the development of education in the State. One will only be stating the obvious that the 8th Assembly has been very responsible and responsive.
Aside from law-making, the Legislature carry out other functions as entrenched in the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (As Amended). The Oyo Assembly perform oversight functions to ensure probity, accountability and transparency of government activities. As representative of the people, the Legislators ensure that the needs, aspirations and yearnings of their constituents are catered for by the Government.
The legislature is a talking shop which discusses and deliberates on all issues of importance. Through deliberations, the House reflects public opinion on various issues. It acts as the most effective forum for articulation and expression of public opinion. The Oyo State House of Assembly acts as a link between the public and government. It facilitates determination of policies and legislation through a process of opportunity to present their views and perception on matters before the House. Albeit the minority will have their say but the majority will have their way.
As an important arm of Government, the Legislature is saddled with the authorization of Government Budget as no expenditure should be incurred without its approval. Other functions include confirmation of statutory appointments, investigation, quasi-judicial and approval of Special Advisers.
In order to ensure efficiency and effectiveness, most of the Legislative functions are carried out at the Committee level and are reported to the House at Plenary for ratification. The 8th Assembly has 28 Standing Committees to facilitate its activities.
In a nutshell, the Oyo State House of Assembly ensures that democratic norms and ethics are well entrenched in governance and that developmental projects and programmes are evenly spread throughout the State. In line with its motto, the Assembly performs its functions in a way to advance the interest of the people and ensure that development reaches the nooks and crannies of the State.
The Assembly hopes to continue to further the best interest of the people of Oyo State through people-oriented legislation and other legislative activities.
Rt. Hon. Ojo Joshua Olagunju