The Lagos State House of Assembly on Tuesday screened Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode’s nominees for the state Teaching Service Commission (TESCOM) and State Public Procurement Agency.
The lawmakers, after taking turns to interview the nominees, deferred their confirmation.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the lawmakers screened Mr Fatai Idowu for the post of General Manager, Lagos State Public Procurement Agency.
Mrs Elizabeth Ariyo was screened as Chairman of TESCOM, while Mr Maniwu Ashaka, Mrs Sidikat Smith, Mr Adeleke Kara and Mrs Kuburat Hassan were screened as members of the commission.
The lawmakers’ questioned Idowu on new things he intended to bring to the fore and how due process would be followed in order to ensure accountability and probity in the management of state resources.
The House also questioned Ariyo, Ashaka, Kara, Smith, and Hassan on how to move education forward in the state and curb drug abuse and violence among students.
Responding, Idowu said that fund given to contractors must be protected.
He said that he was in support of the ongoing review of the state Public procurement Agency Law because it had to do with management of the state’s fund.
“I am of the view that 20 per cent advancement is too small, and it should oscillate between 20 per cent and 40 per cent as being proposed by the House.
“We have continued to develop capacity of procurement officers in the state and ensure due process and networking to move the agency forward.
” The basis of any approval is procurement plan; it is the foundation.
“We also believe that we need to do a lot of advocacy to deepen compliance by MDAs in executive procurement contracts,” he said
Idowu said that the state still had challenges in contract management.
Reacting, the Speaker, Obasa, urged the nominee to stick to the budgetary allocation in procurement, adding that many projects had been abandoned.
According to him, the concern of the House is to ensure that projects are delivered as and when due.
“”We don’t want a situation where a contractor will get money and disappear.
“We can’t continue to waste fund that is not available, the main reason that made us decide to review the law, ” he said.
Meawhile, screening Ariyo, the Majority Leader of the House, Mr Sanai Agunbiade, said she possesses both the competence and knowledge to raise the educational standard.
Other lawmakers took turns to admit the nominee’s competence and asked how teacher’s welfare and capacity, pension and inadequacy of teachers would be addressed.
Responding, Ariyo, a retired Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education, promised to work on regular payment of pensions and welfare.
He said that the problem of uneven distribution of teachers in the state would also addressed
“If the teachers are happy working, the output will definitely improve,” the nominee said.
Obasa, who said that the screening was in line with the law of the state, to!d the nominees that the House would get back to them soon.
NAN reports that the House read for the second time “A Bill for a Law to Amend the Lagos State Neighborhood Safety Corps Law, 2016” for regulations and control ofNeighborhood Safety Corps activities and for connected purposes.
Speaking on the bill, Mr Tunde Braimoh said that there had been inhibitions and impediments on the wheel of progress of the law which necessitated the amendment.
According to Braimoh, the law needs overhauling to take care of the inadequacies of the past.
He said that there was the need to senstitise the people on security and the need for synergy between the corps and local governments for efficient performance of their mandates.
Braimoh said that funding of the agency needed to be looked into.
He said that both the Lagos State Secuity Trust Fund (LSSTF) and local government must contribute to its funding to have a more effective and coordinated corps.
Agunbiade said the amendment would strengthen the corps.
NAN reports that the House committed the bill to its Committee on Information, Strategy and Security and asked the committee to report back in two weeks.