Stakeholders in Ogun State, who converged on the Assembly Complex, Oke-Mosan Abeokuta, have deliberated and commended the Ogun State House of Assembly for initiating the State Rural and Semi-Urban Integration Development Bill, saying it would help accelerate even development of rural and semi-urban communities in state.

Among them are Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Rural Development, Engr. Sakirudeen Salami; Director of Legislative Drafting in the Ministry of Justice; Mr. James Mafe, Dr. Bunmi Fajobi, who represented the Ministry of Community Development and Cooperatives, and representative of Ministry of Urban and Physical Planning, TPL Abiola Ayodele.

They posited that relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies should collaborate to ensure the full implementation of the Bill, clarifying that the Ministry of Rural Development, having been so designated, should be the core agency to drive its operations.

Declaring the Stakeholders’ Forum open, the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Oludaisi Elemide, said the Assembly, in line with its legislative practice and procedure, organised the forum to provide an avenue for stakeholders to participate in an elaborate discussion and robust deliberation where inputs gathered would be carefully considered and properly fine-tuned to form part of the Bill.

“Let me state that this bill has been extensively debated at the Plenary session held on the floor of the hallowed chamber, in a bid to collaborate with the present administration in its efforts to bridge the development gap between the rural and urban areas of the state, by ensuring the provision of basic social amenities in the rural areas.

“Therefore, there is a need for this honourable House to perform its constitutional duty, in order to give the Bill necessary impetus and legislative credence towards achieving the desired results.

“I want to assure all stakeholders here present, that this Bill is seeking to promote rural development without compromising further advancement of urban areas.

“Let me assure you, that the Bill will be given accelerated passage, in order to encourage the state government to focus more on even development of our dear state”, he said.

Earlier, the sponsor of the Bill, Hon. Babatunde Tella, explained that the Bill was long overdue, as the state remained compliant with international best practices in the area of physical planning and urban development.

He stated that there was a need for all and sundry to give the required legislative support to the Bill by accelerating its passage, to ensure that its objectives were optimally achieved and assist the present administration in the state in streamlining every aspect of rural and semi-urban planning to achieve even development across the state.

“Therefore, this forum is organised to avail stakeholders the opportunity to freely express their opinions and germane ideas on the Bill, which will be subjected to further legislative scrutiny, so that the state government will commit substantial allocation of its budget to infrastructure, towards the development of rural areas”, he said.

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