Speaker Obasa: Lagos State Award Scheme aims at remembering heroes

The Speaker, Lagos State House of Assembly, Mr Mudashiru Obasa, on Friday said that the state’s Awards Scheme bill before the lawmakers was aimed at remembering both living and dead heroes of the state.

Obasa said this during the Public Hearing on a Bill for a Law to Establish the Lagos State Awards Scheme, to specify among other things, the Privileges of the Recipients and for Connected Matters.

The event which took place at the Lateef Jakande Auditorium of the Assembly Complex, was attended by civil servants and other stakeholders.

Obasa, who was represented by the Majority Leader, Mr Sanai Agunbiade, said that the merit awards the bill sought to introduce was to honour distinguished residents cut across all fields in the State.

“I feel so delighted that we are here today on the bill that takes care of the first stanza of Nigerian anthem that said labours of our heroes past shall not be in vain.

“What we are trying to do is to further take the state to a greater height by rewarding efforts, breakthrough, bravery, intellectual excellence and gallantry.

“The bill will reward people, living or dead, who have spent their lives to save lives and take Lagos State to greater heights,” the speaker said.

Obasa said that the bill was to further give meaning to democracy, stressing that it was better late than never.

He said the bill spelt out the rights and privileges of all residents conferred with the award.

Presenting the bill, Mr Olumuyiwa Jimoh, the Deputy Majority Leader, said that the public hearing was a critical moment to take the input of people.

Jimoh said the 26-section executive bill was the first of its kind in the country and was divided into two parts — Awards/Merits and Heroes’ Register i.e roll of honours.

“The beauty of the bill is that it takes care of areas not taken care of by the National Merit Award. The bill makes provision for the dead to be recognised,” he said.

The lawmaker said that the first section addressed the establishment of Lagos State Merit Award while the second established the Award Council to regulate the activities.

Jimoh said the bill also made provision for an individual to nominate himself or herself to be recognised as a beneficiary of the awards.

In his contribution, the state Permanent Secretary, Special Duties, Dr Jemilade Longe, lauded the initiative.

Longe said it was good that the bill made provision for any individual who believed he had contributed to the development in the state to nominate him or herself.

On her part, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Finance, Mrs Olufunmilayo Balogun, observed that there was no provision in the bill for withdrawal of the award.

Balogun argued that if anyone that had been awarded was found wanting later, there should be a way of withdrawing it.

Other stakeholders took turns to commend the assembly for the initiative which they said would encourage and motivate service to the state.

Earlier in his welcome address, Mr Olusola Sokunle, the Chairman, House Ad hoc Committee on Special Duties and Intergovernmental Relations, said the bill was long overdue to motivate service.

“The essence of this bill, if passed and signed into law, is to honour and encourage those that have served this state meritoriously and as well motivate those who are still serving the state creditably.

“It is good thing to honour those that have helped Lagos State to get to where it is today as a mega city.

“We have a lot of credible people who have served this state with all their strength and knowledge, but are not rewarded and honoured.

“This bill is long overdue so that those that have served the state will be made happy for their service,” he said.

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