By Mercy Obojeghren
Asaba – The Delta House of Assembly, on Tuesday stepped down the “Delta State Equipment leasing Bill, 2017 due to inconclusive debate by members.
The decision of the Assembly was adopted when put to a vote by the Speaker, Chief Sheriff Oborevwori, during plenary in Asaba.
The Bill, sponsored by the lawmaker representing Ika North East Constituency, Mr Anthony Elekeokwuri (PDP), suffered a setback following opposition from some lawmakers.
The opposition said that the Bill was not needed at the state level.
Speaking against the bill, Mr Samuel Mariere, (PDP)representing Ughelli North I Constituency, said that the bill was not needed in the state but noted that “the law had already been provided at the Federal level by the National Assembly.
“Once a federal law comes up, such law covers the state. The worst that can happen is to duplicate such law in the state.’’
Mr Dennis Omovie, (PDP), representing Warri South II Constituency advised that the bill be redrafted.
The lawmaker said the effort was make the Bill specify the equipment for leasing, adding that it contravened Section 36 of the Exclusive List of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Earlier, Elekeokwuri, noted that before the equipment leasing Act of 2015, the country was practicing the British Hire Purchase Law of 1965 which according to him has become obsolete.
He described equipment leasing market as a N4.8 trillion market which the state must harness to build its Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) base.
“It is in the time of money scarcity that the economics of money is learnt,’’ he said.
Elekekeokwuri also said that the Bill was constitutional, germane, adding that it would expand the state’s legal jurisprudence.
Also, Mr Evance Ivwurie,(PDP), representing Ethiope East Constituency, Co-sponsor of the Bill, noted that the bill was nOt harmful to the state.
According to him, the Bill, if passed and assented to law by the governor,will help to boost the economy of the state and lift the people from poverty to prosperity.
Ivwurie appealed to members of the assembly to give voice to the Bill.
He described the Bill as not only legally viable but would also give power to the people of the state who he said, ordinarily lacked the wherewithal to carry on finance intensive businesses.