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Nigeria NewsPolitics

Anambra Assembly passes bill prohibiting touting

The Anambra State House of Assembly has passed a bill prohibiting touting and related activities in all sectors of the state.

The bill was presented to the House by the Majority leader and member representing Ekwusigo constituency, Ikenna Ofodeme.

The proposed legislation which went through thorough scrutiny by the Committee of the Whole, was passed following a motion by the Majority Leader, Mr Ikenna Ofodeme, for its third reading.

The motion was seconded by the Minority Leader, and a member representing Nnewi South Constituency 1, Mr Johnbosco Akaegbobi.

Speaking shortly after the plenary, the Majority Leader, Ofodeme said the bill, once enacted into law, will empower authorities to crack down on individuals engaging in all forms of touting activities thereby restoring order and improving public safety across the state.

According to Ofodeme, touting had long been a problem, causing disruptions and inconveniences to residents and visitors alike.

He said that by outlawing touting, the government aims to create a more conducive environment for business activities to thrive.

“When you talk about touts, some people think that it is just the one at the Onitsha main market. There are cooperate touts at the Immigration, FRSC and other organizations and agencies.

“It affects Anambra State most and that is why we have not been able to raise our Internally Generated Revenue (IGR). This is what triggered the introduction of this bill. We are trying to close all the loopholes because the touts have graduated to criminals.

“Anambra State Anti-Touts Special Squad, SASA, is the only way we can be able to raise IGR. It is another way to easily get most of these criminals arrested and handed over to appropriate agencies.

“Why we placed SASA under Homeland is not because we forgot that the Ministry of Homeland is strictly facing issues on vigilante and boundary matters, but the moment those criminals are arrested, they will be handed over to vigilantes.

“The law has exonerated the state executive and house of assembly because we never approved torture. We have a sentence for those criminals.

“But touts who have graduated to criminals can be diabolical and harmful. However, the people that are going to work must be trained and physically fit.

“Those who will carry out the assignments will be protected by the law, likewise those who committed the crime, will face the law,” Ofodeme said.

The Speaker of the Assembly, Mr Somtochukwu Udeze, announced that the law would come into force from April 10, 2024, immediately it is assented to by Governor Chukwuma Soludo.

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