By; Patrick Titus, Uyo.
The Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly borrowed money to organise ceremony to mark the end of its first legislative year.
This development is not unconnected with the current paucity of fund in the state, source from the office of the Speaker has said in Uyo.
Although the actual amount of money borrowed and from where, was not disclosed, but indications showed that all is not well in the 26-member House which prided itself as the peoples’ Assembly.
Within the first legislative year, Members could not execute constituency projects, just as their legislative functions of lawmaking and over sight have been affected negatively.
In his address to mark the end of the session, the speaker, Mr. Onofiok Luke admitted that the Assembly has not measured up to expectations in the last one year as regards responsibility.
Mr. Luke however attributed the decline to the nation’s dwindling economy that has affected the state and in turn the legislature as an institution.
“This situation is largely responsible for our inability to fulfill our promise in the area of human capacity development for lawmakers and staff”, he lamented.
Within the period under review, the Speaker said that the House received 11 executive and private bills and passed only two into law while others were at various stages of passage.
Mr. Luke mentioned the bills passed into law as; a bill to amend the local government administration law 2007 and other matters connected to it, and the state appropriation bill 2016.
Those at various stages of passage in the next legislative year according to him were; bill for a law to protect the physically challenge persons against discriminations and provide for equal opportunities for all; the Akwa Ibom state revenue administration bill; the bill for the classification, registration, and licensing of hotels and other tourism establishment in the state.
Others include, bill for a law to provide for control of rent for premises, recovery of possession of premises, and other matters connected therewith; bill for a law to provide registrations of marine sector operations, fixed offshore and gas production facilities registration; bill for a law to amend Akwa Ibom state town and community planning law and the bill for a law to make provision for the imposition of land-based charges to be called Real Property Charges for the levying and collection of charges and for connected purposes.
Also within the year under the review, he said, the house passed 18 resolutions under matters of urgent public importance brought before it by members while 23 matters were under processes of passage.
Luke assured that in the next legislative year which will commence on 19th of this month, priority would be given to the passage of carried forward bills while the Assembly will also embark on enacting newer legislations in four special areas to give robust content to free and compulsory education programme; initiate laws to vitalize the state government’s effort toward strengthening its internally generated revenue; partner the state’s owned tertiary institutions to gain accreditation for more courses not without accreditations from the various regulating bodies.
Besides, the Speaker said that the House would begin a mid-year assessment of budgetary performance of the government in other to hold the executive accountable to the people.Highlights of the first legislative year event in the state include valedictory plenary sitting, reading of the Assembly scorecards for the period and buffets for members past and present.
By; Patrick Titus, Uyo.