A Bill for a Law to establish Akwa Ibom State Lottery Board has scaled through second reading on the floor of the House today, during its plenary session.
The Bill has Rt. Hon. Uduak Odudoh, Member representing Ikot Abasi/Eastern Obolo State Constituency as the lead sponsor and 12 others.
Leading deliberations on the Bill, the lead sponsor, Hon. Odudoh said the Bill which is divided into two parts seeks to establish a Board to regulate the activities of lottery business in the State as applicable in the National Assembly.
“The National Lottery Regulatory Commission was established through an Act in 2005 and has been in existence since then.
The Board is also in existence in many States in Nigeria and so, Akwa Ibom State cannot be an exception”. He set the tone.
The Assemblyman said the Bill among other things desires to domesticate what is obtainable at the National Assembly in Akwa Ibom State and reasoned that if the Bill wasn’t people-oriented, National Assembly wouldn’t have passed it with subsequent accent by the President.
He explained that over the years, lotteries have proven to be a major stimulant in the economy of both developed and developing nations with great impacts and positive contributions to several components such as but not limited to revenue generation and job creation.
Speaking in support of the Bill, Rt. Hon. Usoro Akpanusoh, representing Esit Eket/Ibeno State Constituency said domestication of the Bill in Akwa Ibom State is long overdue, having been passed by National Assembly in 2007 and commended the lead sponsor for coming up with the Bill.
On his part, Rt. Hon. (Barr.) Aniefiok Dennis, Member representing Etinan State Constituency noted that the Law is operational in 19 States of the Federation as such, it becomes expedient for Akwa Ibom State to key into the trend.
Also, Rt. Hon. (Elder) Mark Esset, Member representing Nsit Atai State Constituency observed that the Bill when passed shall protect Akwa Ibomites from being duped by agents as well as regulating their activities to enforce compliance in line with global best practices.
Rt. Hon. David Lawrence, Member representing Eket State Constituency described the Bill as life enhancer in other climes and expressed optimism that the Bill shall be of utmost benefit to Akwa Ibom People.
Rt. Hon. Aniekan Uko of Ibesikpo Asutan State Constituency observed that major lottery operators in the State lack the necessary prerequisites for operations, saying that with the Bill, proper documentation shall be made for qualified persons with approved licence of operation.
The House presided by the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Aniekan Bassey committed the Bill to House Committee on Appropriation and Finance to report back to the House within one month interval.
Earlier on, Akwa Ibom Scrap Metal Dealers Bill 2020, sponsored by Rt. Hon. (Elder) Aniekan Uko also scaled through first reading. The Bill was equally supported and opposed by members at plenary.
The Speaker in his ruling, committed the Bill to House Committee on Envronment and urged them to use positions of members Eket, Nsit Atai, Esit Eket/Ibeno and Ibesikpo Asutan State Constituencies as guiding principles to report back to the House within one month.