Akwa Ibom Speaker, Rt. Hon. Aniekan Bassey Pledges Commitment to Enact People-oriented Laws.
The Speaker, Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Aniekan Bassey has reiterated the commitment of 7th Assembly in enacting people oriented laws and participatory legislation through involvement of stakeholders and the general public in its deliberations.
Speaker Bassey made the reafirmation on the occasion of a public hearing on a “Bill for a Law to Establish the Akwa Ibom State Fiscal Responsibility Board for Prudent Management of State Resources and Endure Greater Accountability and Transparency in Fiscal Operations and Other Matters Connected Therewith”.
Organised by the House Committee on Finance and Appropriations, the Akwa Ibom Speaker who was represented by the Deputy Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Felicia Bassey, said the bill seeks to establish fiscal Responsibility Board for prudent management of Akwa Ibom State resources for greater accountability and transparency in dispensation of that function.
Akwa Ibom Speaker enumerated major benefits of the the Bill when passed to include; promotion of greater efficiency, accountability, transparency and enhancement of speedy service delivery as well as positioning the Board to completely eliminate possible bottlenecks associated with such functions.
He called on stakeholders/participants to feel free in presenting useful inputs as their positions and notes shall be taken into considerations during the final drafting of the Bill with the airm of streamlining and strengthening the Bill towards becoming a law.
In his welcome address, the Chairman, House Committee on Finance and Appropriations, Rt. Hon. Uduak Odudoh said the public hearing was hinged for taking stock of fiscal mechanisms and policies of the State from stakeholders with possible suggestions for amendment to the fiscal responsibility Bill under public discourse.
Hon. Odudoh who is also the lead sponsor of the Bill stated that the establishment of Akwa Ibom State Fiscal Responsibility Board aims at making room for a more prudent management of the State’s resources and to ensure greater accountability and transparency in the disbursement and application of public funds.
He remained hopeful that “with the signing into Law of the Public Procurement Bill and Debt Management Office Bill by His Excellency, Mr. Udom Gabriel Emmanuel, the Governor of Akwa Ibom State, His Excellency is very desirous of fixing the third leg of the fiscal watchdog tripod by signing into law the Fiscal Responsibility Bill”.
The public hearing attracted all key stakeholders from Akwa Ibom State MDAs, Civil Society Organisations including: Commissioner for Finance, Commissioner for Economic Development and Ibom deep seaport, State Accountant General, Policy Alert, and Civil Liberty Organisation.
Stakeholders in their separate position papers endorsed the Bill and called for speedily passage by the House to attract counterpart funding to the State which will remove ,some percentage of financial burden on the State Government.
Members of the House present during the public hearing were: Rt. Hon. Felicia Bassey, Rt. Hon. Effiong Bassey, Rt. Hon. (Barr.) Aniefiok Dennis, Hon. Victor Ekwere, Hon. Asuquo Udo, and Hon. (Barr.) Esse Umoh.