Akwa Ibom State Parliament in the next few weeks may pass a resolution demanding for issues and requests related to agricultural sector be accorded utmost priority and funds injucted into critical food production agencies through the State Ministry of Agriculture and Food Sufficiency Technical Committee.
This expectation stems from the presentation of a motion on the titled: “Post COVID-19 food sufficiency, closure of livestock market and fall in crude oil price: A wake Up call to support Akwa Ibom Agricultural sector”, by Member representing Ibiono Ibom State Constituency, Hon. Godwin Ekpo and 6 other co-sponsors.
Presenting the motion yesterday, Thursday, May 28, 2020 during plenary, Hon. Ekpo prayed for the inclusion of Akwa Ibom farmers and agricultural workers in government assisted packages such as stimulus packages, grants and soft loans that will assist and revive agribusiness in the State.
He also opined for government involvement in subsidising farm inputs, provide storage and preservation facilities for agricultural produce as well as putting measures in place to support and protect Akwa Ibom farmers by acting as up takers for farmers.
Hon. Ekpo also prayed that “relevant government agencies should promote food sufficiency by also regulating the excessive export of our home grown food items like crayfish, fishes, palm produce, etc., from the shores of the State to enable local availability, affordability and food security.
Further speaking on the motion, the Ibiono Ibom lawmaker acknowledges food as one of the basic items on the hierarchy of human needs, observing that COVID-19 has ushered in global economic shutdown resulting in rising food insecurity.
He observed that Akwa Ibom State is naturally endowed to contain with the current situation by transforming the agricultural sector and reduce dependence on imported food and agricultural products from other States while only seeing them as a supplement to our home grown foods.
However, the House presided by the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Aniekan Bassey committed the Motion to House Committee on Agriculture and Social Welfare for further legislative action, to report back to the House within the period of one month.
Also, the House also recieved notification of two Bills which scaled through first reading.
The Bills are: “A Bill for a Law to establish the Akwa Ibom State Local Government Service Commission and for other Matters Connected Therewith – sponsored by Rt. Hon. Udo Kierian”, and A Bill for a Law to establish the Akwa Ibom State Information Technology Development Agency (AISITDA) sponsored by Hon. KufreAbasi Edidem and 16 others.
Considering the importance of “A Bill for a Law to establish the Akwa Ibom State Local Government Service Commission and for other Matters Connected Therewith”, the Bill scaled through first and seconding reading and was committed to House Committee on Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs to report back within one month interval.
Also, two other Bills equally scaled through second reading on the floor of the House.
They are: “Akwa Ibom State Education Development Levy Bill, 2020”, Sponsored by Rt. Hon. Aniekan Uko and 9 other members and “Listed Sites (PRESERVATION) Bill, 2020, Sponsored by Hon. (Barr.) Otobong Bob and 12 others.
The Bills were committed to relevant committees to reported back to the House within the period of one month.