The Speaker of Akwa Ibom state House of Assembly, Rt Hon Barr. Onofiok Luke, has again affirmed the commitment of the sixth Assembly in enactment of laws that would drive the sustainable development agenda of the state government.
He stated this on Monday while declaring open a one day public hearing on a bill seeking to establish a Fiscal responsibility commission for the state and other matters related thereto, organized by the House Committee on Economic Development and Planning. In his words “The 6th Assembly will leave no stone unturned in our commitment to make sound laws that will drive the economic development of our state. We have decided to democratize our legislative process.
The proposed law would promote accountability, ensure a stable economy “.
Barr Luke observed that the state has taken too long to secure the enactment of the fiscal responsibility act, saying the current legislature was poised at ensuring the domestication of the law in the state. He explained that the proposed law seeks to check any profligacy in the administration and spending of public funds, as well as Institutionalize transparency in the budgeting process.
“The law will give legislative backing to transparency and accountability project of the government of Udom Gabriel Emmanuel. Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly is determined to make laws which will drive the sustainable development agenda of this government “.
He commended members of the public who turned up for the public hearing, and used the opportunity to call on Akwa Ibom people to always make themselves available to contribute inputs whenever there is public hearing in the House of Assembly.
Earlier, the Chairman, House Committee on Economic Development and Planning, Sir. Udo Kierian Akpan explained that the essence of the public hearing was to gather inputs from members of the public to guide the lawmakers in the domestication of the fiscal responsibility act in the state.
The proposed law seeks to establish a body to be known as, Akwa Ibom State Fiscal Responsibility Commission. The commission shall have powers to formulate and provide general policy guideline for the discharge of its functions under this law.
The commission shall compel any person or government organization or agency to disclose information relating to public revenues and expenditure, cause an investigation to be conducted into whether any person has violated any provision of the law.
Among those who contributed inputs to the bill during the public hearing include, Attorney-General for the state, and Commissioner for Justice, Barr. Uwemedimo Nwoko, representative of the Commissioner for Economic Development, Mr. Effiong Peter, NLC Chairman, Comrade Etim Ukpong, Executive Director, policy Alert, Tijah Bolton Akpan, and John Mortto of DFID, among others.
Members of the House in attendance include, the Deputy Leader, Rt. Hon. Ime Okon, Hon. Nse Ntuen, Hon. Aniefiok Dennis, Hon. Otobong Jonathan, Rt. Hon. Friday Iwok and Rt. Hon. Gabriel Toby.