The Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly at its plenary on Thursday, passed into law, a bill for the establishment of Urban and Regional Planning Board and Area Planning Authorities and for all other matters connected therewith.
The Bill, which had earlier passed through first, second readings and committee stage was read a third time through a Motion by The House Leader, Sir Udo Kierian Akpan (Oruk Anam) and seconded by Deputy House Leader, Barrister Aniefiok Dennis (Etinan).
Enumerating the importance of the Bill, the House Leader said, “The Bill, when assented to by the Governor, would provide sustainable modalities for physical planning, development and control of urban and rural space in Akwa Ibom. It will provide the needed legal framework for proper planning, development control and management of physical space in the state.”
“The Bill, as passed, would outline the guidelines and procedures for development control activities in line with urban and regional planning law of the country. The Bill is expected to among other things improve the revenue base of the state through registration and approval of buildings, development and fines from defaulters in both urban and rural areas of the state.”.
The Speaker, Rt. Hon. Aniekan Bassey, thereafter directed the Clerk of the House, Mrs. Mandu Umoren, to send a copy of the Bill to Governor Udom Emmanuel for assent.
Also deliberated in the House during the plenary were Motion on Incessant and Unauthorized Encroachment of Communities in INI Local Government Area by Neighbouring Abia State Communities, sponsored by Rt. Hon. Emmanuel Ekpenyong (INI); Motion on the Need for Teacher Training and Retraining on E-Learning Tools in Preparation for Post COVID-19 Education Model, sponsored by Elder Mfon Idung (Ika/Etim Ekpo); Motion on Concern over Deeply Excavated Gully Abandoned in Akwa Ibom State College of Education, Afaha Nsit: A call for Immediate Intervention to Averts Disaster, sponsored by Hon. Ifiok Udoh (Nsit Ibom), and a Motion on Trespass and Sale of Governments Land: A Call for Urgent Action, sponsored by Hon. Victor Ekwere (Mkpat Enin).
The House at plenary also received notice of presentation of Bills including “A Bill for a Law to Establish a Comprehensive Food Security Framework for the state, Food Storage Facilities, Strategic Food Reserve and for other connected Purposes, sponsored by Rt. Hon. Aniekan Uko (Ibesikpo Asutan) and 10 others, and A Bill for a Law to Establish Akwa Ibom State College of Nursing and Midwifery and for other purposes connected thereto, sponsored by Elder Udeme Otong (Abak) and 10 others.”
The Speaker directed the Motions to House Committee on Boundary and Conflict Resolution; House Committee on Education; Joint Committee on Works and Education, and House Committee on Lands and Town Planning.
The Bills were also referred to House Committee on Rules, Businesses and Ethics for scheduling.