By Amadie Akpabio
As the President Muhammadu Buhari last week Friday signed into law an Executive Order granting full financial autonomy to the legislature and the judiciary across the 36 states of the federation, the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly was already prepared for it, through a legislative framework in the state
The executive order which mandates the accountant general of the federation to deduct from source amount due to state legislatures and judiciaries from the monthly allocation to each state for states that refuse to grant such autonomy is the first of it kind in Nigeria.
The Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly through a bill sponsored by the House Leader, Rt. Hon. Udo Kierian Akpan titled “A bill for a law to established the Akwa Ibom State of House of Assembly legislative funds management and other matters connected therewith 2019” had already laid a foundation that will enable the order to run smoothly in Akwa Ibom State.
The Sponsor of the Bill and member representing Oruk Anam State Constituency, Rt. Hon. (Sir) Udo Kierian Akpan was optimistic while leading the debate to legislate on the Bill during Plenary few Months ago.
The Lawmaker had explained that the Bill seeks to provide for the prudent management of funds accruing to the State House of Assembly from the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the state in order to ensure accountability, transparency, effective and efficient utilisation of funds.
According to Hon Kierian, the Bill which had passed through second reading will also provides for the establishment of a committee known as the Fund Management Board which shall consider matters in which funds in the House Account were applied for the services and administration of the State House of Assembly.
Sir Kierian noted that “the Board so formed” shall submit quarterly reports in respects of funds accruing to the State House of Assembly, maintaining that the Board shall have the Clerk of the House as Chairman and also other directors of various Departments and Units.
He listed the Departments and Units to include Administration, Supplies, Legislative Matters, Finance, Accounts, Planning, Research and Statistics, Legislative Budget, Audit and Legal Services.
The Lawmaker noted that the Board shall perform functions relating to all contracts, works, services and procurements of the State House of Assembly up to the sum of Five Million Naira.
The bill which was first read in the 6th Assembly during the tenure of Rt. Hon. (Barr.) Onofiok Luke, continued in the 7th Assembly under the leadership of Rt. Hon. Aniekan Bassey.
Rt. Hon.(Sir) Udo Kierian Akpan who is in his third term in the Assembly has gained the respect of the Assembly and that of the State Government and has continued to change the tide in the legislative business in the State through sponsoring of responsible and peoples-oriented bills that placed him as the best lawmaker with the highest number of bills and still counting.
He is a voice with giant and unbearable records of infrastructural renaissance in his constituency.