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HomeNewsAKHA SPEAKER LAUDS MEMBERS AS TWO BILLS SAIL THROUGH SECOND READING

AKHA SPEAKER LAUDS MEMBERS AS TWO BILLS SAIL THROUGH SECOND READING

Two private member bills, titled ‘Akwa Ibom State Water Infrastructure Development Bill, 2016, and Innkeepers and Hotel proprietors bill, today passed second reading in the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly.

The Akwa Ibom State Water Infrastructure Development Bill which is sponsored by the member representing Ukanafun, Hon. Otobong Jonathan and 4 other members is seeking for a law to provide for the regulation of water front in the state.

Leading debate on the bill, the lead sponsor, Hon. Jonathan Akpan explained that the bill became necessary following the recent discovery of the environmental threatening activities caused by dredgers who go about excavating sand from water fronts in parts of the state.
Drawing the attention of the House to a recent newspaper publication carried on the back page of Global Pilot Newspaper, where photographs of sites where illegal sand dredging activities were ongoing, the lawmaker said it was worrisome that people who don’t mean well for the state would engage in acts that destroy the environment, saying there was need for an enabling law to be put in place to check such activities.
He informed the House that some arrests were made by the security agencies on the orders of the government inspection team which had the Commissioners for works, Environment, Information and Chairman of the House Committee on Environment on the tour, but regretted that non availability of enabling law has stalled their prosecution in court.

Contributing, the Chairman, House Committee on Environment, Hon. Lawrence Udofa, Commissioners in charge of Works, Environment, Information, as well as Chairman, House Committee on Environment, Member for Esit – Eket/Ibeno, Hon. Usoro Akpan Usoh, among others, described the bill as timely and pointed out that the state was losing revenue and at the same time bearing the disadvantage of environmental degradation occasioned by the continuous illegal dredging activities, and called for urgent intervention of the House.

Reacting, Speaker Onofiok Luke commended Ukanafun representative and his colleagues for taking the lead in sponsoring bill. The bill was referred to the House Committee on Environment for in-depth study and scrutiny.

Speaker directed the committee submit its report three weeks time.
Similarly, The Innkeepers Bill, 2016 sponsored by the member for ONNA, Hon. Otuekong Nse Essien and 5 were committed to the Committee on Industry, Commerce and Tourism for further action.
The bill also passed second reading at the floor of the House.
Speaking on the content of the bill, Hon. Essien explained that the need to be security conscious especially at a time the nation was witnessing series of security threats, gave rise to bill.

The lawmaker argued that given frightening dimension in which terrorism has risen un abated, there was need to repeal the Innkeepers and Hotel proprietors bill 2000 to give room for a new law that would ensure there is adequate security in hotels, Inn and tourism locations in the state.
Reacting, members for Ibesikpo Asutan, Hon Aniekan Uko, Oron, Hon. Effiong Bassey, and Ini, Hon. Emmanuel Ekpenyong and other House members described the bill as timely in view of the cure security situation in the country, and prayed the House to give it accelerated consideration.
They warned that Boko Haram activities in northern parts of the country and the recent activities of fulani herdsmen in the south-East should be a source of concern to the House.
On his part, the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Luke thanked the lead sponsor of the bill and his co-sponsors for the initiative. He referred the bill to the House Committee on Rules, privileges and ethics for further action.

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