On June 10, 2019, when Rt. Hon. Aniekan Bassey, a two-term lawmaker, emerged as the 12th Speaker of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, all eyes were hooked on him, mainly to urge him on to success and otherwise. As practically tough as it is to lead a group of equal persons with independent minds to achieve a common goal, Rt. Hon. Bassey, in the last four years, has made it look easy.
Upon resumption, the 7th Assembly hit the ground running with the mission to offer effective representation through six core values which include; Accountability, Inclusiveness, Transparency, Integrity, Professionalism and Respect. These values are perceived in the passing of people-oriented Bills into Laws. The Assembly has fared well with indelible imprints in the last four years.
The 7th Assembly was inaugurated with 25 Members (all of the PDP) of which 14 were returning Members and 11 new members. On the 2nd day of December, 2019 the Rt. Hon. Speaker swore in Chief Effiong Johnson (of the All Progressive Congress) as the member representing Mbo State Constituency having been declared the winner in the 2019 Mbo State Constituency election by the Court of Appeal to replace incumbent Hon. Okon Frank (of the PDP).
Again, on the 11th day of February, 2020, Barrister Esse Umoh (PDP) was sworn-in to represent Essien Udim State Constituency to complete the 26 State Constituencies of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly.
Between Inauguration till date, over 79 life-touching and development-oriented Bills have been brought before the House this includes the 2020, 2021, 2022 and 2023 Appropriation Bills.
Out of these 79 Bills, 27 have been passed into law and 13 assented by the immediate past Governor of the State, Mr. Udom Emmanuel. Others are at the various stages of legislation which is between 1st reading and public hearing/stakeholders engagement.
Over 37 Motions and Matters of Public Importance have been raised on the floor of the 7th Assembly and several Committee reports submitted between inauguration to date.
Through the tireless support and the cooperation of the Honourable Members, Management and staff of Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, the Aniekan Bassey-led 7th Assembly was able to installed brand new borehole with complete reticulation within the Complex, installed VIP Toilets in all the Directors Offices, linked the Assembly Complex to the National Grid and also purchased a brand new 500KVA Cummins Power Generator to supply power to facilities within the Assembly premises. The Hallowed Chamber was upgraded to world-class standard with the latest TAIDEN Technology, the TAIDEN MCA-Stream Multi-Channel Audio Digital Transmitting Technology and 44-TAIDEN HCS-4800 Series Fully Digital Congress System in the Chambers of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly as well as two high definition LED Television sets (64-Inches and 82-Inches) and also renovated the Assembly Clinic to standard. For aesthetics and to aid better sound production during plenary, the Chamber’s Gallery was completely carpeted.
For posterity and as a way of giving back to the legislature through his personal Corporate Social Responsibility (CRS), Rt. Hon. Aniekan Bassey has successfully linked the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly to the cyberspace. He also created and donated a befitting ultramodern ICT Centre with state-of-the-art equipments to the State House of Assembly.
The Aniekan Bassey-led Assembly has recorded many successes, climbs and recognitions and notable amongst the successes is human capacity development. The Assembly has embarked on several local and oversea capacity training and development of Honourable Members and Management staff. The Speaker, Rt. Hon. Aniekan Bassey, stands tall as the Vice Chairman of the Conference of Speakers of State Legislature in Nigeria, as Chairman of the South-South Speakers Forum and as an Executive Committee Member of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (Africa Region). Today, the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly is on the centre stage of the comity of state legislatures. These could not have been possible but for the human capacity development-drive of the Assembly.
In security, the Rt. Hon. Aniekan Bassey-led 7th Assembly has exercised effective oversight over the security architecture in the state and has interfaced regularly with security officials working in the state. It is worthy of note that The 7th Assembly has also made legislations that have strengthened the activities of security agencies in the state. Some of those legislations included the Akwa Ibom State Safety Commission Bill, the Akwa Ibom State Security Trust Fund, and the Akwa Ibom State Administration of Criminal Justice Law, among others.
In education and human capital development, the 7th Assembly has increased budgetary provision to the education sector and also made people-oriented legislation including the Akwa Ibom State College of Health Technology Law, Akwa Ibom State College of Science and Technology Law, a bill for a law to provide free tuition and examination fees in public primary and secondary in Akwa Ibom State, a bill for a law to regulate free basic and compulsory Education, the Akwa Ibom State College of Nursing and Midwifery Law, the Akwa Ibom State Education Development Bill, the Akwa Ibom State Education Trust Fund Bill and a bill for the establishment of Akwa Ibom State Digital Skills Development and Technology Agency.
Other feats by the 7th Assembly in the area of Education include the passage of resolutions, sustenance of oversight functions and support to Federal institutions in the state.
In the area of infrastructure, the 7th Assembly has allocated funds for the construction of feeder and rural roads in the state and has made adequate funding provisions for special infrastructure projects.
The 7th Assembly has also initiated the Akwa Ibom State Social Housing Bill and an Infrastructure Development Bill to provide for the facilitation and coordination of public infrastructure development and has ensured that infrastructure development in the State is given priority in planning, approval and implantation, among other feats.
The Rt. Hon. Aniekan Bassey-led 7th Assembly has also made indelible marks in the health sector. This includes the increase of public awareness on Anti-Stigmatization and Discrimination against People Living with HIV/AIDS, the Akwa Ibom State Health Insurance Agency Bill, the Akwa Ibom State Private Healthcare Management Agency Bill, as well as the passage of a Bill on Free Medical Care for Children under the age of five, old people and pregnant women.
The 7th Assembly has also improved budgetary allocation to the health sector in terms of facilities, Doctors, Nurses and other health personnel and has strengthened oversight of the health sector.
In the area of job and wealth creation, the 7th Assembly has given a great boost to sports and youth development through the passage of the Akwa Ibom Sports Development Fund Bill. This was borne out of the state’s need for funds for Youth manpower Development. The Assembly has also strengthened its oversight functions, particularly on resolutions and policies aimed at reducing unemployment in the state, among other achievements.
In fact, the Violence Against Persons (VAP) Act, which has become a household name; Akwa Ibom State Administration of Criminal Justice Law, and many others are just drops in the ocean of achievements of the Rt. Hon. Aniekan Bassey-led 7th Assembly, a selfless and working Speaker.
Office of the Hon. Speaker
Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly