We’ll focus on development legislation, quarterly budget performance review in 4th session – Speaker

* Onofiok Luke, Speaker, AKHA
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Speaker of the Akwa Ibom state House of Assembly, Mr Onofiok Luke has said that the 6th assembly will in the 4th session deepen effort in development legislation.

Luke said legislative processes will be concluded on pending bills and on new ones like the social housing scheme bill, the youth development fund bill, the state security trust fund bill, and the state legislative fund management bill in view of the financial autonomy for state legislatures in the country.

The Speaker made this known in a remark on Tuesday at the resumption of plenary for the 4th session of the 6th assembly.

He assured that the record number of private bills, motions and other legislative interventions of the previous year will encourage the House to do more in the 4th session.

“These accomplishments are a source of encouragement for more to be done by this assembly in this last lap. The continuous rapid development of our state makes it absolutely imperative that we increase our pace of work, engage more deeply with our people and pattern our legislative outputs to answer to their yearnings and aspirations.

“Our sworn effort in this last lap of the 6th Assembly shall be to avail our people a more than robust legislature, one which will be marked by indelible legacies.”

He noted that legislative oversight in the 4th session will centre on the fiscal health of government.

“One of our core objectives this last year will be a concerted effort towards maximizing the opportunities to keep government on track through our legislative oversight responsibility.

We will increase legislative actions on the fiscal health of government. For instance, the review of budget performance is now to be done quarterly, away from the bi-annual tradition.”

The Speaker also thanked the state governor, Mr Udom Emmanuel “for proving against the odds that Akwa Ibom state could not have been in the hands of a better manager at a time like this when our country is faced with unprecedented economic travails.”

He said the 6th assembly acknowledges what he described as “the governor’s unfaltering calm and administrative dexterity despite obvious political distractions in the state recently.”

According to him, “the governor has been a source of inspiration and a pillar of strength for his people, qualities that distinctively describe a charismatic leader. He assured of the assembly’s collective resolve to support the governor to take development in the state to a greater level.

“It should be on record that the 6th assembly will not plunge itself into the negative side of history by doing anything that could prove inimical to the success of this administration or which could cut the life of this progressive administration in its very prime.”

While soliciting the prayers of constituents for the leadership of the state, the speaker said that to “build the Akwa Ibom of our dream, we must work together towards the realization of an educated, united, healthy, and prosperous state under one leadership and under one God.”

Other members who spoke during Tuesday’s plenary assured of their readiness to support the Speaker’s effort towards strengthening the state’s legislative institution.