Cross River Assembly Funds Management Bill Passes Second Reading

A law to provide for the management of funds accruing to the Cross River State House of Assembly from the consolidated revenue fund of the State has scaled through second reading, during Thursday plenary.

The bill, which is imperative as the state houses of assembly across the country prepare to become financially autonomous, was sponsored by Member representing Boki II, Rt. Hon. Hilary Bisong, who extensively discussed the merits of the bill to include; ensuring accountability, transparency, effective and efficient utilisation of funds accruing to the Legislature from the Consolidated Revenue Fund.

Members in supporting the bill noted that it was a major requirement for the Financial Autonomy of the Legislature which will facilitate accountability in line with the provisions of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended).

Similarly, the House deliberated on the State Judiciary Funds Management Bill 2021 after the presentation of the sponsor, Rt. Hon. Itam Abang (Boki I) who emphasized that the different arms of Government should be financially independent to ensure effective separation of powers which will further strengthen the Judiciary as the hope of a common Man.

The Lawmakers unanimously supported both bills. They further commended the Parliament Staff Association of Nigeria (PASAN) and the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) who recently embarked on an Industrial Action to protest against the non implementation of financial autonomy for the Legislature and Judiciary as provided for by the 1999 Constitution (as amended).

The Speaker, Rt.Hon. Eteng Jonah Williams commended the sponsors of the bills and other Members for their contributions. He set up two separate Special Committees to consider the bills, interface with the relevant Stakeholders and make recommendations to the House for the passage of the bills.

The Special Committee for the Legislature Funds Management Bill 2021 has; Rt. Hon. Hillary Bisong (Boki I) as Chairman while the House Leader, Rt. Hon. Peter Odey, Rt. Hon. Charles Ekpe (Akampa II), Rt. Hon. Okon Ephraim (Calabar South 1) Rt. Hon. Fred Osim (Ikom 1), Hon. Cynthia Nkasi (Yala II), Hon. Maria Akwaji (Obudu) Hon. Chris Mbu-Ogar (Etung) and Hon. Sunday Ikwen Achunekang (Obanliku) are to serve as Members.

The second Special Committee mandated to carry out further Legislative work on the State Judiciary Fund Management Bill 2021 has; Rt. Hon. Itam Abang(Boki 1) as Chairman while Rt. Hon. Ekpo Ekpo Bassey (Bakassi), Rt. Hon. Mathew Olory (Akamkpa 1) Rt. Hon. Efa Esua (Calabar Municipality), Rt. Hon. Regina Anyogo(Yala1), Hon. Chris Mbu-Ogar (Etung) Hon. Francis Asuquo (Odukpani) Hon Elvert Ekom (Ikom II), Hon. Davis Etta (Abi) and Hon. Edward Ajang (Bekwara) will serve as Members.

The Speaker further directed the special Committees on Legislature and Judiciary Funds Management to submit their reports to the House on the 28th and 29th of June 2021 respectively.

By Itam Offor.

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