Speaker Onofiok

A new Deputy Speaker has emerged for Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly. She is Rt. Hon. Felicia Bassey, member representing Okobo State Constituency.

She was sworn into office by the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Onofiok Luke, after she accepted her nomination and unanimous election for the number two position by her colleagues. Rt. Hon. Bassey was nominated by Rt. Hon Friday Iwok, member representing Abak state constituency. The nomination was seconded by Hon. Nse Essien of ONNA state constituency.

The new Deputy Speaker is the immediate-past chairperson for Okobo local government area of Akwa Ibom state. She holds a bachelor’s degree in law.

While administering the oath of office on the new deputy speaker, the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Luke charged her to live up to her colleagues’ confidence in her ability to carry out her duties in the House effectively.

Messages of felicitation from members of the House poured in following the emergence of the Hon. Bassey as deputy speaker in the state legislature. Members at plenary described her new office as well deserved, and expressed confidence in her ability to discharge the functions of the office optimally.

Meanwhile, the 2016 Appropriation bill of the state has passed a second reading on the floor of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly. It has subsequently been committed to the House Committee on Appropriation and Finance for necessary actions.

This is sequel to a debate by members of the state legislature on Tuesday on the general principles of the bill which was tabled before the House by the state executive last Tuesday.

Lawmakers who contributed to the appropriation bill mostly lauded the governor for bringing his financial expertise into the structuring of the 2016 budget amidst ongoing economic challenges in the country. They said that the composition of the 2016 budget as sent to the House by the state executive reflects that the administration of Governor Udom Emmanuel is truly committed to the industrialization agenda of the state. The state lawmakers pledged their readiness towards ensuring an accelerated passage of the budget to enable the governor fulfill his campaign promises to the citizenry within the shortest possible time. They also emphasised on the need for the House to ensure that full implementation of the budget is carried out when approved.

Speaking on the content of the bill, Deputy Speaker, Hon. Felicia Basssey, Members for Nsit Atai, Rt. Hon. Mark Esset, Essien Udim, Rt. Hon. Nse Ntuen, Itu, Hon. Idongesit Ituen and Hon. Mfon Ekong, Nsit Ibom, among others in their submission expressed the hope that when implemented by the executive, the 2016 budget proposal, as would be passed by the House, will go a long way to touch the lives of the people of the state. Leader of the House and member representing Oruk Anam state constituency, Rt. Hon Udo Kieran Akpan noted that he was particularly pleased that more than 60% of the budget has been earmarked for capital projects in the coming fiscal year.

In his reaction, Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon Onofiok Luke, commended members for the time they took to bare their minds on the provisions of the budget, and assured Akwa Ibom people that the sixth assembly is ready to pass a budget which will reflect their wishes and yearnings.

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