The Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly has deliberated on proposed amendments to the State Independent Electoral Commission Law 2007, signaling the legislature’s commitment to ensuring transparent and efficient local government elections in the state.
During the Wednesday plenary session, two executive bills were presented for consideration. The first bill focused on the establishment of the Ibom Industrial City Corporation, aimed at facilitating the development and regulation of the Ibom Industrial City, along with other relevant provisions. The second bill sought to amend the Akwa Ibom State Independent Electoral Commission Law 2007, with a particular focus on enhancing the upcoming local government elections scheduled for December 2023.
The bills successfully passed through the first and second readings and were subsequently referred to the House Committees on Industry, Commerce, and Tourism, as well as the Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs Committee for further scrutiny and evaluation.
Udo Kierian, the Leader of the House, emphasized the significance of the “Bill for a Law to establish Ibom Industrial City Corporation” in regulating the operations of the Ibom Deep Seaport and its associated facilities. He highlighted that the Federal Executive Council has already made substantial progress in overcoming the stringent requirements for establishing the seaport.
Regarding the “Bill for a Law to amend the Akwa Ibom State Independent Electoral Commission Law 2007,” Kierian stressed the need for specific amendments to ensure seamless local government elections in December 2023. These amendments aim to address pertinent clauses that would facilitate a smooth electoral process.
Additionally, Mark Esset, a member representing Nsit Atai State Constituency, expressed his support for amending the AKISIEC Law, highlighting the state government’s proactive approach in laying the groundwork for a timely transition to an elected local government administration. Esset emphasized the importance of conducting elections through a proper electoral process rather than relying on transition committees, which may not provide an ideal model for effective governance.
During the session, Speaker Aniekan Bassey urged the respective House Committees to diligently review the bills and submit their reports within two days. This call underscores the assembly’s commitment to promptly evaluate and provide necessary recommendations on the proposed amendments.
The ongoing legislative efforts in the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly reflect the government’s commitment to upholding democratic principles and ensuring a transparent electoral process. By amending the AKISIEC Law and establishing the Ibom Industrial City Corporation, the state aims to foster development, effective governance, and socio-economic growth in line with the aspirations of the people of Akwa Ibom.