The Akwa Ibom state House of Assembly has passed a resolution authorising Governor Udom Emmanuel to extend by six months the tenure of members of transition committees in the state, making it an aggregate of twelve months. Members all spoke unanimously in support of the governor’s request contained in a letter to the state legislature seeking the extension of tenure of the transition committee members.
The present transition committee members were appointed in June 2016 and were to be in office for six months. The lawmakers however urged the governor to ensure that elections are conducted this year. A member representing Esit Eket/Ibeno state constituency, Usoro Akpanusoh and chairman of the House’ committee on appropriation and finance expressed belief that local government elections in the state were going to be conducted in 2017 having seen a provision in the 2017 appropriation bill for the state electoral body, the Akwa Ibom Independent Electoral Commission.
He urged the state government to put machinery in motion for the speedy conduct of elections. Meanwhile, the bill for a law to establish the Akwa Ibom state Primary Healthcare Development Agency has passed second reading on the floor of the assembly. Speaker of the House and member representing Nsit Ubium state constituency who is the lead sponsor of the bill, Barr Onofiok Luke, said if passed, the law will ensure the provision of universal health coverage for the people of the state. He said it will also help to strengthen service delivery to people at the grassroots, especially low income earners.
Urging his colleagues to support the passage of the bill into law, the speaker said “there is need to strengthen primary healthcare service delivery in our state. People must have access to affordable healthcare services in line with the universal health coverage agenda.
“Most of our people are resident in the rural communities. We must therefore harness the potentials of the primary healthcare services in the state to create better access and quality of service. The agency will make primary healthcare services better delivered. There is need for the provision of infrastructure and personnel to help strengthen this primary healthcare provision. We cannot have universal health coverage without having a strengthened primary healthcare system.”
He pointed out that Akwa Ibom state was one of the few remaining states in the country without a primary healthcare development agency.