By Archibong Jeremiah
Members of the Cross River State House of Assembly, CRSHA have criticized the proposed Cross River State Legislative Direction, CRSLD 2015-2019, which was presented to the House in their inaugural plenary today by the Speaker, Hon. John Gaul Lebo.
Having described the legislative direction as a road map to guide the House in their business for the period, many members said the document lacks coherence with individual constituency yearnings.
While pointing out some of the perceived loopholes, Hon. Elucate Ekom Okora of Obubra 2 state constituency said, “There is apparent omission in respect to the interest of youths, youth development”.
On his part the member representing Ikom 1 state constituency, Hon. Fred Okpa Osim requested that, “The document should point out how to reach out to the rural areas. There should be emphasis on empirical approaches”.
While the member representing Bekwara state constituency, Hon. Idagbo Ajoh Agaji urged the House to generally improve on the content of the document.
According to Hon. Hillary Bisong of Boki 2 state constituency, the document “lacks uniformity.” He drew the attention of the House to page 11 and 12 and suggested that the House journals should be quarterly not annually as proposed in the document.
The Bakassi representative Hon. Ekpo Ekpo Bassey, asserted that issues of security and human right abuses are not properly articulated in the document, and insisted that ‘it must be properly emphasized in details’.
Hon. Itam Abang of Boki 1 state constituency in his observation pointed out that the document “Didn’t touch areas of women advancement which is a pivotal aspect of all meaningful development, let us incorporate that”.
Not also left out from the critique was Hon. Effa Nyong Esua of Calabar Municipality who opined that the ‘John Gaul Syllabus’ as the document was nick named by Hon. Odey Peter of Ogoja state constituency, did not mention anything about local governments and the many challenges they are facing, lamenting that “some local government staff have not been paid. Chairmen and other senior personnel do hide because of unpaid salaries. They generate revenue to the state government but they can’t pay salaries. We need to do tax for service if we must remain in business”. He said.
At the end of the arguments, a 5 man committee was set up headed by the Deputy Majority Leader, of the House, Hon. Simon Nkoro representing Ikom 2 state constituency, and assisted by Hon. Steven Ukpukpen of Obudu state constituency.
Other members are Hon. Ekpo Ekpo Bassey (Bakassi), Hon. Itam Abang (Boki 1), Hon. Nelson Ofem (Yakurr 1) and Hon. Elucate Ekom Okora (Obubra 2).
The committee has 3 weeks to thoroughly go through the Cross River State Legislative Direction, CRSLD 2015-2019 and ensure that necessary inputs are made by all Members of the House before presentation to the next plenary.
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