The Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly has moved to checkmate the upsurge in street begging and hawking by underage children within Uyo Metropolis.

The decision followed a Motion sponsored by the Member representing Ini State Constituency and Chief Whip of the House, Rt. Hon. Emmanuel Bassey at Plenary on Tuesday.

Leading the debate on the Motion, Rt. Hon. Bassey described child street hawking as an ugly development which typifies child abuse, adding the situation clearly negates the objectives of the Universal Declaration on the Rights of the Child, African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child and the Child Rights Law of Akwa Ibom State.

He cited the risks faced by child hawkers to include road accidents, savages, intimate predators, sexual abuse amongst other uncountable dangerous consequences.

“Children are exposed to kidnapping, while others are initiated by hoodlums into robbery, cultism, weapon trafficking, drugs, to mention just a few. The consequences of these acts include unwanted pregnancies, illegal abortions, psychological trauma, insecurity, frustration, psycho-social disorientation and largely paint the state in a bad picture to the outside world”, he said.

The House after deliberations on the Motion, urged the State Governor, Mr Udom Emmanuel to direct the State Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Welfare, and other relevant Agencies to evacuate vulnerable children from the street.

It also urged relevant government agencies, religious leaders, traditional rulers, Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), women groups, security agencies, the media, elites and other stakeholders to intensity sensitisation and reorientation programs on all ills of child hawking, poor parenting, guardianship and other forms of child abuse.

Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon Aniekan Bassey in his remarks, directed the Clerk, Mrs. Mandu Umoren to communicate the resolution of the House to the appropriate quarters.

Also at Plenary, ‘A Bill for a Law to Make Provisions for the Collection of Revenue from Transportation of Goods by Road to, in or from Akwa Ibom State and for a single haulage fees payable at the point of loading, and discharge of goods in the state and for other matters connected therewith’, sponsored by Rt. Hon. Nse Essien (ONNA) and ‘A Bill for a Law to Establish the Akwa Ibom State Fiscal Responsibility Board for Prudent Management of the State’s Resources and ensure Greater Accountability and Transparency in Fiscal Operations and Other Matters Connected Therewith’, sponsored by Rt. Hon. Uduak Odudoh (Ikot Abasi/Eastern Obolo) were read the first time at Plenary and referred to the House Committee on Rules, Business, Ethics and Privileges for rescheduling.

The House also passed the Akwa Ibom State Lottery Board Bill into law, while the Akwa Ibom State College of Education Law (Amendment) Bill, 2020 scaled through Second Reading and was committed to the House Committee on Education for indepth study and to report back within one month.

In the meantime, the House has adjourned Plenary till Thursday, 13th August, 2020.


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