LOTTERY BOARD WILL GENERATE WEALTH, JOBS – STAKEHOLDERS

LOTTERY BOARD WILL GENERATE WEALTH, JOBS – STAKEHOLDERS

Enwono-Abasi Elisha

Stakeholders opined that the establishment of a lottery board in the State will help to create wealth and jobs for Akwa Ibom populace.

This was the tone of the public hearing organised by the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly Committee on Appropriation and Finance on bills for Akwa Ibom State Legislative Funds Management Bills; and Akwa Ibom State Lottery bill, today.

Earlier, in his opening remark, the Speaker of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon Aniekan Bassey said the bills will lubricate the wheels of governance of the State when passed into law.

Speaking on the bill for the establishment of Akwa Ibom State Lottery Board, the Speaker said it will help to regulate and control lotteries and open windows of revenue to boost State’s Internally Generated Revenue (IGR).

On the Akwa Ibom State Legislative Fund Management bill the Speaker, represented by the Deputy Leader, Rt. Hon. Aniefiok Dennis said it will “most importantly promote accountability, function in the consideration of matters in which funds in the House account are applied for the services and the administration of the House of Assembly and submit quarterly reports to the House accordingly.”

In his remark, the Chairman, Committee on Finance and Appropriations, Rt. Hon. Uduak Odudoh appreciated all the Stakeholders whose contributions will add up to the making of the laws.

On the Lottery Management bill, the Committee Chairman said “The bill seeks to regulate the State Lottery to ensure that players are treated fairly; the State‚Äôs interest in the Lottery is protected and the operators are motivated to maximise the enjoyment and benefits that the Lottery brings to the players and State.”

In his memorandum, the Commissioner for Trade and Investment, Hon. (Barr) Prince Akpabio noted the importance of the lottery bill which will create wealth and jobs. He added that the resources when well harnessed can be utilized for public social responsibility.

The Special Assistant to the Governor on Education, Mrs Etiebet said the Lottery bill should be amended to cover gaming which will regulate the activities of various games in the wake of the reality of the Ibaka Deep Seaport which will host a lot of gaming organisations.

The Chairman, Civil Liberty Organisation, Akwa Ibom State Chapter, Otuekong Franklyn Isong acknowledged the strides of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly hoping to send comprehensive input on the Lottery Management bill but urged the House to ensure their autonomy fits more in act as people’s Assembly.

Policy Alert representative, Mr. Mfon Gabriel urged the Assembly board when it would have been established to ensure that estimates and income of the Legislature is published on the assigned website for transparency and accountability.

On the Akwa Ibom State Legislative Funds Management Bills, the Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria (PASAN), Akwa Ibom Chapter, headed by Cmd Etinwa S. Etim in their contribution requested for the inclusion of parliamentary staff in the Departmental Funds Management Committee and that of Due Process Committee of the proposed Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly Legislative Fund Management bill 2019.

The Association also suggested that a representative of the Legislative Budget Unit of Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly should be a member in the composition of Fund Management Board.

Contributions also came from Nigerian Bar Association (NBA); Commissioner for Justice and Board of Internal Revenue.

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