Akwa Ibom Assembly begins performance assessment tour of LGAs

Akwa Ibom Assembly begins performance assessment tour of LGAs

Following the controversy trailing the tenure extension of local government chairmen in Akwa Ibom State, the State House of Assembly Committee on Local Governments has commenced a fact finding tour of all the 31 council areas across the state, to evaluate their performances in the last six months.

The legislature and Governor Umo Eno had initially traded different positions on the tenure extension of the transition committee chairmen in the state.

Eno had, in a letter to the Assembly, requested it to pass a resolution for tenure extension of the sitting Local Government Transition Committees in the 31 local government areas whose tenure expires on June 7, 2024, for another six months.

The letter read by the Clerk of the Assembly, Mrs NsikakAbasi Orok at plenary on Tuesday, reads in part “the request for the extension of tenure became necessary pending when the Akwa Ibom State Independence Electoral Commission will conduct Local Government Election in the State.

“The extension will provide the AKISIEC with sufficient time to prepare for the upcoming local government elections in the state”.

But the House had insisted that it would not grant the request until a performance evaluation tour of the LG was undertaken.

“It would be necessary for the House to first carry out an inspection of the activities of the local government councils and assess their performances, since there are currently no elected councilors to perform this function,” Speaker Udeme Otong had said at plenary.

Speaking with newsmen on Tuesday, the House Committee Chairman on Information, Hon Jerry Otu, said the tour is in line with the standing order of the house to evaluate the performances of the local governments before making a recommendation to the governor for extension.

Otu, who represents Ikot Ekpene/Obot Akara State Constituency, explained, however, that the House did not throw away the governor’s request as reported in a section of the media, but only insisted that it should use the period to assess and evaluate the performances of the transition chairmen.

He stated that the exercise is not to witch hunt anybody.

“These are appointees of government, the economy is very challenging and we don’t want wastages, they have to show us their performances before we extend their tenure. And we advised the government that until we give a report on what we would see on ground, there would be no extension.

“So, when the governor said we should extend, we said we will go and see first,we did not throw away the governor’s request; we accepted it but most of you (media) are writing a different thing. Nobody is using the exercise to witch hunt anybody,” Otu stressed.

He explained that during the tour, the committee will be looking at the infrastructures on ground, to ascertain what each of the council areas had been able to do with the funds allocated to them within the period.

“We want to see infrastructures, what they are doing with the funds, if they have received N10, let them show what they have done with the N10 and if N100.000 let them proof to us what they have done with the N100.00,” he said.

The Assembly spokesperson explained that at the end of the facility tour, the House will write a report to the governor who would use his discretion to extend or not to extend their tenure.

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