…as A’Ibom State Health Insurance Scheme, Maritime sector operations bills pass second reading
The Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly has passed a resolution mandating the management of College of Education, Afaha Nsit to immediately reinstate 14 academic staff of the institution who were wrongly dismissed from the college.
The intervention by the House is sequel to the report by the House Committee on Education following a petition forwarded to the lawmakers by the affected staff who complained that they were wrongly disengaged from service by the institution.
Chairman of the committee, Hon. Samuel Ufuo of Mbo State Constituency, while urging his colleagues to ratify the committee’s report, said findings showed that they were wrongly dismissed from their job, and recommended that they be reinstated to their different departments where they were serving before their disengagement.
In a resolution passed during Thursday’s plenary, the House directed the college to look into the plight of the affected persons saying, “In view of the fact that the Head of Service circular No. 3/2016 dated 5th August 2016, is not applicable to the case of these lecturers as they are not up to 65 years and as such never retired from service”.
The House directed the relevant department that handled the biometric exercise in the college to correct the error and reconfigure the names of the affected lecturers as academic staff and not as non-academic staff of the college. The House ordered that the “affected academic staff be promoted as and when due and their entitlements paid accordingly”.
Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon B arr. Onofiok Luke, thanked the Chairman of the committee for doing a thorough job on the matter, and commended members for living up to the appellation of being the people’s assembly. “Today we have as usual lived up to our commitment as a people’s assembly through ensuring that the staff who were disengaged from the services of the college are reinstated. I thank the Chairman and members of the education committee for living up to their responsibility.”
He encouraged members of the public to continue to forward their complaints and petitions to the House for necessary action. “For those who have issues with their pensions and gratuities, the committees are working on these concerns. Those who have genuine complaints should forward same to the relevant committees. It is our responsibility to address these issues as a people’s Assembly.”
Also during plenary, the Akwa Ibom State Health Insurance Scheme Bill, 2016 sponsored by the Speaker, Barr. Onofiok Luke passed second reading. The bill which is co-sponsored by eleven other members of the House was thereafter referred to the Committee on Health with a mandate to report back in three weeks time.
Speaking on the general principles of the bill, Rt. Hon. Luke, while soliciting the support of his colleagues, explained that the bill seeks to incorporate health policies in the state for the purpose of catering for both the vulnerable people and other members of the society who are not currently benefitting from the free health care policies of the state. He pointed out that if passed into law, the bill would ensure that Akwa Ibom state joins the global agenda of universal health coverage.
The bill by Speaker Luke who also represents Nsit Ubium state constituency in the House, got the overwhelming support of the lawmakers. The Akwa Ibom state Health Insurance Scheme Bill is the second bill by the Speaker this year. On Tuesday, he presented a bill seeing the establishment of the Akwa Ibom state primary healthcare development agency.
Also, the Maritime sector operation bill passed second reading on Thursday. It was sponsored by the member representing Esit- Eket/Ibeno State Constituency, Hon. Usoro Akpanusoh.