The Akwa Ibom state House of Assembly has passed the bill for a law to establish the state College of Health Technology. The commencement date of the law is February 1988, the date of the establishment of the institution. This is sequel to the submission of a report by the committee of the whole during Tuesday’s plenary.
Following this legislative backing by the House, the former School of Health Technology in Etinan is now to be known and addressed as the College of Health Technology with a Provost as the head of the institution. The new nomenclature replaces the designation of ‘Principal’ as was formerly known of the school’s head.
Presenting the report of the committee of the whole before the House, the Speaker, Rt. Hon. (Barr) Onofiok Luke, who chaired the committee, recalled that relevant stakeholders were invited to avail the committee with inputs which helped in strengthening and enriching the contents of the state government owned tertiary health institution. While praying the House to accept the recommendations proposed, Barr. Luke noted that the bill will help in expanding in the scope of the school, as new courses will be offered, and that it will enable the school attract funding from donor agencies.
The Speaker said: “The health sector is a combination of both infrastructure and personnel. You cannot talk about personnel if you don’t talk about a well-established institution to train the health personnel that will man the health facilities that we have in place. May we use this opportunity to appreciate his Excellency the governor for his effort in building new health facilities and in renovating old ones. There is need for qualified health personnel in this sector. This is why the establishment of this school, backed by law, is very essential. We have once again responded to the call of the people. We have justified our people’s assembly appellation, and we have justified the mandate that the people gave to us.
He added that since the law does not have a criminal effect, it could be retrospective.
Emphasizing the lawmakers’ commitment to supporting Governor Udom Emmanuel’s effort at developing the health sector in the state, the Speaker noted that the House has had first reading of the bill to establish the state primary healthcare development agency. Also on Tuesday was the first reading of a bill seeking for the establishment of the state health insurance scheme and the establishment of an agency to take care of it.
Speaker Luke said “these are all in line with our legislative agenda in the 6th assembly.”
According to the bill passed on Tuesday, the function of the institution shall be to provide and offer courses of study, training, research and development of techniques in all branches of health care delivery including public health, nursing, environmental health, community health, radiography, pharmacy technology, dental technology, health information management, hospital/health administration, nutrition/dietetics, biomedical engineering.
Also on Thursday, the House read five bills for the first time. They include two bills sponsored by the Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Onofiok Luke, the bill for a law to provide for the establishment of an agency which will promote and implement the Akwa Ibom state Health Insurance Scheme and other matters connected therewith, and the bill for a law to make provision for the establishment of Akwa Ibom state Social Housing Scheme and the establishment of an agency to manage the scheme and for other matters connected therewith. The Speaker is also the member representing Nsit Ubium state constituency in the state legislature.
The others are a bill for a law to implement a sustainable youth policy framework through the establishment of Akwa Ibom youth development fund, sponsored by Hon. Emmanuel Bessey of Ini state constituency; a bill for a law to create and regulate job opportunities for indigenes of Akwa Ibom state, sponsored by Rt. Hon. Victor Udofia of Ikono state constituency; and a bill for a law to regulate and control grazing in Akwa Ibom state and other matters connected therewith, sponsored by Hon. Nse Ntuen of Essien Udom state constituency.
Also at plenary on Tuesday, the House in a resolution approved Governor Udom Emmanuel’s request to access additional corporate guarantee in the tune of N5 Billon for a construction firm, Wizchino Engineering Ltd, for the purpose of constructing Etinan-Ndon Eyo road according to the terms.