BENIN CITY: The former Governor of Cross River State, Senator Liyel Imoke recently signed four bills into law to promote transparency and accountability in governance in Cross River State. The bills include Public Procurement Bill, Fiscal Responsibility Bill, Public Finance Management Bill and a bill to establish Cross River State Statistical System and State Bureau of Statistics and matters connected therewith.
“The Africa Network for Environment and Economic Justice (ANEEJ) hails the former Cross River State Governor, Senator Liyel Imoke for demonstrating a strong political will to institutionalise good governance in the state by signing four very important Bills into law. Shortly after the Governor sent the Bills to the State House of Assembly, ANEEJ had in August last year organised a Stakeholder’s Forum in Calabar to review and make inputs into the bills. Now that our advocacy and policy engagement has paid off, it is important for us to appreciate Senator Liyel Imoke, the Cross River State House of Assembly and other stakeholders for a job well done.” Says Rev. David Ugolor, Executive Director of ANEEJ
“There is no doubting the fact that when the laws are properly enforced, they would help to improve public expenditure in Cross River State. It is therefore imperative for other stakeholders, particularly Civil Society Organisations to wake up to the challenge of monitoring to make sure that the laws are implemented.
“With this development, Cross River emerges the fourth state to have met our benchmark of putting in place Public Procurement and Fiscal Responsibility laws in place under our “Strengthening Oil Revenue Management Project in Niger Delta States, a project being supported by the Norwegian Government, EED Germany and the Swiss Government. This is a step in the right direction and an important milestone in our collective quest for better oil revenue management in the region,” Ugolor adds.
Rev. Ugolor then called on other states in the region, yet to put all these laws in place to emulate the Liyel Imoke example pointing that any government in the 21st Century that worth its salt must put relevant legislations in place to guarantee good governance without which opacity and corruption would thrive.
“The journey for transparent and accountable governance begins with putting the right legislations in place which the former Governor Senator Liyel Imoke has done,” Says Comrade Edem Edem, Programme Coordinator of Green Concern for Development (GREECODE), Calabar. Comrade Edem notes that, he openly demonstrated his desire to build strong institutions that would outlive his administration in Cross River State and therefore called on the people of Cross River State to support the governor in this regard.
Comrade Edem eulogized members of Cross River State House of Assembly for giving the bills accelerated hearing and for working closely with civil society groups and other stakeholders to incorporate their inputs into the bills before the final passage. “This demonstrates clearly that the house members are serious with the drive to strengthen the governance system of Cross River State,” Comrade Edem Edem emphasized.