by Ubong Sampson
The Speaker of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, Barr. Onofiok Luke has said that the current 6th Assembly is doing its best to provide a legal framework for tourism investment in the state.
In a brief comment after passage of A Bill for a Law to Provide for the Classification, Registration and Licensing of Hotels and Tourism Establishments in Akwa Ibom State by the House on Tuesday during plenary, Barr. Luke stressed that in providing the legal framework, the House is ensuring an enabling environment for tourism business to thrive in the state.
Also stressing that the passage of the bill was in line with the legislative reforms set out by the 6th Assembly, Luke observed that the tourism sector remains a major driver of development.
The Speaker further commended the lead sponsor of the bill, Hon Samuel Ufuo of Mbo State Constituency, and also appreciated the entire members for their sense of commitment to duty, as well as to the ideals of the legislative agenda which the House had set for itself.
He recalled that part of the said agenda was to make for reforms that will boost the tourism industry and security sector, adding that with the passage of the bill, the House has moved a step closer to realizing its set agenda.
“The passage of the bill is in line with the legislative reforms we have set for ourselves in the 6th assembly. Tourism drives development, and you cannot about boosting the tourism sector in the state without providing the legal framework towards our drive of making our state a destination of choice”, Luke further said.
The bill seeks, among other things, to ensure greater control and regulation of the hospitality and tourism business through the licensing of operators of hospitality and tourism related establishments in the state.
Dissolving into a Committee of the Whole, the House had considered the report of the House Committee on Commerce, Industry and Tourism, submitted by the Chairman of the Committee, Hon. Gabriel Toby who noted that the bill which was harmonised, will greatly enrich the hospitality and tourism industry in the state.
While passing the bill, the House observed that the hospitality business and tourism have become important sectors that impacts tremendously on the socio-economic development of any society, and that they have the twin benefits of boosting income generation and job creation. The just passed bill, when implemented, shall harmonize the existing tourism board law with the instant law.
Speaking with Assembly Correspondents in his office shortly after plenary, the lead sponsor, Hon. Samuel Ufuo said the bill will boost revenue generation in the state and will also build investors’ confidence in the state.