By Africa Today
A bill to amend the Cross River State Bureau of Statistics on Wednesday pass through second reading in the floor of the State House of Assembly.
The Bill was read for the second time by the Clark of the House, Barr Bassey Ekpenyong during plenary.
Lead Sponsor and Member Representing Bekwarra State Constituency, Mr. Edward Ajang said the philosophy and essence behind the amendment of the law is to meet contemporary issues regarding the position of the Statistician-General and revenue generation.
According to Ajang, “out of thirty-six states in the federation, thirty states has keyed into the new conventional arrangement for the Statistician-General who is the Chief Executive Officer of the Bureau to be operating at the same level with Permanent Secretaries of Ministries, Departments and Agencies with privileges and rewards attached therein to their office” he stressed.
The Lawmaker maintained that as a result of the new convention, there is need for the State Government to amend the Cross River State Bureau of Statistic’s principal Law No. 14, 2011 and for matters connected therewith, to reflect the position that is tenable in other States and the Federal Government.
Having considering data collection and management of information as a critical function of the Bureau, Mr. Ajang noted that the amendment seeks to infuse clauses that will grant the Bureau the legal backing to generate revenue for the state government through its information exchange.
“The law would be made to accommodate the aspect of revenue generation, for every data or information generated from Cross River State Bureau of Statistics should be paid for by the consultant, organization or government establishment or individuals”
The parliamentarian while noting that Cross River State is nothing to “ride home about” in terms of federal allocation averred that there is need to look inward regarding revenue generation.
Averting the fears of Nigerians regarding exploitations, the lawmaker said that everything would be put in place to making sure all Agencies saddled with the responsibility of generating revenue are gazetted.
One of the Co-sponsors of the bill and Member representing Yala 1 State Constituency, Mrs Regina Anyogo said the law is to meet up with the conceptual norms of the time.
Meanwhile, if amended as proposed, the Bureau shall generate revenue through the following sources; 10% of fees charged for all statistical surveys carried out in the state by consultants, organizations and individuals, sum not less than N50,000 charged on all new products introduced into the Cross River State Market, and that charges for statistical data of the Bureau requested by any individual organization.
The Speaker, Eteng Jonah Williams having commended the Sponsor and co-sponsors of the bill, hence referred the bill to the House Committee on Finance to be reported back to the House in two weeks.