The Cross River State House of Assembly Committee on Public Accounts, led by the member representing Obubra 1 state Constituency and the Chairman House of Assembly Committee on “Public Accounts”, Rt. Hon. Okpechi Friday Gabriel today paid a courtesy visit to the Chief Judge of Cross River State, Justice Michael Edem at the Chief Judge’s Chambers, Judiciary Headquarters, Calabar.
The visitation according to the House Committee Chairman on Public Accounts, Rt. Hon. Okpechi Friday said it was important for the state Legislature and the State Judiciary to run a close relationship so as to properly put an eye on revenue collection, administrations and to penalized defaulters.
“Public Accounts is one key Committee in every Assembly, and as a Committee, our duty is to ensure accountability in public funds management and that all revenue accruing to the state are judiciously appropriated and religiously accounted for”
Continuing, the Chairman said “It has also come to the noticed of the House of Assembly that each time the State Government releases money, the funds are usually hanged somewhere without using it for the purpose it was meant for. That is why we have come to strengthen the existing partnership between the Legislature and the Judiciary in this regard”.
“If we must succeed as a State, contractors should at all times use the government funds properly so as to enable them execute projects awarded to them, if not such victims should be brought before the law Court to face penalty”, Okpechi added.
In a similar development, the Committee have also visited the State Auditor General, Local Government Auditor General and the state Judiciary to re-engineer the accountability agenda and drive for safekeeping, good governance and maximal services to all Cross Riverians.
Responding to the Committee Chairman, Justice Michael Edem appreciated the Committee’s passion and drive for accountability good and sustainable governance, adding that, it is indicative that it will no longer be business as usual in the generation of public funds”.
“Governance cannot run smoothly without finances, therefore, for the Committee to assist the State dwindling resources, transparency must be entrench in the operators of the public funds.
Concluding with admonition and order, Justice Edem stressed on the need to check corrupt practices and engender accountability.
Among the Committee members who were present include, Rt. Hon. Okpechi Friday Gabriel (Chairman), Hon. Edward Ajang (Deputy Chairman), Rt. Hon. Fred Osim (Member), Rt. Hon. Matthew Olory (member), Hon. Cynthia Nkasi (Member), Barr Emmanuel Erim (Deputy Clerk/Secretary) and many others.
Conclusively, Rt. Hon. Friday Gabriel call for a more cordial relationship between the Cross River State House of Assembly and the State Judiciary so as to strengthen the Executive and ensure maximum service delivery to all Cross Riverians.