By Ifiok ITIABA -Uyo
Members of Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly has rejected a motion brought before the House by member representing Nsit Atai State Constituency, Hon Mark Esset.
The motion titled “The need to curb the menace of illicit bread production and sale within Akwa Ibom State”, was unanimously rejected by the lawmakers for lack of merit, proper research and documentation.
Moving his motion during plenary today, Hon Esset informed the House about the use of dangerous chemicals like potassium bromate and other harmful additives as bread/flour improves to make bread, despite the awareness created by government to ensure that quality bread is available for consumption.
He therefore suggested to the House to direct government to organise and sustain a systematic reorientation programme of training in food hygiene and registration of bread vendors.
He also urged the House to pass a resolution directing the government to establish a bread park where those coming in from outside the state will first be presented for inspection by officials of government to ensure compliance before being distributed for consumption.
Continuing, he urged the House to direct the state government to ensure adherence of bakers to the regulations guiding bread production.
In his contribution, the member representing Mbo State Constituency, Hon Samuel Ufuo said it is the responsibility of NAFDAC, Public and Environmental Health to look into any unwholesome food that is produced or manufactured.
Hon. Ufuo maintained that he has been eating local bread since and he is still alive and pointed out that so far nobody from the public has filed in a petition as to complain the production and sales of bread in Akwa Ibom State.
Also speaking, the member representing Esit Eket/Ibeno State Constituency, Rt. Hon Usoro Akpanusoh noted that the House had not received petition about any harm done to people following illicit production of bread in the state and urged lawmakers that they should not interfere with people’s responsibilities.
In his words, “I find it very difficult to agree that this motion has to do with public interest. There is no public outcry. The House of Assembly has not come across any petition reporting illicit production or consumption of illicit bread”.
On his part, the member representing Abak, Elder Friday Iwok said the mover of the motion did not give adequate data and statistics to backup his presentation and therefore should not seek for the support of members.
Also speaking against the motion, Hon Idongesit Ituen of Itu State Constituency said the motion seems to be a good idea, but totally muddled up.
According to him, “The House should not entertain things that have no basis. Let’s look at damage this motion would do to the bread industry.
This motion lacks merit, not on a good foundation and so it cannot stand. You cannot put something on nothing. It has no substance embedded in it. Languages and terms used do not connect”.
All members present during plenary unanimously rejected the motion and asked the sponsor to withdraw the motion.