By Azogor Ideba
Hillary Ekpang Bisong whose fresh air sobriquet appears to have taken over the entire Cross River House of Assembly since its inauguration on 11th June, 2015 represents the good people of Boki II State Constituency in the Cross River 8th Legislature where he is also the House Committee Chairman on Culture, Tourism and Events Management.
Within 100 days in office, Bisong holds the record as the only first timer with the sponsorship of a bill which has been passed into law to his credit. This feat is mainly due to the legislator’s avowed pledge to not only effectively represent the people of Boki II but to also give them a vibrant voice in the Cross River State House of Assembly.
It is on record that the Corporate Social Responsibility Bill which was subsequently passed into law was the brain child of this pragmatic legislator who felt that corporate organisations operating in the state were doing little or nothing to reciprocate the people’s gestures. “Companies operate within an environment and people own and inhabit these places. A situation where a company for instance makes a huge fortune from our resources only to turn around and neglect that same community and its people is inhuman. We can no longer tolerate such insensitivity meted out on our people”, the legislator once said while justifying the motivation behind the Corporate Social Responsibility bill during its public hearing.
He further argued that corporate organisations established in the state owe a corporate responsibility to the people in ensuring that their environment of operation and the people are given some measure of attention through the provision of certain amenities to improve their living condition.
True to his submission, Bisong with the input of other members of the Assembly ensured that this bill scaled through all the necessary legislative hurdles and was subsequently passed into law on Wednesday, September 2, 2015. His second individual member bill, the Calabar International Conference Centre (CICC) Management Bill presently at public hearing stage, seeks for an administrative structure to manage the CICC edifice for maximum utilization, thus making the CICC a profitable venture for Cross River State.
As member of the House committees on Information & Communication Technology; Petroleum, Environment & NDDC matters; Youth, Sports Development & Labour matters he has been playing frontline roles in the activities of these committees ensuring that his legislative sagacity is stamped on every proceeding at committees and the House plenary sessions. Little wonder that he has co-sponsored about 4 bills which are now laws of Cross River state. He has also made invaluable input into the various laws passed by the Assembly in 100 days. These laws include the State Infrastructure Fund Law, the Infrastructural Maintenance & Regulatory Agency Law, the Kidnapping Prohibition Law, the Waterfront Infrastructure Management Agency Law, the Social Housing Law, the Tax Exemption Law, and the Wharf Landing Fees & Charges Law, among others.
The Assembly’s legacy Projects – the Citizen Legislative Agenda Project (CLAP) which is geared at making the people the centre of legislation and partners in the business of the legislature and the Democracy Club/Youth Parliament established to help groom future generation of democrats and legislators received vital boost by this very man who stopped at nothing to ensure that these projects became a reality. Indeed Hillary Ekpang Bisong is not only a voice but also a force to reckon with in the Cross River State 8th Legislature.
With barely 100 days, this humble, diligent and dogged legislator has proven himself worthy of the mandate of his people. The years ahead will only further reveal the stuff this Boki born politician is made of.
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