By; PATRICK TITUS, Uyo
The Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly has passed the 2018 appropriation bill of N646.65 billion into law.
The budget as passed by the House has been reduced in size by 0.74 per cent as against N651.50 billion presented by Governor Udom Emmanuel on November 24, 2017.
In his presentation, Chairman, House Committee on Finance and Appropriation, Mr. Usoroh Akpanusoh urged the executive to implement the budget as passed.
Akpanusoh, who is also a member representing Ibeno Esit Eket state constituency, in his report appealed to government to ensure that amount appropriated were promptly release to MDAs, stressing that government should ensure judicious use of the funds as budgeted.
The Speaker, Mr. Onofiok Luke said the House in carrying out the responsibilities as parliament ensured that its actions were in line with the position of the stakeholders at the public hearing earlier organised by the House.
“These positions influenced the various augmentations and savings we made in the budget in line with our commitment to reflecting the people’s yearnings and aspirations at all times.
“A large percentage of this budget is therefore targeted at economic activities and infrastructure development, taking into cognizance that the informal sector (the craftsmen, the artisans etc.) thrive when intense effort is geared towards building infrastructure,” the Speaker stated.
He lauded the state governor for what he described as “prompt action in boosting the economic sector of our state to stimulate the opportunities for job creation for our increasing youth workforce.”
The Speaker also commended the member of the House Committee on Finance and Appropriation for their painstaking jon to ensure prompt passage of the state 2018 appropriation bill into law.
He directed the Clerk of the House, Mrs. Mandu Umoren to forward the appropriation law to Governor Udom Emmanuel for assent.
It would be recalled when presented the budget, Governor Emmanuel had said that the policy framework of 2018 budget is predicated on developmental objectives and catalysts, outlined in the state medium term plan document and would be strictly adhered to in pursuing transformation agenda.
The 2018 budget would also aim at actualization of the economic power base of the state through industrialisation and sustainable public private sector initiatives that would open up opportunities for growth and improved living standard.