By: Patrick Titus, Uyo.
The Akwa Ibom State 2016 appropriation bill has been passed into law by the sSate House of Assembly with a total figure of N423 billion against N426 presented by Governor Udom Emmanuel to the house for ratification.
Breakdown of the amended budget size showed an increased by N2 billion in recurrent expenditure from N92.964 billion earlier proposed , capital expenditure decreased to N243 billion against proposed N245 billion while consolidated revenue fund charges is N85.036 against N88.036 billion figure.
At a plenary sitting during which the appropriation bill passed through the third reading before passage, the Speaker, Mr. Onofiok Luke said that the adjustment became necessary in line with current realities with emphasis on available revenue sources of government.
Onofiok who also said that the implementation of the budget took effect from January 1st this year, directed the Clerk of the House, Mrs. Mandu Umoren to forward the 2016 appropriation law to the state governor for immediate assent and implementation.
He described the 2016 appropriation as being in tandem with the vision of state government for a sustainable development with emphasizes on industrialization.
The Speaker commended members of the House Committee on Finance and Appropriation led by the Member representing Ibeno/Esit Eket state constituency, Mr. Usoro Akpanuso for being thorough in dissecting all the provisions in the appropriation bill by making it interactive where all ministries, departments and agencies of the state government appeared before the committee and defended their individual budget proposal, hence the quick passage of the bill into law.
He pledged the continued commitment by the legislative to cooperate with all arms of the government in the state to ensure actualization of Akwa Ibom project which bothers on improved and sustainable standards of living of the citizenry.
It would be recalled that Governor Emmanuel while presenting the budget to the State House of Assembly for ratification last December, said the budget was prepared based current global economic realities.
The breakdown of the budget then showed recurrent expenditure of N92.964 billion, capital expenditure N245 billion while consolidated revenue fund charges is N88.036 billion.
He christened it, “budget of sustainable development” in the major economic sectors of the state predicated on the oil bench mark of $30 per barrel at a production rate of $2.0 million barrel per day.
Further breakdown indicated that current revenue is estimated at N284.665 billion made up of internally generated revenue (IGR) N35.273 billion, statutory allocation – N35 billion, derivation fund – N200.000 billion, retained revenue from parastatals – N2.392 billion while value added tax (VAT) is N12 billion.
The Governor explained that the policy thrust and objectives of the budget are directed at 12 major points which include among others, the consolidation of the transformation so far achieved and setting new measures for further action that would surpass the performance outlined in the state medium term plan document tagged AK – VISION 2020.
Actualization of the economic power base of the state through industrialization and sustainable public/private sector initiative that will open up opportunities for growth and improved living standard of the citizenry.
Another is the creation and maintenance of enabling environment where the tenets of democratic governance shall thrive and dividends of democracy dispensed for the betterment of all.
Ensuring the security of lives and property of the people at all times, while adhering to the principle of the rule of law, thereby ensuring equity, justice and fair play.
In implementing the budget to realize the dream, Governor Emmanuel said that his administration would build a strong fiscal regime through the expansion of the state revenue base and the elimination of wastages and leakages in the expenditure profile.