By: PATRICK TITUS, Uyo
The Akwa Ibom State Governor, Udom Emmanuel has proposed a total budget outlay of N597.800 billion for the 2020 fiscal year in the state, christened as “Budget of Industrialization for Poverty Alleviation Phase ll.”
Presenting it to the State House of Assembly on Tuesday for ratification, Governor said the 2020 financial estimate is N75.19 billion less than the 2019 as appropriated and passed by the House.
A breakdown shows N111.225billion is for Recurrent Expenditure, N369.642 billion for Capital Expenditure and N116.933billion as Consolidated Revenue fund charges.
The total projected recurrent revenue is estimated at N381.556billion as against the approved provision of N374.758billion in 2019.
Governor Emmanuel said the 2020 budget is designed as a key milestone in actualizing his administration’s completion agenda.
According to the Governor, the proposal is predicated on an oil benchmark of $55 per barrel at a production rate of N2.18 million barrels per day, with an estimated exchange rate of N305/US dollar in line with the national budget benchmark projections.
He said the Budget of Industrialization for Poverty Alleviation phase ll is so named because the state had started witnessing major breakthroughs in industrialization through construction and commissioning of industries currently in full operations in the state while some are ongoing.
“The 2020 budget aims to support areas that will deliver inclusive growth and massive employment opportunities such as the construction of the Ibom Deep Seaport, completion of Airport project, purchase of more airplanes and competition of the 21-storey Intelligent Building among others.” he added.
Governor Emmanuel maintained that the 2020 budget is predicated on the 8-point agenda that forms the policy thrust of his completion agenda of industrialization, aviation development, security, infrastructure, small and medium scale enterprises, human capacity development, Agriculture, and Rural and Riverine Area development.
He explained that with the full implementation of the provisions, the budget would ensure for the state, a society that is self-reliant and less dependent on statutory allocation from the centre.
Commending the Assembly for living up to her responsibilities since inauguration, the Governor said the Executive will always work together with the legislature and the judiciary arms to deliver good governance to the people.
He charged the state assembly for speedy approval for the financial estimate, and support to its implementation, in line with his administration promise to faithfully implement the provisions of the budget for the general good and well-being of our people.
Receiving the 2020 budget estimate, the speaker of state house of assembly, Aniekan Bassey said legislative arm will continually support Governor Emmanuel to achieve his economic blueprint for the state.
The Speaker expressed hope that the 2020 Budget would mark another milestone in the on -going industrialisation and consolidation efforts of the state government.
He lauded the Governor for putting together the fiscal policy document which he said, will add extra verve to the economy of the state, given the performance of the 2019 Budget.
Speaker Bassey noted that the strides by Governor Emmanuel’s administration are evidence in many flagship industries being attracted to the state
He assured the Governor that the House, through effective legislation and oversight functions would ensure the 2020 Budget delivers on its promises to stimulate the economy of the state, deliver inclusive growth and prioritise the welfare of the people.
While harping on the concept of Separation of Powers which he said has helped every arm of government to be alive to its responsibilities, the Speaker however said there is a new concept of separation of powers, which he noted encourages the spirit of collaboration of the various arms of government.
He therefore said the 7th Assembly, even in the face of Separation of Powers, would cooperate with the Executive arm for the benefit of Akwa Ibom people.
The Speaker urged Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), to ensure they provide all necessary supporting budget data and adhere to the time table that will be announced by the House Committee on Finance and Appropriation to ensure speedy passage of the budget.