By; Patrick Titus, Uyo.
Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly has reviewed upward the state’s capital expenditure to N201.9 billion for 2017 fiscal year as against N193.9 billion proposed by Governor Udom Emmanuel.
Similarly, the house has also reduced the recurrent expenditure from earlier proposed N88.4 billion by the Governor to N86.4 billion.
Speaking on Thursday during the passage of the state appropriation bill for the fiscal year, speaker, Mr. Onofiok Luke said that the decision by house to effect the change from the earlier figure presented by Governor Emmanuel was due to the need assessment after due scrutiny by the finance and appropriation committee of the assembly.
A total budget outlay of N371.292 billion was passed into law by the house as against N365 billion proposed to it by the state governor in December last year.
Onofiok commended members of the public who took advantage of the public hearing organized by the house to contribute to the 2017 appropriation bill of the state.
He assured that the budget as passed into law has made provision for massive renovation of schools and primary healthcare facilities especially in rural communities across the state in line with the sixth Assembly’s resolve to attract health insurance for the people.
The Speaker who commended the industrialization policy of Governor Udom Emmanuel led administration, expressed confidence that the 2017 budget as passed into Law will enable the state to actualize her dreams of creating employment for her teeming unemployed youths.
He used the occasion to appeal to pensioners in the state to exercise patient as the legislature has taken steps to address issues of pension and gratuity with the executive to ensure prompt payment.
While urging the executive to ensure that the budget is placed on public domain as soon as signed, the house said such would ensure transparency, accountability and public input on the process of implementation.
The speaker used the occasion to appeal to the Federal government to promptly refund monies spent on federal projects by the Akwa Ibom State government to enable the state shoulder its responsibilities.
Luke, who pledged the preparedness of the legislature to step up its oversight function on government ministries and parastatals to ensure transparency, accountability and effective service delivery, however caution that the intention was not to probe but to support the executive to be up to its responsibilities.