Governor Udom Emmanuel yesterday proposed a budget size of N365.251 billion for the 2017 financial year as against N423.000 billion of 2016. The budget tagged Budget of Consolidation is made up of N 88.425 billion for Recurrent Expenditure, N193.956 billion for Capital Expenditure and Consolidated Revenue Fund Charges of N82.870billion.
Sectoral breakdown of the 2017 budget as presented by the Governor, Mr Udom Emmanuel shows that
Administration was allocated N42.204bn, Economic sector – N128.021bn, Law and Justice – N2.978bn, Regional – N0.800bn and Social – N19.953bn.
According to Governor Emmanuel, Education is allocated N8.620bn, Science and Technology – N1.000bn, Agriculture – N6.831, Land, Housing and Urban Development – N16.089bn, Rural Development – N0.800bn, Environment and Mineral Resources – N2.000bn, Investment, Commerce and Industry – N2.830bn, Culture and Tourism – N0.700bn, Health – N5.750bn while Road, Works and Transport has the highest allocation of N94.864bn.
While emphasizing that industrialization was paramount for his administration, the governor, said that his government for 2017 would be committed to completing all viable abandoned projects and reviving ailing viable industries. “We are committed to leaving no uncompleted project. Our objectives and effort may sound radical, but that is so, because we approach issues outside of the box of conventional wisdom. When the passion is right, nothing shall be impossible. Industrialization will create employment opportunities for our teeming youths and lift people from dependency to self-sustenance”.
The Governor noted that his administration intends to sustain the tempo and level of agricultural activities currently going on in the State by using the dynamics of technology in the sector adding that the Integrated Farmers Scheme (IFS), FADAMA III Programme, Rice Project, Women Agro-Entrepreneurship Programme (WADEP), Community Plantation Development Scheme (CPDS) and the Rural Community Farms Development Scheme among other programmes of the ministry will be pursued vigorously for sustainable development and food sufficiency in the State.
The state Chief Executive informed the Speaker and members that the 2017 Budget is predicated on an oil benchmark of $35:00 per barrel at a production rate of 1.0 million barrels per day where the price benchmark envisioned is based on the current decline in global price of crude oil; and “the production level which is below OPEC quota could serve a dual purpose – to accommodate disruptions in local production and further inherent decline in global price of crude oil”.
In his response, the Speaker of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, Barr Onofiok Luke thanked the State Governor for timely presentation of the 2017 Budget proposals to the House for consideration. He assured the Governor that the House would do justice to the proposal for the betterment of indigenes of the state