The Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly yesterday approved a total of N423 for 2016 fiscal year.
The 2016 appropriations bill as approved by the House has a total of N94,963,609,950 as recurrent expenditure, N243,000,000,000 for capital expenditure and N85.3 billion for consolidated revenue fund charges.
The recurrent expenditure estimates approved by the House is N3billion lower than the proposal submitted by the Governor.
Also, the House made N2 billion savings from the proposed capital expenditure of N245 submitted by Governor Udom Emmanuel.
With the passage of the appropriations bill, the governor is authorized to approve monies from the consolidated and capital development fund for the development of State.
The Chairman of the Appropriations and Finance, Mr. Usoro Akpanusoh while submitting the committee’s report during last plenary charged the executive to ensure total releases approved for the internal revenue services to help the parastatal generate more revenue for government programmmes.
Akpanusoh called on the State Government to engage the services of limited liability companies in contract execution.
Briefing assembly correspondents in his office at the end of plenary, Chairman of the House Committee on Information, Barr. Ime Okon explained that the House had to consider and approve an overall decrease in the 2016 estimates for capital expenditure by two billion. The Ibiono Ibom member said: “The total budget outlay is N423billion, N3billion less than what was presented by the governor. What we have passed is made up of 94.963billion for recurrent expenditure, N243billion for capital expenditure and N85.036billion for consolidated revenue fund charges. We’ve made savings of N2billion from capital expenditure which has been augmented to recurrent expenditure to increase it by two billion as against what was presented by the governor. Then we have had a reduction of three billion naira from consolidated revenue fund charges. We have ended up reducing the budget as presented by the governor by three billion naira.”
In conclusion, the Speaker Barr Onofiok Luke noted that “the 2016 appropriation law is entirely in tandem with the Sustainable Development Goals of government. I believe this is why the budget is justifiably christened the budget of sustainable development. We must therefore commend His Excellency the governor for fashioning the budget to conform with sustainable development agenda.
In his words “Whereas we have finished with our legislative function regarding the 2016 budget, we must move very rapidly to the next stage of oversighting. The aim is to ensure proper implementation as God would bless our state with the resources. Our various committees provide us the platforms on which we must look into the activities of various ministries, agencies, and parastatals with the aim of ensuring proper implementation of allocations. I therefore urge the executive to embrace this purely mutually beneficial oversight roles of ours. They should not see it as a probe process or a confrontation. Rather, doors should at all times be opened to us within the fiscal year to help make our oversighting efforts a success.”
It would be recalled that Governor Udom Emmanuel presented a budget proposal of N426 billion for the 2016 fiscal year for Akwa Ibom State in December 2015 to the State House of Assembly.
The recurrent expenditure as presented by the governor was N92.964 billion, while the capital expenditure was N245 billion with Consolidated Revenue Fund Charges N88.036 billion.
This showed a drop in the state’s budget for 2016 by N58 billion, when compared with that of 2015 which was N484 billion.
Mr. Emmanuel explained that this was due to the decline in the price of oil in the international market.
The governor said the budget proposal for 2016 is predicated on the federal government benchmark of $30 per barrel of oil and the production rate of 2 million barrels per day.
The expenditure breakdown as read by the governor showed that Road and Transports was allocated N100.244 billion which is the largest.
Health was allocated N7.419 billion, while Investment, Commerce and Industry, and Agriculture were allocated N7.986 billion and N8.071 billion respectively.
Other sectors and their allocation in the budget were: Education, N9.888billion; Rural Development, N3.258 billion; Science and Technology, N0.861billion; Land, Housing and Urban Development, N31.257 billion.
The governor said his administration would continue with the free and compulsory education initiated by the previous administration of Godswill Akpabio.