Akwa Ibom state House of Assembly yesterday passed the 2017 budget with an increase of N6 billion bringing the total budget outlay to N371.292 billion from N365.254 which was presented to the House on December 22, 2016 by the State Governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel.
The budget is made up of N88.424billon for recurrent expenditure, N201.998 billion for the capital expenditure, and N80.870billion for consolidated revenue fund charges.
The bill which was passed after its third reading went through a clause by clause consideration after the report was submitted by the Chairman of the House Committee on Appropriation and Finance, Dr. Usoro Akpanusoh.
Approving the estimate, the lawmakers tasked the executive to ensure prompt release of funds for capital projects while also directing Ministries, Department and Agencies of government, MDA’s to furnish the House of Assembly with quarterly reports on the level of implementation of the budget by the MDA’s.
In his remarks after the Bill was passed, the Speaker, Barr. Onofiok Luke, thanked the Chairman and members of the Appropriation Committee, standing committees of the House and the entire House members for their painstaking effort in seeing to the successful passage of the budget.
He extended appreciation to members of the public including, the press, civil societies, representatives of the Traditional Rulers Council, among other critical stakeholders for their inputs during the public hearing conducted by the House on the appropriation bill.
He assured that the open legislature policy of the 6th Assembly will be sustained for the benefit of Akwa Ibom people. He cited the introduction of public hearings on the state appropriation bill, and the live coverage of proceedings in the House of Assembly as some laudable innovations are clear indication of the commitment of the current legislature to the promotion of an open door legislature where Akwa Ibom people are kept abreast of activities in the House of Assembly.
Barr Luke commended Governor Udom Emmanuel for his commitment to the betterment of the well-being of the people, and reassured of the maximum cooperation of the legislature to the executive and Judiciary arm.