Okon Bassey in Uyo
The Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Mr. Udom Emmanuel, at the weekend announced the sum of N651.5 billion as the financial estimate of the state in the year 2018.
The budget proposal christened â€œBudget of Consolidation on Industrialisationâ€ was presented to the state House of Assembly for consideration and passage into law.
The 2018 financial estimate of the state, according to the governor is predicated on oil benchmark of $45 per barrel at the production of 2.3 million barrel per day.
He said the 2018 budget estimate is based on globally acclaimed method known as International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS) which promotes uniformity, accountability, transparency among others.
A breakdown of the budget showed that recurrent expenditure took N92.697billion, capital expenditure, N437.674billion while consolidation revenue fund charges got N120.859billion.
The total projected recurrent revenue for 2018 is estimated at N289.000billion as against N118.500billion of 2017, while recurrent expenditure for 2018 is proposed at N213.826billion. Capital expenditure for the 2018 is estimated at N437.674billion as against the approved revised provision of N313.498billion for 2017.
Ecological funds attract N26.5bn, refunds from the federal government N65bn, investment income would account for N1bn, refunds from excess loan deduction while transfer from consolidated revenue fund charges would provide N75bn of capital receipts.
The economic sector would gulp N355.85bn representing 81 per cent of the budget while general administration was allocated N48.3bn with law and justice, social and regional sectors receiving N3.8bn, N28.13bn and N1.5bn respectively.
The policy thrust for the budget is predicated on actualisation of economic power base of the state through industrialisation and sustainable public-private sector initiative.
â€œEnsuring the security of lives and property of the people all the times, continuous development, mobilization and promotion of youth and women empowerment programmee, ensuring accountability and transparency in government by fighting and tackling corruption in all facets of our administration, among others.â€
The governor said early passage of the budget would ensure its quick implementation and the provision of democratic dividend to the people of the state.
Receiving the budget document, the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Hon. Onofiok Luke noted that the 2017 fiscal year had been eventful.
â€œFrom the independent assessments of the last three quarters of 2017 by the House committee on appropriation and finance, the performances of the 2017 budget have been plausible. And the evidences are visible in the massive projects spread across the state.
â€œThis house is particularly pleased with the recorded achievements in the agricultural sector such as the growing of vegetables which were previously thought impossible around here as well as the setting up of rice farm in Ini and the distribution of improved Cocoa seedlings to over 2000 farmers across the state.
â€œWe also made noticeable gains in the social sector as seen in the equipping of schools and hospitals. We must state our pleasure in the fact that under the current administration, Akwa Ibom has gained a head start in the economic development sector through concerted efforts made in the area of industrialisation.
â€œIt has engineered an investment drive resulting in job creation and job opportunities like we see in the metering industry, the syringe industry and others that are coming.