By Okon Bassey
The Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly has passed the state 2021 Appropriation Bill of N456.25 billion into law.
The 2021 budget, as passed by the state Assembly, is made up of N164.52 billion as recurrent expenditure, N241.45 billion for capital expenditure, and N50,29 billion allocated for consolidated revenue fund charges.
The 2021 budget presented to the Assembly by the state Governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel, on October 20, 2020, was christened: ‘Budget of Economic Reconstruction’, and was passed into law at plenary of the state Assembly.
The Chairman, Assembly Committee on Finance and Appropriation, Hon. Uduak Odudoh, had explained that the bill was passed into law in pursuant to Section 14 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) and the relevant provisions of the Fiscal Responsibility Act 2004.
He said the committee adopted participatory approach in its legislative budgetary process where Ministries Departments and Agencies (MDAs), non-governmental organisations and other relevant publics were invited to attend a public hearing on the budget on November 3, 2020.
The budget, the lawmaker said, was focused on the ‘Completion Agenda’ of the state government, stressing that its augmentation of N20.59 billion from the initial provision of N435.65 billion gives a reviewed outlay of N456.26 billion for the 2021 fiscal year.
Odudoh also said the recurrent expenditure was reviewed upward by N6.11 billion from the initial N158.40 billion and capital expenditure by N14.49 billion from the initial N226.96 billion, giving a rise to N20.59 billion.
The Speaker of the House of Assembly, Hon. Aniekan Bassey, in his remark, commended the MDAs that appeared before the Assembly Committee on Finance and Appropriation during the budget defence.
According to the Speaker, by the passage of the bill, the commencement date for the implementation of 2021 appropriation law would be January 1, 2021.
He said the overall objective of the law was to give priority to areas of immediate importance to the Akwa Ibom people.
Bassey directed the Clerk of the Assembly, Mrs. Mandu Umoren, to send a clean copy of the law to the state governor for assent.