Joe Effiong, Uyo
Akwa Ibom state has scaled down it budget size for 2020 tagged: “The Budget of Industrialization for Poverty Alleviation Phase II” to N597.800 billion as against the approved provision of N672.985 billion appropriated for 2019.
The governor, Mr Udom Emmanuel who presented the next year’s fiscal estimate to the state house of assembly on Tuesday in Uyo, however did not give any reason for reducing the budget by N75.5 billion, even though he made some allusion to the paltry recurrent revenue of only N190.7 billion received by the end of August 2019, which represented only 51% of the budgeted amount.
For 2020, the governor said Recurrent Expenditure would gulp N111.225 billion, capital Expenditure, N369.642 billion while N116,933 billion would go for consolidated fund charges.
As against the 2019 budget where N374.8 billion was projected as recurrent revenue, that of 2020 has been scaled up to N381,556 billion to be derived from IGR –N32,556 billion; statutory allocation –N52,000 billion; derivation fund -255,000 billion; retained revenue from parastatals – N2.00 billion; Valued Added Tax (VAT) N20.00 billion
Emmanuel said the policy thrust of the 2020 budget, the first in the Second Term of this Administration, will be to continue to gradually metamorphose Akwa Ibom State from a “Civil Service” State to a largely Private Sector driven State, depending less on statutory allocation as the main source of revenue to the State.
“This will be achieved by creating more job opportunities through opening up the State to encourage private investments, creating a welcoming environment for investors, strengthening existing industries and establishing new ones, as well as improving our IGR processes and drive.
“It is expected that these, as well as the provision of basic infrastructures, enhancement of security, development of human capital and boosting services in education and healthcare will lead to an overall improvement in the living standard of our people.
The 2020 Budget will also serve as a starting point in the actualization of Government’s 8-point COMPLETION AGENDA – Industrialization, Aviation Development, Rural and Riverine Areas Development, Agriculture, Human Capacity Development, Security, Infrastructure and Promotion of Small and Medium Scale Enterprises.
On the sectoral allocation, road works and transport subsector still command the lion share of N115.8 billion because the governor said the importance and necessity of good roads and an efficient transportation system cannot be overstressed being a major attraction to investors to the State.
To this end, my Administration has embarked on massive construction/rehabilitation of roads/bridges, improvement/maintenance of standard urban electricity supply, and the installation and reactivation of street lights, along major roads/streets.
“This budget will properly link all the eight prongs in order to bring about a coordinated and sustainable development with multiplier effects on economic growth, employment generation and wealth creation, which will in turn lead to economic stability and social cohesion.”