From Joe Effiong, Uyo
Akwa Ibom State Government has scaled down its 2017 budgetary estimate to N365.251 billion.
This amount is lower by N58 billion than that of the current (2016) fiscal year which was N423 billion.
Governor Udom Emmanuel who presented the budget tagged: “Budget of consolidation” to the House of Assembly, yesterday, said at the end of the third quarter of this year, only 37 percent of the expected recurrent revenue amounting to NN104.8 billion was received.
He said despite that, coupled with the ongoing recession, the state operated with the framework of the approved budget and the limits of available resources.
“Government has proposed a budgetary outlay of N365.251 billion to be made up of N88.425 billion for recurrent expenditure, N193.956 billion for capital expenditure and N82.870 billion as consolidated revenue fund charges.
“The 2017 budget is predicated on an oil benchmark of $35.00 per barrel at a production rate of 1 million barrels per day. The price benchmark envisioned here is based on the current decline in global price of crude oil. And the production level which is below OPEC quota could serve a dual purpose: to accommodate disruptions in local production and further inherent decline in global price of crude oil.
He urged the House to expeditiously consider and approve the budget proposal.
“Mr. Speaker and honourable members, my administration preaches consolidation and continuity. Consequently, we intend to make the welfare of the Akwa Ibom person the centre piece of all our developmental efforts and actions as a government,” he said.
We will pursue sustainability in all facets of our endeavour.”
In his remarks, the Speaker, Onofiok Luke said as lawmakers, no matter how slow the economy may be, would support the the executive arm of government in all ramifications to create jobs for our people in the coming year.
“We will play our roles without fear to ensure that Akwa Ibom fully becomes an investment-friendly environment which promotes start-ups as well as small and medium scale businesses. We promise our constituents that we will continue to engage this state executive towards ensuring that the industrialisation promise of this government was not only a promise but one that is concretised by tangible actions.
“We will look into the budget to see to it that more children and women have access to free primary healthcare services; that infrastructure in our schools are standard for conducive learning; and that the security of lives and property, just as stated by the governor, takes a pride of place in this administration,” Luke said.