Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State has presented a budget proposal of N651.5 billion to the state House of Assembly for consideration and approval for the 2018 financial year. The revised provision for 2017 was N485.792 billion.
The highlights of the budget showed that recurrent expenditure is estimated at N 92.697 billion, capital expenditure stands at N437.674 billion while consolidated revenue fund charges is put at N120.859 billion making a total of N651.500 billion.
Presenting the budget proposal, Udom said the total projected recurrent revenue for 2018 is estimated at N289.000 billion while the recurrent expenditure is proposed at N213.826 billion.
According to the governor, a total of N35.496 billion is expected from Internally Generated Revenue, N25 billion from Statutory Allocation while N200.800 billion is expected from derivation fund, N12 billion from Value Added Tax (VAT), N32.200 billion from budget support while N2.504 billion will come from retained revenue from parastatals.
The budget showed that economic sector has the highest allocation of N355.851 billion, about 81.3 percent followed by administrator which has been allocated N48.432 billion or 11 percent of the budget.
Christened the budget of consolidation, the governor said the first phase of the state’s industrialisation programme has commenced with the inauguration of some of the industries including the metering factory and the syringe company among others adding that the state government would do more in the second phase.
“In the second phase, we intend to do more in building additional industries and attracting more Foreign Direct Investments while ensuring the consolidation and sustenance of our infrastructure,” he said.
According to the governor, the major policy thrust of his administration would be to expand the economic power base of the state through industrialisation and sustainable public private sector initiatives that would open up opportunities for growth and improved living standard for the people.
Speaking earlier, Onofiok Luke, the speaker of the state house of assembly said the budget would be subjected to inputs of the people; a development he said would be in line with the open budget policy and participatory budgeting culture.
The speaker who described the relationship between the legislature and the executive arm of government cordial and progressive thanked the state government for the support given to the lawmakers that facilitated their training programme abroad as part of capacity building programme.
The speaker noted with satisfaction the appreciable progress made in the agricultural sector in the state saying products that were hitherto thought not be cultivated in the state were not being harvested in large quantity and thanked the governor for his drive in the agricultural sector.
By ANIEFIOK UDONQUAK