Joe Effiong, Uyo
Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State has proposed total budgetary outlay of N670.718 billion for the 2019 financial year as against the approved provision of N 646.649 billion of 2018.
This is made up of Recurrent Expenditure of N 97.096 billion, Capital Expenditure of N 445.936 billion and Consolidated Revenue Fund Charges of N127.686 billion.
Presenting the proposal, on Wednesday, to the state’s House of Assembly, Mr. Emmanuel said the 2019 budget tagged ‘Budget of Industrialisation for Poverty Alleviation’ is aimed at reducing dependence on statutory allocation as the main source of revenue to the state.
“This will be pursued by establishing more industries, improving IGR and providing the enabling environment which will encourage private investments in the state.
“The state government will also create employment opportunities and improve the living standard of our people by providing basic infrastructures, enhancing security, develop human capital and continue to boost services in education and healthcare,” the governor said.
He explained that the 2019b budget is predicated on oil benchmark of $60 per barrel at a production rate of N2.3million barrels per day, with an estimated exchange rate of N305/US$, in line with the national budget benchmark projections.
As in previous years’ budgets, derivation fund, expected to rake in a total of N250 billion, still leads in sources of recurrent revenue, followed by statutory allocation which comes a distant second with an estimate of N50 billion, IGR is third with only N43,7 billion while Retained Revenue from parastatals comes last with only N2.55 million.
On the flip side, the state is expected to spend N374.243 billion as against the approved provision of N289.000 billion for 2018.
The governor however lamented that only 60 per cent of the recurrent revenue of the 2018 budget was collected as at the end of the third quarter this year; but that operating within the framework of the approved budget and the limits of available resources, “the state government had been able to record remarkable achievements in its industrialisation efforts.
“We have consolidated on the gains of democratic governance and we have given fresh breath to our campaign promises,” he said.
he said new strategies such as expanding the revenue base of the state by eliminating wastage and leakages in expenditure; employing effective public-private partnership strategies to provide much needed industrial and infrastructural development; attracting potential investors and donor agencies to invest in the relevant and key sectors of the State economy and also undertake robust human capital development, would be adopted in the implementation of the 2019 budget.
Speaker of the Assembly, Mr. Onofiok Luke, while receiving the governor, said that having had the privilege to receive and analyse the budgets of the current administration for three consecutive years, and against his experience in the previous years as Chairman of appropriation and finance of this House, he was in an informed position to weigh the indices and draw conclusions on the performance of the budgetary proposals of this government.
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Without sentiments, I wish to state that the fiscal responsibility which has been brought to bear on our state finances has been such which has promoted nothing short of our common prosperity and the security of lives and properties of Akwa Ibom people.
“That our people are safer and more secure today is the direct effect of the towering priority given to prosperity and security in the previous budgets of sustainable development, consolidation and industrialisation. I say this from the position of incontestable knowledge,” Luke said.