By Isaiah Eka
The Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly on Wednesday passed the 2019 Appropriation Bill of N672.94bn billion, as against N646.65 billion for 2018.
The budget, as passed by the assembly has an increase of N2 billion from the amount submitted to the House by Gov. Udom Emmanuel, which was N670.72 billion.
The 2019 Budget is made up of N447.90 billion as Capital Expenditure, N97.39 billion for Recurrent Expenditure and N127.69 billion for Consolidated Revenue.
Tagged: “Budget of Industrialisation and Poverty Alleviation”, the budget was presented by the governor in November 2018.
The Speaker, Mr Onofiok Luke, said that new inputs in the budget were due to a recent public hearing of stakeholders.
He said that the overall objective was to give priority to areas of immediate importance to Akwa Ibom people.
“We tailored the bill to meet salient socio-economic agenda of government, and of particular interests to us were infrastructure development, job creation and revenue generation.
“And to keep the budget with current needs, and having considered the opinions of Akwa Ibom people and stakeholders, we decided to increase the total budget outlay by a little over 2 billion to bring the 2019 estimates to 672,984,760,760 Naira.
“For instance, to further strengthen secondary education in the state, augmentation to the tune of 61.976million Naira was made to the State Secondary Education Board.
“We made similar augmentation to the Akwa Ibom Universal Basic Education Board, where specific provisions were made for the upgrade of library facilities with reading materials including newspapers, magazines and journals for our children.
“To strengthen local government administration, we augmented the initial N150 million provision for Local Government Service Commission by 447million Naira.
“Under that provision, we included an extra subhead providing for the establishment and setting up of computer units and laboratories at the Local Government Service Commission and in all the 31 local government areas in the state,” Luke said.
He directed the Clerk of the House, Mrs Mandu Umoren, to send the clean copy of bill to the governor for assent.