Thursday, 22 January 2015

AKHA holds pre-hearing on 2015 budget *as Ministries, Boards appear before Committee

AKHA holds pre-hearing on 2015 budget *as Ministries, Boards appear before Committee

The Akwa Ibom State  House of Assembly    has held pre-hearing on the 2015 budget proposal.

The briefing took place on Monday at the House of Assembly complex, Udo Udoma Avenue, Uyo.
Declaring the briefing open, the Speaker of Akwa Ibom State Assembly, Elder Sam Ikon said pre-hearing on the 2015 budget was necessary in order for those concerns to explain every part of the budget to the understanding of House of Assembly members as well as stakeholders in the state who are interested.

Ikon said the AKHA has always given accelerated hearing to every budget of the state, adding the 5th Assembly is the people’s Assembly even as he urged the ministries concern to give the necessary information as it concern the 2015 budget.

He maintained that though the present administration is winding down, the House of Assembly is determined to give the budget a fast attention in order to allow Governor Godswill Akpabio complete all the on-going projects in the state.

According to Ikon, Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly is determined to ensure the government ends well. We will always stand to ensure the dividends of democracy are given to our people. We will do the needful to ensure the budget would be passed to law as soon as possible.

The AKHA speaker used the opportunity to thank Governor Akpabio for his uncommon transformation programmes across the state even he promised that the House will help the Governor to take the state to the next level.

In his welcome speech, the House Committee on Finance and Appropriation, Hon. Eyakeno Etukudo said the 5th Assembly is committed to ensuring that the dividends of Democracy widely spread across the state are consolidated and maintained to ensure that the state is fast driven from the land of promise to the land of fulfillment.

In his words “we cannot achieve this in the absence of a balanced, purposeful and high capital-recurrent ratio inclined budgets. It is the budget that can effectively launch the state on the path of growth and development provided its implementation is in line with the approved implementation strategies and within budgetary provisions.”

Hon. Etukudo, who is the member representing Ibesikpo Austan State Constituency further noted that in order to ensure the committee is well guided in her assignment, the committee deemed it fit to invite Commissioners for Finance and Economic Development for a pre-budget briefing.

Briefing the Committee on the revenue profile and policy trust of Government in the 2015 appropriation bill, the Commissioner for Finance, Mr. Akan Okon said this year’s budget is #462 billion as against the last year’s #498 billion as was budgeted.

On the total revenue, he said the state is expected to generate internal revenue of #3.94 billion, while recurrent expenditure will be #2.9 billion including pensions and gratuities which will amount to #253 billion as total expenditure.

On the allocation of the budget, Mr. Okon said the general administration is #9.6 billion, while #1.6 billion will go in to economy sector, law and justice #7.6 billion, original #3.1 billion and social is #76.1 billion.

The Finance Commissioner stressed that the policy trust and objectives of the 2015 budget is to complete all the on-going projects in the state as well as construct new ones, adding that it is the believe of the government that when all the on-going projects are completed, it will have the capacity of generating internal revenue to the state.

On stimulating the economy of the state, he said government emphasis would be placed on agriculture as the government is determined to invest in agriculture as well as peaceful society, noting that government will ensure a save state through effective security.

According to the Finance boos, we intend to sustain youth empowerment programmes, build effective security network across the state and we also intend to make public service work more infective in the state.
Also briefing the Committee on the capital components and implementation strategies of government, the Commissioner for Economic Development, Mr.Okpo Ante said as the present administration is transiting, government is determined to create more jobs opportunity in order to improve the living standard of Akwa Ibom people.

Ante maintained that plans and policy trust of Government is to lay foundations of a real agricultural growth in the state, adding that his ministry will create links between the state and internal market by providing a conductive environment  in order to attract investors to the state.

It could be recalled that on Tuesday, 30th December, 2014 Governor Akpabio had presented and submitted to the House of Assembly, the budget proposals of the state for 2015 fiscal year. The 2015 appropriation will was later committed to House Committee on Appropriation and Finance for her in-depth study on Tuesday 13th January 2015.

Meanwhile, some Ministries and Boards in the state on Wednesday appeared before the House Committee on Finance and Appropriation in order to defend their proposals as it concern the 2015 budget.

Appeared before the Committee were: Ministries of Science and Technology, Finance, Economic Development, Lands and Town Planning. While Boards were: State Basic Universal Education Board and State Secondary Education Board.      

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