Akwa lbom State House of Assembly has amended the 2020 Appropriation Law from N597.74b to N195, 6b due to the sharp decline in the price of crude oil at the international oil market as a result of the COVID-19 Pandemic.
The lawmakers today unanimously passed the 2020 Budget Amendment Bill to Law after receiving a letter from the State Governor which stated the need to review the budget to align with the reality on the ground.
According to the Bill, as amended, ” The Accountant General of Akwa lbom State may, when authorized so to do by warrants issued by the Governor of Akwa lbom, ln addition to the sums provided for section 1 of the Appropriation Law , 2020 pay by warrants not exceeding savings in the sum of Thirteen Billion Naria from the Consolidated Revenue Fund and One Hundred and Eighty-Two , Six Hundred and Thirty- Five Million Naria from the Capital Development Fund.”
The Bill was, however, passed into law after first and second reading before dissolving the house into Committee of Supply and later read the third time.
In his remarks, the Speaker of the House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Aniekan Bassey, said “it is true that our state is at war with an unseen enemy, the Coronavirus. As Akwa lbom people, we are strong, resilient, unbroken and unbowed to the pandemic.”
“I applaud Governor Udom Emmanuel for painstakingly standing by the people of Akwa Ibom State, for setting up the COVID-19 Taskforce Committee and Post COVID-19 Economic Recovery Committee for the good and progress of Akwa lbom,” he said.
Speaking further, the Speaker charged the citizens of Akwa lbom State to curb the spread of the Coronavirus by staying safe, observing social distancing and other preventive methods.
In their various submissions, the lawmakers commended the Governor Udom Emmanuel for finding it imperative to downsize the 2020 budgetary provisions to align with current economic realities.
Briefing the Assembly Correspondents after the plenary, Chairman of the House Committee on Information, Barrister Aniefiok Dennis, said the special sitting was necessitated based on the global economic reality as posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
While urging the people of the state to continue to adhere to necessary preventive majors, he said “the 7th Assembly remains appreciative to the Executive for being apt in its approach to tackle the pandemic.”
Meanwhile, the Speaker has directed the Clerk of the House to communicate the amended Bill to the State Governor.
The House was adjourned to Thursday, 7th May, 2020
Press Unit, Office of the Speaker, AKHA.