The Akwa Ibom State government says rural development remains its major target in the 2017 fiscal year.
The Commissioner for Finance, Mr. Nsikan Linus Nkan dropped the hints during the 2017 budget breakdown held at le Meridian Ibom Hotel and Gulf Resorts, Uyo.
According to the estimates, capital expenditure gulps N201,997,800,000 while recurrent expenditure was assigned N169,294,685,580.
According to the commissioner, the sum total of what is in the 2017 budget is the promise of the governor Mr. Udom Emmanuel to Akwa Ibom people and prayed for the availability of funds for the execution of projects as captured in this year’s budget.
He called on Akwa Ibom people to pay their tax as at when due in order to make it possible for government to achieve all that has been captured in the budget as a result of the times the country finds itself. “Whatever we need can be achieved through a supplementary budget but the government did not want an over bloated budget but one that we can achieve 70 % implementation.”
The commissioner commended the state lawmakers for the cooperation and swift passage of the appropriation bill and all stakeholders who contributed to the passage of the 2017 appropriation bill on time.
In his remark, the chairman of the House of Assembly Committee on appropriation and finance, Dr Usoro Akpanusoh appealed to heads of government ministries, agencies and departments to open their doors and receive lawmakers on oversight duty.
According to the Esit Eket Ibeno representative, this is one way to ensure that the budget is implemented as the lawmakers have the power to appeal to the state government for prompt release of funds for smooth implementation.
Contributions were made by those who attended the budget break down including Sir Dr Val Attah who advised that in preparing the budget funds from international donor agencies should be sought after and accessed for the benefit of the people of the state. The NUJ Chairman, Elder Patrick Albert appealed that budget details be made available to the 4th Estate of the Realm for oversight functions while increase budgetary provisions for Education and health sectors was also canvassed by NLC.