Akwa Ibom Assembly Passes N586.9bn Appropriation Bill
By Adedapo Adesanya
The Akwa Ibom House of Assembly has passed the state’s 2022 Appropriation Bill of N586.9 billion.
The budget, which was passed on Friday, is made up of N261.96 billion recurrent expenditure and N324.91 billion capital expenditure, indicating an increase of N4.77 billion of the initial budget size.
In the earlier produced document tagged Budget of Re-defining Standards by Governor Udom Emmanuel on October 25, presented before the Akwa Ibom Assembly, a total budget of N582.12 billion was projected for the 2022 fiscal year.
The Chairman House Committee on Finance and Appropriation, Mr Uduak Odudoh, said the committee adopted a participatory approach in the budgetary process.
Mr Odudoh said Ministries Departments and Agencies (MDAs), Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and other relevant public were invited to the public hearing on the budget.
He said the House approved an increase of N1.81 billion in the recurrent expenditure and N2.95 billion in capital expenditure, bringing the total increase to N4.77 billion.
He said the state parliament had recommended that the state government should ensure the prompt and commensurate release of funds to MDAs for the execution of projects and programmes.
The committee chairman said that most MDAs had complained of zero releases in the 2021 fiscal year.
The Speaker, Mr Aniekan Bassey, in his remarks, commended the committee for the quick deliberations on the budget, assuring that the 7th Assembly will continue to have a robust and impactful relationship with other arms of government to foster development and growth in the state.
He commended the MDAs that appeared before the committee during budget defence, adding that the overall objective was to give priority to areas of immediate importance to the Akwa Ibom people.
The Speaker said that by the passage, the commencement date for the budget implementation would be January 1, 2022, and directed the Clerk of the House, Mrs Mandu Umoren, to send a clean copy of the bill to the Governor for assent.