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Friday, December 7, 2018


By - Victoria Anietie, Uyo

Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly today,  Thursday conducted a pre-budget briefing and public hearing on the 2019 Appropriation bill budget currently before the state legislature. 

It would be recalled that His Excellency, Governor Udom Emmanuel had recently laid a budget outlay of N670.718b before the state Assembly for 2019 fiscal year and also seek the consideration and approval of the lawmakers to enable him appropriate monies out of the consolidated revenue fund and capital development fund to the service of Akwa Ibom State government and for other matters connected therewith. 

The bill which has  passed through first and second readings on the floor of the House  was subsequently referred to the Appropriations and finance committee  for in depth study and scrutiny before being pass into law. 

Declaring the public hearing open, the Speaker of the 6th Assembly , Rt. Hon. Barr. Onofiok Luke said public hearing is a tradition of the 6th Akwa Ibom State house of  Assembly to collect inputs from citizenry. 

Speaker Luke, who was represented by  his Deputy , Princess Felicia Bassey , observed that Appropriation law is a compass for directing governments journey towards achieving the state government agenda and assured stakeholders and participate that inputs gathered during the hearing would guide  and also help in shaping the output of the 2019 budget.

In his opening speech, The Chairman, House Committee on Appropriation and Finance, Hon. Usoro AkpanUsoh Described  the briefing exercise for 2019 budget proposals as a yearly ritual with numerous payoff for the betterment of the state. adding that the hearing will promotes citizenship participation in the governance process where different shades of opinion from stakeholders  will be dully collated and considered for the overall socio-economic development of the state. 

Akpanusoh who is the member representing Ibeno /Esit Eket assured Akwa Ibom people of effective scrutiny of the budget proposals as well as effective monitoring and supervision of its implementation in line with his committee's oversight functions as legislators, however expressed optimism that the public hearing is to further ensure good governance, transparency, accountability and a speedy and sustainable development of the state in all sectors.

Hear him : "We in the Assembly, would like to assure the Akwa Ibom people of effective scrutiny of the budget proposals as we as monitor and supervise it's implementation in the best interest of the st and its people. "

" It is in the furtherance of the above that the MDAs are strongly advised to take their budget defence seriously and make use of the oversight house committees in clarification of their presentations" "Dr. Akpanusoh noted

The chairman of the committee further used the occasion to appreciate the governor Mr. Udom Emmanuel, for his prudent, transparent and judicious management of the scarce resources of the state despite all challenges. 

" on behalf of the Honourable Speaker, principal officers and Honourable  members of the House of Assembly to distinctively appreciate His Excellency, the Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Mr. Udom Emmanuel for his prudent, transparent and judicious management of the scarce resources of the state despite all challenges.. We salute him greatly for for the manner he has tactfully steered the ship of Akwa Ibom project to the benefit of all "

Presentations were made during the public hearing by the Commissioner for Finance, Mr. Linus Nkan, Commissioner for Economic Development, Rt. Hon Barr Ekong Sampson, and key note address by the  special Adviser and Budgetary planning to the governor. 

They said the 2019 budget proposals as presented by His Excellency, Governor Udom Emmanuel is Christened"Budget of industrialization for poverty alleviation and is Christened " Budget of Industrialisation for Poverty Alleviation".

They added that the 2019 budget  was intended to build more industries and attract more direct foreign investment to the state and thank the state legislators for providing the platform where the public were given the opportunity to contribute while urging the House to ensure expeditious passage of the 2019 in order to enable the present administration carry out his project. 

Other stakeholders who contributed to the bill during the hearing include, representative of the Nigeria Bar Association, Barr. Ubong Offiong, who make known that the bar usually partner with the government and the House to ensure that bill passed is legally binding and  pleaded with the committee members to ensure that autonomy of Legislature and that of Judiciary is included in the 2019 budget so that what so ever is appreciated for them will be paid directly to them. 

Also in his submission, Comrade Tijah Bolton-akpan of policy Alert, appreciated  the  state governor for the allocation given to capital expenditure in the 2019 budget, and pleaded that more effort should be put the passage of health insurance scheme in the state. 

The public hearing had in attendance, members of the House of Assembly, members of the state executive council, representatives from political parties, professional bodies, civil liberty groups, Journalists among others.

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