Akwa Ibom state government has scaled down its 2015 budget estimate to only N462 billion as against the N498 billion of last year.
The state government, Chief Godswill Akpabio who gave the figure while presenting the appropriation to the state House of Assembly by 6.45 PM on Tuesday, said the reason for the reduction was due the dwindling oil prices in the global market especially as Nigeria is running a mono-economy based only on crude oil.
Akpabio said the budget to be tagged “Budget of Actualization and Continuity” was also scaled down due to the poor performance of the 2014 budget which only about 44 per cent of the projected revenue was realised by the end of the third quarter.
The governor said the budget would be aimed at improving the living standard of the people through the completion of ongoing projects and initiating some pressing ones since government is a continuum.
Of the N642 billion, the governor said about N253 billion would be spent on capital projects while about N92.7 billion would be spent on recurrent issues, leaving about N114 billion would got to the consolidated fund charges.
Acknowledging the fact that this would be the last that he would address the state legislature on the ritual of annual budget presentation, the governor for understanding and forgiveness if he had in the course of performing his duties offended anybody.
“It that had happened, it was a mistake of the head and not that of the heart. And if I had the opportunity, I would still do it again. Being my last budget presentation, I had searched my conscience before I came here and I was satisfied that I had fulfilled my pledge to the people of the state by doing good to all manner of people without affection or ill will irrespective of where they come,” Akpabio said.
Responding to the budget presentation, the speaker of the House of Assembly, Mr Samuel Ikon, praised the governor for strict implementation of the previous appropriation laws of the state, and promised that the house would continue to partner the governor in the remaining part of the his administration to fulfil its uncommon transformation.
Ikon however lamented that Akpabio remained “the most abused and insulted governor of Akwa Ibom state” thus making the journey the present administration painful especially with the dwindling resources to complete envisaged projects as well as the refusal or the inability of some people in the state to appreciate the effort so far made in terms of development.
He said however that he had inner joy that there were infrastructure that would speak for the administration, the youth who have now been developed to take rightful places in the socio-economic strata of the state and the fact that would judge the administration well.
Stressing that the legislature is the pivot of any democracy, the speaker asked to sensitization to abolish zoning in the legislature so as to give the legislators the time to mature and for the benefit of democratic growth in the land.