The Akwa Ibom State Government will spend N462 billion in 2015 based on the budget proposal presented to the state assembly by the governor, Godswill Akpabio.
The figure is slightly less than the N498.54 billion approved under the 2014 Appropriation law in which N74.24 billion was earmarked for recurrent votes, N333 billion for capital expenditure and N91.30 billion for Consolidated Revenue Fund charges.
However, a breakdown of the 2015 estimates tagged “Budget of Actualization and Continuity,” shows that a total of N253 billion is earmarked for capital projects, N94.74 billion for recurrent expenditure and N114.26 billion for Consolidated Revenue Fund Charges.
While presenting the document to the state lawmakers in Uyo, Mr. Akpabio said the 2015 budget seeks to build on the achievements so far recorded by his administration.
“We intend to complete on-going projects and build a strong bridge between my administration and the incoming administration such that the uncommon transformation, which we have so energetically pursued, will be sustained, so that our past labours will not be in vain,” the governor said.
“The budget will touch all sections of infrastructure and security in the state. It will develop strategic plans for the development of the state, create more jobs for the teeming youth, the use of direct labour and improved human capacity, promote women empowerment and improve the education standard of every Akwa Ibom child, among others.”
The governor commended the state assembly for supporting his administration, saying when the story of “Uncommon Transformation” is documented, it will be recorded that it was in the assembly that development ideas were incubated and produced.
“It was here (assembly) we gave our ideas wings to fly. It was here that the bird of uncommon transformation soared to heights of acclaim. As you know, it takes two wings to fly and the two wings in this case were the executive wing and the legislative wing. Akwa Ibom State appreciates your patriotism and effective representation,” Mr. Akpabio boasted.
“Let me pay special tribute to the Speaker, Sam Ikon, and the leadership of this great house for providing vision, purpose, direction and motivation for developmental legislation in this chamber. We appreciate all members of this great assembly for lending their hands and souls to the struggle to transform our state.”
Mr. Akpabio further said during the last seven and a half years of his administration, the lawmakers have helped to strengthen the social fabric of the state, ensured a healthier citizenry and build a secure and a prosperous society.
According to him, his administration has delivered state-of-the-art infrastructures for all Akwa Ibom people and foreign investors who need superb investment destination.
Mr. Akpabio went on effusively, ”I have taken every action to give the good people of our state the tools and conditions to build a new Akwa Ibom State founded on love, brotherhood and unity. I have stayed on the course of values, which define the Akwa Ibom promise, and we have sought to turn this state into a veritable specimen of peace and development.
“Today we stand on Zion Hill. God has taken us across turbulent seas and raging rivers. He has taken us through the wilderness of decayed infrastructure and into the land of our ancestors’ promises. But when the children of Israel entered the Promised Land, their travails did not stop.
“They had to fight the giants in the land, and up till now they are still fighting for their land. We must keep fighting the demons of ethnicity and tribalism, to prove that we are worthy of the uncommon transformation God has bequeathed to us.”
The governor encouraged the people of the state to wage war in order to sustain the tempo of development, defeat the ills of jealousy and hatred and fight to maintain the new status of Akwa Ibom State in Nigeria.
He continued, “Each generation will have something to fight against, but for us we have three fights to embark upon today. One, we must bury our differences and fight to sustain the tempo of development encapsulated in the uncommon transformation of our state.
“Two, we must ensure that the ills of jealousy, hatred and envy which constituted a clog in the wheels of our development are never allowed to rear their heads again in our land. Three, we must acknowledge that the Akwa Ibom person has acquired a new status and greater esteem in our country and we must fight to maintain this new status in our country.”
He said his administration would have done more but could not due to circumstances beyond the control of his administration.
He disclosed that in 2014, the government intended to spent a total of N498.5 billion but noted that only N221.4 billion was realised, with a crude oil benchmark of $73 per barrel.
Mr. Akpabio also announced that the Federal Government in 2014 failed to meet its crude oil production target of 2.5million barrels per day as a result of pipeline vandalism, saying it resulted in the state realizing only 44 percent of its total budget estimate for the year.