Akwa Ibom State government has proposed a supplementary budget of N114 billion for the 2017 fiscal year. The supplementary bill has a capital expenditure proposal of N111 billion, while N3 billion is budgeted for recurrent expenditure.
Commissioner for finance, Linus Nkan, said the supplementary budget would take care of “certain areas of economic development” that were not previously captured in the budget, adding that it would enable the administration continue in executing its projects and programmes.
Accordingly, a letter seeking the approval of the supplementary budget has already been sent to the speaker, Onofiok Luke, of the state house of assembly who read it at plenary.
The supplementary proposal bill has been read a second time and committed to the committee on appropriation and finance.
The governor had earlier in the year signed N371 billion appropriation bill into law after it was approved by the state assembly from the initial estimate of N365 billion proposed by the governor.
Speaking on the supplementary budget, Akan Okon, commissioner for housing and special duties, stated that the prevailing downturn in the economy had distorted projections earlier captured in the 2017 budget, adding that the development had necessitated the leadership of the state to consider possible ways of executing the 2017 budget as intended.
“Those indices that were projected in the budget are not obtainable due to the persistence of recession, therefore there was need to do a supplementary budget that would ensure that projects that the government proposed for this financial year are carried out for the benefit of Akwa Ibom people,’’ he said.
Meanwhile, Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State may have succumbed to pressure from opposition party by sacking the state electoral commissioner ahead of the November 11 local government election.
The All Progressives Congress in the state had threatened to boycott the forthcoming polls if the state government failed to sack the state independent electoral commissioner, saying the chairman and board members had exceeded their tenure according to the law.
The opposition party had therefore dragged the state government to court over the continued stay in office of the commission members, saying the commission would not be fair in the conduct of the local government elections.
But in a swift reaction, Governor Udom Emmanuel sacked members of the board and the chairman attributing his action to infighting between the chairman of the board and members.
In a letter sent to the state house of assembly, the governor blamed the inability of the commission headed by Glory Ukpong to function on “an intractable rancour existing between the chairman and members of the commission.’’
According has submitted the names of nominees for appointment as chairman and board members of the commission to the state assembly.
According to the list, the commission would be headed by Ikoiwak Aniedi Bassey, the immediate past resident electoral commissioner in Rivers state as Chairman, while Patrick Ifon, would serve as secretary, Matthew Udoh, Usoro Asuquo Ukpanah, Sunday Edet Enefiok, Faith Umoh and Eyaekop Effiong Umanah would serve as members of the commission.
ANIEFIOK UDONQUAK, Uyo