Hope for Akwa Ibom after COVID-19
Governor Udom Emmanuel.

Abasifreke Effiong – Uyo

The Akwa Ibom state House of Assembly on Wednesday cut the capital budget of the state by 49.42 percent, almost half of what was passed in December 2019 in the state’s finance and appropriations law 2020.

The lawmakers slashed the state’s entire budget for 2020 by N231billion representing 38.69 percent.

The 26 member House of Assembly passed a reviewed capital budget of N186.94 billion, representing 50.58 percent, of the N369.58 billion passed in the original budget.

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While capital expenditure was slashed by N182.64 billion, recurrent expenditure was reduced by just N36.1 billion (30.87 percent) leaving N80.86 billion (69.15 percent) of the original sum (N116.93 billion) passed by the House of Assembly on December 5, 2019.

This means that the state’s reviewed recurrent budget, which is, expenditure on the day -to -day running of government and payment of salaries of political appointees for 2020 is N80.86 billion.

However, the House of Assembly cut the consolidated revenue fund charges (which is for the payment of salaries of civil servants, pensions and gratuities) from N116.93 billion to N83 billion, representing N36.1 billion or 29.02 percent reduction.

Spokesperson of the House of Assembly and chairman, House committee on information, Barr Aniefiok Dennis said the modifications now put the state’s reviewed budget for 2020 at N366 billion from N597 billion. This represents a 38.69 percent or N231billion reduction in the 2020 budget.

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Dennis said the review of the budget was to keep the state’s fiscal law in tune with the new global economic reality caused by woeful fall of crude oil prices.

The state’s reviewed total budget for year 2020 (N366 billion) is now less than the original capital estimate (N369.58 billion) which was passed in the original budget few months ago.

Akwa Ibom state Commissioner for Economic Development and Ibom Deep Seaport, Mr. Akan Okon, had said earlier that the budget would be cut by more than 30 percent and refocused on priorities that will ensure survival of the people.