Nigeria: Akwa Ibom 2019 – Udom Sets For War With N671 Billion Arsenal

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Nigeria: Akwa Ibom 2019 - Udom Sets For War With N671 Billion Arsenal

Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State, one of the big oil states in Southern Nigeria, has unveiled a N671 billion war chest for the 2019 polls tagged: Budget of Industralisation for Poverty Alleviation.

While presenting the 2019 Budget to the state House of Assembly on Wednesday, the governor who is battling for a re-election on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) said the budget proposal was prepared in accordance with International Public Sector Accounting Standard (IPSAS) – Accrual Template.

‘’It is a comprehensive IPSAS package that classifies transactions into Revenue, Expenditure, Asset and Liabilities. Thus, it aids effective and efficient financial analysis. We have christened the 2019 budget as the Budget of Industrialisation for Poverty Alleviation’’, Governor Udom, a former bank top executive said.

Their 2018 budget was tagged Budget of Consolidation on industrialisation. It was so named because the state under his watch had started witnessing a breakthrough in industrialisation through the construction and commissioning of some industries that are currently in full operations. They also attracted more Foreign Direct Investments, which boosted the fortunes of the electorate and improved employment opportunities.

But in 2019, the Udom administration will be having an herculean task to retain power with Senator Godswill Akpabio, a former governor, already galvanizing the All Progressives Congress (APC) to wrestle power from the PDP in Akwa Ibom.

Though it is being alleged that Akpabio may have defected to APC in a bid to keep the books of graft under wrap, he however, has an enormous financial muscle, though questionable, to rattle Udom and the PDP in a state he dominated for eight years from 2007-2015.

That aside, the government intends to build more industries and attract more Foreign Direct Investments, while ensuring the consolidation and sustenance in our already actualized and on-going socio-economic programmes in health, education, roads, electricity, water supply, agriculture, information technology, capacity building, infrastructure, housing, commerce and industry, aviation, general administration, political posterity and security, Legislature and Judiciary.

‘’A lot had been put in place in term of infrastructures already, but we need to do more. Our belief and conviction is that through industrialisation, the fortunes of people would be greatly improved and employment opportunities will abound for our people thus, lifting the standard of living’’, the governor said, pointing out that the policy thrust of the 2019 budget is aimed at reducing dependence on statutory allocation as the main source of revenue to the state.

This, according to him, will be pursued by establishing more industries, improving IGR and providing the enabling environment which will encourage private investments in the State. The State Government will also create employment opportunities and improve the living standard of our people by providing basic infrastructures, enhancing security, develop human capital and continue to boost services in education and healthcare.

The Policy Objectives of the 2019 Budget are:
1. To broaden and diversify the State’s resource base through improvements in the collection of Internally Generated Revenue, (IGR) and the development of other internal revenue generating sources in the maritime sector, and in the coastal and inland water ways, as well as harnessing revenue on landed properties.
2. To pursue increased foreign exchange revenue from airplane maintenance and other aviation services by completing the Cargo and Maintenance Repairs and Overhaul (MRO) facility of Ibom International Airport.
3. To boost production by local businesses through the promotion of trade, commerce and tourism between the State and the rest of the world.
4. To encourage and sustain small and medium scale enterprises through the development of an efficient and sustainable micro-credit framework, as part of the wealth creation and employment generation strategies.
5. To use ICT, Science and Technology for employment generation and wealth creation.
6. To continue the rehabilitation of our health institutions and provision of additional health care facilities and services to reduce morbidity and mortality from communicable and non-communicable diseases; thereby guaranteeing a healthy populace.
7. To provide durable and affordable shelter for the citizens of the State.
8. To provide the required support for the continued implementation of the Government policy of Free and compulsory Qualitative Education through the expansion of facilities to cope with increased school enrolment and the provision of teaching aids in public primary and secondary schools.
9. To develop the Ibom Industrial City to complement Government efforts in the creation of enduring structures for employment generation.
10. To develop agriculture through the supply of improved agricultural inputs, credit and extension services.
11. To pursue the Public Private Partnership Investment Strategy in order to enhance our revolutionary efforts in Agriculture and Industry, as a means of ensuring food sufficiency and creating employment.
12. To promote youth and women empowerment as well as the protection of children and other vulnerable groups in the society.
13. To create a peaceful and safe society and ensure the security of lives and property through the provision of effective security network in the state.
14. To ensure accountability and transparency and the enthronement of best practices in all areas of governance as an enduring standard of public sector administration.
15. To reduce the burden on the urban centres by developing the rural areas to enable the dividends of democratic government to be felt in every part of the State.
16. To maintain a good working relationship between the legislative and judiciary arms of the State government and also ensure grassroots development and empowerment through the enablement of effective local government administration.
17. To maintain the existing amiable relationship with the central Government in order to attract federal presence to the state.
18. To unify the State, as well as ensure due respect for the traditional institutions and elders in the society, in order to attain peace and prosperity in the State and also give all Akwa Ibomites (both within and without) a sense of belonging.

The rest of Governor Udom’s budget proposal goes thus: ‘’About three years and five months ago, destiny and a passion to serve flavoured with an acute sense of duty and abiding faith in our common essence brought us together to write a new chapter in the inspirational story of this blessed Land of Promise.

‘’Conditioned by our shared commitment to the Akwa Ibom Project, shaped and distilled by our Founding Fathers avowed pursuit of unity, love, peace, security, and an unbridled faith in God, we have today, produced an Akwa Ibom success story that has resonated with our people here and in the Diaspora and ignited in the process, a sense of renewal that even our naysayers can’t help but applaud.

‘’Permit me to pay special tribute to your patriotism and the strong partnership which we have forged over the course of the past three and half years as we work to better the lot of Akwa Ibomites. Our shared vision of a more prosperous, peaceful, strong and secure society has challenged us to build a State where our people would and should have a decent standard of living, pursue their legitimate aspirations under peaceful and safe circumstances, while creating economic opportunities. These core aspirations have energized our passion, fired our sense of purpose and the unbridled resolve to leave the State better than we met it. In this fourth episode of our budgetary submission, we look forward to a faster and more prosperous Akwa Ibom State where no one is left behind on the train of progress and development.

‘’Honourable Members let me again express my deep and profound appreciation for your unflinching support. This has translated into the tremendous democratic dividends that we have witnessed in our State through the many life-touching programmes and projects we have executed.

‘’Mr. Speaker and Honourable Members, you have kept the letter of the Constitution by the prompt consideration and passing into law of the Budgetary Proposals presented to this noble Assembly in the past, and you have equally kept the spirit of the Constitution by walking hand in hand with us to see to the effective and efficient implementation of every approved budget. Thank you again for this tremendous show of support for our people and our State

‘’To the good people of Akwa Ibom State, we thank you for your unalloyed cooperation, prayers and support. Together, we weathered the storms of recession and kept sailing when some states were struggling and needed to be provided lifelines. When men had said there is casting down, our testimony had always been that there is a lifting up. God bless you all!
‘’Above all, we appreciate the Almighty God who had bestowed His benevolence upon us as a State. He has given us representatives and leaders with knowledge, understanding and wisdom in handling the affairs of the people. To Him be the glory and ONLY GOD Himself could have made this possible.

‘’Mr. Speaker, as the proponent of the Dakkadda philosophy, permit me to say here without the slightest tinge of immodesty that I have big dreams for this State; dreams which we have so far translated into concrete manifestations in our determination to make Akwa Ibom State rise to greater heights of glory. The Good Book says you will walk and not be weary, you will run and not be tired, you will mount up on wings and fly. This State has walked; it has soared and its wings are steady because the Leader behind the controls is one laden with integrity, character and love for the people. It is the dream of an economically thriving society where peace, security and love form the building blocks that colours my thoughts each time I appear in this Hallowed Chamber to address you. I recognize that you are my dear and cherished partners and co-drivers in the train of development and progress of our dear State.

‘’Mr Speaker, let these sentiments of love and togetherness provide the moral context for this Constitutional obligation which I am about to discharge. I, therefore, crave your kind indulgence to share with this Hallowed Chamber, the vision, policies, programmes and projects of my Administration and to present for your kind consideration and approval, the Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure of Akwa Ibom State Government for the 2019 Fiscal Year in accordance with the provision of section 121(1) of the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

‘’Mr. Speaker and our dear Honourable House Members, please bear in mind the cardinal objectives of my Administration, as encapsulated in the Five-Point Agenda. These are: Job Creation, Poverty Alleviation, Wealth Creation, Economic and Political Inclusion, and Infrastructural Consolidation and Expansion to further transform the state into an industrialized entity. These are the Five Pillars of my governing philosophy.

‘’REVIEW OF THE PERFORMANCE OF 2018 BUDGET

Mr Speaker, and Honourable Members, permit me to start with a review of the 2018 Budget. A total of N646.649 billion was approved for 2018 fiscal year, made up as follows:
Recurrent Expenditure – N94.649 billion
Capital Expenditure – N431.141 billion
Consolidated Revenue Fund Charges – N120.859 billion
Total – N646.649billion

‘’As at September, 2018 the actual recurrent Revenue collected was N175.594 billion. This was 60% of the budgeted amount. A breakdown of Recurrent Revenue shows that
Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) – N 19.043 billion
Statutory Allocation – N 31.607 billion
Value Added Tax (VAT) – N 9.127 billion
Derivation – N115.817billion
Budget Support – N – billion
Total – N175.594billion

‘’In re-appraising expenditure, a total of N84.314 billion was spent on the recurrent services which include:
Personnel Costs – N30.169 billion
Overhead Costs – N12.018 billion
Consolidated Revenue Fund Charges – N42.127 billion
Total – N84.314 billion

‘’Operating within the framework of the approved budget and the limits of available resources, we have been able to record remarkable achievements in our industrialization efforts. We have consolidated on the gains of democratic governance and we have given fresh breath to our campaign promises.

‘’Let me state again as I said during our Third Anniversary that there is no first term Governor who has done as much as what we have done here in this State. In spite of the harsh economic realities that stared us in the face when we came in; in spite of the sharp drop in the price of oil and the attendant hyper-inflation; in spite of the turbulent cloud on the economic horizon, we have remained steady, focused and passionate in our tireless and passionate devotion to delivering solid democratic dividends for our people.

‘’We came prepared to win, to secure our future based on the strength and promise of yesterday and the goodness of heart and ingenuity of our people. Together, we have done this in a spectacular fashion, wining accolades and commendations even from leaders and institutions of the Federal Government, such as the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) which early this year, gave me the Integrity and National Service Award.

‘’Where others saw despair, we saw hope, where others saw challenges, we saw opportunities. Where others were bent by the enormity of problems they faced, we stood ramrod straight, shoulders held high, providing solutions to ease the pains of our people. Elsewhere, while, workers were owed salaries and pensions here, our workers smile to the bank at the end of every month.

‘’Elsewhere, the commissioning of a few kilometers of road is done with pomp and pageantry but in our state, we have constructed, commissioned or work is on-going on over 1700 kilometers of good, enduring and commercially viable roads, opening up the hinterland and we do this, without unnecessary fanfare because we are on a cause for sustainable development not a fleeting or ephemeral feeling of applause.

‘’The extent and breath of what we have achieved together, is so huge and all-encompassing hence the theme of our reelection campaign: Only God! It is only God who is the Invisible Hand that has helped us steer the ship of development of our State leading us to becoming the State with the second highest inflow of Foreign Direct Investment as reported by the National Bureau of Statistics. It is only God that has made us the most peaceful State in Niger Delta as published recently by a cross-section of the media. It is only through the grace of God and His abiding faith in our collective enterprise that has made us achieve the following:

‘’ROADS AND INFRASTRUCTURE
Over 1700km of roads, including 35 bridges, have either been commissioned or at various stages of work all through the three Senatorial districts and the ten Federal Constituencies in the state. We have also carried out the following:

‘’Completion of the State Secretariat Annex •
Construction of a 2nd airport Runway •
Upgrade of the Airport main runway to category 2 •
We are the only state to own • & maintain an airport independently
We have constructed an underground drainage to control flood at Nsikak Eduok Avenue, Uyo •
A 21 Storey modern Office Complex is in the offing •
Work is currently on-going for a befitting International Worship Centre for the State.
We have reactivated and provided more street lights around Uyo metropolis in addition to other beautification projects.

‘’EDUCATION
Free and compulsory basic education in public schools •
Take-over of 7 community secondary schools •
Construction and Renovation of 62 school blocks •
Strategic intervention in tertiary institutions – provision of roads, equipment, academic blocks, etc. •
Procurement •& distribution of free text books & other educational materials
Payment of subventions to public primary • & secondary schools
Payment of over N600 million WAEC fees for indigenes in public secondary schools annually •
Upgrading of Akwa Ibom State College of Arts • & Science, Nung Ukim, Ikono to College of Science and Technology.

‘’INDUSTRIALIZATION
The Syringe Manufacturing Factory (The largest in Africa) is in full operation •
The Pencil Factory • & Toothpick factories are in full operations
The Electric Digital Metering Solutions Manufacturing Factory is in full operations •
Resuscitation of Peacock Paint Industry •
153+ mw Ibom Power Plant • & 3 sub-stations, leading to steady electricity supply in our major cities and other parts of the state
Work is ongoing at the Flour Mills and Coconut Refinery •
Plastic Manufacturing Factory has been commissioned which is located A • within the premises of the also recently commissioned AKEES Mini-Industrial Park
The Fertilizer Blending Factory has been commissioned and in full productions •

‘’IBOM DEEP SEA PORT DEVELOPMENT
We have worked night and day to see to the actualization of this landmark port infrastructure project which will accelerate the economic development of our State. To the glory of God, we have made unprecedented progress in this direction and the Federal Government has just approved that the project should proceed to the next stage of Public Private Partnership (PPP) procurement process. This followed a rigorous evaluation process leading to the selection of a preferred bidder for the project.

‘’The preferred bidder is Bollore-Power China Consortium which is Africa’s leading port operator with 18 container terminal concessions in Europe, Africa, India, Asia and the Americas. China Harbour Engineering Company Ltd has been selected as the Reserve bidder. We are in the process of commencing negotiations with the preferred bidder to work out the investment and concession details, preparatory to the actual commencement of construction work on the project. We are leaving no stone unturned in the realization of this dream and I can boldly say that with God on our side, the Ibom Deep Sea Port will be operational within the lifespan of our second term in office.

‘’MANPOWER DEVELOPMENT AND WORKERS’ WELFARE:
Payment of outstanding pensions and gratuities to retired workers. •
Regular and prompt payment of salaries and entitlement to public servants. •
Release of backlog of promotions from 2012 to 2014 affecting 10, 352 public servants. •
Implementation of immediate switch –over from salary payroll to pension payroll system for retirees.

‘’Training of public servants for effective service delivery. •
Recruitment of 4, 761 Teachers into the Education Sector, Spanning through Primary and Secondary School Teachers, Polytechnic and College of Education Lecturers as well as into other critical areas.

‘’AGRICULTURE
We are developing 11,000 hectares of coconut plantation •
We have over 1,600 hectares of cassava plantation in 15 LGAs •
We have 4,920 registered rice farmers in the state •
We have trained 450 youths on cocoa maintenance •
We have provided subsidized fertilizers, oil palm • & cocoa seedlings
Akwa Prime Hatchery is producing 10,000 day old chicks weekly •
We have given free Improved Corn seedlings to farmers •
We are cult•ivating various Vegetables in Greenhouses for commercial use
Ibom agricon Farms Ltd is running the rice processing factory
‘’Over 100hectares of rice cultivated •
Cultivation of about 2,100 hectares of cassava in partnership with • World Bank under FADAMA III Additional Financing Project, using farmers co-operatives.
On-going construction of 33 No. Cassava Micro-Processing Mills •
Training of 300 youths under the Graduate Unemployment Youth Scheme (GUYS). •
Construction of 1No. Tractor Hiring Enterprise (AEHE) Centre with 4 • No. tractors, and 14No. implements delivered. So far 75hectares of farmland has been ploughed, harrowed and ridged through the Centre.

‘’Refurbishing of Cassava Processing Factories located at Ikot Okudom, • Eket LGA; Nung Udoe, Ibesikpo/Asutan LGA and Ikot Ekang in Abak LGA and leased to private operators for the production of high quality garri, odorless foofoo and cassava flour. This has helped crash the price of garri from about 3 cups for 200 naira before now to the current situation where the same 200 naira will fetch you between 9 and 12 cups

‘’Procurement of 600,000 bags of fertilizer to farmers in the State •
Planting of 500 citrus seedlings, 600 hybrids plantain suckers and • 1,000 pineapple suckers at the Horticulture Garden, Wellington Bassey Way in Uyo LGA.

‘’RURAL DEVELOPMENT
Over 300 rural development projects across 31 Local Government Areas •
Over 400 Inter-Ministerial Rural Intervention projects •
Rehabilitation/construction of over 500km of rural feeder roads on-going •

‘’HEALTH
Free medical services for children below 5 years, pregnant women and the aged •
Over 25 Containers of state-of-the art medical equipment have been • procured and are being delivered to health institutions in the state
Construction • & upgrading of secondary healthcare facilities across the State.
Reconstruction and equipping of General Hospital, Etinan, which was commissioned last year by Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo.
Reconstruction and the commissioning of Ituk Mbang General Hospital
Reconstruction of Ikono General Hospital, Emmanuel Hospital, Eket and the General Hospital at Iquita, Oron
On-going reconstruction work at Ikot Okoro General Hospital. Some of these hospitals are fully digitalized with advanced health information management systems.
Relief for over 4,000 mal-nourished children •
Free screening • & treatment of over 15,000 people for various eye diseases undertaken by FEYReP
Training of 20 Biomedical Engineers
Provision of residential quarters for 48 House Officers in the State Hospitals and 50 in the University of Uyo Teaching Hospital (UUTH).
Accreditation for Schools of Nursing, with 272 Registered Nurses
‘’Training and Certification of 100 Doctors and Nurses in Basic Lives Support (BLS) and Advanced Cardiac Lives Support (ACLS) with Medical Emergency Experts from the USA
Procurement of Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) and Electrocardiograph (ECG) Machines for use in Emergency Response (now fitted in all our ambulances)

‘’YOUTH EMPOWERMENT & CAPACITY BUILDING
Over 20,000 youths have been trained in various skills •
On-going Construction of 10 Modern Sports Centres across the state •
Complete Reconstruction of the Eket Sports Stadium
N2bn interest free loan for small scale entrepreneurs and traders. •
First and Second Akwa Ibom State Youth Sports Festival successfully organized •
Through sound planning and management; •
Akwa Ibom has become the Football Capital of Nigeria. We Hosted the Super Eagles to become the first African Team to qualify for Russia 2018 World Cup with a match still to play.
We also played host to Athletico Madrid FC in an international friendly match with the Super Eagles
– Akwa United won The Nigeria Federation Cup twice in 3 years
– Ibom Angels emerged runners up 2017 Nigeria Female FA Cup (The first time a female team from the state has ever qualified for the finals of a major national competition)
– Team Akwa Ibom finished 2nd on the medal table at 2017 National Sports Festival
– Akwa Ibom received three Excellence Award on Sports Development from the Federal Government.

– Promotion and sponsorship of 4 state football teams namely; Akwa United, Akwa Starlet, Ibom Angels and Ibom Youth FC.

‘’SOCIAL WELFARE/FEYReP
1. Care for over Eight Hundred (800) Orphans and less privileged children in the five (5) Government Homes. viz:
– Special Children’s Home, Uyo
– Divine Children’s Home, Uyo
– Correctional Centre, Uyo
– Shelter Afrique Transit Camp, Uyo
– Government Children’s Home, Ikot Ekpene.
2. Provision of N200,000.00 grant each for about 500 women organizations across the 31 LGAs to enable them leverage on the public-partnership Initiative of the State Government
3. Provision of N50,000.00 grant each and wrappers for about 600 widows across the 31 LGAs to boost their businesses and alleviate poverty
4. Provision of N50,000.00 each and wrappers as well as food item for about 350 mothers with multiple births across the 31 LGAs in collaboration with the office of the wife of Governor of the State, Her Excellency, my wife, Mrs. Martha Udom Emmanuel
5. Implementation of the Child Rights Law. – Prosecution of Child’s Rights offenders in collaboration with the Akwa Ibom State Judiciary and Ministry of Justice, Security services, Police etc. the cases include: Child Abuse, Child Neglect, Child Abandonment and Trafficking, Maternal/Paternity issues, Raped, Baby Factory Operation and Disinheritance. Over 200 cases have been recorded since 29th May 2015. About one hundred and twenty (120) have received judgment. Some of the offenders are serving their jail term.
6. Yearly Evacuation, Rehabilitation and Re-integration of mentally-challenged people on the street
7. Sensitization Campaign against Child Abuse, Child Trafficking, Child Abandonment and Baby Factory in the state.
8. Donation of over two hundred (200) wheel Chairs and one hundred (100) Special Writing Desks for physical challenged persons in tertiary institutions and secondary schools.
9. Training of 20 visually impaired persons (the blind) in different skills at the Nigerian Farm Craft Centre, Lagos and subsequent empowerment for them to start up their businesses in the development trade learnt.
10. Sponsorship of 155 widows to Jerusalem for Pilgrimage led by Her Excellency, my wife, Mrs. Martha Udom Emmanuel

11. Donation of wrappers to over 4,000 Market Women
12. Widows Empowerment Scheme: Financial Empowerment to widows registered with the Ministry.

‘’CULTURE AND TOURISM:
1. The State’s tourism identity logo themed “Amazing Akwa Ibom… The Preferred Destination”, was launched in 2017, with the aim of redirecting tourism traffic to the State.
2. Hosting of first outstanding art exhibition since the creation of the State titled “Usoro Uso”.
3. Staging series of events to mark the State’s 30th anniversary of creation with the theme “Orange September”.
With the reconstitution of the Board of Hotels and Tourism in the State, we hope to further develop and market our tourism potentials in line with our diversification agenda.
My dear wife, Her Excellency, Mrs. Martha Udom Emmanuel’s Signature Pet Project-Family Empowerment and Youth Reorientation Programme (FEYRep) has carried out free screening and treatment of over 15,000 people with various eye diseases. FEYReP has touched many lives; especially widows, many of who have had houses built and donated to them.
We have worked hard to utilize whatever revenue we have received to impact the lives of the people and create enduring infrastructural amenities, and these elements were key points in our Five-Point Agenda campaign platform.
Our Capital Budget Expenditure is described in details in the Budget Implementation Report, (BIR) which has been prepared to facilitate your consideration of the Draft 2019 budget.

‘’IMPLEMENTATION STRATEGIES
To realize the above objectives, the following strategies and measures shall be adopted by the State Government in 2019:
1. Expand the revenue base of the State by eliminating wastages and leakages in expenditure, and improving IGR collection and development of tourism potentials.
2. Employ effective public-private partnership strategies to provide much needed industrial and infrastructural development.
3. Attract potential investors and donor agencies to invest in the relevant and key sectors of the State economy and also undertake robust human capital development.
4. Strengthen the industrial base of the State through the development of a Mega Industrial City “Liberty Free Trade Zone” and 2 mini-AKEES Industrial Parks, which will provide a conducive environment for rapid industrialization.
5. Setting up of new industries and maintaining existing ones, in the oil and gas, information technology as well as the agro-industrial sectors.
6. Stimulate the Agriculture and Agro-allied industries to boost production of local farmers to ensure food sufficiency for local consumption, exports as well as the provision of raw materials for the industries.
7. Pay priority attention to the completion of all on-going projects in the key sectors of the State economy
8. Expand and improve services in Health-Care Delivery at Primary and Secondary levels
9. Provision of Educational facilities with emphasis on science and technology, as well as information and communication technology.
10. Enforce Child Protection Laws and empower women and youth through capacity building, empowerment, skill acquisition and elimination of gender discrimination practices.
11. Enhance service delivery in the public service to ensure that the benefits of good governance are enjoyed by all.
12. Ensure enforcement of peace, law and order by building an efficient and proactive security network to make the State conducive to live and invest in.
13. Continue the on-going work on Sport Academy in the State and Sports Centres in the 10 Federal Constituencies of the State in order to boast of representatives of the State at local, National and International Sporting competitions. This will also create employment, generate wealth and reduce poverty among the youths.

‘’HIGHLIGHTS OF THE 2019 BUDGET
The 2019 Budget is predicated on oil benchmark of $60 per barrel at a production rate of N2.3million barrels per day, with an estimated exchange rate of N305/US$, in line with the National Budget benchmark projections.

‘’BUDGET SIZE:
Government has proposed a total budgetary outlay of N670.718 billion for the 2019 financial year as against the approved provision of N 646.649 billion of 2018.
This is made up of:
Recurrent Expenditure – N 97.096 billion
Capital Expenditure – N 445.936 billion
Consolidated Revenue Fund Charges – N 127.686 billion
Total – N670.718 billion

‘’REVENUE:
The total projected Recurrent Revenue for 2019 is estimated at N374.243 billion as against the approved provision of N289.000 billion for 2018. The breakdown is as follows:
Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) – N 43.693 billion
Statutory Allocation – N 50.000 billion
Derivation Fund – N250.000 billion
Retained Revenue from Parastatals – N 2.550 billion
Value Added Tax (VAT) – N 18.000 billion
Budget Support – N 10.000 billion
Total – N374.243 billion

‘’RECURRENT EXPENDITURE:
For the 2019 Fiscal Year, Recurrent Expenditure is proposed at
N224.782 billion, made up of:
Personnel Costs – N 54.797 billion
Overhead Costs – N 42.299 billion
Consolidated Revenue Fund Charges – N127.686 billion
(including pensions, gratuities and public debts.)
Total – N 224.782 billion

‘’CAPITAL EXPENDITURE:
The total Capital Receipts and Expenditure for the year 2019 is estimated at N445.936 billion as against the approved provision of N43.141 billion for 2018. The total projected capital receipts show that N149.461 billion will be transferred from the consolidated revenue fund while the balance of N296.475 billion is to be realized as follows:
Opening Balance from 2018 account – N10.000 billion
Internal/External Loans – N49.475 billion
Grants – N60.000 billion
Ecological Funds – N21.000 billion
Re-imbursement from Federal
Government on Road and other Infrastructure- N80.000 billion
Investment Income – N 1.000 billion
Exceptional/Extra Ordinary Income – N75.000 billion

‘’SECTORAL ALLOCATION
The sectoral allocation of the total estimated Capital Expenditure outlay of N445.936 billion for the year 2019 is presented as follows:
S/NO. SECTOR ALLOCATION
N(BILLION) PERCENTAGE OF ALLOCATION
1. Administration 100.660 22.6
2. Economy 286.116 64.2
3. Law and Justice 10.069 2.2
4. Regional 1.963 0.4
5. Social 47.128 10.6
Total 445.936 100.0

‘’Analysis of sectoral allocation above shows that priority is given to projects and programmes under the Economic sector.

‘’ADMINISTRATION SECTOR
For an efficient and effective Public/Civil Service, Government will keep training and retraining its workforce, and undertake specialized recruitment to fill essential vacancies and digitization of most government offices to boost the administrative sector. To this end, Government will intensify efforts in internal generation of revenue and tax administration. The Administration Sector has been allotted N100.660 billion in the 2019 budget.

‘’ECONOMIC SECTOR
This vital and crucial sector will generate revenue to government through effective planning and managing same in order to achieve sustainable socio-economic growth and development vis-à-vis capital projects.
The sum of N286.116 billion has been estimated to boost this sector.

‘’LAW AND JUSTICE SECTOR
Government will continue to maintain peace, law and order, and justice with utmost sense of responsibility. Every applicable law will be used to dispense justice to (and enforce the constitutional right of) both Government and the governed. Public enlightenment on the different law issues as they affect the citizenry will be embarked upon. A total of N10.069 billion has been budgeted for law and justice.

‘’REGIONAL SECTOR
Government is determined to turn the fortunes of rural dwellers around by focusing on rapid transformation to give them a new lease of life. Rural electrification, rehabilitation and maintenance of rural, farm and feeder roads, tarring of slippery hills; provision of mini water schemes, renovation of community schools and many community empowerment and poverty alleviation programmes have been on course and this administration will do its best to ensure that more of such services are executed and sustained. This sector will gulp the sum of N1.963 billion for the actualization of these projects.

‘’SOCIAL SECTOR
The social fabric of our society needs much attention in terms of education, information, sports, health care, women and youth empowerment, and traditional institutions. Also our environment needs aesthetic touches for beautification purposes. My administration will do all it can to give the social life of our state a meaningful and rewarding status. To this end, the sum of N47.128 billion has been estimated for this sector.

‘’GENERAL CHARTER OF THE 2019 BUDGET
Over the past years, the Government of Akwa Ibom State has made gigantic progress in the development and transformation of the State, but with all the past impressive achievements recorded, a lot still needs to be done to reduce poverty and unemployment, create wealth and generally improve the living standards of the people of the State.
Mr. Speaker and Honourable members, it is in consideration of these issues that this Administration continues to focus on industrialization as a means to generate employment and create wealth for the citizenry. The State has remained so long as a “ Civil Service State” that it requires a re-orientation of the minds of the populace to make them realize that they can move away from depending so much on the Government, to becoming self-reliant and even provide employment to others. That was what informed our Dakkada philosophy, which thankfully, our people have internalized.
Mr. Speaker and Honourable members, in pursuance of our desire to make Akwa Ibom great, I present to you the 2019 budget tagged “INDUSTRIALIZATION FOR POVERTY ALLEVIATION”

‘’EDUCATION:
Education plays a key role in the socio-economic development of any Nation, State or society. The present Administration, in recognition of this, is focused on harnessing the available human resources to drive the industrialization agenda of this government. This will be achieved by repositioning the education sector to deliver qualitative, affordable inclusive and functional education to the citizens of the State. The State Government will, therefore, continue to provide a conducive environment for effective implementation of policies and programmes aimed at sustaining the on-going free, compulsory and qualitative education. Emphasis will be placed on science, technical and vocational education so as to produce graduates that can be useful in the industries being established by the government.

‘’Government will also provide instructional materials, textbooks, laboratory equipment/fittings, chemicals and reagents to ensure that the student receives quality education for improved performance in research and internal and external examinations. Government will continue to pay Bursary and award scholarships to deserving and exceptional students of Akwa Ibom State origin in Tertiary institutions across the country, as well as pursue full accreditation of academic programmes in the state-owned Tertiary Institutions through the provision of adequate funding and recruitment of qualified personnel to ensure that graduates from these institutions are recognized and can compete globally in their fields. To actualize these and other aspiration in the education sector, the 2019 budget sets aside the sum of N15.050 billion.

‘’SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
ICT and the knowledge of Science and Technology are major catalysts for economic growth, social development and job creation. Science and Technology has been recognized as a strategic tool for community development, wealth creation and advancement of the human condition at all levels. This Administration aims to build a strong and rich intellectual human capacity in Science & Technology for Akwa ibom citizens without discrimination in gender or age and to emphasize the advancement of knowledge of ICT at all levels. This is being achieved through the training of unemployed graduates on ICT under the Graduate Assistant Programme (GAP) and setting up of ICT academy for the training of Civil servants in the State.

‘’The world today is going green through the adoption, development and use of renewable energy and efficient utilization of nature’s energy resources. Since renewable energy can be used in electricity generation and production of cleaner vehicle fuel. There is a paradigm shift from an energy system powered by increasingly expensive, dirty and unsustainable fossil fuel resources towards the one powered by abundant, clean, local and affordable renewable energy sources. The State is not left behind in the global renewable energy and energy efficiency trend, as a Directorate of Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency has been created in the Ministry of Science and Technology to specifically develop, install and maintain Renewable Energy Technology in the State. Government also intends to pursue e-governance, establish Resources and Development Laboratory, Technology Workshop. etc. The 2019 budget proposes the sum of N2.800 billion, to execute these activities.

‘’AGRICULTURE
The importance of agriculture in the socio-economic and industrial development of the State cannot be over-emphasized. Government intends to continue investing in agriculture in order to alleviate poverty among the people, attain food security and boost agricultural production for domestic, industrial and foreign consumption. Our target is to boost production and the marketing of cash crops, Staple foods, livestock and fisheries through institutional and infrastructural empowerment of private, small, medium and large-scale crop and livestock farmers. This will not only provide food to the populace, but also generate much needed jobs and create wealth for Akwa Ibom citizens.

‘’This will be done through the provision of technical assistance, supply of agricultural inputs and encouragement of public/private sector collaboration to achieve government’s set objectives.
In 2019, Government will continue to provide funding for agricultural activities such as Cassava Development Programme, Rice Development Project, Integrated Farmers’ Scheme (IFS), FADAMA III Plus Additional Financing, Raffia Palm Development Project, AKS Rural Access and Agricultural Marketing Project (AK-RAAMP), Development of Marine Fisheries and Fish Farm Estate Project, Livestock Development Project, Horticulture, Vegetable and Cocoa Green House Project, Akwa Palm Hatchery Project, Veterinary Public Health and other activities of the Agricultural sector geared towards food sufficiency in the State.
For all these agricultural programmes, a total sum of N13.064 billion has been proposed in the 2019 Budget.

‘’LANDS, HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT
Globally, the 3 basic necessities of any human being are food, shelter and clothing. Government, therefore, places premium on the provision of safe, decent and accessible low-cost housing to the citizens of the State. To achieve this, Government will partner with high level housing development experts and through Public-Private-Partnership (PPP), construct low and very low density houses and estates for the low and middle income group as well as a Unity Luxury Estate for the high income group. Other activities to be embarked on in this sector include completion of the Ibom International Airport, Ibom Tropicana Entertainment Centre, 4 Point by Sheraton, New Governor’s Lodge, Lagos, International Worship Centre: construction of 21-storey building to provide office space for high target investors and multi-national companies. Also to receive Government attention are the State Secretariat (phase 3), which would house a number of MDAs that are still located in rented apartments and causing government to spend so much on payment of rents, residential quarters for legislators: relocation of the Federal Prison and Police Barracks from Wellington Bassey Way; development of Ibom Airline; renovation of government buildings, etc. Government will also continue in the beautification and creation of open spaces and developing them into active usable space.
For all these programmes, a total sum of N53.625 billion is proposed in the 2019 budget.

‘’RURAL DEVELOPMENT
In order to ease pressure on the urban centres, Government has sustained the accelerated pace in the rural transformation drive by providing basic and economic infrastructure such as, electricity, potable and mini-water schemes, rural feeder roads, as well as farm roads and bridges.
In 2019, Government will continue the rehabilitation of existing feeder/farm roads, bridges and tarring of slippery hills to ease the transporting of foodstuff and other local products to available markets. Government will also continue the process of electrification of rural communities as well as provision of portable water to reduce the incidence of water borne diseases. Thus, the sum of N1.963 billion has been provided in the 2019 budget.

‘’ENVIRONMENT
The safeguarding and maintenance of a clean and sustainable environment for use by the present and future generations has always been a major obligation of this administration. Government is aware that there is an urgent need to safeguard our environment, manage waste and put in place flood control measures in affected parts of the state. Therefore, the major interventions under the environment sector will focus on protection of the environment and ecological systems across the state. In waste management, the state will strategically move from waste disposal to integrated environment management. The programmes to be undertaken in this sector include: the construction of drainage facilities in Uyo capital city, with particular reference to the state secretariat and IBB Way; state-wide coastal/ gully Erosion Control; Erosion Control in primary and secondary schools; Flood Control project at use Offot, Nwaniba; purchase of waste management equipment and Urban Refuse Disposal programme; forest regeneration; exploration of solid minerals, strengthening of weather and climate information systems etc. To fund these programmes a total sum of N5.388 billion has been provided in the 2019 budget for this sector.

‘’INVESTMENT, COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY
Investment and commerce are major contributors to economic growth and development. Inputs, investments and commerce fuel economic growth; while outputs/outcomes, the volume of investment and commerce are significant indices of economic development. The major aspect of the State’s interest in investment and commerce are in agriculture, manufacturing, construction, real estates, mining, energy, and services. As a major policy framework, the State has put measures in place to encourage major conglomerates, core investors and professional service providers (banks/finance houses and servicing companies for major multi-nationals) to create regional/zonal offices and major production/distribution hubs in the State. This will mitigate capital flight, create jobs, and grow the economy.

‘’The Industrialization drive of this Administration has yielded fruits in the number of jobs and amount of wealth created, Government will provide funding for the following activities to consolidate on the gains achieved so far: design and development of Industrial Estates/Parks including the upgrading of facilities in Uyo phase 2 industrial park; organization of export awareness campaign/export forum in a bid to promote non-oil export to de-emphasize dependence on oil for foreign exchange: industrial promotion programmes in collaboration with relevant agencies and private investors to identify and establish at least 3 new industries by December, 2019: organization of business education and development programmes to encourage entrepreneurial development in the state; participation in both state, National and international trade fairs; promotion of MSME’s development programmes: encouragement of industrial research and inspectorate service to facilitate the development of enabling laws and legislation of industries.
To carry out these programmes, a total sum of N1.531 billion has been provided in the budget for investment, commerce and industry.

‘’CULTURE AND TOURISM
Culture is the mirror that reflects people’s actions and defines their outlook on life. The values, thinking and feelings of the people are largely determined and influenced by its cultural composition and a person’s achievements and successes in life could be influenced by his/her values or what he or she believes in. In the global arena, tourism has been classified as one of the paramount sources of internally generated revenue. Government will therefore undertake programmes and activities aimed at boosting tourism and enhancing the cultural aspirations of the people. These programmes include, Expansion work at Le Meridian Ibom 5-star Hotel and Golf Resort; Completion of a multi-million Naira Ibom Tropicana Entertainment centre with Cineplex, Galleria, Malls, Dry and Wet Park, Hotel and Convention Centre; sponsorship of the state Arts and Culture Troupe to National and International Arts and Culture festivals; sponsorship of a Children’s Cultural Troupe; development of Ibom Unity Park in Uyo. Government intends to spend ₦2.378 billion on these activities.

‘’HEALTH
This Government considers healthcare to be the absolute right of every individual, and therefore aims at the reduction and possible eradication of morbidity and mortality from communicable and non-communicable diseases. We will therefore continue the rehabilitation of our health institutions and the provision of additional healthcare facilities and services. To ensure effective health care delivery, government will continue to implement the policy on free medical treatment for children of five years and below, pregnant women and the elderly of 70 years and above. Government has renovated digitized and procured state-of-art medical equipment for General Hospitals and the Ibom Specialist Hospital. Accreditation has also been obtained for courses in the School of Midwifery, Ituk Mbang, to ensure that health personnel produced from this school are capable of rendering excellent health services to the people residing in the state. Provision has also been made for the smooth take-off of the Health Insurance Scheme, while the Primary Healthcare Development Agency has been established to ensure efficiency in Primary Healthcare delivery.
In 2019, Government will continue to support the health sector to provide qualitative health services to the people of the State. This will be done by continued rehabilitation of health facilities; procurement and distribution of equipment to health institutions; provision of Medical Emergency Response Services; construction of the State Public Health Laboratory; completion of the TB Laboratory in Ikot Ekpene; procurement of incinerators and a specialized truck for bio-medical waste; provision for accreditation of courses in other Health institutions in the State; provision for immunization programme, HIV and malaria treatment; restructuring of Emergency Operation Centers in the State and others. For all programmes and projects in this Sector, the sum of N18.021 billion is proposed in the 2019 budget.

‘’ROAD, WORKS AND TRANSPORT
The construction and rehabilitation of roads and bridges, as well as the provision of electricity, water supply and key infrastructure to aid road, air and sea transportation as a means of enhancing socio-economic growth and development has been a top priority of this administration. This is because the existence of good roads and an efficient transportation network not only ease the lives of the citizens, but also encourage investments in the State. In the past years, the transportation sector had witnessed significant transformation. Specifically, this has been in massive road rehabilitation and construction throughout the State. It is estimated that about 48 roads covering over 1,700km have been constructed and/or rehabilitated in the last three years. There has been the effort to establish and sustain a modular transportation system in the state by actively developing and integrating the various modes of transportation – land, air and sea. This includes the expansion of the Ibom International Airport with Maintenance, Repairs and Overhauling (MRO) facilities, while the process of the actualization of Ibom Deep Sea Port had gathered momentum.
In 2019, Government will continue to engage in the following projects aimed at improving the transportation system. Construction and rehabilitation of roads and bridges; construction of landing jetties and waiting halls; rehabilitation of beaches and terminals to aid maritime transportation; construction of heavy duty vehicles/trailer parks; provision of modern and aesthetic bus-stops; establishment of a driving institute to regulate activities of driving schools in the State; linking the State to the on-going Port Harcourt – Abuja light Rail; improvement and maintenance of standard urban electricity supply as well as street and traffic lights along major roads and streets; provision of fire prevention equipment, among others. The sum of N157.311 billion has been proposed for these projects in the Road, Works and Transport Sector.

‘’INFORMATION, SPORTS AND SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT
In order to ensure continued effective information dissemination of government programmes, policies and activities in a strategic manner by the professional application of conventional and digital media platforms, government intends to provide information and communication infrastructure to enable media professionals perform their duties optimally. These includes: construction of a broadcasting House for AKBC Radio/TV (Phase I); rehabilitation of the Government Printing Press and Pioneer Newspaper; overhaul and procurement of broadcasting equipment for the new AKBC TV Studio.

As stated earlier, Government will continue to support sporting activities in a bid to produce world-class sports men and women. This will be done through the establishment of Sports Academy and Sport Centres in the 10 federal Constituencies of the State; development and maintenance of Sports Stadia across the State; vigorous sports development through participation in national and International sporting activities and competitions. Programmes and activities targeting the youth, women, children, elderly, physically-challenged and other socially-disadvantaged persons will also be embarked on to achieve government’s mandate of economic and social inclusion. Some of these programmes are; skill acquisition and development programmes; empowerment programmes; youth development for leadership and political inclusion; promotion of peaceful cooperation and understanding between the Government and the people; encouragement of cordial and peaceful labour/industrial climate ; prompt settlement of intra and inter-State boundary/land issues; promotion of effective disaster management system in the State; encouragement of cooperative activities to ensure that the masses that may not have access to Micro, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises Loans can get credit facilities from the Cooperative societies to undertake meaningful economic activities to enhance their well-being and improve their standard of living, in line with Government’s aspirations.
The sum of ₦9.916 billion has been voted for this sector in the 2019 budget.

‘’JUSTICE
Societies use laws as instruments to bring about development and promote good governance. The State legal system has, over the years, provided prompt service delivery in its dispensation of justice, facilitating and upholding respect for human rights and ensuring that the State operates under the Rule of Law. This Administration will continue to support the legal framework to provide prompt and effective legal services to the Government and people of Akwa Ibom State. This will be done through the provision of resources for execution of the following programmes and activities: review and reform of obsolete laws; production of Akwa Ibom State laws; prompt prosecution of criminal and civil cases, prompt and accurate drafting of relevant Bills, preparation of Memoranda of Understanding (MoU), Agreements, and other Legal documents for the State Government and its MDAs; administration of Estate and public trusteeship; provision of Books for and furnishing of the Law Libraries; criminal forensic investigation and evidence gathering; establishment of two Area Offices of Centre for Alternative Dispute Resolution (CADR) in Eket and Ikot Ekpene Senatorial Districts; construction and renovation of judge’s and Magistrate’s Quarters where none existed; construction of a High Court Complex to accommodate High Courts, Magistrate Courts, Administrative Blocks, Health Centre and Recreational Grounds. The sum of ₦10.069 billion has been proposed for this sector in the 2019 budget.

‘’SECURITY
The issue of Security in today’s world is of paramount importance to all citizens of the world and to investors everywhere. This is made even more sensitive with the rising wave of terrorism and cyber-crimes. However, Akwa Ibom State has enjoyed an enviable position of peace and security and this must be maintained at all costs so that the State can remain a destination of choice for potential investors to come in and invest. This will lead to employment generation, poverty reduction and wealth creation for the people. These are the major desires of this Administration. Government has achieved much in this area and will continue to do more. We will continue to tackle any act of insecurity in the State by supporting and working closely with the security agencies to maintain the peace and security of our people.

‘’THE PUBLIC AND CIVIL SERVICE
The Public Service is the engine room of every government. This is where policies and decisions are formulated, implemented and monitored. The public service, which includes the civil and other services, provide services for the three arms of government in the state namely, the Executive, Legislature, and the Judiciary. This Administration values very highly the skills inherent in the work force of the State and will therefore continue to ensure prompt payment of salaries, pensions and gratuities of workers in the public services as well as provide recognition for high productivity. To make the public service efficient and effective to meet the challenges of good governance, as well as make our workforce competitive in the national and international market, we will continue to provide appropriate training and retraining within and outside Nigeria, in line with our policy of human capacity development.

‘’THE EXECUTIVE, HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY AND JUDICIARY
The existence of unity and a cordial relationship among the three arms of Government (the Executive, Legislature and the Judiciary) is necessary if the state is to maintain the political and socio-economic growth and development so far achieved. This administration has enjoyed this so far, and will therefore ensure that this peaceful co-existence continues, while bearing in the mind the Constitutional boundaries of the principles of Separation of Power. The Executive arm will continue to work in close cooperation with the Legislative and Judiciary arms to deliver good governance to the people of the State.

‘’CONCLUSION
Mr. Speaker and Honourable members, thank you for your time. This Budget is intended to help us realize our collective dreams and aspirations for the State, while working in partnership with the private sector. It is our belief that the full and proper implementation of the provisions of this Budget will lead us towards becoming a society that is self-reliant and less dependent on Statutory Allocation from the centre.

‘’Mr. Speaker and Honourable Members, this Government’s bold steps taken to invest in security, infrastructural and industrial development have set the stage for faster and sustained economic growth and development in the State. The 2019 Budget goes further to support areas that will deliver inclusive growth especially in Agriculture and its value chain, as this is the anchor for our quest for industrialization and attendant prosperity

‘’The achievements so far recorded despite our lean resources could not have been possible without the help of the Almighty God. It is by His grace that we have attained this level of excellent performance. We celebrate God’s grace and kindness to us as individuals and as a State, because it is ONLY GOD’s grace that this Budget of ‘INDUSTRIALIZATION FOR POVERTY ALLEVIATION’ will be judiciously implemented to achieve the philosophy of making Akwa Ibom greater and taking it to more enviable heights.
We stand together at the inter-section of history. We have already done what no one thought was possible, and another opportunity is here for us to do what many believe may not be done, but which we are collectively dedicated to seeing through its implementation. We have achieved much for our people armed with grit and with passion. May this passion never wane!

‘’I, therefore, crave your kind approval of these Estimates and your support for its implementation. We promise to faithfully implement the provisions of this Budget for the general good and well-being of our people. We will not relent in our resolve to alleviate poverty and restore hope, create wealth, generate employment, stimulate agricultural and industrial development and maximize the overall well-being of our people who have embraced the principle of ‘dakkada’ and will not look back.

‘’I implore you therefore to speedily consider and approve the 2019 Budget Proposals. The relevant details will be provided by the Hon. Commissioner for Finance.
Once again, I salute the State House of Assembly and the good people of Akwa Ibom State for their incredible support and goodwill to my Administration since I assumed office. I remain committed to the cause of ‘Project Akwa Ibom’. Together, let us rise to the faith of greatness, knowing that Akwa Ibom was created by God out of greatness and He alone can strengthen us to achieve the seemingly impossible tasks set before us.

‘’As I end this address, I am aware that some of us have placed before our people our aspirations to serve them again either in our current positions or in other positions. Let us go about this enterprise with the fear of God and love of our people. We should remember that no man is good enough to lead another without that other’s consent. So let us submit to the will of the people remembering that ancient Roman quote “vox populi vox Dei” (the voice of the people is the voice of God.” Let the fire of politics not burn the cords of our brotherhood, for at the end of the day, even though some people may defect or decamp from one party to the other but we cannot defect or decamp from Akwa Ibom State. Akwa Abasi Ibom State is our eternal inheritance; we will cherish, sustain, cradle, massage, develop and nurture the defining layers of our collective essence. That is what I am dedicated to doing and I urge you to do so as well. I wish you good health, divine guidance and protection, joy and happiness. It is well with Akwa Ibom State, it is well with Nigeria and it is well with us all.’’

 

This post was written by Akanimo Sampson.

The views expressed here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect our views and opinions.

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