Akwa Ibom 2023 budget of completion
Government budget refers to an annual financial statement that denotes its anticipated expenditure and expected revenue generation in a fiscal year. At the Federal level, it is presented by the President before a joint session of the Senate and House of Representatives while at the state level, it is presented by the governor before the House of Assembly, which is headed by a Speaker. In Nigeria, it is usually presented before the legislature as an appropriation bill, before the 12 month calendar year runs out.
Some of the general objectives of a government budget include promoting economic growth, reducing inequality and income redistribution, poverty alleviation and employment generation, management of public enterprises, as well as resource reallocation. On Monday, November 7, 2022, Governor Udom presented the N697.005 billion budget before the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly. The budget comprises a recurrent expenditure of N 344.005 billion and capital expenditure of N353 billion. Prepared in accordance with International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS) Accrual template, the budget is predicated on an oil benchmark of 70 dollars per barrel at a production rate of 1.69 million barrels per day with an estimated exchange rate of N435.57 to U.S. dollars in line with the national budget benchmark projections.
The governor commenced his budget presentation by appreciating the 7th House of Assembly for the cordial relationship the Executive and Legislature have had in the last seven and half years, in the course of developing the state. He also appreciated stakeholders, women and youth for the role they have played in developing the state.
He stated some achievements of the administration to include the creation of 25 industries in the state such as Jubilee Syringe Factory, Flour Mills, St. Gabriel Refinery and the others which have employed thousands of people in the state. Furthermore, he stated that a car manufacturing plant will soon commence operations despite the foreign exchange challenges the nation is facing.
Premised on the Eight-Point Completion Agenda of the administration which focuses on Industrialisation, Aviation Development, Rural and Riverine Area Development, Agriculture, Human Capacity Development, Security, Infrastructure, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises, the 2023 Budget of Completion has at its core focus consolidating the gains made so far in these eight areas.
Governor Udom Emmanuel stated that the total projected recurrent revenue for 2023 is estimated at N390.850 billion as against the approved revised provision of N303.854 billion representing an increase of 29 per cent in revenue projection for 2023. He further added that the breakdown showed N200 billion would come from derivation revenue, N47.85 billion would come from Internally Generated Revenue, N12 billion from electronic money transfer levy, N30 billion from Value Added Tax, N51 billion from Statutory Revenue, N10 billion from Excess Crude, and N40 billion from exchange gain, augmentation and others.
For the recurrent expenditure of N344.005 billion, it is made up of N80.05 billion for personnel cost, N157.954 billion for overhead cost, N31.5 billion for social contributions and benefits, and N1.5 billion for grants, contributions and subsidies. The expenditure earmarked for servicing public service debt is N73 billion. Furthermore, as against the approved revised provision of N328.918 billion for 2022, he stated that the total Capital Receipts and Expenditure for the year 2023 is estimated at N353.000 billion. A total projected Capital Receipts shows that N46.845 billion will be transferred from the Consolidated Revenue Fund.
According to him, the balance of N306.155 billion is to be realised as follows, N40 billion from the opening balance of 2022 budget, N134.108 billion from Direct Credit Substitute/Receivable Discounting Facility, N4 billion from External Bank Loan, N15.79 billion from Grants, N5 billion from Ecological Fund, N250 million from Reimbursement from the Federal Government on Roads, N100 billion from other exceptional income through exploration of the money market and other markets around the globe, N2 billion from Stabilisation Account.
A breakdown of the sectoral allocation of the budget is as follows: N149.2 billion for Administration, N 448.337 billion for Economy, N12 billion for Law and Justice, N440 million for Regional, N91.88 billion for Social, N50.644 billion for Education and N14.129 billion for Agriculture. Before stating that N30.492 billion has been allocated to Health Care, Udom stated that the “State Health Insurance Scheme will be established to ensure a robust access to health care services and to maintain a healthy population in the state for increased productivity.” He thanked the Ministry of Health for the role they played in curtailing the COVID-19 pandemic and tasked them to fortify the state against the outbreak of monkeypox and other diseases.
Governor Udom went further to state the strategies through which the objectives of the budget will be executed. The first strategy will involve partnering foreign investors in relevant sectors of the state economy and robust human capital development. Widening the industrial base of the state which will inevitably enhance the availability of goods and services for domestic consumption is another strategy that will be utilized. Thirdly, another strategy will be to enhance delivery of qualitative and prompt service by public servants through automation and effective intra and inter MDAs collaboration, as well as improving fiscal transparency and accountability in all MDAs with emphasis on cost effectiveness in all programmes and projects of government
In conclusion, he thanked God for His goodness and mercy in the administration stating that ‘It is by His mercy that we have achieved all we have achieved in the state… it is by His mercies that we have stepped up into this era of superior performance.” He thereafter appealed for the approval of the budget by the House of Assembly as he promised the faithful implementation of the budget for “the general good of our people. Our resolve to alleviate poverty, restore hope, create wealth, generate employment, stimulate agriculture and industrial development, and uplift the overall welfare of our people remains unflinching.”
In response to the budget presentation, Rt. Hon. Aniekan Bassey, the speaker of the House of Assembly commended Udom for his transparency, accountability and prudence in managing the resources of the state. He further lauded him for his commitment to serving the people of the state. He thereafter stated that the budget proposal would receive the needed accelerated deliberations.
Adewale wrote from Lagos.