The Akwa Ibom State house of assembly has passed the 2019 appropriation bill of N672.9 billion after it was read a third time.
Governor Udom Emmanuel in November last year presented a budget of N670.9 billion to the state assembly for consideration and approval.
In passing the appropriation bill, the assembly increased the budget size by “a little over N2 billion” to bring it to N672, 984,760.
The motion for the appropriation bill to be read a third time and passed was moved by Ime Okon, the deputy leader of the house and member representing Ibiono Ibom State constituency and was seconded by Felicia Bassey, deputy speaker and member representing Okobo state constituency.
In his remarks, Onofiok Luke, the speaker of the assembly said the increase in the budget size was done after consultations with stakeholders who according to him had considered the paramaters for the 2019 proposals during the public hearing on the budget.
He said the input of experts inspired need based increase in the social sectors of the economy.
“Our overall objective was to see to it that priority was given to areas of immediate importance to the people while we pursue the larger goal of full-scale industrialization,’’ he said.
Luke stated that to further strengthen secondary education in the state, augmentation to the tune of N61.97 million was made to the state secondary education board while similar increase was made to the state universal basic education board.
According to him, additional N150 million was made for local government service commission by N447 million to strengthen local government administration in the state.
Christened “Budget of industrialization,” the assembly had earlier dissolved into a committee of the whole chaired by the speaker for a clause-clause consideration of the appropriation bill as submitted by Usoro Akpan Usoh, chairman, house committee on appropriation and finance, member representing Ibeno/Esit Eket state constituency.
Luke thanked the governor for the prudency in the management of the state resources and expressed the hope that as the appropriation bill was being passed, it would give verve to the state’s economy to attract foreign direct investment into youth development ventures in the state.
He also thanked the chairman of the appropriation and finance committee for doing a thorough job.
The assembly also ratified the 2017 audited accounts of the state government following its submission by the public accounts committee.