April 24, 2024

CSO applauds A’Ibom govt for N36bn supplementary budget, flood control 

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CSO applauds A’Ibom govt for N36bn supplementary budget, flood control

CSO applauds A’Ibom govt for N36bn supplementary budget, flood control 

Ini Billie, Uyo 

Civil Society Organisation, Policy Alert has applauded Akwa Ibom Government for the supplementary budget of over N36 billion for flood control and road projects in the state.  

Following his visits to some erosion sites in Uyo, the state capital, Governor Umo Eno has started the implementation of some erosion and flood control projects across the state.  

Faith Paulinus, Programme Officer, Fiscal Reforms and Anti-Corruption, Policy Alert, an organisation focused on promoting fiscal and ecological justice in the Niger Delta, applauded the government for its supplementary budget of N6 billion for implementation of erosion control across the State. 

Speaking on Thursday in Uyo, Paulinus stated that the supplementary budget included N30 billion to cushion the effect of fuel subsidy removal, N500 million each for the construction of outfall drain at Atiku Abubakar, construction of outfall drains along Urua Ikpa Road and construction of stormwater control facilities at Iquita Village, Oron. 

In a press release, Paulinus said the budget earmarked N300 million for the construction of 3.6 kilometres Mbikpong- Ikot Akpaedu road in Ibesikpo Asutan, in response to repeated calls on government to give attention to the project. 

However, the organisation kicked over some controversial projects which formed a bulk of the capital expenditure on the supplementary budget, saying they were already inaugurated by the past administration of former Governor, Mr Udom Emmanuel.  

It mentioned the projects to include N1 billion for the dualisation of the 19.8-kilometre Ikot Oku Ikono Junction-Etinan Road with a flyover at Ikot Oku Ikono, N500 million for the construction of Etinan-Ndon Eyo road, N1.2 billion for Eket-Etinan road, NI billion for Uyo-Ikot Ekpene road, and N6.5 billion for the construction of the International Terminal Building at Victor Attah International Airport. 

“The provision of a supplementary budget for these projects after the previous administration had clearly inaugurated them raises a red flag and demands answers. 

“It is also disturbing that the Government of Akwa Ibom State prioritized the provision of furniture for new State House Members and purchase of utility vehicles in the supplementary budget, whereas the allocation for these items in the original budget was already sufficient and far above comparable rates. 

“In the supplementary budget, the purchase of 90 Jeeps for the Office of the Secretary to the State Government (SSG) had N2.8bn supplementary budget totalling N5.55bn in the revised budget while the purchase of 90 Pickup Trucks for the office of the SSG had a supplementary budget of N1.2bn totalling N2.6bn in the revised budget for the year. 

“While there is nothing wrong with having a supplementary budget, the amount and the target areas on this particular supplementary budget leave a lot of unanswered questions. 

“Akwa Ibom’s total revenue stood at N388.5bn as of the third quarter of 2023. This raises doubt that the State will be able to raise the N850bn revenue it has projected in its revised budget.

The N150bn supplementary budget will, therefore, adversely affect the budget credibility of the State,” the organisation stated. 

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