Akwa Ibom Executive Council has approved 2013 draft budget amounting to N459,305,166,710.
Already, the draft would be forwarded to Akwa Ibom House of Assembly for consideration and approval.
Of the total amount, Capital Expenditure is given N340,515,000,000 or 82 per cent while Recurrent Expenditure will gulp N118,790,166,710 representing 18 per cent.
Briefing Government House correspondents after the Exco meeting Thursday, the Commissioner for Finance, Mr. Bassey Albert Akpan said the amount showed a decrease of 12 per cent over the amount approved for this year’s budget.
Mr. Akpan explained that the draft is tagged: “Budget of Consolidation and Industrialisation’’, while government policy thrust would hinge on completion of on-going development projects, continued provision of basic infrastructure and security as well as implementation of the state industrialisation programme.
He noted that in the budget, the government took cognisance of fluctuating petroleum prices in the international market, saying that the government would explore internally generated revenue to help in the implementation of the budget.
The Finance Commissioner hinted that unlike N2 billion budgeted for entrepreneurs for this year, the government has increased it to N5 billion to assist genuine entrepreneurs in the state to expand their industrial concerns. Akpan, however, thanked Labour leaders and civil servants in the state for their cooperation with the government in the implementation of budget.
The Commissioner for Information and Communications, Mr. Aniekan Umanah stated that with the budget, the State Government would complete and commission such turnkey projects as Tropicana Entertainment Centre, International Stadium, Uyo, Maintainance, Repairs and Overhaul (MRO) facility of Akwa Ibom International Airport among others.
Mr. Umanah who described it as people budget pointed out that many people-oriented projects would be completed, calling on the people to support government in the successful implementation of the budget.
The Permanent Secretary in Budget Department, Uyo, Mr. Nicholas Ekarika commended the government for the budget and for consistently adherring to Federal Government accepted benchmark of 82 per cent for Capital Expenditure and 18 per cent for Recurrent Expenditure.