By Emmanuel Ayungbe
UYO—AKWA Ibom State House of Assembly, yesterday, succumbed to pressure from members of the public in the state who had insisted on knowing the debt profile of the state, as the Chairman, House Committee on Finance and Appropriation, Usoro Akpanusoh, directed the state government to open up on the debt profile of the state.
Akpanusoh told the Commissioner for Finance, Mr Linus Nkan, to make public, the debt profile of the state, “so as to assist in the discharge of the expected duties.”
It will be recalled that there has been agitation from different groups, including the opposition All Progressives Congress, APC, calling on Governor Udom Emmanuel to make public the financial position of the state bequeathed to him by his predecessor, Godswill Akpabio, in May 2015.
Akpanusoh, lawmaker representing Ibeno/Esit Eket state constituency, gave the order in his opening remarks at the pre-budget briefing/public hearing on a bill for a law to appropriate monies to fund the 2018 budget.
He noted that budget briefing was “an acceptable practice and a platform where stakeholders are invited to make inputs. It provides an excellent opportunity for the public to participate in budgeting,” which he said gives room for transparency in government expenditure.
He assured that the House Committee on Finance and Appropriation and the general House will judiciously discharge their oversight functions of evaluating the 2018 budget.