…pledges to focus on industrialisation, education, civil service
Governor Udom Emmanuel has proposed the sum of N435.652 billion as the budget for the year 2021.
The governor made this known while presenting the fiscal plan for the coming year christened ‘Budget of Reconstruction’ before the plenary of Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly at the Assembly Complex in Uyo, yesterday.
According to him, the 2021 budget is predicated on an oil benchmark of $40 per barrel at a production rate of 1.86 million barrels per day, with an estimated exchange rate of N379/US$, in line with the National Budget benchmark projections.
This year’s budgetary outlay is N69.652 billion more than the approved revised provision of N366.000billion of the year 2020.
An overview of the budget shows that recurrent expenditure is pegged at N158.403 billion while capital expenditure is N226.964 billion. Consolidated Revenue Fund Charge will be N50.285 billion, summing the entire fiscal plan at N435.652 billion.
Governor Emmanuel informed the House that the policy thrust of the 2021 budget will focus on key pillars of his Completion Agenda.
“The objective is to ensure that we rapidly industrialize this State and open up new areas of growth and development through intense and coordinated efforts to increase our internally generated revenues and be less dependent on allocations from the federal government, which was the main thrust of recommendations by the Post-Covid -19 Economic Reconstruction Committee I had set up earlier this year”. He said.
He also informed the legislators that education will be given pride of place in 2021 because “our children must be made ready to compete with their peers and distilled to be a part of the global march to apply science and technology to create job and wealth for themselves.
“Our children are highly gifted and innovative and we must provide the enabling environment for them to achieve their potentials.
In addition, the governor disclosed that he understands that civil servants must also be exposed through rigorous training and retraining on the current trends in public administration thus “we desire to have an agile and efficient public service to help drive our Completion Agenda.
“We will intensify our investments in healthcare delivery by completing among other key elements, the construction and commissioning of the General Hospitals in Ikot Abasi and Ikot Ekpene respectively. We will remain proactive in ensuring that we reduce the incidence of communicable diseases.
“Our infrastructural renaissance will continue to receive critical attention. I have always said that for development anchored on industrialization to take roots, we must invest heavily in Land, Air and Sea infrastructures. You will agree with me that we have achieved a lot in the area of road infrastructures as can be seen from the economically viable dualized roads we have constructed throughout the three senatorial districts”.
He pointed out that the air infrastructure his administration has setup is the pride of the nation and pledged to ensure that the Ibom Deep Seaport project is actualized in the life of his administration.
“Our strategy for the development of this State has been the need to rapidly industrialize her, and create employment and wealth opportunities for our people. We have done exceedingly well in this regard through the over 20 industries we have attracted so far to this State, more of which would have been attracted if we were not hit by the Covid-19 pandemic. As the world opens up post-Covid-19, we will accelerate our pace in this area and continue to attract viable industries that would help with our strategic and sustainable developmental plans. We remain committed to the realization of our plans on “Power for All” by 2021.
“We will spare no expense in ensuring that our state continues to enjoy the peace and development that we are nationally known for. Our security agencies have been great partners in this regard and we hope to continue to work for hand in gloves to protect the lives and property of our citizens and, thus help attract more investors and tourism to our dear State.
“We will continue to encourage the development of our rural and riverine areas so as to stem the rural-urban migration through the provision of electricity, feeder roads and the promotion of mechanized agriculture.
“Our youths and women would be empowered through various agencies of development we have established. I want to commend the youths for rising to the faith of their greatness and forsaking cultism and other anti-social tendencies. We will do all we can to ameliorate their pains”.