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Chairman of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly Committee on Finance and Appropriations, Rt. Hon. Uduak Odudoh, has urged representatives of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to be thorough and prompt in their proposed budget estimates, maintaining that “the 7th Assembly is committed to timely passage of the 2020 Appropriation Bill.”

Rt. Hon. Odudoh made this known at the Assembly Complex on Friday as MDAs appeared before his Committee to defend their proposed estimates.

While stressing that there will be no extension of date, he said the House will not entertain noncompliance to the scheduled timeline by those involved.

Kick-starting the event, a former member of the House and Chairman of the Advisory Council on the Prerogative Of Mercy, Sir Adasi Obolum, while defending his estimates noted that the N30m allocated to the Council was grossly inadequate.

He hinted that the Council’s responsibility “not only include training of prison inmates but also equipping them with starter packs to aid proper rehabilitation. We do not also have official vehicle.”

He lamented the conditions at the Prisons, saying “we have over 155 condemned Akwa ibom people that are awaiting execution in Port Harcourt Maximum Prison because Akwa Ibom state has no facility for execution. Of this number, 85% of them are youth and Ikot Abasi Correctional Center has 95% of them while the remaining 5% are elders.”

Sir Obolum appealed to the Committee to step up its budget to enable it meet up with the enormous responsibilities.

Also appearing before the Committee was Mrs. Elsie Esara, Chairman of Agricultural Loans Board.

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In her remarks, she said the Board had proposed disbursement of loans to deserving farmers across the state and need funding beyond what was earlier projected.

Meanwhile, the 2020 Budget Defense continues next week Tuesday.

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