The Speaker of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, Barrister Onofiok Luke, has advocated the provision of necessary facilities to assist government at the local level run effectively at the grassroots.
The Speaker made the advocacy on Tuesday during a plenary session of the legislative arm of government.
In his comment shortly after leading the House at the Committee of the Supply level through ratifying the 2016 Budget estimates of the 31 Local Government Councils in the state, Speaker Luke said that ensuring the provision of key facilities at the grassroots level is necessary.
While thanking members for painstakingly ensuring that the third tier of government operates effectively, and the members of the House Committee in Appropriation and Finance for successfully carrying out the exercise, the Speaker also commended Governor Udom Emmanuel for his transparency in handling the local government funds, as well as his managerial ability and supervisory role in seeing to the optimal performance of the local government system.
He also commended the local government administration in the state for working to complement the state government’s effort in seeing to the effective running of the local government system, and urged the state government to step up efforts in assisting the local government in reaching out to the grassroots, which he said the third tier is closest to.
Meanwhile, a breakdown of the budget which takes effect from 1st January, 2016, shows total re-current revenue of N88.472 Billion and a total re-current expenditure of N46.980 Billion as well as a capital receipt/expenditure of N95.758.452 Billion. The House approved the Budget, Tuesday following the submission of report by the House Committee on Appropriations and Finance on the 2016 budget of local government councils.
Submitting his report, the Chairman of the Finance and Appropriation Committee, Dr Usoro Akpanusoh hinted that the committee had engaged relevant stakeholders including the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, State Budget Office and the 31 local Chairmen in the discharge of the Committee’s assignment.
He further explained that necessary scrutiny were done on the Budget estimate of the 31 Local Government Councils, and that his Committee was satisfied, and urged the House to approve the Budget.
On this, Speaker Luke noted that the figures provided in the budget are merely estimates and not realised funds. He cautioned members of the public against mistaking the figures for funds already at the disposal of government, adding that it is normal for the government to make the proposal in the budget to show what can be done if the estimated funds are made available; but that in any case, everything proposed in the budget is totally dependent on the amount of funds eventually realized from the statutory allocation and other sources of revenue derivation. (Culled from Ibom Telegraph)