By Bassey Nkponam
The Akwa Ibom government has proposed a total budgetary outlay of N845.632 billion for 2024 Financial Year as against the approved revised provision of N850.000 of 2023 representing a decrease of 0.5per cent from the 2023 revised budget.
The breakdown of the budget christened, “ARISE budget of growth and Expansion”, shows that,N352,917 billion is for recurrent expenditure, while N492,715 billion is for capital expenditure, totaling N845,632 billion.
The total projected recurrent revenue for 2024 is estimated at N561.000 billion as against the approved revised provision of N540.850 billion representing 3.7 per cent increase in revenue projection for 2024, with N60.000 billion as Internally Generated Revenue (IGR),N55.000billion as Statutory Revenue,N280.000 billion as Derivation Revenue, N51.000 billion as 13 per cent Derivative Revenue Arrears, N60.000 billion as Exchange Gain, Augmentation and others,N10.000 billion as Excess Crude, N45.000 billion as Value Added Tax (VAT), totalling N561.000 billion.
For the 2024 Fiscal Year, Recurrent Expenditure which is proposed at N352.737 billion is made up of Personnel Cost N85.431 billion, Overhead Cost N141.286 billion, Social contribution and Benefit, Pension and Gratuity,N41.500 billion, Grant, Contribution and Subsidies, N1.500 billion, Others, N83.200 billion, totalling, N352.917 billion.
The total Capital Receipts and Expenditure for 2024 is estimated at N492.715 billion as against the approved revised provision of N455.685 billion for 2023,with a total projected Capital Receipts showing N208.083 billion to be transferred from the Consolidated Revenue Fund, while the balance of N284.632 billion is to be realized as follows: Opening Balance from2023 account N60.000 billion, Direct Credit Substitute/Receivable, Discounting Facility/Internal Loan,N164.632 billion, External Bank Loan, N20.000 billion, Grants,N21.000 billion, Ecological Fund N5.000 billion, Reimbursement from Federal Government on Roads,N2.000 billion, Other exceptional Income,N10.000 billion, Stabilization Account, N2.000 billion, totalling N492.715 billion.
The sectoral allocation of the total budget outlay of N845.632 billion for the year 2024 is presented as follows: administration, N174.448 billion, (20.6 per cent), Economic, N538.881 billion (63.7 per cent), Law and Justice, N15.780 (1.9 per cent), Regional, N0.449 billion (0.1per cent), Social, N116.074 billion (13.7per cent), totalling, N845.632 (100.00 per cent).
Pastor Umo Eno who presented the budget size, Tuesday, to the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly said the budget is predicated on an oil benchmark of $73.96 per barrel at a production rate of 1.78 million barrels per day with an estimated exchange rate of N700/US$, in line with the National Budget benchmark projections, even as the National GDP has been projected at 3.76 per cent growth rate with National inflation rate of 21per cent.
Eno listed strategies to be adopted by government to realize the 2024 budget objectives as, partner foreign investors to invest in the relevant and key sectors of the State economy and undertaking robust human capital development; widening the industrial base of the State through rapid industrialization and investment activities by providing enabling environment for the private sector to thrive. This is to enhance the availability of goods and services for domestic use as well as for export; achieving atleast 10 per cent increase in IGR by eliminating evasion in payment, wastages and leakages in collection and expenditure and developing tourism potentials, stimulating the Agricultural and Agro-allied industries to boost production of local farmers to ensure food sufficiency for local consumption, exports as well as the provision of raw materials for the industries; expanding and maintaining infrastructure and services in healthcare delivery at primary and secondary levels, as well as safeguarding the State against any further public health emergencies after COVID-19 pandemic.
Other strategies are, improving service delivery in the education sector, with emphasis on culturally, morally and technologically based education, continued empowerment of women and youth through capacity building, empowerment, skill acquisition and elimination of gender discrimination practices, enhancing delivery of qualitative and prompt service by public servants, through effective intra and inter MDAs collaboration by digitizing operations, providing recreational and sporting facilities to increase life expectancy, boost sports development and ensure improved performance of the State representatives at Local, National and International sporting competitions.
There stare, strengthening performance monitoring mechanism with central coordinating unit at the Ministry of Economic Development, improving fiscal transparency and accountability in all MDAs with emphasis on cost effectiveness in all programs and projects of government, adopting the principles of cost minimization and waste reduction in all government expenditure, and promoting cultural and sports tourism to earn more foreign exchange for Akwa Ibom State.
Eno sought the kind approval of the estimates to enable government galvanize the people to ARISE and be all that God had intended them to be, assuring the AKHA of government’s determination to the faithful implementation of the budget for the wellbeing of the people.