By Akanimo Sampson
Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State, one of the big oil states in Southern Nigeria, has unveiled a N671 billion war chest for the 2019 polls tagged: Budget of Industralisation for Poverty Alleviation.
While presenting the 2019 Budget to the state House of Assembly on Wednesday, the governor who is battling for a re-election on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) said the budget proposal was prepared in accordance with International Public Sector Accounting Standard (IPSAS) – Accrual Template.
‘’It is a comprehensive IPSAS package that classifies transactions into Revenue, Expenditure, Asset and Liabilities. Thus, it aids effective and efficient financial analysis. We have christened the 2019 budget as the Budget of Industrialisation for Poverty Alleviation’’, Governor Udom, a former bank top executive said.
Their 2018 budget was tagged Budget of Consolidation on industrialisation. It was so named because the state under his watch had started witnessing a breakthrough in industrialisation through the construction and commissioning of some industries that are currently in full operations. They also attracted more Foreign Direct Investments, which boosted the fortunes of the electorate and improved employment opportunities.
But in 2019, the Udom administration will be having an herculean task to retain power with Senator Godswill Akpabio, a former governor, already galvanizing the All Progressives Congress (APC) to wrestle power from the PDP in Akwa Ibom.
Though it is being alleged that Akpabio may have defected to APC in a bid to keep the books of graft under wrap, he however, has an enormous financial muscle, though questionable, to rattle Udom and the PDP in a state he dominated for eight years from 2007-2015.
That aside, the government intends to build more industries and attract more Foreign Direct Investments, while ensuring the consolidation and sustenance in our already actualized and on-going socio-economic programmes in health, education, roads, electricity, water supply, agriculture, information technology, capacity building, infrastructure, housing, commerce and industry, aviation, general administration, political posterity and security, Legislature and Judiciary.
‘’A lot had been put in place in term of infrastructures already, but we need to do more. Our belief and conviction is that through industrialisation, the fortunes of people would be greatly improved and employment opportunities will abound for our people thus, lifting the standard of living’’, the governor said, pointing out that the policy thrust of the 2019 budget is aimed at reducing dependence on statutory allocation as the main source of revenue to the state.
This, according to him, will be pursued by establishing more industries, improving IGR and providing the enabling environment which will encourage private investments in the State. The State Government will also create employment opportunities and improve the living standard of our people by providing basic infrastructures, enhancing security, develop human capital and continue to boost services in education and healthcare.
The Policy Objectives of the 2019 Budget are:
1. To broaden and diversify the State’s resource base through improvements in the collection of Internally Generated Revenue, (IGR) and the development of other internal revenue generating sources in the maritime sector, and in the coastal and inland water ways, as well as harnessing revenue on landed properties.
2. To pursue increased foreign exchange revenue from airplane maintenance and other aviation services by completing the Cargo and Maintenance Repairs and Overhaul (MRO) facility of Ibom International Airport.
3. To boost production by local businesses through the promotion of trade, commerce and tourism between the State and the rest of the world.
4. To encourage and sustain small and medium scale enterprises through the development of an efficient and sustainable micro-credit framework, as part of the wealth creation and employment generation strategies.
5. To use ICT, Science and Technology for employment generation and wealth creation.
6. To continue the rehabilitation of our health institutions and provision of additional health care facilities and services to reduce morbidity and mortality from communicable and non-communicable diseases; thereby guaranteeing a healthy populace.
7. To provide durable and affordable shelter for the citizens of the State.
8. To provide the required support for the continued implementation of the Government policy of Free and compulsory Qualitative Education through the expansion of facilities to cope with increased school enrolment and the provision of teaching aids in public primary and secondary schools.
9. To develop the Ibom Industrial City to complement Government efforts in the creation of enduring structures for employment generation.
10. To develop agriculture through the supply of improved agricultural inputs, credit and extension services.
11. To pursue the Public Private Partnership Investment Strategy in order to enhance our revolutionary efforts in Agriculture and Industry, as a means of ensuring food sufficiency and creating employment.
12. To promote youth and women empowerment as well as the protection of children and other vulnerable groups in the society.
13. To create a peaceful and safe society and ensure the security of lives and property through the provision of effective security network in the state.
14. To ensure accountability and transparency and the enthronement of best practices in all areas of governance as an enduring standard of public sector administration.
15. To reduce the burden on the urban centres by developing the rural areas to enable the dividends of democratic government to be felt in every part of the State.
16. To maintain a good working relationship between the legislative and judiciary arms of the State government and also ensure grassroots development and empowerment through the enablement of effective local government administration.
17. To maintain the existing amiable relationship with the central Government in order to attract federal presence to the state.
18. To unify the State, as well as ensure due respect for the traditional institutions and elders in the society, in order to attain peace and prosperity in the State and also give all Akwa Ibomites (both within and without) a sense of belonging.
The rest of Governor Udom’s budget proposal goes thus: ‘’About three years and five months ago, destiny and a passion to serve flavoured with an acute sense of duty and abiding faith in our common essence brought us together to write a new chapter in the inspirational story of this blessed Land of Promise.
‘’Conditioned by our shared commitment to the Akwa Ibom Project, shaped and distilled by our Founding Fathers avowed pursuit of unity, love, peace, security, and an unbridled faith in God, we have today, produced an Akwa Ibom success story that has resonated with our people here and in the Diaspora and ignited in the process, a sense of renewal that even our naysayers can’t help but applaud.
‘’Permit me to pay special tribute to your patriotism and the strong partnership which we have forged over the course of the past three and half years as we work to better the lot of Akwa Ibomites. Our shared vision of a more prosperous, peaceful, strong and secure society has challenged us to build a State where our people would and should have a decent standard of living, pursue their legitimate aspirations under peaceful and safe circumstances, while creating economic opportunities. These core aspirations have energized our passion, fired our sense of purpose and the unbridled resolve to leave the State better than we met it. In this fourth episode of our budgetary submission, we look forward to a faster and more prosperous Akwa Ibom State where no one is left behind on the train of progress and development.
‘’Honourable Members let me again express my deep and profound appreciation for your unflinching support. This has translated into the tremendous democratic dividends that we have witnessed in our State through the many life-touching programmes and projects we have executed.
‘’Mr. Speaker and Honourable Members, you have kept the letter of the Constitution by the prompt consideration and passing into law of the Budgetary Proposals presented to this noble Assembly in the past, and you have equally kept the spirit of the Constitution by walking hand in hand with us to see to the effective and efficient implementation of every approved budget. Thank you again for this tremendous show of support for our people and our State
‘’To the good people of Akwa Ibom State, we thank you for your unalloyed cooperation, prayers and support. Together, we weathered the storms of recession and kept sailing when some states were struggling and needed to be provided lifelines. When men had said there is casting down, our testimony had always been that there is a lifting up. God bless you all!
‘’Above all, we appreciate the Almighty God who had bestowed His benevolence upon us as a State. He has given us representatives and leaders with knowledge, understanding and wisdom in handling the affairs of the people. To Him be the glory and ONLY GOD Himself could have made this possible.
‘’Mr. Speaker, as the proponent of the Dakkadda philosophy, permit me to say here without the slightest tinge of immodesty that I have big dreams for this State; dreams which we have so far translated into concrete manifestations in our determination to make Akwa Ibom State rise to greater heights of glory. The Good Book says you will walk and not be weary, you will run and not be tired, you will mount up on wings and fly. This State has walked; it has soared and its wings are steady because the Leader behind the controls is one laden with integrity, character and love for the people. It is the dream of an economically thriving society where peace, security and love form the building blocks that colours my thoughts each time I appear in this Hallowed Chamber to address you. I recognize that you are my dear and cherished partners and co-drivers in the train of development and progress of our dear State.
‘’Mr Speaker, let these sentiments of love and togetherness provide the moral context for this Constitutional obligation which I am about to discharge. I, therefore, crave your kind indulgence to share with this Hallowed Chamber, the vision, policies, programmes and projects of my Administration and to present for your kind consideration and approval, the Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure of Akwa Ibom State Government for the 2019 Fiscal Year in accordance with the provision of section 121(1) of the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
‘’Mr. Speaker and our dear Honourable House Members, please bear in mind the cardinal objectives of my Administration, as encapsulated in the Five-Point Agenda. These are: Job Creation, Poverty Alleviation, Wealth Creation, Economic and Political Inclusion, and Infrastructural Consolidation and Expansion to further transform the state into an industrialized entity. These are the Five Pillars of my governing philosophy.
‘’REVIEW OF THE PERFORMANCE OF 2018 BUDGET
Mr Speaker, and Honourable Members, permit me to start with a review of the 2018 Budget. A total of N646.649 billion was approved for 2018 fiscal year, made up as follows:
Recurrent Expenditure – N94.649 billion
Capital Expenditure – N431.141 billion
Consolidated Revenue Fund Charges – N120.859 billion
Total – N646.649billion
‘’As at September, 2018 the actual recurrent Revenue collected was N175.594 billion. This was 60% of the budgeted amount. A breakdown of Recurrent Revenue shows that
Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) – N 19.043 billion
Statutory Allocation – N 31.607 billion
Value Added Tax (VAT) – N 9.127 billion
Derivation – N115.817billion
Budget Support – N – billion
Total – N175.594billion
‘’In re-appraising expenditure, a total of N84.314 billion was spent on the recurrent services which include:
Personnel Costs – N30.169 billion
Overhead Costs – N12.018 billion
Consolidated Revenue Fund Charges – N42.127 billion
Total – N84.314 billion
‘’Operating within the framework of the approved budget and the limits of available resources, we have been able to record remarkable achievements in our industrialization efforts. We have consolidated on the gains of democratic governance and we have given fresh breath to our campaign promises.
‘’Let me state again as I said during our Third Anniversary that there is no first term Governor who has done as much as what we have done here in this State. In spite of the harsh economic realities that stared us in the face when we came in; in spite of the sharp drop in the price of oil and the attendant hyper-inflation; in spite of the turbulent cloud on the economic horizon, we have remained steady, focused and passionate in our tireless and passionate devotion to delivering solid democratic dividends for our people.
‘’We came prepared to win, to secure our future based on the strength and promise of yesterday and the goodness of heart and ingenuity of our people. Together, we have done this in a spectacular fashion, wining accolades and commendations even from leaders and institutions of the Federal Government, such as the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) which early this year, gave me the Integrity and National Service Award.
‘’Where others saw despair, we saw hope, where others saw challenges, we saw opportunities. Where others were bent by the enormity of problems they faced, we stood ramrod straight, shoulders held high, providing solutions to ease the pains of our people. Elsewhere, while, workers were owed salaries and pensions here, our workers smile to the bank at the end of every month.
‘’Elsewhere, the commissioning of a few kilometers of road is done with pomp and pageantry but in our state, we have constructed, commissioned or work is on-going on over 1700 kilometers of good, enduring and commercially viable roads, opening up the hinterland and we do this, without unnecessary fanfare because we are on a cause for sustainable development not a fleeting or ephemeral feeling of applause.
‘’The extent and breath of what we have achieved together, is so huge and all-encompassing hence the theme of our reelection campaign: Only God! It is only God who is the Invisible Hand that has helped us steer the ship of development of our State leading us to becoming the State with the second highest inflow of Foreign Direct Investment as reported by the National Bureau of Statistics. It is only God that has made us the most peaceful State in Niger Delta as published recently by a cross-section of the media. It is only through the grace of God and His abiding faith in our collective enterprise that has made us achieve the following:
‘’ROADS AND INFRASTRUCTURE
Over 1700km of roads, including 35 bridges, have either been commissioned or at various stages of work all through the three Senatorial districts and the ten Federal Constituencies in the state. We have also carried out the following:
‘’Completion of the State Secretariat Annex
Construction of a 2nd airport Runway
Upgrade of the Airport main runway to category 2
We are the only state to own & maintain an airport independently
We have constructed an underground drainage to control flood at Nsikak Eduok Avenue, Uyo
A 21 Storey modern Office Complex is in the offing
Work is currently on-going for a befitting International Worship Centre for the State.
We have reactivated and provided more street lights around Uyo metropolis in addition to other beautification projects.
Free and compulsory basic education in public schools
Take-over of 7 community secondary schools
Construction and Renovation of 62 school blocks
Strategic intervention in tertiary institutions – provision of roads, equipment, academic blocks, etc.
Procurement & distribution of free text books & other educational materials
Payment of subventions to public primary & secondary schools
Payment of over N600 million WAEC fees for indigenes in public secondary schools annually
Upgrading of Akwa Ibom State College of Arts & Science, Nung Ukim, Ikono to College of Science and Technology.
The Syringe Manufacturing Factory (The largest in Africa) is in full operation
The Pencil Factory & Toothpick factories are in full operations
The Electric Digital Metering Solutions Manufacturing Factory is in full operations
Resuscitation of Peacock Paint Industry
153+ mw Ibom Power Plant & 3 sub-stations, leading to steady electricity supply in our major cities and other parts of the state
Work is ongoing at the Flour Mills and Coconut Refinery
Plastic Manufacturing Factory has been commissioned which is located A within the premises of the also recently commissioned AKEES Mini-Industrial Park
The Fertilizer Blending Factory has been commissioned and in full productions
‘’IBOM DEEP SEA PORT DEVELOPMENT
We have worked night and day to see to the actualization of this landmark port infrastructure project which will accelerate the economic development of our State. To the glory of God, we have made unprecedented progress in this direction and the Federal Government has just approved that the project should proceed to the next stage of Public Private Partnership (PPP) procurement process. This followed a rigorous evaluation process leading to the selection of a preferred bidder for the project.
‘’The preferred bidder is Bollore-Power China Consortium which is Africa’s leading port operator with 18 container terminal concessions in Europe, Africa, India, Asia and the Americas. China Harbour Engineering Company Ltd has been selected as the Reserve bidder. We are in the process of commencing negotiations with the preferred bidder to work out the investment and concession details, preparatory to the actual commencement of construction work on the project. We are leaving no stone unturned in the realization of this dream and I can boldly say that with God on our side, the Ibom Deep Sea Port will be operational within the lifespan of our second term in office.
‘’MANPOWER DEVELOPMENT AND WORKERS’ WELFARE:
Payment of outstanding pensions and gratuities to retired workers.
Regular and prompt payment of salaries and entitlement to public servants.
Release of backlog of promotions from 2012 to 2014 affecting 10, 352 public servants.
Implementation of immediate switch –over from salary payroll to pension payroll system for retirees.
‘’Training of public servants for effective service delivery.
Recruitment of 4, 761 Teachers into the Education Sector, Spanning through Primary and Secondary School Teachers, Polytechnic and College of Education Lecturers as well as into other critical areas.
We are developing 11,000 hectares of coconut plantation
We have over 1,600 hectares of cassava plantation in 15 LGAs
We have 4,920 registered rice farmers in the state
We have trained 450 youths on cocoa maintenance
We have provided subsidized fertilizers, oil palm & cocoa seedlings
Akwa Prime Hatchery is producing 10,000 day old chicks weekly
We have given free Improved Corn seedlings to farmers
We are cultivating various Vegetables in Greenhouses for commercial use
Ibom agricon Farms Ltd is running the rice processing factory
‘’Over 100hectares of rice cultivated
Cultivation of about 2,100 hectares of cassava in partnership with World Bank under FADAMA III Additional Financing Project, using farmers co-operatives.
On-going construction of 33 No. Cassava Micro-Processing Mills
Training of 300 youths under the Graduate Unemployment Youth Scheme (GUYS).
Construction of 1No. Tractor Hiring Enterprise (AEHE) Centre with 4 No. tractors, and 14No. implements delivered. So far 75hectares of farmland has been ploughed, harrowed and ridged through the Centre.
‘’Refurbishing of Cassava Processing Factories located at Ikot Okudom, Eket LGA; Nung Udoe, Ibesikpo/Asutan LGA and Ikot Ekang in Abak LGA and leased to private operators for the production of high quality garri, odorless foofoo and cassava flour. This has helped crash the price of garri from about 3 cups for 200 naira before now to the current situation where the same 200 naira will fetch you between 9 and 12 cups
‘’Procurement of 600,000 bags of fertilizer to farmers in the State
Planting of 500 citrus seedlings, 600 hybrids plantain suckers and 1,000 pineapple suckers at the Horticulture Garden, Wellington Bassey Way in Uyo LGA.
Over 300 rural development projects across 31 Local Government Areas
Over 400 Inter-Ministerial Rural Intervention projects
Rehabilitation/construction of over 500km of rural feeder roads on-going
Free medical services for children below 5 years, pregnant women and the aged
Over 25 Containers of state-of-the art medical equipment have been procured and are being delivered to health institutions in the state
Construction & upgrading of secondary healthcare facilities across the State.
Reconstruction and equipping of General Hospital, Etinan, which was commissioned last year by Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo.
Reconstruction and the commissioning of Ituk Mbang General Hospital
Reconstruction of Ikono General Hospital, Emmanuel Hospital, Eket and the General Hospital at Iquita, Oron
On-going reconstruction work at Ikot Okoro General Hospital. Some of these hospitals are fully digitalized with advanced health information management systems.
Relief for over 4,000 mal-nourished children
Free screening & treatment of over 15,000 people for various eye diseases undertaken by FEYReP
Training of 20 Biomedical Engineers
Provision of residential quarters for 48 House Officers in the State Hospitals and 50 in the University of Uyo Teaching Hospital (UUTH).
Accreditation for Schools of Nursing, with 272 Registered Nurses
‘’Training and Certification of 100 Doctors and Nurses in Basic Lives Support (BLS) and Advanced Cardiac Lives Support (ACLS) with Medical Emergency Experts from the USA
Procurement of Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) and Electrocardiograph (ECG) Machines for use in Emergency Response (now fitted in all our ambulances)
‘’YOUTH EMPOWERMENT & CAPACITY BUILDING
Over 20,000 youths have been trained in various skills
On-going Construction of 10 Modern Sports Centres across the state
Complete Reconstruction of the Eket Sports Stadium
N2bn interest free loan for small scale entrepreneurs and traders.
First and Second Akwa Ibom State Youth Sports Festival successfully organized
Through sound planning and management;
Akwa Ibom has become the Football Capital of Nigeria. We Hosted the Super Eagles to become the first African Team to qualify for Russia 2018 World Cup with a match still to play.
We also played host to Athletico Madrid FC in an international friendly match with the Super Eagles
– Akwa United won The Nigeria Federation Cup twice in 3 years
– Ibom Angels emerged runners up 2017 Nigeria Female FA Cup (The first time a female team from the state has ever qualified for the finals of a major national competition)
– Team Akwa Ibom finished 2nd on the medal table at 2017 National Sports Festival
– Akwa Ibom received three Excellence Award on Sports Development from the Federal Government.
– Promotion and sponsorship of 4 state football teams namely; Akwa United, Akwa Starlet, Ibom Angels and Ibom Youth FC.
1. Care for over Eight Hundred (800) Orphans and less privileged children in the five (5) Government Homes. viz:
– Special Children’s Home, Uyo
– Divine Children’s Home, Uyo
– Correctional Centre, Uyo
– Shelter Afrique Transit Camp, Uyo
– Government Children’s Home, Ikot Ekpene.
2. Provision of N200,000.00 grant each for about 500 women organizations across the 31 LGAs to enable them leverage on the public-partnership Initiative of the State Government
3. Provision of N50,000.00 grant each and wrappers for about 600 widows across the 31 LGAs to boost their businesses and alleviate poverty
4. Provision of N50,000.00 each and wrappers as well as food item for about 350 mothers with multiple births across the 31 LGAs in collaboration with the office of the wife of Governor of the State, Her Excellency, my wife, Mrs. Martha Udom Emmanuel
5. Implementation of the Child Rights Law. – Prosecution of Child’s Rights offenders in collaboration with the Akwa Ibom State Judiciary and Ministry of Justice, Security services, Police etc. the cases include: Child Abuse, Child Neglect, Child Abandonment and Trafficking, Maternal/Paternity issues, Raped, Baby Factory Operation and Disinheritance. Over 200 cases have been recorded since 29th May 2015. About one hundred and twenty (120) have received judgment. Some of the offenders are serving their jail term.
6. Yearly Evacuation, Rehabilitation and Re-integration of mentally-challenged people on the street
7. Sensitization Campaign against Child Abuse, Child Trafficking, Child Abandonment and Baby Factory in the state.
8. Donation of over two hundred (200) wheel Chairs and one hundred (100) Special Writing Desks for physical challenged persons in tertiary institutions and secondary schools.
9. Training of 20 visually impaired persons (the blind) in different skills at the Nigerian Farm Craft Centre, Lagos and subsequent empowerment for them to start up their businesses in the development trade learnt.
10. Sponsorship of 155 widows to Jerusalem for Pilgrimage led by Her Excellency, my wife, Mrs. Martha Udom Emmanuel
- Donation of wrappers to over 4,000 Market Women
12. Widows Empowerment Scheme: Financial Empowerment to widows registered with the Ministry.
‘’CULTURE AND TOURISM:
1. The State’s tourism identity logo themed “Amazing Akwa Ibom… The Preferred Destination”, was launched in 2017, with the aim of redirecting tourism traffic to the State.
2. Hosting of first outstanding art exhibition since the creation of the State titled “Usoro Uso”.
3. Staging series of events to mark the State’s 30th anniversary of creation with the theme “Orange September”.
With the reconstitution of the Board of Hotels and Tourism in the State, we hope to further develop and market our tourism potentials in line with our diversification agenda.
My dear wife, Her Excellency, Mrs. Martha Udom Emmanuel’s Signature Pet Project-Family Empowerment and Youth Reorientation Programme (FEYRep) has carried out free screening and treatment of over 15,000 people with various eye diseases. FEYReP has touched many lives; especially widows, many of who have had houses built and donated to them.
We have worked hard to utilize whatever revenue we have received to impact the lives of the people and create enduring infrastructural amenities, and these elements were key points in our Five-Point Agenda campaign platform.
Our Capital Budget Expenditure is described in details in the Budget Implementation Report, (BIR) which has been prepared to facilitate your consideration of the Draft 2019 budget.
To realize the above objectives, the following strategies and measures shall be adopted by the State Government in 2019:
1. Expand the revenue base of the State by eliminating wastages and leakages in expenditure, and improving IGR collection and development of tourism potentials.
2. Employ effective public-private partnership strategies to provide much needed industrial and infrastructural development.
3. Attract potential investors and donor agencies to invest in the relevant and key sectors of the State economy and also undertake robust human capital development.
4. Strengthen the industrial base of the State through the development of a Mega Industrial City “Liberty Free Trade Zone” and 2 mini-AKEES Industrial Parks, which will provide a conducive environment for rapid industrialization.
5. Setting up of new industries and maintaining existing ones, in the oil and gas, information technology as well as the agro-industrial sectors.
6. Stimulate the Agriculture 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.
7. Pay priority attention to the completion of all on-going projects in the key sectors of the State economy
8. Expand and improve services in Health-Care Delivery at Primary and Secondary levels
9. Provision of Educational facilities with emphasis on science and technology, as well as information and communication technology.
10. Enforce Child Protection Laws and empower women and youth through capacity building, empowerment, skill acquisition and elimination of gender discrimination practices.
11. Enhance service delivery in the public service to ensure that the benefits of good governance are enjoyed by all.
12. Ensure enforcement of peace, law and order by building an efficient and proactive security network to make the State conducive to live and invest in.
13. Continue the on-going work on Sport Academy in the State and Sports Centres in the 10 Federal Constituencies of the State in order to boast of representatives of the State at local, National and International Sporting competitions. This will also create employment, generate wealth and reduce poverty among the youths.
‘’HIGHLIGHTS OF THE 2019 BUDGET
The 2019 Budget is predicated on oil benchmark of $60 per barrel at a production rate of N2.3million barrels per day,