The Speaker, Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Onofiok Luke, has reassured the people of the state that the current 6th assembly remains committed to the wellbeing of Akwa Ibom people. He gave the assurance Friday while declaring open a one-day public hearing and briefing on the 2016 budget of Akwa Ibom state.
Commending the chairman and members of the finance and appropriation committee of the house for sustaining the legacy initiated by him when he served as Chairman of the appropriation committee, Rt. Hon. Luke observed that it was pertinent for the House of assembly to always subject the state budget to public scrutiny before passage. He noted that by so doing, the people of the state would be afforded the opportunity to make useful inputs that would produce a budget that reflect their wishes, yearnings, and aspirations.
The Speaker urged those in attendance to feel free to offer constructive criticisms that would guide the lawmakers in giving the people a budget that would cater for all. He used the opportunity to advice the state executive to adopt an inward approach in boosting the revenue base of the state given current dwindling economic fortunes at all levels.
Earlier, the chairman, House Committee on Appropriation and Finance, Dr. Usoro Akoanuso stated that the essence of the budget briefing and public hearing on the 2016 appropriation bill was to afford members of the public the opportunity to be briefed by the state government on the details of the budget proposal. The lawmaker assured of the House’ preparedness to ensure effective monitoring and evaluation of projects undertaken by the government in 2016.
In their presentations, the Commissioner for Finance, Mr Akan Okon, and his counterpart in the ministry of Economic Development, Dr. Emmanuel Onwiduoukit, gave sectoral breakdown of government’s planned programmes for 2016 fiscal year.
Others who made presentations of memoranda include the state chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, Comrade Etim Ukpong; Chairman of the Uyo branch of the Nigeria Bar Association, NBA, Mr Aniekan Akpan, Esq; representatives of religious bodies and traditional institutions; representatives of civil society groups; among others.