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Tuesday, 11 December 2018


By-Mfon Hanson

As the House of Assembly committee on Appropriations and Finance kick start 2019 budget defense by Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDA's), the chairman of the committee, Dr. Usoro Akpanusoh has called on all stakeholders involve in the exercise (committee members, MDA's, media) to cooperate and make the programme a success.

Akpanusoh said this yesterday in his speech to declare the budget defense open

He called on all the MDA's to be ready and timely in their respective submission before the committee, warning that outright absenteeism without genuine excuse will be viewed seriously, as such affected MDA's will risk zero allocation in their 2019 budget.

The Esit Eket/Ibeno lawmaker who heads the Appropriations and Finance committee disclosed that any information aimed at guiding the committee objectively will be received in good faith as the overall aim of the budget defense is for the interest of Akwa Ibom people and that such interest remains paramount to the committee and the Assembly as a whole.

He restated that his committee is saddled with the responsibility of making recommendations to the House at the end of the budget defense and that at conclusion by the Appropriations and finance committee, the Assembly will pass the bill (budget) into law.

The committee Chairman expressed reservation that his committee may be tempted to extend the exercise to next year sequel to non compliance by and early excuses from  some MDA's despite earlier notification, he however expressed optimism that the exercise will be a success at the end of the day.

MDA's who defended their budget yesterday included, Ministry of lands and Town planning headed by the commissioner, Arch. Ime Ekpo with a budget size of 6.353 billion for 2019 fiscal year, Ministry of Culture and Tourism headed by commissioner Uno Etim Uno with the budget size of 1.877Billion for 2019 fiscal year and the Akwa Ibom state Life Enhancement Agency headed by the Secretary, Mrs Maria Nkeruwem Ekanem with a budget size of 270.491Million for the 2019 fiscal year.

The budget defense continues today at the Assembly complex.

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