Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly last month passed a supplementary budget of N125b purportedly to finance government activities till the end of this year. Before now, a supplementary budget of over N100b was also passed still to finance expenditure of government. It is worthy of note too that a budget of N407b was passed into law by Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly early this year. From January to September, Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly has sat and passed budgets three times totaling over N600b.
Budgets are governance tool which tailors, guide and serves as yardstick of government financial activities within the span of twelve months, one year period. It puts government off financial recklessness, measures performance and those performances must be visible and seen to be commensurate with the sum expended on it. Above all, it must be seen to have solved the basic problems of the people it is targeted at. Because of economic exigencies, the Constitution and Acts of State Houses of Assembly provides for Supplementary Budgets and expenditure. But when this is taken for granted and more so at bogus sums as is seen in the budgets of Akwa Ibom State government without complementary performance in terms of empowerment, poverty reduction and security, it calls for questioning and in dept probe behind what those monies are used for.
As we comment on this huge sum of 125b supplementary budget, hunger and deprivation, insecurity and unemployment, lack of industries, are alarming in Akwa Ibom State. While young men have gone into crimes of arm robbery and kidnapping, Akwa Ibom young women are into prostitution. This would have been curtailed if government within the last five years of financial boom in Akwa Ibom State had revived industries and provided other employment opportunities to her citizenry.
Akwa Ibom State must re-order her priorities to drive away from carting the commonwealth through unimplemented budgetary allocations which are not accounted for. It does not make it a responsible government.
We are calling for a probe into how the 2012 appropriation bill has been implemented and the utility derive from same by Akwa Ibom people. When His Excellency, Governor Godswill Akpabio defended the budget in the floor of the House before it was passed into law, he had said that there will be reduction in youth unemployment and hunger as there will be industries springing up in the state within the year. Funds to that effect were slated.
This and others provided for in the budget are missing in the state. Nobody finds them. No new road except those provided for in the 2009 budget of the state. Where are the monies provided for these projects?
For just passing budgets sent to it by the state governor without asking questions about implementation and the justification for need of more monies by government, Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly has betrayed Akwa Ibom People and does not worth the salt of her existence. Their oversight functions of checking the executive as provided for by the Constitution of Nigeria has been ignored obviously because they may be sharing in the loots of these sumptuous budgets.
Rt. Hon Sam Ikon and his colleagues can save themselves the embarrassment of conspiring with the executive arm in the state to rape Akwa Ibom people of their resources. We urge Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly to probe the implementation of the 2012’s N407b budgetary allocation of Akwa Ibom State government to see whether its provisions have been implemented as well as the supplementary budget she passed mid this year. we urge the House also reverse herself in the N125b supplementary budget she passed few days ago. If within two months, October and November Akwa Ibom State spends N125b, and the House approves of it, what will she pass in December when the 2013 Appropriation bill gets to her? To be mild, this is fraud which the good people of Akwa Ibom State do not deserve.