The Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. John Gaul Lebo has expressed confidence that 2018 budget, Christened “Budget of kinetic Crystallization” is realistic.
Lebo, who was speaking to journalists in his office after plenary, reiterated that the House will support the State Government’s industrialization drive which has informed the size of the budget. According to him; ‘’we support the figures that the Governor has presented at this point, pending when we will take the cross examination of the activities that have influenced the increment ’’.
The Speaker who emphasized that the size of the budget cannot be limited to the Federal Allocation and Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) alone, disclosed that Government has put in place plans to generate funds for its signature projects like the Bakassi Deep Seaport and the 275 km Super Highway which are valued at about N500 billion amongst other projects.
The Speaker further emphasized that the House will be through during cross examination of the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) as well as during oversight of Government projects supervision, adding that once the budget passes through, it will be posted on the internet for everybody to access details.
Lebo assured members of the public who have severally expressed concern about the size of the budget that; ‘’ the figure of 1.3 Trillion did not drop from hallucination but came out of the State’s Economic growth and strategic plan ’’, adding that for Governor Ayade to employ over 4,000 appointees and pay salaries regularly is enough evidence that he stands by his ward.
While thanking Members for the presentations during plenary session, where the Appropriation Bill passed through second reading, the Speaker disclosed that NEZIX Bank and other investors have decided to invest in the State’s budget.
Also Speaking, the Chairman of the Finance and Appropriation Committee of the House and Member representing Yakurr ll State Constituency, Rt. Hon. Eteng Williams, promised that his Committee will critically scrutinize the budget before presenting it for the House for passage.
Williams who stated that his Committee over had 190 MDAs to interface with, said the time table for MDAs appearance will soon be released while the State’s Economic Adviser will be invited to brief Members on details of the budget soon.
He then commended Governor Ayade for what he calls ‘’the audacity of hope and courage’’, describing the size of the budget as ‘’not outrageous ‘’ noting that his Committee will be very transparent in their work.
Earlier at plenary, most Members expressed support to the State Governor on the budget adding that it will be realized. The bill was committed to the Finance and Appropriation Committee with a one month deadline to present its report.
It will be recall that Governor Ayade on Thursday November 30 presented a 1.3 Trillion Naira Budget of Kinetic Crystallization to the State House of Assembly.