The Akwa Ibom House of Assembly (AKHA), Monday, passed a resolution authorising Gov Udom Emmanuel to raise N150 billion from the money market for the funding of ongoing projects in the state.
Emmanuel, in his request letter read at plenary, stated that the government would raise “a financial instrument” either through “promissory note discounting” or “direct credit substitute” to facilitate completion of the projects.
Emmanuel had told the lawmakers that one advantage of the instrument was that it would not require Irrevocable Standing Payment Order (ISPO) or any guarantee, hence, no monthly deduction would be made from federal allocations to the state.
The House leader, Sir Udo Kierian Akpan, who led discussion on the governor’s request during plenary, said the governor had assured that he intended to “create” the needed money within the money market, and not taking a loan.
Akpan said: “For me, the first thing the governor has tried to make us know is that the instrument he is going to raise is not a loan. He has what it takes to create the money from the market without involving the assets of the state.
“The second thing is that the instrument does not require deduction of allocations to the state. If the money is not going to be deducted from the federation account, that means we have no issue because what would have been an issue is how do we get the money refunded.
“The governor is a financial expert and a banker, he knows how to create the money from the banks. He knows how they trade, he knows how they get promissory note, and he knows how they get financial instrument sorted out.
“Having looked at what he wants to do with the money, I believe that it is something that is good for Akwa Ibom people. All we can do is to make sure that the various MDAs are properly oversighted to ensure that projects are completed, and on schedule to make sure that Akwa Ibom benefits from the money raised to the state.
“The airport terminal building, the taxiway construction, drainage system in the airport, payment for other projects that were done before the governor came in and the major road construction spanning the 31 local government areas of the state, he needs the money for these projects to be done”.
The motion granting the request was unanimously carried by all the lawmakers. Those who spoke: Barr. Aniefiok Dennis (Etinan), David Lawrence (Eket), Aniekan Uko (Ibesikpo Asutan), Uduak Odudoh (Ikot Abasi/Eastern Obolo), Charity Ido (Ukanafun), and Godwin Ekpo (Ibiono Ibom), said they supported the governor’s request because they wanted to be part of the history of a good legacy to the Akwa Ibom people.
Meanwhile, the House has passed a supplementary budget of 45 billion for the year 2022.
The budget was passed, Monday, after Uduak Odudoh, chairman, House Committee on Finance and Appropriation, presented a report during the plenary session.
While presenting his report, Odudoh said his committee engaged with the state’s finance commissioner and other stakeholders on the governor’s request for passage of the budget, which came three months into the 2022 fiscal year.
While N41 billion was approved for recurrent expenditure, N4 billion was earmarked for capital expenditure.
Odudoh said the budget would be funded through statutory revenue, derivation revenue as well as direct credit substitutes and receivable discounting facility.
The House had received a bill for the supplementary budget from the governor last Thursday, to make an increase in the 2022 budget size of the state passed in December, 2021, from N586 billion to N631 billion, an increase of N45 billion from when it was approved.