…Set For Projects Inspections

The Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly has charged all heads of Ministries, Departments and Agencies of government not to play politics with public funds.

The member representing Esit Eket/Ibeno State Constituency, Rt. Hon. Usoro Akpanusoh, gave the warning on Tuesday during the commencement of the quarterly review and appraisal of the implementation of the 2019 Budget by members of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly.

Mr Akpanusoh who is the Chairman, Committee on Finance and Appropriations, said the decision of the House to embark on the exercise was in response to the concerns of members of the public on the level of implementation of appropriation laws of the state.

According to him, “As lawmakers, there is the need for us to look into funds released for MDAs and to monitor their implementation process to ensure strict compliances to the rule of law, and the level of implementation as was budgeted for.”

The lawmaker revealed plans by members of the committee to embark on inspection tour of some project sites to ascertain the level of implementation in relation to the funds released and called for support of all those concerned to ensure success of the exercise.

“…And as the end of this tenure approaches, we need to do an end of tenure report to x-ray on how government has been faring in the last four years in terms of management of funds, and then we submit our report to the House of Assembly,” he added.

The Ministries for Women Affairs and Social Welfare; Special Duties and Aviation Development as well as the Akwa Ibom State Roads and other Infrastructure Maintenance Agencies appeared before the Committee.

The Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Welfare, Doctor Glory Edet, said her Ministry accessed N70 million out of the budgeted estimates of N1.8 billion.

She also briefed the committee on some of the activities of the ministry within the period.

Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Welfare, Dr Glory Edet (middle)

On his part, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Special Duties and Aviation Development, Engr. Richard Ekpe, who represented the Commissioner, Mr Akan Okon, told the lawmakers that work are at various stages in key projects of the Ministry including the Ibom Air, Deep Seaport, 21 Storey office complex and the Four Point by Sheraton Hotel at Ikot Ekpene.

The Permanent Secretary hinted that Ibom Air will commence commercial flight operations this month ending, while the benchmark template set by Marriot Group for Four Point by Sheraton Hotel, has been completed by the State government, awaiting final assessment and confirmation for it to be opened for business.

He added that the Ministry got N20 million so far from the government.

Also the Akwa Ibom State Roads and other Infrastructure Maintenance Agency represented by a member of the Agency, Mr. Uduot Jack, said the Agency received about N250 million in the first quarter of the year which the Agency is using to rehabilitate some critical roads across the state.

Akpanusoh however urged the Aviation Regulatory Agency to speedily put in place necessary regulatory actions for the immediate take off of Ibom Air to enable government recoup its investment.

The Budget review and appraisal continues next week Tuesday.

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