By Abasifreke Effiong
The Akwa Ibom State Governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel, has proposed a fiscal estimate of N582.115 billion for the year 2022 and 8.62% of the amount would be spent on debt servicing.
Few minutes before the Governor presented the estimate to the House of Assembly on Monday 25th October, the House passed a resolution empowering the Governor to obtain a loan of N18.74 billion from the federal government.
Akwa Ibom State was ranked second highest indebted State in the Niger Delta and the third in country according to the ranking released by the Debt Management Office in March 2021 with an internal debt burden of N232.2 billion.
The State’s debt profile was again pushed up by N7 billion (exclusive of accrued interests) in July this year following an approval given to the Governor to obtain N2 billion from CBN and N5 billion from Family Home Fund Limited, FHF.
Governor Emmanuel said N50.2 billion representing 8.62% of the 2022 estimate or 19.29% of the proposed recurrent expenditure for the year would be spent on debt servicing.
The 2022 estimate has a capital expenditure of N321.964 billion and a recurrent expenditure of N260.151 billion.
The budget christened “Budget of redefining standards”, is N16.86 billion less than the revised approved estimate for year 2021 which is N598.975 billion.
The 2022 estimate is predicated on crude oil benchmark of 1.88 million barrels per day at US$57 per barrel at an exchange rate of N410.15.
To fund the 2022 budget, the State government is targeting a recurrent revenue of N273.854 billion. The remaining sum of N308.261 will be sourced from grants, loans and other sources.
Mr. Emmanuel said the state will expand its revenue base by improving collection on “maritime, coastal and inland and landed property.”
The state is also hoping to raise its IGR through the listing and classification of hospitality outfits in the state and foreign exchange earning through the commencement of cargo services and operation of the MRO facility at the Victor Attah International Airport.
The Governor said “we will complete the cargo and MRO facility at the Victor Attah International Airport next year, as part of strategy to improve our foreign exchange earnings.”