(NEWS INVESTIGATORS) The Akwa Ibom state 2020 budget proposal has been identified as one of the most viable in the country.
This was part of a new report released by a budget tracking Civil Society Organisation, BudgIT, recently. It indicated that the budgets of only four states in Nigeria namely Akwa Ibom, Lagos, Rivers and Kano, are viable.
According to the report titled ‘State of States’ which was presented by Research and Policy Lead Analyst for BudgIT, Ojiugo Uche, showed that most states’ economies are tied to informal trade and skeletal industrial output with exception of Akwa Ibom, Lagos, Rivers, Delta and Ogun.
It reads in part, “Most Nigerian states have still not figured out how to harness their collective strengths and establish a single focus on investment products, thereby becoming a fulcrum of productivity and not just FAAC distribution centers.
“In the 2019 report, we made mild changes to our methodology, thereby using actual expenditure for the states, reducing the probability of the unreality of inflated budgeted figures especially for expenditure items”.
Similarly, Akwa Ibom state according to the latest rating released by the Joint Tax Board (JTB) has moved from 16th position on the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) rating table in 2015 to number six (6) on the table in 2019.
There have been major reforms in tax administration in the state since the Emmanuel administration came on board in 2015.
According to reports, with the latest rating, the state’s IGR reached an all-time high of N24.8billion within eight months, January to August 2019.
This amount represents 57.05 percent of the projected IGR (N43.6billion) for the 2019 business year, a very significant improvement since the return to civil rule and presents a bright outlook for the 2020 budget, which the state governor recently presented to the state legislature.
Speaking on the 2020 budget christened ‘the budget of Industrialization for Poverty Alleviation phase 11’, Gov. Udom said “it is predicated on the 8-point agenda that forms the policy thrust of my completion agenda of industrialization, aviation development, security, infrastructure, small and medium scale enterprises, human capacity development, agriculture, and rural and riverine area development”.
BudgIT worked with state governments on accessing the audited reports for the 36 states in Nigeria. The group maintained that this was to ensure that our fiscal index is more governed by reality than budget figures by states.