Posted by News Express | 16 September 2014 | 3,267 times
Akwa Ibom State Government has said it may not be able to pay contractors for new projects because the projected revenue of over N400 billion expected by the state has not been realised.
The state Commissioner for Information and Communications, Mr. Aniekan Umanah, made the observation in reaction to the Federal Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) mid-year publication which showed that the state earned the highest revenue of N135.84 billion between January and June this year while Osun earned the least with N19.61 billion.
While debunking the claim that the state was the highest revenue earner in the country, Umanah said no state in the country earned up to one per cent of the revenue of the country.
His words: “When you are talking about allocation of N135.84 billion, it sounds big to you, but it is not a lot of money when you are doing key projects. When you look at projects like the new international stadium, these are not bread and butter projects. These are quality projects that cost money.
“You don’t build flyovers with N1 or N2. You don’t build underground tunnels with N2; you don’t dualize federal roads with N2; you build them with billions, so you put these monies into big projects. So, the states you are mentioning, are they able to do these types of projects?”
According to the information commissioner, the much touted N135.84 billion was a ‘drop in the ocean’ when juxtaposed with the over N400 billion 2014 budget estimates of the state government which provided for 80 per cent capital expenditure and 20 per cent recurrent expenditure.
“If God allows you to have something from your God-given resources, you also need to apply these resources to key infrastructure that would help turn your state around in terms of the right infrastructure, and I think Akwa Ibom has been prudent.
“If you look at that money you are talking about, if you take 80 per cent of it, you will be talking about N80 billion and then you may be talking about N20 billion for recurrent. What will that amount to? If you juxtapose that with the budget of the state you can see that we are running a deficit.
“If that is what we have as half year report, and we have over N400 billion as budget estimates for 2014, you can see clearly that we are running a deficit and we may not have money to pay for projects,” he said.
•Text courtesy of Daily Sun.
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