By: Ndifreke P. Akpan (Govt. House)

…….Ahead of the presentation of the 2018 Budget proposal to the State House of Assembly, Governor Udom Emmanuel has been commended for effective implementation of the 2017 budget in view of the economic situation in the country.

Commissioner for Special Duties and Housing, Mr Akan Okon stated this in an interaction with journalists shortly after an enlarged State Executive Council Meeting.

Mr Okon who was the immediate-past Commissioner for Finance in the State said though what came into the State was below the budget estimates, Governor Udom Emmanuel displayed his financial ingenuity to ensure effective implementation.

He said the 2018 budget will be used to complete on-going projects in addition to the new ones that government will embark on.

The Special Duties Commissioner hinted that details of the projects will be provided by the Commissioner for Finance while the Governor will provide the details of the actual figure of the budget soon to be presented to the State House of Assembly.

“The budget projection takes into consideration the present economic situation in the country, bearing in mind the level of inflation and the exchange rate fluctuation,” Mr Okon stated, adding that the budget size will be known in the floor of the house.

Setting the tone for the post State Executive Council Meeting media briefing, Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr Charles Udoh said far reaching decisions were taken while others were deliberated upon.

He hinted that beyond the draft budget proposal for the year 2018 as presented by the Ministry of Finance to the State Executive Council, a – four man committee was constituted to plan for the funeral service of the late Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Professor Eno Ikpe who passed on last week.

The State Executive meeting was preceded by the swearing-in of two new commissioners, Barrister Ibanga Ime Akpabio posted to the Ministry of Labour, Productivity and Manpower Planning, and Professor Victor Bassey Inokak who has been assigned to the Ministry of Education.

The newly-sworn-in Commissioner for Education promised to key into great visionary leadership of Governor Udom Emmanuel whom he said is building a bridge to take Akwa Ibom to the future.

To this end, he pledged to give “total and unflinching loyalty, dedication and commitment in the service of the State.”

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