Gov. Udom Proposes N365bn As Akwa-Ibom 2017 Budget

Gov. Udom Proposes N365Bn As Akwa-Ibom 2017 BudgetAkwa Ibom State Governor, Udom Emmanuel has proposed a budget of 365.254 billion Naira for the 2017 fiscal year.

The Governor on Thursday presented the budget estimates to the Akwa-Ibom State House of Assembly for consideration and approval.

Presenting the budget estimate, Governor Emmanuel said that the budget, which is christened “Budget of Consolidation”, was aimed at fast tracking economic development in the state.

A breakdown of the amount shows that N193.9 billion is set aside for capital expenditure while N88.4 billion is for recurrent expenditure.

N82.8 billion is for consolidated revenue fund charges. The estimate is predicated on 35 dollars per barrel of crude oil and about 1 billion barrels per day production level.

Reviewing the performance of the 2016 budget, Governor Emmanuel noted that out of the N453 billion budgeted, the state government realized only N104 billion, representing 30% of its projection.

Works and transport takes the lion’s share of N94.6 billion; lands, housing and urban development takes N16 billion, health takes N5.7 billion, education takes N8.6 billion, and agriculture gets N6.8 billion.

Contempt: Court Orders Arrest Of Two Imo Govt. Officials

Contempt: Court Orders IGP, CP To Arrest Two Imo Govt. OfficialsA Federal High Court sitting in Owerri, the Imo State capital has ordered the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris and the Imo State Commissioner of Police, Taiwo Lakanu to arrest the Permanent Secretary, state Ministry of Works, Dr. Chibuzor Iwuagwu and the Director of civil works in the ministry, Engr. C.E. Egboka.

They are to bring them to the court on January 30, 2016 for refusing to appear before the court and to show reasons why they should not be committed to prison.

The warrant of arrest issued by the court came after the court had issued summons on five officials of the state government to appear before it last month following their disobedience to the order of the court, which restrained them from trespassing into the property of former Interior Minister, Captain Emmanuel Ihenacho along Orlu Road, Owerri.

Other government officials involved in the matter are the state’s Commissioner for Works and Transport, Mrs. Josephine Udoji; her counterpart in the Ministry of Lands, Survey and Urban Planning, Lawrence Eburuo; and the Director of Works, Imo Government House, Emeka Duru.

They, however, escaped the arrest warrant because they evaded court service and as a result, were deemed not duly served.

They, in addition to the State Governor and the Imo State government were defendants to a suit (No. FHC/OW/133/2016) brought before the court by Captain Ihenacho, who had approached the court to save his property from being demolished by the state government.

Consequently, the court on July 3, 2016, restrained the defendants from entering or encroaching for the purpose of demolishing the property known and called No 6 Orlu Road, Owerri, pending the determination of the motion on notice for interlocutory injunction filed by the Ihenacho.

However, in spite of the order by the court, the officials of the state government still went ahead to demolish the property on three occasions.

But, returning to the court yesterday, counsel to the plaintiff, Ken Njemanze (SAN) told the court that he was in the court for the application of committal of the respondents who he said “have consistently disobeyed the orders of this court till date”.

Njemanze informed the court that just as it issued summons on the respondents to appear before it and show why they should not be committed to prison for demolishing the said property, “they (respondents) still went back to demolish the property immediately we left the court on November 14, 2016. By this action, they are prompting this court that it cannot do anything and that they are above the law”.

He expressed concern that the government was adopting deliberate design to frustrate the matter and that despite the fact that two of the respondents were duly served by the court bailiff, “they chose not to come because they feel they are above the law that’s why they treat the court with levity”, Njemanze stressed.

Ruling on the matter, after objections from the counsel to the defendants, Mrs. J. C. Ibe, the presiding judge, Justice Andrew Lewis Allagoa ordered the IGP and the Imo State Commissioner of Police to arrest and bring the two persons to the court on January 30, 2016 to show cause why they should not be committed to prison for disobeying the orders of the court.

Kwara Government To Build Split Underpass To Ease Traffic

Kwara, UnderpassThe Kwara State Executive Council has approved the construction of a three-phased diamond split underpass at the Gerin Alimi roundabout in Ilorin, the state capital as part of efforts to ease traffic congestion in the area.

Briefing journalists after the State Executive Council meeting, the Commissioner for Works and Transport, Aro Yahaya, said that the project is expected to be completed in 18 months and will be the third in the country.

The Geri Alimi area is the first contact for anyone visiting Ilorin from other states and usually gets busy especially in the morning and evening thereby causing traffic holdups for hours.

Aro Yahaya, while briefing journalists on the need for the project, explained that when completed, it would not only ease traffic but add to the aesthetic of the area as it is expected to be an engineering masterpiece and architectural beauty.

He added that the first phase of the project will cost N2.9 billion, and the funding would be from the 10 billion Naira the state government is sourcing from the bond market.

The design of the underpass will be the third in the country as they only exist in Mabushi in Abuja and Maryland in Lagos.

In a graphical demonstration of how the project would look like when completed, the contractor handling the project and Managing Director of Bal Engineering Limited, Bashir Lawal, explained that Close Circuit Television Camera (CCTV) and a security post would be provided to provide adequate security in and around the interchange.

Lawal noted that the project would provide aesthetic and architectural beauty to the area and ease human and vehicular movements.

Also speaking at the briefing, Commissioner for Information and Communications, Mahmoud Ajeigbe, said that the council has approved the contributory pension scheme for civil servants who joined the civil service from 1987 to date while those employed before the date would remain under the current scheme.

Mahmoud explained that the approval was sequel to the realization that the revenue base of the state could no longer sustain the old pension scheme.