Akwa Ibom State Governor, Umo Eno, has signed the N849.97 billion 2024 budget into law.
The governor assented to the budget on Thursday at an expanded Executive Council meeting held at Government House, Uyo, the state capital.
He vowed to increase the state’s revenue generation drive.
The final budget size of N849.970 billion, signed into law, was passed by the Akwa Ibom House of Assembly on December 21, indicating an increase of N4.3 billion from the initial sum of N845.63 billion, according to Peoples Gazette.
The governor stressed the need to pay greater attention to revenue generation than spending in the 2024 fiscal year.
“In signing this budget today, my priority will be on revenue drive. How do we get to bring in revenue? Because there is no point in having a budget this big when the revenue is not commensurate.
“If you review what happened last year, we had the budget too, and in previous years, revenue has always the issue.
“So, while we sign this budget to show that we have approval, I think what will be most important for all of us is to make sure that we meet the revenue part of it to help expenditures,” the governor said.
He explained that his administration was putting a lot of strategies in place to raise the state’s internally generated revenue to take care of the budget.
He urged the Ministry of Finance, Internal Revenue Service, Ethical and Attitudinal Reorientation Commission and other agencies to step up efforts in mobilising revenue for easy funding of budgets.
“We have to do a lot by persuading the people. We have to let people know why they should pay taxes. We need to increase sensitisation on that,” noted the governor. “I believe if we put in place the necessary tools, we can get people to voluntarily and willingly pay their taxes and we also need to encourage them.”
Governor Eno commended the state assembly for their thorough consideration of the bill and for working in synergy with relevant departments of the executive arm to ensure thoroughness and timely passage.