BY: VITALIS UGOH, Calabar
The 2021 budget of N9,627,839, 030.00 christened “Budget Of Reconstruction” is intended to place Bakassi economy on the path of inclusive diversified and sustainable growth in order to continue to lift significant number of residents out of acute poverty.
The chairman of Bakassi Local Government Area, Hon Chief Iyadim Amboni Iyadim, stated this while presenting the budget to Bakassi Legislative Council stressing that, ” The underlying drivers of the 2021 revenue projections have been adjusted to reflect current realities”, adding that on the expenditure side,the 2021 allocations to Sectors were guided by the objectives which will encourage growth, investment and building a sustainable economy.
According to him, the Economic Sector got N413,945,808.00 representing 18.08% of the total Council Capital Budget and that in allocating the amount to this sector, priority is given to Commerce, with the aim of expanding Ikang Market, establishing a motor part and an abattoir to boost Internally Generated Revenue IGR of Council, adding that the council will also engage the services of consultants to prepare framework for increase participation in Plantation Agriculture,by Bakassi indigenes and also partner the private sector to set up agro based industries in the area.
The chairman explained that the Social Service Sector got the sum of N462,526,590.00 representing 20.20% of the budget as the council intends to provide empowerment to youths and vigorously pursue women development projects.
On Environment and Regional Development, Iyadim disclosed that the Sector is allocated the sum of N737,977,335.00 representing 32.22% which the council intends to develop Dayspring , repair destroyed boreholes, provide new boreholes to more communities , construct Town Halls,beautify and landscape the local government.
“The sum of N675,465,602.00 representing 29.50% which the council intends to repair and refurnish the vandalized administrative and legislative blocks , Primary Health Care Development Centres and primary schools as well as cover other administrative programs, he said”.
On the vision for the future, Iyadim restated that, ” Our vision is for better prospects for the residents of Bakassi. We hope to make an inclusive and stable economy for generations to come. We intend to move away from mono-economy of taxation of the people and diversify into agriculture- multipurpose farms and expansion of our palm plantation”.
He emphasised that efforts to improve infrastructure will be complimented by expanding reforms in the ease of doing business in Bakassi , adding that,” We will continue to remove obstacles, reduce costs and ensure conducive business environment for our investors. The social investments and protection arrangements will continue to deepen by extending coverage to all the wards of the local government”.
He further explained that, “Health care is an important part of our aspiration for development. The health system will be strengthened to reduce the stress and over dependency on traditional medicine”.
He assured the Legislative Council that the administration is fully committed to ensuring that the dividends of democracy will reach all and sundry, saying that the budget before them had benefitted from extensive consultations and stake holders’ engagements , reflecting the belief that all Sectors have a critical role to play in the journey towards sustainable and inclusive development.
He disclosed that ,”we will set up committees in Agriculture, Health Care Delivery, Internally Generated Revenue IGR, Infrastructure Development and Skill Acquisition soon, stating that, “our intention is to make sure that the impact of this administration is felt in all nooks and crannies of the local government”.
The chairman reiterated his fervent call for a peaceful coexistence in the various communities and total commitment to their Oath Of Office and Oath Of Allegiance and prayed for adequate funding while asking the Almighty God to give them the grace to jointly contribute their quota to the growth, development and prosperity of Bakassi Local Government Area.