2023 BUDGET: MOI&S ESTIMATES #1.05b FOR CAPITAL EXPENDITURE
. . . Says Digital Switch-Over for AKBC, Rehabilitation of Govt Printing Press, Electronic Archives,Top of Agenda
~ Lawrence Ekong
The Akwa Ibom State Ministry of Information and Strategy, MOI&S, has proposed 1,052,942 as the total sum for its capital expenditure for the 2023 fiscal year.
Presentating the figures before the committee on bilateral discussions for 2023 capital estimates, Monday, the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Comrade Ini Ememobong, said the reason for the increase in the 2023 budget size, is because there was the need to effectively document, as well as tell the success story of Governor Udom Emmanuel’s Completion Agenda.
” For our 2023 capital estimates, we have done a little mark-up because of sporadic increase in inflation. Again, this administration is winding down, and information activities must increase, because it is the last opportunity for this administration to tell it’s success story, which no one else can “.
” We are also hoping to market the state through international media houses because that is where the investors are. Therefore, relying solely on the local market for investors, may not yield the kind of return on investment we expect on the volume of infrustructure the Governor has already provided “.
” Aside increase in media and Public Relations activities, we also hope to scale up community mobilisation. Also, we have already ordered for digital transmitting equipment for the digitization of Akwa Ibom Broadcasting Corperation, AKBC, and those transmitters have arrived the country as we speak “.
On the rehabilitation of the building housing AKBC at Udoudoma Avenue, which was damaged by EndSARS protesters in 2020, Ememobong said, “As a responsible government, we must find a way to assist the owner of the building to recover same, and put it back to use “.
The Commissioner also hinted on providing a digital archrival system for the Ministry, arguing that it would serve as a central warehouse for all government information materials.
” We will enhance our capacity by establishing a digital archival system for the state, because if you were to look for materials dating back to as recent as twenty years now, you will discover that those materials no longer exist, or they exist only on formats that you can no longer use them “.
He further stressed on the necessity to put back the Government Printing Press into use to allow for gazetting of laws promulgated by the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly within the era of the present Governor Udom Emmanuel-led administration.
“As you all know, laws have been made but will be difficult to use and be cited in cases because such laws are not in gazetted forms that can be referred to”. The Governor fully aware of this, had recently at EXCO called on the Commissioner of Finance to bring in the Inter-Ministerial Direct Labour Coordinating Committee to start a process of looking into the Rehabilitation process of the Printing Press”, Ememobong emphasized.
While setting the tone for the bilateral discussion, the Commissioner for Economic Development, Mr. Emem Bob, represented by the Commissioner for Finance and a member of the committee, Mr. Linus Nkan, said the exercise was organised to help MDAs to put in place a financial guidelines for 2023, which he described as a peculiar development year for the state, as it marks the winding down of the Governor’s Completion Agenda.
The Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Comr Ememobong was accompanied to the bilateral discussions by his Permanent Secretary, Akparawa James Edet, the General Manager of Akwa Ibom Newspapers Corporation,AKNC, Mr. Umoette Umoette, Management staff of Akwa Ibom Broadcasting Corporation, AKBC and Directors of the Ministry.