The chairman of Itu Local Government Council, Barr Etetim Onuk has presented a budget proposal of N2,321,000,000 to Itu Local Government Legislative Council for consideration and approval for the 2020 fiscal year.
In the estimates which is N160,000,000 less than the 2019 Budget and christened; "Budget of Consolidation and Advancementâ€ the sum of N1,765,000,000 is proposed for recurrent expenditure while N556,000,000 is earmarked for capital programmes and projects.
While addressing the legislative Council, Barr. Onuk stated that the 2020 Budget would further speed up the rebuilding process, enhance the developmental drive and ultimately develop Itu Local Government. He observed that the Executive Council has kept to its promise of ensuring that the 2020 financial estimates would be presented early enough.
"This would not only enable us hit the ground running, but falls in line with the precedence of January - December budget cycle as set by Governor Udom Emmanuel. I therefore wish to express my profound gratitude to the Leader and Honourable Councillors for standing by me and ensuring that this rare feat is achieved in the history of our local government council,â€ he stated.
Barr Onuk maintained that as the name implies, the present administration intend to consolidate on the gains of the past two years, as well as reposition for the future, particularly as they are in the last lap of the three years tenure.
He disclosed that they also intend to explore more avenues in their efforts towards attracting more investors to take advantage of investment opportunities in tourism, agriculture, food processing, small and medium scale enterprises.
Furthermore, Onuk stated that the 2020 budget underscores the importance the present administration attaches to the development of the Local Government Area and their commitment towards the fulfillment of their campaign promises and leaving the council and the local government area better than they met it.
The Itu Council boss enumerated the achievement of the administration within the last one year to include; procurement of three official vehicles for the Vice Chairman, Leader of Legislative Council and the Secretary of Council, negotiations with investors who are willing to explore the economic potentials that abound in Itu Local Government Area, and massive road grading in which at least one road was graded in all of the 10 wards.
He also listed drilling of borehole and reticulation of the water in the Council secretariat, planting of trees and painting of the entire buildings, timely disbursement of remunerations as well as acquisition of new furniture, ongoing renovation of the offices of the Vice Chairman and Secretary of Council and sponsorship of the training of over 50 entrepreneurs on business management skills, under the aegis of Agri-Business Small and Medium Enterprises Investment Scheme (AGSMEIS).
"I call on you to continue to be part of this development agenda by ensuring quick passage of this budget which is laid before you today. Once again, thank you very much and may God Almighty bless us,â€ he declared.
In his remark, the Leader, Itu Legislative Council; Barr Bassey Bassey commended the council chairman for prudent management of funds and effective implementation of the 2019 budget, as approved by the legislature. He also promised to give accelerated hearing to the 2020 financial proposal to ensure the administration meets up with its projections.
Other councilors who spoke glowingly of the council chairman and pledged to remain partners in the development of Itu Local Government Area as well as work towards the speedy passage of the 2020 Appropriation Bill include, Ifiok Ekpenyong; Ward 3, George Akpan; Ward 5, Otobong Ekong; Ward 8, Inibeghe Nyong; Ward 10 and Bokime Ededem; Ward 6.
In another development, the chairman of Itu Local Government Council, Barr Etetim Onuk has inaugurated a Committee to plan for the formal coronation of the paramount ruler of Itu Local Government Area; HRM Edidem Edet Akpan Inyang.
While the member representing Itu state constituency: Mr KufreAbasi Edidem is the chairman of the committee, Prince Samuel Essien and Mr Nyong Nyong will serve as secretary and ssistant secretary, respectively. Other members of the committee include; Chief Daniel James Efeh, Chief Bassey Ita Emah, Chief Francis Akpan Willie, Chief Inwang, Chief Aloysius Ebong, Chief Bassey Otu, Obonganwan Ekaette Ebong Okon, Chief Effiong, Hon. Okon Etim Okon, Akparawa James Edet, Mr Daniel Edem Archibong, Elder Tony James and Mr. Emmanuel Ndon.