Akwa Ibom denies extra budgetary expenditure in 2019

From Bassey Anthony, Uyo



Akwa Ibom has denied allegations that it fraudulently made extra budgetary expenditure running into multi billions of naira in its 2019 budget.

The government was reacting to an investigative report supported by John D and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and the International Centre for Investigative Reporting.

The report, published in a state-based newspaper and some online platforms, said the government incurred over N10 billion on aircraft maintenance, purchase of cars, special projects and governor’s hospitality, among others.

But the government said the findings were inauthentic.

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Commissioner for Information and Strategy Iniobong Ememobong, at a news conference yesterday, said there were errors in the first budget.

He said: “The authentic version which was sent to the legislature and Auditor-General were imputed on the International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS) platform, and agrees with the details supplied.

“It is therefore startling to find an extensive ‘investigative’ publication based on a spurious report, which has a similar cover design with the authentic report.

“As a government, we take financial reporting seriously and have consistently complied with the IPSAS requirement, though generally acknowledged as cumbersome, due to its uncommon coding system.”