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It is often said that Nigeria produces the best annual budget in the whole of Sub-Saharan African. This assertion cannot be doubted because the nation is blessed with an intimidating array of top class financial experts in the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and ministries in-charge of finance, planning and budget. Ordinarily, this huge advantage should have helped to drive Nigeria up the ladder of developed nations in the world.
Over the years, poor budget implementation by the executive arm of government at local, state, and federal level has sabotaged key public infrastructures such as transport, power and communication among others. This said development has unfortunately led to a steady increase in the cost of business in Nigeria in the last ten years (Ayemokhia, 2010)
A very close observation of the state of the nation would lead one to the conclusion that the political class has not been able to appreciate the relationship between effective budget implementation and national development. Budgeting is an integral component of constitutional democracy. Apart from promoting transparency and accountability in public fund management, budgeting is also a fiscal investment for self assessment.
It is also necessary to note that complete budgeting protocol enhances effective planning, monitoring and implementation of recurrent and capital proposals. But regrettably, Budgeting culture in Nigeria mostly begins and ends with planning alone because over sight functions carried out by the legislative arm of government in the past as it concerns budget monitoring have been nothing but mere window dressing. This fact has helped to condemn budgets as more annual rituals. Poor budget implementation in Nigeria is a huge indictment on the executive and legislative arms of government at the Local, State and Federal levels.
In all advanced and most developing countries, citizens and the organized private sector aroids annual budget released with nostalgias. This is so because, budget outlines government’s current fiscal policies and these in turn shaped the socio-economic out looks for the year. With this, investments options and directions are made.
Effective budget monitoring and implementation remains one source route to Nigeria’s socio-economic development. The other important task is that federal government should embark on immediate diversification strengthening the non-oil sector. This will effectively tackle the problems of dwindling revenue.
Ono (1980) defined budget as an annual comprehensive report of the state of nation’s economy with review to old economic and social problems that anticipates nero ones, it surveys the future prospects of economy and translates problems into goals and objectives.
Government budget is very important in the economy in the sense that all enterprise within the economy direct their activities towards the budgetary plans from Ono’s definition, it can rightly said that, the revenue base of the economy is well defined and stated in the budget. Similarly, the items of government expenditure are highlighted and are clearly stated in the budget.
1.2 Objectives of the Study
The broad objective of this study is to examine the impact of effective budgeting on the socio-economic of Akwa Ibom State.
The specific objective includes:
1. To determine the budgeting role and its relationship with socio-economic development in Akwa Ibom State.
2. To examine the factors that affect economic infrastructural development and budgeting system in Nigeria.
3. To examine means at which the constraining factors can be address to promote effective budgeting and socio-economic development In Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria.
4. To make appropriate recommendations based on the study findings to enhance utilization of budget to promote the socio-economic well-being of Akwa Ibom People.
1.1 Significance of the Study
The budget is of significant importance to the public as major source of findings capital projects. It is imperative to point out that budget has direct impact on the live of the people and the level of its implementation remains a yardstick to measure the performance of the government.
In this regard, the anger and the concern of the house of assembly over the poor implementation of the budget are understandable and fully justified. The anger is also shared by the public, for there is no real evidence that the budget has been given adequate priority in the implementation of the national and state budget. It is indeed worrisome that practically every year the implementation of the budget has been the major source of frication between the executive and the legislature. In 2010 and 2011, the accusation of poor budget implementation was made against the state executive while reflecting further on the cause of the face off, it not a surprise that there was no serious contention on the recurrent budget as this involves mainly the statutory allocation and general cost of administration and over heads.
As a matter of fact, there should be quality control measures in place to ensure that funds for constituency projects are well utilized and properly accounted for by each member of the national assembly. Without proper accountability and efficient quality control measures in place, funds meant for constituency projects are likely to end up in private accounts of some of the legislators.
Slow pace of capital budget implementation sincerely calls for worry and serious national concern. Government therefore, needs to show more commitment to full implementation of the budget and be ready to accept blames in the case of budget implementation failure because if we continue to implement the capital budget at the face of 12.6 percent every three mouths, the nation is bound to record failure in the implementation of the budget.
The aspect of the whole feud is simile contradiction observation in the statistic presented by the government in defence of the accusation of poor capital budget implementation. Whether the rate of the budget implementation was deliberated exaggerated or a mere statistical good, the fact still remains that the inaccuracy or the distortion of official figures and facts has caused an embarrassing situation to the state in particular and nation at large.
The recent exchanges between the federal government and the House of Representatives over 277 poor capital budget implementation are not only desire but necessary in an ideal democratic system. The periodic evaluation of budget performance by the house is indeed parts of over sight role of the parliament in a democracy and this is necessary to ensure that the budget is faithfully implanted by the executive.
1.2 Scope/Organization of the Study
The study has within its pursuit the proper implementation of budget that will enhance the socio-economic development of the citizenry. It gives the necessary steps that should be taken by the government of Akwa Ibom State in order to eradicate the problems of budgeting that will aids the improvement of standard living in the lives of the citizenry.
In a broad sense, it involves all the 31 local governments in Akwa Ibom State.
The work has four sections with section one dealing with background to the study which has under it introduction, objectives of the study significance of the study and scope/organization. Section two deal with theoretical and conceptual issues under it which has sub-heading. Review of literature on the subject and conceptual classification. Section three- qualitative analysis of phenomenon under study with analysis of subject/issue area –assessment of subject/issue area. Section four focuses on the summary, recommendation and conclusion.
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