Posted by Ifeoma Okafor, Awka | 1 December 2017 | 2,430 times
Anambra State Governor, Chief Willie Obiano on Thursday presented a budget proposal of N166.9 billion budget for the 2018 fiscal year to the state House of Assembly
The budget, titled "Budget of Value for Money, Economic Diversification and Job Creation", showed that N63.9 billion or 38 percent would be for recurrent expenditure, while N103.1 billion or 62 percent would be for capital expenditure.
According to the Governor, the budget would operate a deficit of N15 billion after deducting expected revenue estimates for the fiscal period.
He said the budget would highlight the significant infrastructural development expected in 2018, adding that it would leverage on the successful stability in the state’s domestic economy witnessed during the challenging periods of 2016/2017.
His words: “The 2018 budget would be the first meaningful step towards consolidation of previous efforts to transform the state into a hub for business and investments, as well as ensure sustainable development.
“Our continued intervention in roads and bridges will always be a key strategic focus of my administration, and we intend to complete approximately 150 kilometres of roads across the state within the year.
“We are also going to place emphasis on agriculture where we are aiming to sustain the current successes achieved in the last four years by implementing a two-pronged strategy of facilitating private sector and export-driven large scale agro-allied investments; and empowerment of small scale farmers in the state so as to consequently alleviate poverty and create jobs.
“To achieve this, we have developed the Community Agriculture Land Development Project where we expect to develop over 1,500 hectares of land across the three senatorial zones of the state.
“We shall augment this by allocating over N700 million to the procurement of agro inputs, including seedlings and fertilisers. To support our farmers and to achieve this, we have allocated the sum of N3.8 billion to the agricultural sector.
“To deliver on credible and globally competitive education, we must ensure that this sector is properly funded and catered for. Hence, we are projecting a total capital expenditure of N9.5 billion in education.
“My administration shall also ensure that youth empowerment is a key covenant between us and the people we govern in the 2018 fiscal year. Providing meaningful employment opportunities to our teeming youths is vital towards ensuring the continued socio-economic growth of the state, as well as sustaining the current security narrative in the state.
“The main driver in achieving this would be through the Youth Entrepreneurship and Empowerment Programme where we have allocated N5 billion to empower up to 10,000 youths through vocational, agricultural and artisan training programmes and provision of interest-free start-up capital to commence their businesses.”
In the new budget, road construction and rehabilitation got the highest single allocation of N27.93 billion, followed by education with N9.5 billion.
Poverty alleviation, under which the Choose–Your–Project initiative for communities would be sustained got an allocation of N7.5 billion, while N533 million was voted for local government election in 2018.
The budget will be funded from Federation Account accruable to the state, donor agencies and estimated Internally Generated Revenue of N2.5 billion monthly, which is an increase from the current N1.3 billion monthly.
Breaking down the budget later, the Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget, Mr. Mark Okoye said the budget had formed part of the package which would ensure Obiano’s promise that the state would be fiscally independent after the next four years of his administration.
The Commissioner said: “With the re-election victory, expectations are high in the state and we intend to re-tune and re-strategise government activities and place more emphasis on export.”
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