Posted by Boniface Okoro, Umuahia | 31 December 2016 | 4,498 times
Abia State Governor, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu, Friday evening presented the 2017 Appropriation bill with an estimate of N102, 549, 340,283 (N102.5 billion) to the state House of Assembly. The estimate is 3.14 percent lower than that of 2016.
The budget estimates are made up of N57.4 billion projected for Recurrent Expenditure and N45.15 billion for Capital Expenditure.
The sum of N28.1 billion has been earmarked for Personnel Cost while Overhead cost has been tentatively allocated N15.9 billion. Also, the sum of N13.35billion is for Consolidated Revenue Fund Charges.
The budget is to be funded with revenues accruing from both Internal and External sources. The External Source which represents statutory allocations from the federation account is expected to yield N61,200 billion, with the Internally Generated Revenue providing N21.9 billion.
“I present to this honourable House, the 2017 budget christened budget of Prudence and Self-reliance.
“This theme reflects our policy direction and it is borne out of the need to balance our priorities against available resources and also apply ourselves to looking inwards to survive in the face of
distortions at the micro-economic level in our country,” Ikpeazu said while laying the Appropriation bill before the lawmakers at the hallowed chambers of the Assembly complex.
He further explained that the budget has been tailored to follow the Medium-Term Expenditure Framework “which looks at projections for a three-year plan period,” adding that the budget has projection from 2017 -2019.
The governor said the budget was expected “to give Abians access to quality agricultural produce, unhindered and qualitative health care, access to qualitative education, security for all and give fillip to commercial activities.”
“In agriculture, our target in Abia State is to become the largest supplier of exotic palm seedlings in Nigeria with stock of over 7 million seedlings by 2019,” he said.
According to him, Abia State was partnering with the private sector to bring cashew plantations to all the local governments of the state. He said this initiative was expected to create about 100,000 jobs for the youths.
Efforts geared towards promoting made-in-Aba products attracted placement of new orders for goods worth about N750 million – N1 billion in 2016, Ikpeazu said, adding that such efforts would be pursued with greater vigour in 2017.
With the vote for Capital Project in the 2017 fiscal year, the governor expressed optimism that Government would complete all ongoing road projects in the state.
“Government will also engage in aggressive infrastructural development in our rural communities in the state to create access for the evacuation of farm produce to urban centres.
“This is in addition to our intention to provide a total of 170-kilometre ring-road/link roads to major economic zones of the state,” he said.
“The challenges facing us in the coming year require all of us to work with tenacity of purpose for the economic development of our state,” he added.
Reviewing the performance of the 2016 budget as at the third quarter, Ikpeazu said that 18 secondary schools have been renovated and provided with boreholes for improved sanitary conditions and new primary schools built under the Adopt A School Initiative; while 32 roads and two bridges have been completed with 26 roads still ongoing.
“The overall performance of the budget as at the end of the third quarter of 2016 showed that we achieved 52.98 per cent,” the Abia Chief Executive said.
He said that within the period under review, only N37.6 billion of the N56.7 billion projected revenue was realised, representing 66.4 per cent performance.
“I am not in any doubt that despite the economic conditions, Abia State has all it takes to thrive and excel. We are confident that with the determination and focus we have shown, we will have a more rewarding 2017,” Ikpeazu assured.
In his remarks, the brand new Speaker of Abia State House of Assembly, Rt Hon Chikwendu Kanu, who emerged less than 30 minutes to the budget presentation, assured the Governor that the House would consider the budget critically and ensure its speedy passage.
He assured that the House would always partner with the executive for the overall development of the state.
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