Enugu Assembly soon to pass 2018 Budget

Posted by Charles Iwuoha, Enugu | 19 January 2018 | 1,944 times

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Members of the Enugu State House of Assembly will soon pass into law the 2018 Appropriation Bill presented by Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi to the House on December 28, 2017.

After a heated debate on the merits and demerits of the budget on Tuesday and Thursday, the lawmakers adjudged the budget a pragmatic and implementable one. After a second reading, handed it over to the House Committee on Finance and Appropriation to scrutinise the budget estimate and, after ministries and departments’ budget defence, to report back to the House for a possible passage into law.

During the budget presentation on the floor of the House on December 28, 2017, Governor Ugwuanyi had pleaded with the legislators to expedite action on the budget debate to ensure quick passage into law so as to make it a legal working document that would enable the executive embark on the developmental projects mapped out for the fiscal year under review.

In line with Ugwuanyi’s plea for speedy passage of the budget tagged “Budget of Sustainable Economic Growth,” members while contributing to the debate applauded the budget as a practicable and realisable budget devoid of bogus estimates that might not be accessed.

Member representing Isi-Uzo Constituency, Dr. Emeka Ogbuabor, said that for the first time the state budget captured the health institutions like the schools of health in Oji and Nsukka which, he said, train health personnel that would sustain the provision of adequate manpower that would ensure better healthcare in the state.

In his contribution, Barr. Obinna Okenwa representing Enugu South Urban, while appraising the workability and realisability of the budget estimates, said that the executive streamlined how the budget would be financed and funded through Federal Allocation, IGR, grants and other sources like the Paris Club and said that when passed into law, the state would fare better.

“It is not proposing huge amount without realising them. It is a precise budget. They want to budget what they can implement,” he said. Barr. Okenwa pointed out that he discovered that ministries and departments achieved their budget estimate for last year and expressed belief that this year’s budget would be realised as well.

Urging his colleagues to support the budget estimate, Mr. Chuka Eneh, UDI South, said that the budget was specific and is likely to be implementable. He expressed optimism that the state would achieve over 90% of the budget estimate.

Eneh said that with such budget which fell short of what was budgeted last year by over N7 billion, the state will not incur debt as in previous years.

Recall that the state budgeted over N105 billion while this year came down to N98.5 billion.

The Speaker of the House, Chief Edward Ubosi had given all the members the opportunity to make their contribution to the debate and asked the House Committee of Finance and Appropriation to further scrutinise the budget and report back to the House on February 8, 2018 for possible passage into law.


Source: News Express

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