Thursday, 9 March 2017

Why Works ministry was appropriated much in Anambra State 115.5Bn 2017 budget?

By Okechukwu Onuegbu

The Anambra State House of Assembly recently passed into law, the 2017 appropriation bill of N115, 512, 873, 810 which was presented by the state Governor, Willie Obiano last year.

Entitled "Budget for Economic Recovery and Inclusive Growth", it scaled through third reading after almost four months old in the hallow chamber, yet the lawmakers insisted that it actually came to force on January 1, 2017.

According to the Speaker, Anambra State House of Assembly, Rita Maduagwu, the Assembly deemed it fit for passage following the various ministries, departments, agencies and parastatals of the government successful defence of their respective appropriations.

“It is expected that Governor Willie Obiano will effectively implement the 2017 budget as he did in the previous year. We are satisfied with the way he has been implementing our bills and motions which has greatly facilitated the development of the state. Therefore, we are assuring Anambrarians and the residents that the 2017 budget contains their major needs, and will surely uplift their living condition in many ways,” she added.

Speaking earlier, the Chairman, House Committee on Finance and Appropriation, Obinna Emenaka, charged the executive to expedite action towards implementing the budget, assuring that they were ever committed to carrying out oversight functions of the policies and programmes it would be expended on.

The budget estimate obtained by shows that the state would spend N56.6 billion naira on Recurrent Expenditure, and 58.9 billion naira on Capital Expenditure, with a focus on significant infrastructural development.

Projected on a crude oil price benchmark of 42 dollar per barrel and 305 naira to a dollar exchange rate estimate, the budget represented an 11per cent increase from that of 2016 put at 101.4 billion naira.

Also, it was designed to prioritise production over consumption as it targeted a Recurrent to Capital Expenditure ratio of 49:51with major Capital projects plans in key sectors of the State economy such as Works and Infrastructure (N24 billion), Agriculture (N5.4 billion), Education (N3.4billion), Youths Empowerment and Social Investments (1.6 billion), among others. further learnt that the budget’s summary for approved capital expenditure stood at Economic empowerment through agriculture (N5, 439, 710, 000); Enhancing skills and knowledge (N3, 404, 711, 993); Environmental improvement (N1, 994, 370, 000); Gender (N279, 258, 950); Growing the private sector (N1, 152, 800, 000); and Housing and Urban Development (N3, 238, 810, 000).

Others were Improvement to human health, N2, 797, 950, 000; Information communication and technology, N1, 096, 659, 000; Poverty alleviation, N3, 866, 500, 000; Power, N1, 134, 000, 000; Reform of government and governance, N5, 549, 812, 000; Road, N24, 140, 965, 000; Societal re-orientation, N344, 035, 000; Water resources and rural development, N3, 273, 100, 000; and Youth, N1, 213, 000, 000; all totaled N58, 925, 681, 943 (11% increase to that of 2016 fiscal year).

More so, the budget overheads were estimated at N18.4bn, as well as projected a value added tax at N850 million monthly, representing a 10% increase from the 2016 average of N770m, while its federal government allocation receipt was estimated at a conservative figure of N40.2bn (an increase of 20% on 2016 annualised actual).

Also, the state government anticipates N20.4bn for internally generated revenues, an increase of 26% on 2016 annualised actual, stating that it would establish a mobile court to help enforce payment of tax-debt by blue-chip companies (the banks and telecommunications companies) and elimination of revenue leakages.

Likewise, the budget would be funded through what the state government termed “domestic borrowing maintained at N10bn with expectations of Federal government refunds of N12bn on Paris Club debt and N15bn on infrastructure provided by the state on behalf of Federal Government,” whose total outstanding refundable amount stands at N43.8bn. It also expects development partners to provide N12bn in counterpart funds and grants.

On the expense side, it projects personnel costs of N17.7bn for staff remuneration and promotions during the year, while social benefits expenditure such as pensions, gratuities, etc. stands at N10.2bn.

It would be recalled that Gov. Obiano, while presenting the budget, described it as a response to the difficult economic situation forced upon the state by the lingering recession, adding that its primary focus is to develop the state's economy and lay a solid foundation for greater future.

He also revealed that his government was guided by optimal resource allocation strategy, and stronger collaboration with the Federal Government, adopting a holistic approach to development partnership interventions while preparing the budget.



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