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Abia governor defends 2020 budget estimate before state assembly





The Abia State House of Assembly has commended Governor Okezie Ikpeazu-led administration for the timely presentation of the 2020 budget estimates to the house.

Rt. Hon. Chinedum Orji, the Speaker of the State Assembly, made the commendation shortly after the budget presentation on Monday, promised that the house will ensure speedy passage of the Bill.

Orji pledged that the legislators will support the governor through their oversight functions which were not meant to witch-hunt anyone but to realize the Governor’s projects.

Earlier, Gov. Ikpeazu, had presented a budget estimate of one hundred and thirty-six billion, six hundred and seventeen million, eight hundred and forty-seven thousand, three hundred and sixteen naira (N136,617,847,316) only to the State House of Assembly for their consideration.

The draft budget is made up of a total sum of sixty-six billion, eight hundred and two million, two hundred and forty-seven thousand, three hundred and sixteen naira (n66,802,247,316) only for recurrent expenditure while sixty-nine billion, eight hundred and fifteen million, six hundred thousand naira (n69,815,600,000) only is for capital expenditure.

The recurrent expenditure represents 48.90 per cent of the total Budget while the capital expenditure represents 51.10 per cent of the Budget.

Ikpeazu said the budget outlay is slightly less than the one hundred and forty billion, nine hundred and forty-four million, eight hundred and eighty-five thousand, seven hundred

and seventy naira (n140,944,885,770) only for 2019.

This moderate decrease according to the Governor is occasioned by the resolve of his administration to formulate a realistic budget while working hard to improve revenue generation and apply prudent expenditure approach.

He further said that in spite of the economic challenges, Abia State government is determined to reposition the State on a new foundation for growth. reiterating that Abia State keyed into the state fiscal transparency, accountability and sustainability as well as the other partnership initiatives with the aim of enhancing efficiency in its financial processes and would continue to sharpen the process of participatory budgeting with the involvement of communities, civil society groups, private sector agencies and other stakeholders.

The Governor informed that the draft estimates are intended to strategically strengthen his achievements in such areas as creating a conducive environment for local and foreign investors, providing opportunities for human capital development, revitalizing social services as well as building critical infrastructure for sustainable development, while adding that “our watchword in the 2020 budget implementation shall be Prudence in State Resource Management”.

Ikpeazu maintained that in the 2020 fiscal year, “we shall further strengthen Governance with renewed commitment to people’s well being through intense citizens engagement and Community Needs Identification Initiative (CNII) in project selection to meet the Community Charter of Demand (CCD).”

He said that his focus remains to change the economic development template of the State, and strategic partnerships shall be the fulcrum and main driver of the vision for the year 2020.

The governor, that, “In 2020, he will work to ensure completion of ongoing projects while re-envisioning new ones that will open new frontiers”.

DAILY POST reports that the Abia State 2020-2022 Medium Term Draft Estimates is christened “Budget of Economic Repositioning.

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