Anambra State defends N20b budget scale-down
The state budgeted N157.1 billion for the 2019 fiscal year and is proposing N137.1 billion for 2020, according to the estimate Governor Willie Obiano recently presented to the House of Assembly.
Given the explanation at the Coherence Hall of Government House, Awka, at the weekend, the Commissioner for Economic Planning, Budget and Development Partners, Mark Okoye, said the state was being conservative in budgetary assumptions, to have excess liquidity for critical sectors of the economy and consolidate on economic diversification, job creation, poverty alleviation and value for money.
Okoye, who was with the Principal Secretary to the Governor, Willie Nwokoye; Commissioner for Works, Marcel Ifejiofor; and Special Adviser to the Governor on Budget, Melie Onyejepu, recalled that the state government had come up with N169 billion budget, with high expectation or refund of capital expenditure on federal road projects, which was included in the 2019 budget.
According to him, the state is the first in the federation to comply with the Fiscal Responsibility Framework.
The focus on capital expenditure against recurrent expenditure is to leave more funds for capital projects, which would create jobs that will translate to more taxes to the government.
He disclosed that the state government had focused more on Internally-Generated Revenue (IGR) to prosecute the budget rather than hope on federal allocation and donor agencies.
While rating the capital expenditure performance at 87 per cent, he added, “To achieve huge IGR, we have to be transparent on how the money is being spent.”
He said the government placed emphasis on critical infrastructure development and youth entrepreneurship, among others, in line with the theme, ‘Accelerating Infrastructural Development and Youth Entrepreneurship’.
Okoye also pointed out that many of the failed federal roads in the state were being rehabilitated by the government, adding that the Federal Government was owing to the state about N42 billion, but the state received Promissory Note of N15 billion.
The Principal Secretary said the scale-down of the budget from N157.1 billion to N137.1 billion was to have a realistic budget based on assumption on the ‘The Need To Borrow’.
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