Ebonyi sets committee to influence federal budget

This was made known in a joint Press briefing by some members of the State Executive Council on Wednesday at the Government House, Abakaliki.

Ebonyi State Government has inaugurated an Executive Committee that would liaise with the State National Assembly representatives towards ensuring that federal infrastructural and other projects lacking in the area are captured in the 2019 federal budget.

This was made known in a joint Press briefing by some members of the State Executive Council on Wednesday at the Government House, Abakaliki.

Speaking at the event, the State Commissioner for Works and Transport, Engr. Fidelis Nweze, noted that the Council lamented the near absence of federal presence in the State and have therefore, decided to take the bull by the horn towards ensuring that the trend is positively reversed for the welbeing of the people.

He named some of the projects desired to be captured in the budget to include, the Obubra – Ofrekpe road distance of 42km with its intersecting Bridge and another Bridge across Ndibe Beach in Afikpo North local Government Area of the State to Cross River, among others.

Nweze said: “You will agree with us that for the past two to three years now, there have not been federal projects from Ebonyi State in the federral budget

“So, we are going to liaise with our brothers in the House of Representatives and the Senate to make sure that both roads, bridges and other projects in Ebonyi State are captured in 2019 federal budget.”

The Committee, according to Nweze was made up of the State Commissioners for Works and transport, Health, Water resources, Culture and Tourism.

Speaking on some infrastructural projects being embarked upon by the State Government, the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on project monitoring, Engr. Uchechi Okah, informed Journalists that contract has been awarded for the remodelling of aditional 10 Warehouses in the State international Market.

She noted that the present Administration decided to embark on the redesigning, remodelling and reconstruction of the International Market started by the previous administration due to the obvious poor contruction and material quality of the Market which negates its international status.

Okah also informed that a contact sum of N178 million was approved  as revised bill for total asphalting of the newly reconstructed Pa Ngele Oruta Township Statdium, Abakaliki while another N23 million contract was also approved for additional Auomatic Lifts at the ongoing gigantic Ecumenical Centre in the State Capital.

In the area of Education, the Commisioner, Sabinus Nwankwagu explained that the executive Council has approved the generation of Bill of Quantities for the renovation of over 171 schools across the State to tackle inadequate accommodation challenges which has posed great threat to the State School System.

Recall that the Government has earlier set up a committee to identify dilapidated Schools across the State to be given immediate attention.

Meanwhile, following the lingering Federation Account Allocation Committee impasse which has denied States its share of the Federal Allocation since June, Governor David Umahi has approved and directed the State Accountant-General to immediately seek alternative means of sourcing funds for workers July salary.

The Commissioner for Finance and economic development, Obinna Nwachukwu, who made this known during the Press briefing, said the Governor has also directed that payment of the salaries should commence not later than 12th July so as to beat the 15th of every Month deadline for salary payment, adding that the Governor’s decision was in obedience to his continued resolve to the welfare of workers in the State.

Nwachukwu stressed: “You are aware that tomorrow is just 12thday of the Month, but because it has been in the habit of this Government to always pay salaries before 15th of every Month, we discovered that 15th is on Sunday, His Excellency has directed that this Month’s salaries be paid between 12th and 13th

“To make this possible, the Government has gone extra mile.

“As I am talking to you now, the Allocation for June and july have not been accessed by any of the three tiers of Government.

“We went for the FAAC meeting but it did not hold.

“We went for the second time, it also failed…

“But because of the nature of our leader and the policy of this Government, he has directed that myself and the AG go extra mile in sourcing fund to ensure that salaries are paid.”