The Abia State Governor, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu, has presented the 2020 Budget estimate of N136,617,847,316 only to the State House of Assembly for consideration.
The draft budget is made up of N66,802,247,316 only for Recurrent Expenditure, while 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.
Presenting the Abia State 2020-2022 Medium Term Draft Estimates, christened: “Budget Of Economic Repositioning,” to the legislators, Governor Ikpeazu stated that the budget outlay is slightly less than the 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 in spite of the economic challenges, the Abia State Government is determined to reposition the State on a new foundation for growth. reiterating that it 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 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: “Our watchword in the 2020 budget implementation shall be Prudence in State Resource Management.”
Continuing, the Governor stated that “in preparing this 2020-2022 Multi-year Budget, consideration was given to effective and efficient resource allocation and utilization,” adding that certain factors were considered, including prioritization of peoples’ needs, identification and harmonization of revenue generating windows and re-jigging of Agencies.
The State chief executive 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 in project selection to meet the Community Charter of Demand.”
Ikpeazu said his focus remains to change the economic development template of the State with strategic partnerships shall be the fulcrum and main driver of the vision for the year 2020.
Governor Ikpeazu therefore assured: “In 2020, we will work to ensure completion of ongoing projects while re-envisioning new ones that will open new frontiers.”
In the same vein, Dr. Ikpeazu restated his determination to eliminate waste and unjustified expenditures that are not directly linked to the policy objectives espoused in the document.
He revealed that in 2019, the State participated in a contest involving the six States in the Eastern part of the Niger Delta in respect of those with the best potential development plan, and came first, disclosing that the Partnership Initiative for Niger Delta Development is supporting the State to develop a 30-year development plan, adding that the process is currently ongoing and that his government has insisted that every sector and MDA shall develop a sector-wide development plan which shall flow from and be linked to this multi-year Statewide development plan.
Governor Ikpeazu thanked members of the State House of Assembly for their immense cooperation to the executive arm of government which has made it possible for the acceleration of the socio-economic development of the State, saying that he shall endeavour to be prudent in the management of the resources available to the State.
In his remarks, the Speaker, Abia State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon Chinedum Orji, commended the Governor for the timely presentation of the budget estimate to the House of Assembly and promised that the house will ensure speedy passage of the Bill.
Orji pledged that the legislators will support Ikpeazu through their oversight functions which are not meant to witch-hunt anyone but to realise the Governor’s projects.