REPORTERS: ONYINYE CHIJIOBI & BEN ILECHUKWU
Anambra State Government has presented 2022 revised draft budget of one hundred and seventy billion as against one hundred and forty-one-point-nine billion naira presented by former Governor Willie Obiano last year.
Presenting the revised draft budget estimate at the state house of Assembly, Governor Chukwuma Soludo said that the move was to reflect current realities, challenges and priorities of the new administration.
The revised budget is christened “taking off from the blocks.”
Professor Soludo explained that the present capital expenditure increased by thirty-three percent from eighty-one billion to one hundred and eight billion while the recurrent expenditure increased marginally by zero-point-seventy-one percent from sixty billion.
The Governor said that the budget on security remained the same as presented by his predecessor as about sixty percent of capital expenditure was targeted at delivering infrastructure that the average citizens could feel, see, or touch.
The Governor stressed that his government had declared state of emergency on infrastructure, noting that about thirty-one percent of the total budget was for the ministry of works and infrastructure.
He further explained that the present administration had requested the Federal Government to intervene in a number of federal roads in the area, which he said had become death traps.
The Governor noted that the budget provided for a modern centralized ICT data center to consolidate the state data as well as commence the digitization of land registry.
The Governor pointed out that the revised budget tagged “taking off from the blocks” signposts some of the key deliverables for this year as his administration kicked-off from the blocks, a situation which compeled it to always ensure value for money.
The Governor, who expressed regret that the member representing Aguata One Constituency, Mr. Okechukwu Okoye, is still in the den of the kidnappers, expressed optimism that the security agencies in the state would work assidously in securing his freedom.
Earlier, the Speaker Anambra State House of Assembly, Mr. Uchenna Okafor, remarkekd that the Governor had taken great steps towards moving the state to greater heights.
He stressed that the people would have no doubt that the content of the revised draft budget were structured in line with the burning desire to run a quality government where people’s welfare and total development of the state would be guaranteed.
The Speaker, who expressed joy that the issue of road infrastructure was among the top priorities of the present administration, assured that the state legislature would join hands with the Governor to ensure that the present administration succeeded in all fronts, through enactment of laws and resolutions aimed at improving the living standards of the citizenry.