REPORTER: UCHE NDEKE
The Anambra State House of Assembly has commenced discussion for the 2023 budget estimate with ministries , departments and agencies (MDAs) in the state.
In his opening remarks at the conference hall of the legislative building, the Chairman House Committee on Finance and Appropriation, Mr. Obinna Emeneka, described the exercise as an all important process that was aimed at ensuring that the MDAs justified the provisions made for them in the 2023 budget estimate.
Mr. Emeneka, who represents Anambra East Constituency, called on the people to always be prepared with relevant and detailed documents and information that will enable free flow of the discussion.
The Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget, Ms Chiamaka Nnake, who took time to explain some budgetary provisions in her ministry and other MDAs, said 2023 would hold a lot for the people as government was making frantic efforts to realize better part of the budget.
The Commissioner also told the committee that only one percent of the 2022 revised budget was accessed, a development that did not go down well with the law makers.
The Accountant General of the state, Dr. Chukwudi Okoli, while defending the 18.5 million naira voted for his office, appealed for a mark up to 30 million naira as there were several issues to be addressed.
According to Dr. Okoli, the office needed a total computerization to enable it meet up with the IPSAS standard as directed by the federal government and as obtained globally.
The member representing Njikoka Constituency II, Dr. Pete Ibida, called on the executive arm, to strive to achieve at least 50% of the budget as anything below was a far cry in the budget implementation.
For his part, the member representing Anaocha Constituency II, Mr. Ejike Okoye, expressed regret that it would amount to waste of time for a budget to be very humongous and in the end only a paltry sum would be achieved.
Radio Nigeria gathered that the Ministry of Finance also defended its budget estimate for 2023.
EDITED BY CHUKWUBUIKE MADU