By; PAMELA EBOH, Awka
The Governor of Anambra State, Chief Willie Obiano on Wednesday presented a draft budget of N157.1billion for the 2019 fiscal to the state House of Assembly.
The budget entitled: ”Budget for Sustained Economic Growth and Youth Empowerment” according to the governor is aimed at boosting the state’s economy.
He reeled out youths empowerment as number one in his 2019 budget saying that his government wants to tackle unemployment head on and in so doing, provide a means of livelihood for the poor and vulnerable in the society.
Obiano explained that the estimate illustrates his administration’s resolve to continue to deliver the dividends of good governance to the people of the state.
In his analysis of the budget, the Governor said the sustained Economic Growth and Youths Empowerment entail that the state would carefully access all activities and make difficult trade-offs to ensure focus is centered solely on implementing projects and programs that provide infrastructural growth in the state.
He announced that his government would ensure that she attains fiscal independence over the next five years through the recurrent expenditure with the balance to support capital interventions.
His words, “We hope to aggressively embark on public finance reforms to optimize and strengthen our tax administration processes.
“Strategic collaborations: Fourthly, we hope to develop stronger ties with the Federal Government MDAs and key Development Partners (such as the World Bank, European Union, United Nations System, etc.) to jointly intervene in social Investments, Works and Infrastructure, Education, Healthcare and Environment sectors of the economy.
“To achieve this, we have aligned this budget to the National Economic Recovery and Growth Plan and the United Nations’ sustainable Development Agenda, 2030.
“Public Private-Partnerships: And finally, our fifth target outcome will be to strenghth and refocus our investment climate by channeling significant resources towards providing infrastructures and reducing the bureaucratic bottlenecks involved in starting and running businesses in Anambra State”.
A breakdown of the budget showed that the state will spend N65.33bn on Recurrent Expenditure while N91.8bn will go for Capital Expenditure to drive out policy thrusts of Sustaining Economic Growth and Youth Empowerment.
It also shows N22.4b would be for construction of rural community roads across the state and N1.5bn for Anambra road maintainance Agency for rehabilitation and installation of Traffic Lights on strategic roads N3.0b for state owned Universities/Colleges and Polytechnics in the state.
Other sectors of the state economy will similarly get significant amount from the budget even as N2.8b was mapped out for Community Social Development Program, etc.
The Governor maintained that the budget of the passing year was well implemented by his government adding that he was able to meet the budget proposal saying that he will do better in the coming years.
Earlier in her speech, the Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Hon Rita Maduagwu said that a good number of items budgeted for in the running estimate was accomplished.
She assured that the budget would be given an accelerated hearing so as to fast track its passage.