Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia on Friday presented the 2017 Appropriation Bill of N102.56 billion to the State House of Assembly.
Presenting the bill, christened the “Budget of Prudence and Self-Reliance”, Ikpeazu said the amount represented a 3.14 per cent decrease from the 2016 budget outlay of N105.88 billion.
A breakdown of the budget showed a projection of N21.96 billion internally generated revenue and N1.2 billion from the Federation Account. The recurrent expenditure projection stood at N57.36 billion while the capital expenditure projection was N45.19 billion.
Ikpeazu said “the overall performance of the 2016 budget as at the end of the third quarter, showed that we achieved 52.98 per cent.”
According to him, “whereas N56.7 billion was projected as IGR, only N37.6 billion was realised, representing 66.4 per cent performance.”
He said that while N28.9 billion was received as statutory allocation from the Federation Account, N7.8 billion was realised as IGR, in addition to N36.9 billion from other accruals.
The governor said that the theme of the budget “reflects our policy direction and it’s borne out of the need to balance our priorities against available resources.”
He said the budget was “tailored to follow the Medium Term Expenditure Frame-work, which looks at projections for a three-year plan, adding that“ this budget, therefore, has projections for 2017 to 2019.”
He gave assurance that the outcome of the budget will give Abia access to quality agricultural produce, unhindered and quality health care, access to quality education, security for all and growth in commercial activities.
Ikpeazu said the target of his administration was to make Abia the largest producer of palm seedlings in Nigeria with estimated stock of over seven million seedlings by 2019.
“Similarly, Abia is partnering with the private sector to bring cashew plantations to all the local governments of the state.
“Expectedly, over 100, 000 youths will be employed in these plantations”, Ikpeazu said.
He said government’s efforts at promoting made-in-Aba products had generated order placements for the supply of goods worth between N750 million and N1 billion in 2016.
“The campaign would be pursued vigorously in 2017 to create new markets for our goods”, the governor said.
Speaker of the legislature, Mr Chikwendu Kalu, thanked him “for doing the needful,” and gave the assurance that the House would give the bill “accelerated consideration” in order to ensure its passage “within a record time.”
Posted by Janice Johnson (Source: Business Day)