Governor Theodore Orji
By Emmanuel Ugwu
Abia State Governor, Theodore Orji Friday signed the 2013 appropriation bill into law assuring that the executive would muster enough discipline required for effective implementation of the fiscal policy.
The State House of Assembly had on December 28, 2012 passed the 2013 appropriation bill into law, about five weeks after Governor Orji presented a budget of N134, 148, 037, 590 before the House. But the lawmakers jacked it up by N3, 024, 500,010 before passing into law an enhanced appropriation bill of N137, 172, 537, 600 for the 2013 fiscal year.
Governor Orji commended the House for the speedy passage of the 2013 budget unlike in the previous fiscal years. The 2012 budget was signed into law on April 30, 2012, well over four months after it was presented by the Governor on December 19, 2011.
Orji noted that the 2013 budget encapsulates the vision of his administration for the welfare of the people and the overall development of the state, adding that “we need a lot of discipline to implement the budget as specified”.
“This government is a government that has the interest of the people at heart,” Orji said.
But Governor Orji pointed out that the state needs a strong internally generated revenue (IGR) base to meet the financial demands of the state’s developmental challenges. He therefore appealed to the people of Abia “to be passionate about the state” and pay their taxes, arguing that “if people love the state” and perform their civic duties of paying taxes, government would be receiving at least N1 billion monthly IGR.
Earlier the Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon Udo Oko Chukwu, while presenting the Appropriation Law called for proper implementation of the 2013 budget in order to achieve multiple objectives of prudent utilization of limited resources to attain sustainable growth of the Abia economy and ensuring greater stability and security.
“All these will no doubt be achieved if and only if the budget of Hope and its overall macro-economic policies are properly implemented,” he said.
The Speaker justified the jacking up of the budget by over N3 billion, saying “the adjustment became necessary in order to make adequate provisions” to enable the governor execute all the identified critical developmental programmes and projects.