By Christopher Isiguzo in Enugu
Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State on Friday presented the 2017 budget estimates of N105,719,471,000 (one hundred and five billion, seven hundred and nineteen million, four hundred and seventy one thousand Naira) to the State House of Assembly for approval.
The appropriation bill which was tagged: “Budget of Economic Recovery and Inclusive Development”, when approved, according to the governor, would address the yearnings and aspirations of the people of the state, in spite of the present economic challenges in the country.
He noted that the budget represented a 24 per cent increase compared to the previous year’s figure of N85,179,449,000 (eighty five billion, one hundred and seventy nine million, four hundred and forty nine thousand Naira).
From the budget, N55,197,939,000 representing 52 per cent is for recurrent expenditure while N50, 521,532,000 representing 48 per cent is for capital expenditure.
According to the governor, the increase was a result of his administration’s commitment to boost the state’s Internally-Generated Revenue (IGR) and explore other funding windows to complement allocation from the federation account.
He pledged that attention would be given to completion of ongoing 2016 priority projects and execute new ones that will touch the lives of the people positively.
The governor promised better days ahead and reaffirmed his administration’s commitment to zero tolerance for corruption, adding that the diversification of the state economy through private sector participation and Public Private Partnership to fast-track sustainable and inclusive development is also a top priority.
He disclosed that his administration has made modest efforts in its reform programmes, adding that it has mapped out strategies for the implementation of the 2017 budget.
Responding, the Speaker of the Assembly, Edward Ubosi, commended the governor for his administration’s fiscal discipline which contributed to an impressive implementation of the 2016 budget.
While promising a speedy passage of the budget, without compromising its oversight functions, the Speaker applauded the cordial relationship between the legislative and executive arms of government in the state.