David-Chyddy Eleke in Awka
Governor Willie Obiano of Anambra State Thursday presented draft budget of N166.9 billion for the 2018 fiscal year before the members of the state House of Assembly.
Obiano said the 2018 budget entitled: â€˜Budget for Value-for-Money, Economic Diversification and Job Creationâ€™ would create jobs and also boost the stateâ€™s economy.
He said job creation was number three in his 2018 fiscal year with a view to ensuring that the state tackled unemployment, underemployment and more importantly, provide a means of livelihood for the poor and vulnerable.
The governor told the lawmakers that the budget size represented a 43 percent increase over the current yearâ€™s budget which stood at N115.5 billion tagged â€˜Budget of Economic Recovery and Inclusive Growthâ€™.
He said the estimate illustrated his administrationâ€™s resolve to continue to deliver the dividends of good governance to the people of state.
The governor, while analyzing the budget, said that Value-for-Money entails that the state would â€œcarefully assess all activities and make difficult trade-offs to ensure we focus solely on implementing projects and programmes that provide commensurate value to Ndi Anambra.
â€œThe underlying principle going forward shall be â€˜Doing Even More with Lessâ€™ and zero tolerance for corruption and corrupt practices.â€
On economic diversification, Obiano added that his administration would ensure that state attains fiscal independence over the next four years through her internally generated revenues, which he believed should cover â€œour recurrent expenditure with the balance to support capital interventions. We hope to aggressively embark on public finance reforms to optimise and strengthen our tax administration processes.
â€œOn strategic collaborations, we hope to develop stronger ties with the federal government MDAs and key development partners (such as the World Bank, European Union, United Nations among others) to jointly intervene in social Investments, works and infrastructure, education, healthcare and environment sectors of our economy. To achieve this, we have aligned this budget to the National Economic Recovery and Growth Plan and the United Nationsâ€™ Sustainable Development Agenda 2030.
â€œOn Public Private Partnerships (PPP), our fifth target outcome will be to strengthen and refocus our PPP Strategy. Significant resources will be channelled towards targeted promotional processes to attract large scale export-driven investments across our key economic pillars in the state.â€
A breakdown of the budget showed that in the next fiscal year, it shall be funded by the state Internally Generated Revenues (IGR) projected at N2.5billion monthly compared with the current run rate of N1.35billion monthly as claimed by the governor as well as through grants and counterpart funds estimated at N20billion; other capital receipts comprising of concessionary debt financing for the state social sectors estimated at N18.4billion.
Similarly, the state expects to receive reimbursements and refunds from federal government for works done on federal roads and Paris Club payments estimated at N28billion of the 43.8billon owed to the state; while personnel costs such as workers remuneration, replacement of retired teachers, promotions and appointments were estimated at N21.6billion.