Amby Uneze in Owerri
The Imo State Government has budgeted the sum of N190,921,464,290 to the state House of Assembly for the 2018 fiscal Year.
The 2018 budget which is higher than that of 2017 of N131,143,144, 277, by N59,778,320,013 representing 45.58 per cent is tagged: â€˜Budget of Consolidation and Continuity 111â€™ and out of the 2018 budget, N132.98 billion is for capital expenditure representing 69.70 per cent of the total budget while N57.943 billion is for recurrent expenditure which represents 30.30 per cent of the total budget.
Presenting the budget wednesday at the chambers of the state House of Assembly, Governor Rochas Okorocha said: â€œThe 2018 budget will not only consolidate our development efforts but will ensure prudence and efficiency in our expenditure programmesâ€.
He added: â€œThis administration intends to use the limited resources at our disposal to achieve maximum impact. We intend to achieve synergy through collaboration and integration of programmes and projects at all levels in order to realise our vision of making Imo better. All relevant agencies of government will be strengthened to gear up towards their Constitutional responsibilities to ensure that all programmes and projects are being monitored at all timesâ€.
In the breakdown of the budget, works and Transport has the bulk allocation with N39,811,300,000 and followed by education with N13,500,000,000. Agriculture and Environment has N7,622,990,049, while the least is culture with N440,244,096.
Reviewing the period prior to his administration in 2011, Okorocha said: â€œThe state was characterised by excessive traffic congestion in Owerri, Orlu, and Okigwe. Insecurity particularly in the areas of kidnapping and armed robbery were highly prevalent across the 27 local government areas of the state.â€
According to him, all these constituted part of the major challenges the administration faced when it came on board in 2011. However, these problems have been progressively addressed and drastically reduced.
His words, â€œA quick review of our journey since the creation of Imo State 41 years ago will reveal that the achievements so far recorded in Imo State since this government assumed office in 2011 have been remarkable. I give glory to Almighty God for this. It is part of the hallmarks of democracy to unmask the potential of the citizens and properly channel resources towards economic growth.â€
He explained â€œThe government shall consolidate on the gains already made in areas such as security and safety of every Citizen, free education at all levels of learning, completion of all on-going projects, massive road construction to reach the rural areas, provision of healthcare facilities, develop the tourism industry, ensure food security, and so on.â€
The governor also hinted that his administration has paid compensations worth over N2.11 billion to land owners at Naze, Irete, Orji, Agum Avu and New Arugo as well as Imo Modern Market Extension Irete. These include traditional rites and compensatory plots. Meanwhile, additional N233.32 million has been earmarked for payment to other land owners for various land acquisitions in the state.
In his speech, Speaker of the Assembly, Hon. Acho Ihim, said the Assembly members would continue to work in collaboration with the Rescue Mission government for the good of the State and her people and assured that the members would give the budget the attention it deserves.