By Buchi Iwuji (Owerri)
The budget dubbed, “Rebuild Imo-Budget One was estimated at N197,607, 272,328 (One Hundred And Ninety- Seven Billion, Six Hundred And Seven Million, Two Hundred And Seventy-Two Thousand, Three Hundred And Twenty-Eight Naira)
Reading the aggregates at the floor of the House, Governor Ihedioha said the 2020 budget hinges on six pronged agenda which includes; rebuilding Infrastructure, especially roads and smart electricity sub-sector, agriculture, health delivery – with focus on health insurance, primary healthcare and cleaner environment, human Capital development – especially technological advancement, technical education, women and Youth empowerment etc, Ease of Doing Business (EoDB), and Job/Wealth Creation, Youth Empowerment.
The Governor explained that the 2020 budget proposal, which encapsulates government’s political, economic and social development and strategies, therefore aims at giving the citizenry a sense of belonging. “The proposal is aimed at restoring confidence in Government and our people, rebuilding our dilapidated infrastructure and putting the State on a pedestal for sustainable economic development. This will focus on road infrastructure, improving on the ‘ease of doing business’ and social infrastructure – education, health services, water, sanitation and the like.
“The 2020 Budget is anchored on our manifesto, the TTC report as well as recommendations of the various Commissions of Enquiries that have turned in their findings. “At this point, I reiterate that our administration owes as a duty the prudent and judicious use of State resources, respect for rule of law, as well as ensuring accountability and transparency in all projects, programmes and activities” he added.
Enumerating further, the Governor said given the very fact the Internally Generated Revenue IGR is the sine quo non to budget success, the 2020 Budget has a total budgeted recurrent revenue of N140,330,473,912, representing 71% of the budget.
On recurrent expenditure, he explained that very much unlike the 2019 budget that has N15,304,901,626 as personnel cost for Ministries, the proposed 2020 budget has N 8,949,496,411 as its personnel cost which represents a 41.5% reduction in Personnel Cost pointing out that the overhead cost in the proposed 2020 budget will relatively increase to N34,702,219,005 from the N17,112,658,110 that was approved in the 2019 budget. This, he said is also as a result of increase in government activities, restoration of full workers’ salaries, allowances and the observance of the principle of separation of power between the three arms of government.
He also attributed the increase to the restored autonomy of the Local Government Administration. However, he said, stringent measures will be taken to cut expenditures by Ministries, Department and Agencies (MDAs).
In summary, he noted that the Recurrent expenditure is N 91,377,822,129 . However, this figure includes the repayment to FGN on debts including bailouts funds and rescheduled service of bonds.
“Our capital expenditure is N106,229,450,200 which represents 53.8% of the proposed budget. This is a welcomed development in an era where many other administrations have well below 40% in capital expenditure. It goes without saying that capital expenditure drives development and growth.
The Consolidated Revenue Fund Charges (CRFC) will remain the same with the 2019 budget provision at N 16,303,247,101” he added