Obiano tables N157.1bn budget before Anambra assembly
Governor Obiano of Anambra State By Sunny A. David, Awka
The Governor of Anambra State, Chief Willie Obiano on Wednesday tabled a budget of N157.1bn before the Legislative Assembly of Anambra State to consider as his draft estimates for the 2019 fiscal year. The budget indicates that 41.3% has been earmarked as recurrent expenditures and 58.7% as capital expenditures. A breakdown of the budget titled “Budget for Sustained Economic Growth and Youth Empowerment” shows that the sum of N65.33bn has been allocated to recurrent expenditure while N91.8bn is for capital expenditure. Presenting the budget on Wednesday, Governor Obiano explained that the budget was anchored on the projected crude oil benchmark of US$60 per barrel and a daily production average of 1.9m barrels per day which translates to a projected annual FAAC of N40bn in the coming year as against the 2018 estimate of N29.7bn. According to him, the budget seeks to sustain his administration’s previous performance and ensure that Anambra State continues to maintain its status as a hub for business and a destination for new investments. A further breakdown shows that Obiano’s administration would focus more intently on the construction of roads and bridges in the new fiscal year with the construction of new roads and maintenance of existing network of roads expected to gulp N22.4bn. Speaking on his plan for Anambra youths, Governor Obiano assured that in the 2019 Fiscal Year, Youth Empowerment remains a key focus of his administration.
As result, it has allocated the sum of N4bn to empower 10,000 youths through vocational, agricultural and artisan training programmes as well as the provision of interest-free start-up capital to commence new businesses. Similarly, Education comes high in the priorities of the administration and is expected to gulp the sum of N11.9bn in the new financial year.
In a brisk recap of the outgoing financial year, Governor Obiano recalled that “it is the year in which our dear state finally lived out the full meaning of its name as “Light of the Nation” on the world stage. Yes, five school girls from Regina Pacis Model Secondary School took the world by storm when they swept aside advanced countries like the US, China, Spain, Turkey and Uzbekistan to win the Gold Medal at the World Technovation Challenge in San Francisco, USA. Adaeze Onuigbo, Vivian Okoye, Promise Nnalue, Nwabuaku Ossai and Jessica Osita of Regina Pacis Model Secondary School Onitsha have justified our massive investments in Education and other efforts to turn our schools into models of excellence.
“It is something for an African team to win medals in sports and the arts, but it is something extraordinary for a group of girls from Nigeria (not South Africa, mark you) to defeat the USA, China, Spain and Turkey in a science and innovation contest.”
He also recalled that the emergence of Amala Ezenwa, a Primary School Head Teacher from Awada as the Overall Best School Administrator in Nigeria further confirms that his administration has indeed done a lot of work in the education sector pointing out that in the period under review, the sum of N211,168,125 was donated to the Catholic Church and N145,968,750 to the Anglican Church as interventions in mission schools in the State.
The Governor also reported that his administration recorded some impressive results in the agricultural sector as rice production rose from 345,000 metric tons in 2017 to 440,000 metric tons while Cassava production shot up from 1,792,596 to 1,881,589 metric tons and Maize production from 39,902 to 43,521 metric tons in the last planting season.