By Pamela Eboh
Anambra State Governor, Professor Chukwuma Soludo, has assented to the 2022 Revised appropriation budget of N170 billion naira.
Signing the budget tagged “Building Off From The Blocks” at the Government House, Awka, Thursday night, the governor hailed members of the House of Assembly for being responsible, responsive and diligent to their job as lawmakers and representatives of the people of Anambra State
He noted that the patriotic and responsive manner the budget was passed by the State House of Assembly was not only commendable but signalled the birth of a new partnership for a greater Anambra
He said, “There was no underhand dealings in signing the budget rather the process was conducted with integrity, patriotism and responsiveness
“Government is left with no options other than to ratchet up multiple strategies including taking a look at the trajectory of expenditure, introduce prudence in spending, among others.”
Soludo recalled that in his campaign manifesto, N250 billion naira was estimated as the amount required to build critical infrastructure towards the realization of the livable and prosperous homeland in the state that Ndi Anambra yearns for.
He however regretted that the resources at Government disposal are abysmally lean as well as the earnings from the oil sector which has also gone downward slide.
According to the governor, efforts are being made to digitalize the Internally Generated Revenue, IGR of the state to eliminate leakages
While describing it as part of the measures to improve government finances, he explained that in the interim, his administration has decided to borrow N100 billion naira, saying, “Ndi Anambra cannot wait.”
The Governor added, “Not the whole amount will be spent this year. The borrowed money will be re-fenced and will be used for critical infrastructural development particularly in building roads, bridges etc.
“There will be absolute prudence in making sure Ndi Anambra gets value for the money borrowed. Every kobo will be judiciously used to create wealth that will benefit the people of the state.”
While canvassing for stronger synergy between the legislative and other arms of government at all levels, Soludo thanked the Speaker and the House members for understanding the exigencies to approve the plan to borrow, even as he promised Ndi Anambra that the money will be spent on critical infrastructure, particularly on roads, bridges, flyover, among other strategic projects.
He gave assuance that the budget will be implemented within the cash flow, noting that his administration is currently cleaning up the state wage bill and the payroll system.
“I thank Ndi Anambra for their support and sacrifices through payment of their fair share of taxes and others. For people who have violated public order such as indiscriminate building of illegal structures, we say enough is enough. These are necessary, painful steps that we must take to rescue our state”, Soludo stated.
The Commissioner for Budget, Ms. Chiamaka Nnake and Special Adviser to the Governor on House of Assembly Matters, Chief Anayo Nnebe appreciated the members for doing a good job on the budget.