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Obiano Tables N137bn Budget before Anambra Lawmakers

Gov Willie Obiano, Thursday September 26, 2019 presented a N137bn 2020 draft budget to the Anambra State House of Assembly.

The budget proposes to commit 43% (N58.69bn) to recurrent expenditure and 57% (N78.3bn) to capital expenditure. It is expected to sustain the developmental trend in the state and ensure that the state continues to be the choice destination for businesses and investments.

Delivering the budget, Gov Obiano highlighted the achievements of his administration, especially in Agriculture where major advancements were recorded in rice and cassava production as well as in poultry, fishery and livestock with emphasis on the revival and ranching of a local breed of cattle popularly known as Efi Igbo.

"We have taken rice production from 80,000 metric tonnes to 345,280 metric tonnes as at 2018. We have also gone into serious cassava production with both Ekcel Farms and Chelsea Farms. Chelsea Farms with over 10,000 hectares of land is the largest cassava farm in South East Nigeria".

Gov Obiano also noted that the establishment of the Anambra State Health Insurance Agency, ASHIA, the building of the largest state owned oxygen plant in the southeast and investments in primary, secondary and tertiary healthcare services, marks notable achievements of his administration in the health sector.

"I am delighted to announce that we have opened a 53m3/hr Oxygen plant at Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University Teaching Hospital, Amaku. This is the biggest Oxygen Plant built by any State Government in the Federation. We have also established the Anambra State Health Insurance Agency (ASHIA) which is ranked fourth (4th) in the country".

On education, the Governor said that the state devised a three way approach that worked effectively to reposition the sector in line with international standards. He described these as infrastructure, teacher's welfare and student's welfare.

"Our aim is to give a globally competitive education to our children. In the area of infrastructure, we are building 700 capacity hostels in 12 technical colleges and 1,500 capacity hostels at Fr Joseph memorial Secondary School, Aguleri. We have also constructed ten classroom blocks in five technical colleges, namely; Umuchu, Umunze, Nkpor, Umeri and Osamalla. On Teachers’ Welfare, we have trained our teachers in ICT in a partnership with Google. We have also held a special training for teachers of Mathematics, Sciences, Literature-in-English, History and French".

Gov Obiano expressed great delight at the achievements of the state in business development, entrepreneurship and youth empowerment through the Anambra State Business Agency, ASBA. He said that achievements of the agency earned the state the prestigious national award as the best state that supports Micro, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (MSMEs) in Nigeria.

Other areas mentioned by the Governor as major areas of great achievement, include security and the complementing Light-up Anambra project which has improved the landscape of the state and created a safe 24 hour business environment for Ndi Anambra. The government also made remarkable inroads in rural and urban electrification.

"We have drawn a 33kv line to supply power to Orumba North and South. We also installed another 33kv line from Awada through Idemili to Nnewi to improve power supply in 43 communities. We distributed 400 transformers to all communities in Anambra State and installed another 33kv line from Ogborji in Orumba North to Peters University in Aguata".

Speaking on the budget presentation, the member representing Anambra East constituency in the State House of Assembly, Hon Obinna Emenaka lauded the executive arm of the state government for what he termed a timely budget presentation. He observed that the 2020 draft budget was remarkably lower than the 2019 budget, indicating a commitment by the state government to properly articulate vital needs of Ndi Anambra and appropriating same adequately.

The budget is unprecedentedly the earliest to be presented by any state government in Nigeria. It is themed Accelerating Infrastructural Development and Youth Entrepreneurship and aims at consolidating the achievements of the 2019 budget in economic diversification, job and value creation.

Ikenna Aniagboso
SSA Communications

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