Capital projects prioritized as Umahi assents to ₦139b 2023 budget
From CHARLES ONYEKWERE
Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State has signed the 2023 appropriation bill of One Hundred and Thirty-Nine Billion, Three Hundred and Ninety-Eight Million, Two Hundred and Eighty Thousand, Six Hundred and Forty Naira, (N139,398,280,640.00) only into law.
While signing the budget on Saturday at his Uburu, Ohaozara home, Umahi noted that capital projects took the greater chunk of the budget at N 81. 030 billion representing 62 percent of the Total budget while recurrent was put at N58.367 billion which represents 38 percent.
“As has been the nature of our Administration, we have always placed capital expenditure ahead of the recurrent because our State is a developing State.
“The evidences are there, these infrastructure in place are for tomorrow.
“It is very important for us to know that we have positioned the State properly”
The Governor observed that the economic activities at the State shopping mall, the employment statistics at the David Umahi Federal University of medical sciences and its Teaching Hospital, among others, are testimonies of rewards from prioritizing capital projects in the State.
“We parade the best medical equipment you can find anywhere in West Africa in that hospital.
“The Airport is also not left out.”
Governor Umahi appreciated the State House of Assembly for their support and cooperation, expressing optimism that the next governor will come from their fold.
He also appreciated members of his Executive Council, promising them of memorable exit package before May 29, 2023.
He emphasized that all ongoing projects including the Olympic stadium would be completed before leaving office, assuring that the Airport will be ready for test operations by January 2023.
“It is my intention to construct a teaching hospital for Ebonyi State University in my remaining five months, and also lay the foundation for other two universities; one at Oferekpe, and another at Ezza land.
“Also, the dualizing of Abakaliki – Enugu road, those sections that have not been completed are all contained in this budget.
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“Anywhere we stop, the coming Administration will continue.”
Umahi further hinted that a 2 kilometre road in each of the 140 communities in the State would be flagged-off together with the local government campaign flag-off on January 7.
“Part of this budget, 38 percent, has to do with the empowerment of our people: employment of more liaison officers as well as NG- Cares program”.
Umahi promised to pay off in batches all arrears of pensions and gratuities, including those accumulated before his administration, after due verifications.
Speaker, Ebonyi State House of Assembly, Francis Ogbonna Nwifuru, while presenting the document for the Governor’s assent, said the prompt passage of the appropriation bill was in fulfillment of his promise to the Governor when he presented the proposal to the House on November 7, 2022.
While commending the Governor and his economic team for their dexterity, the Speaker noted that the Assembly deemed it expedient to speed up the process of passing the budget to enable the State government to continue its laudable developmental works for the benefit of the State.
Laying the background for the event, the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Barr. Cletus Ofoke stated that the assent was the completion of the constitutional requirement to enable the budget become a policy document.
He commended Governor Umahi for his prudent management of state resources which has brought about unprecedented dividends to the State despite meager resources.
The assent ceremony was attended by members of the State House of Assembly, State Executive Council members, traditional rulers, representatives of government Ministries, Departments and Agencies.
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