BY LAYING Anambra’s 2020 budget before the state legislature last week ahead all other governors across country, Gov. Willie Obiano has once again lived up to the billing of an adroit master baker not only adept in his vocation, but also conversant with his tools.
PROJECTED to be driven under the theme of ‘Accelerating Infrastructural Development and Youth Entrepreneurship,’ N137.1 billion was estimated for Anambra State in the 2020 fiscal year.
WHILE N57.69 billion will go for recurrent expenditure with N78.3 billion voted for capital expenditure – or 43 and 57 per cent of the total sum respectively – which, in all seriousness, reflects the state’s revenue profile and expenditure trend.
WE SHARE the governor’s hope that 2020 budget will accelerate infrastructural development, by sustaining past performance to keep Anambra’s status as a business and investment hub intact. This is why we support sector-by-sector allotments, particularly road construction and rehabilitation as well as education and Anambra International Airport which received the lion’s share of the entire estimates by attracting N22.2 billion, N8.3 billion and N6 billion respectively.
IT IS noteworthy that government plans to complete over 161 on-going road projects in the three senatorial zones – still construct new roads. It shows the governor has his ears to the ground and knows where the shoes pinch Ndi Anambra.
ABOUT N1 billion was allocated to Anambra Road Maintenance Agency (ARMA) for road rehabilitation and maintenance, with N3.4 billion approved for agriculture. Cluster farms will be established in the three senatorial zones of the state on comparative cost advantage basis, as to give youth and women empowerment a pride of place under the Commercial Agricultural Credit Scheme (CACS) and Accelerated Agricultural Development Scheme (AADS) loan scheme of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), with Anambra State Small Business Agency (ASBA) playing a strategic midwifing role in facilitating the schemes.
This is apart from government’s proposal to cultivate 200 hectares of sweet potatoes for processing and export. There are still so many other angles that stand Anambra’s budget estimate for 2020 ahead of its peers.
BUT even if taken away from details, many dynamics redound to set laying budget estimates on the mace at this time apart on leadership parameters. One, it shows Gov. Obiano as always wearing his thinking cap while working round-the-clock to give ndi Anambra the best. But even on a weightier scale, the governor –by doing so – becomes the first to reset the budget life cycle to January-December span throughout Nigeria, under the present dispensation.
OF COURSE, the two foregoing factors link up on a salutary corollary of availing the legislature with the luxury of time to do its own beat in the relay race of good governance. THIS is so because with the appropriation bill for 2020 fiscal year ready in September, Anambra legislature has all the time necessary to thoroughly scrutinise and pass the second most crucial law in the constitution before the year ends.
BUT with Gov. Obiano’s uncommon devotion to thoroughness the legislature’s work, in discharging this duty, is already done by half. And, for the allied or intertwined factor that the governor’s fiscal prudence, under the moniker of doing so much with so little, even amid consistent shortfall in federal allocation, has continued to win laurels for Anambra State should motivate legislators to take a cue from Obiano.
WE have no doubt that Anambra House of Assembly will hit the road running with the job of giving the budget proposal swift consideration and passage. THIS is the only way they can justify not only the enormous confidence reposed in them by ndi Anambra, but also reciprocate Gov. Obiano’s faith in them.
WE ARE aware that as much as a quick passage is crucial, so is the duty of scrutiny. Ndi Anambra banks on the very vibrant crop of legislators currently in Anambra State House of Assemb;y to deliver the budget in good time.