Anambra State Executive Council has been advised to be creative in crafting its Expenditure Framework, so as to immune the state from the inefficiencies of the national budget and projections.
The deputy chairman, Anambra State House of Assembly Committee on Internally Generated Revenue, Hon Nonso Smart-Okafor made the call during a debate by the state legislature on the state 2022- 2025 Medium Term Expenditure Framework, M-TEF.
The 2022-2025 Medium-Term Expenditure framework, gives an insight into the revenue and expenditure plans of the State Government for the next three years and is a pre- requisite for the formulation of the 2023 budget estimate.
The state framework is usually benchmarked against some national economic assumptions, indices and projections as well as the fiscal policies of the Federal Government.
But Hon Smart-Okafor in a chat with TNC correspondent in Awka, believes the state should not rely solely on national assumptions as benchmark for the crafting of its expenditure framework.
While commending the State M-TEF 2022-2025, the lawmaker said while it is important to consider national assumptions and projections, Anambra government must think outside the box.
“It is very critical for the State Executive Council now, to begin to be creative in crafting the optimistic budget for the state.
“We all know that it is standard practice to benchmark the expenditure framework against the national assumptions but we must begin to see how to immune ourselves from the inefficiencies of the national budget and projections,” he said.
The lawmaker said it is important for the executive to think outside the box, to ensure that the inefficiencies of those at the helm of monetary affairs at the national level will not jeopardize the growth and development of Anambra State.
“Anambra is an A state and there are projections that must not hold us down
“There is that projection at the national level that puts inflation at 13 percent. There is also the dollar to naira rate and so many other things.
“But, as a state we must recognize that planning and implementing all our plans based on national assumptions, means that if the national fails, we also will fail as a state.
“So inasmuch as we are not independent of Nigeria, we should act as if we are independent of Nigeria, so that the inefficiencies of those at the helm of Nigeria’s monetary and economic policies, will not jeopardize the growth and development of Anambra as a state,” Smart-Okafor pointed out.
Hon Smart-Okafor, who is the candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC for Nnewi North, Nnewi South and Ekwusigo Federal Constituency election coming up in 2023, said people must also look beyond political party, to elect persons who will steer the affairs of the country in the best way.
According to him, mundane considerations have denied the people quality leaders who would have turned around the fortunes of the nation.
“As a people, we should be worried as to where we are as a nation and this should inspire in the citizens, genuine hunger to change things.
“This country is blessed with material and human resources, but unfortunately, we have not been able to tap from them to change the cause of things.
“2023 is a good opportunity for the people to do the right thing,” the lawmaker posited.