Governor Chukwuma Soludo on Thursday presented the 2023 Draft estimate of N260 billion naira before the Anambra State House of Assembly.
The draft estimate entitled budget of acceleration, has a capital expenditure budget of 164.2 billion accounting for 63.2% of the total budget size, while the recurrent expenditure is #95.5 billion which is 36.8% of the budget.
The budget, according to the governor, has a deficit of N13bn.
N91.8 billion or 56 percent of the total capital expenditure was dedicated to roads, transport, power and urban regeneration.
Presenting the budget, Governor Soludo said the budget will drive the disruptive changes and transformation he promised Ndi Anambra as contained in his manifesto, the “The Soludo Solution: A people’s manifesto”.
Noting that his goal is to transform Anambra into a prosperous smart megacity, Governor Soludo said that the budget has captured the five pillars of agenda of the present administration.
“We are re-inventing government towards E-governance. The judiciary is a critical arm of government and rule of law/ speedy dispensation of justice constitute fundamental drivers of our transformation agenda.
“Of course, our House of Assembly is appropriately prioritized.
“Critical productive partnerships will be important to execute the 2023 budget and maximize value for our people.
“The partnership of the federal government/agencies, international development partners, the private sector, Ndi Anambra everywhere, the House of Assembly, Judiciary as well as the local government and community administrations in the state will be imperative.
“A major policy thrust of this administration is to seek and promote active partnership with local governments and communities.
“Attempting to transform the state from Awka alone without exploiting the fullest potentials of local administrations is akin to clapping with one hand. In partnership with local governments, more responsibilities and resources are being devolved to them, to enable them strengthen institutions for service delivery.
“Their operations are also being restructured, and soon we will be bringing for your consideration, amendments to the State Independent Electoral Commission Law, 2007 as part of the preparations towards credible local government elections.
“At the foundation of the Igbo society is the local community. We are committed to a fundamental transformation of the community governance institution as the true 4th tier of government.
“A draft community government bill will be presented to you soon, and the 2023 budget provides for matching grants scheme to incentivize communities for optimum service delivery.,” the governor said.
Governor Soludo noted his administration has in the past seven months been addressing the fundamental issues confronting the state, adding that the 2023 budget sign-posts the strategic direction and key deliverables of his government.
The Speaker, Anambra State House of Assembly, Right Honourable Uchenna Okafor, earlier commended Governor Soludo for his visible efforts in delivering good governance to Ndi Anambra and assured the support and collaboration of the house of Assembly as the budget will get expeditious attention for the good of the state.
The Deputy Majority leader, Honourable Emeka Aforka moved a motion for a law to provide for the budget which led to the budget passing through first and second reading even as he commended Governor Soludo for his tireless efforts to rebuilding the state from all angles and promised their unflinching support.
The Deputy Speaker, Paschal Agbodike, on his part encouraged Ndi Anambra to cooperate with the government by paying their taxes promptly to enable the government achieve all the good intentions for the good of the people.
Chairman House Committee of finance and appropriation, Hon. Obinna Emeneka, in his closing remark said bilateral budget discussions will commence immediately to ensure that the budget is passed expeditiously.
Present at the event are traditional rulers including the Chairman, Anambra State Traditional Rulers Council and Obi of Onitsha, Igwe Nnaemeka Achebe and Igwe Gibson Nwosu of Awka, National Vice president of Ohanaeze Ndigbo worldwide Chief Damian Okeke-Ogene, state president of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Chief Emeka Udodeme, National President Anambra State Association of Town Union Barrister Titus Akpudo, members of Anambra State Executive council, civil society groups, among others.