From Obinna Odogwu, Awka
Anambra State House of Assembly has passed the 2023 budget of N259.9 billion presented to it by the state governor, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo.
This came less than one month after the governor presented the budget estimate to the state legislature for scrutiny and approval.
The bill was passed on Tuesday during their plenary session after the report of the House Committee on Finance and Appropriation was adopted on the floor of the House.
The Deputy Chairman of the committee, Mr Nonso Okafor, during the passage, said the capital expenditure was increased from the initial N164.2 billion to N164.4 billion based on the needs of the ministries, departments and agencies and that it represented 63.2 per cent of the budget.
Okafor, who represents Nnewi North Constituency, added that the recurrent expenditure was N95.4 billion, representing 36.8 per cent.
“In carrying out the assignment given to the committee by this House, we organised and invited MDAs for bilateral discussions and thorough scrutiny of the 2023 Budget.
“We recommend that the budget size be retained except for little adjustments based on the needs of some ministries, department and agencies.
“That the sum of N259,938,121,905 be approved for the service of the Anambra State Government for the year ending, Dec. 31, 2023, and for related purposes,” he said.
The Speaker of the Assembly, Uchenna Okafor, who called for the adoption and approval of the budget through a voice vote, commended the committee for a thorough scrutiny of the budget.
The lawmakers subsequently approved and passed the bill after the voice-vote was in the affirmative.
The speaker later directed the Clerk of the House, Mrs Esther Anaetoh, to send a copy of the bill to the governor, Soludo, for his assent.
“I commend all the standing committees for carrying out their mandates as expected. We recognised the place of budget to accelerate and drive good governance in the state.
“We urge residents to continue to support Gov. Soludo’s administration,” Okafor said.
Meanwhile, the Speaker also announced that the House would hold a valedictory session on December 8, for Late Dr Nnamdi Okafor who passed away on August 24 this year in South Africa. He was the Majority Leader of the Assembly.