Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State, on Tuesday, presented a budget proposal of one hundred and sixty nine billion, five hundred and fifty seven million, six hundred and fifty eight thousand, three hundred naira (N169,557,658,300) for the 2020 fiscal year to the State House of Assembly for consideration and passage.
Presenting the budget proposal tagged: “Budget of Responsive and Accountable Governance”, Gov. Ugwuanyi disclosed that his administration through the budget intends to strategically consolidate and expand on the solid foundation already laid in creating an environment that encourages full development of human and natural resources.
The governor stated that the essence is to rekindle social services as well as build vital infrastructure in all sectors of the economy across the state, revealing that the implementation of the recommendations of the twelve (12) sectoral ad-hoc committees, constituted at the inception of his second term administration, on review of different sectors of governance for advancement of good governance and optimized service delivery, were aptly captured in the 2020 budget proposal.
He disclosed that the revenue and expenditure performance in the 2019 budget was a huge success as his administration recorded unique achievements in infrastructure, education, health, electrification, security, urban beautification, transport, water, women and youth empowerment, commerce and industry, housing among others.
Gov. Ugwuanyi pointed out that National Inflation Rate of 10.8%, National Real GDP Growth of 2.93%, Oil Production Benchmark of 2.18 million barrels per day, Oil Price Benchmark of $55 per barrel and an Exchange Rate of N305 per US Dollar, were the macro and micro-economic indicators that informed his administration’s projections for the 2020 budget proposal.
He stated that the state has in the past four years maintained steady economic growth, which was largely because of political stability in the state, stronger and more efficient institutions of governance, improved security of lives and property, provision of critical infrastructure, consistent economic policy and commitment to fiscal discipline.
The governor further disclosed that these remarkable achievements have created opportunities for private sector participation in the economic development process of the state.
Gov. Ugwuanyi noted that the outcome of the reform initiatives coupled with robust fiscal administration and the reorganisation of Enugu State Internal Revenue Service have ensured substantial increase in the state’s Internally Generated Revenue (IGR), which he said has maintained an annual average growth rate of 11% since 2015 and current figure of N27 billion – the highest in the history of the state.
He explained that the proposed N169.56 billion budget size was 55.27% higher than the 2019 budget of N109.199 billion because of “our continuing commitment to meeting the development expectations of our people through the provision of critical infrastructure in virtually all the sectors, including but not limited to roads, housing, education, health, agriculture, rural electrification, water, transport, women and youth empowerment”.
The governor further revealed that out of the N169.56 billion budget proposal, recurrent expenditure is N68.79 billion, representing 40.57% of the total budget, noting that “this is slightly higher than the 2019 figure of N65.71 billion by 4.69%”.
He said the capital expenditure stood at N100.77 billion, representing 59.43% of the budget, which is above the 2019 figure of N43.93 billion by 129.4%.
Highlighting the key deliverables of the 2020 capital budget, Gov. Ugwuanyi, stated that the state government, among numerous others, plans to construct the first Enugu Underpass/Flyover at Nike Lake Resort/ Nike Road T-junction, Enugu, construct and reconstruct more urban and rural roads, upgrade and remodel the Hotel Presidential, Enugu as well as enhance facilities at Nike Lake Resort and complete the construction, landscaping and furnishing of the International Conference Centre (ICC), Enugu.
Others include the reconstruction of Michael Okpara Square, Enugu with provision of additional pavilions, construction of Adada Campus of Enugu State University of Science and Technology (ESUT) Nsukka, operationalization of the Enugu Medical Diagnostic Centre and full implementation of the Universal Health Coverage in the state, establishment of Small and Medium Scale Industries in the 17 LGAs and the upgrading and revitalization of Primary Health Care facilities across the 17 Local Government Areas to ensure quick and easy access to healthcare delivery in the remote villages, etc.
“We have done a lot to make Enugu a destination of choice for credible investors. Under my watch, Enugu State has transited from its 2014 World Bank Ease of Doing Business ranking as 27th out of 37 States (including FCT, Abuja), to an enviable ranking as the 2nd State in Ease of Starting Business and 3rd State in Ease of Doing Business in Nigeria in the 2018 World Bank Ease of Doing Business sub-national ranking. For this feat, Enugu State was honoured on 3rdApril, 2019 by the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council at Abuja. We are committed to sustaining this position and possibly improving on it in the coming years,” the governor said.