An Address Delivered By His Excellency, Sunday Onyebuchi, Acting Governor Of Enugu State On The Occasion Of The Presentation Of The Year 2013 Budget Proposal

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An Address Delivered By His Excellency, Sunday Onyebuchi, Acting Governor Of Enugu State On The Occasion Of The Presentation Of The Year 2013 Budget Proposal To The Enugu State House Of Assembly On Friday, December 21, 2012

PROTOCOLS

I am quite honoured to address this esteemed audience on the occasion of the presentation of the 2013 Budget of Sustainability. Mr. Speaker, I stand here before you with the deepest sense of gratitude to this Honourable Assembly for your speedy consideration and passage of the 2012 budget into law.

Such collaborative gestures, without doubt, provided the Government the ample opportunity it needed to faithfully implement our policies and programmes to the ultimate benefit of our people. I also want to commend, in a special way, the leadership of the House which has demonstrated uncommon skills in engendering controlled debates since your inauguration.

The philosophy of the 2012 budget underlined the commitment of this administration to consolidate on the gains of the first term while equally breaking new grounds for the overall benefit of our people. The 2013 budget essentially aims at sustaining the gains of the past and prosecuting priority projects in line with our Four-Point Agenda and the needs of our people as articulated under the Visit-Every-Community (VEC) initiative.

This year’s budget, as you will notice in a short while, simply outlines this Government’s well-known desire and efforts about putting our people first, and above all other considerations. We will make the needed sacrifices to serve our people to the best of our abilities because they deserve no less than that.

YEAR 2012 BUDGET
Precisely on December 1, 2012, His Excellency, Governor Sullivan Iheanacho Chime presented this year’s Budget of Continued Renewal which highlighted Government’s resolve to consolidate on its achievements with the primary focus on better life for our people.

Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, I am pleased to inform this Honourable House that this year’s budget witnessed significant progress. From physical infrastructure, integrated rural development, health care service delivery, human capital development and the enhancement of security of lives and property, Government achieved a satisfactory percentage of the goals it set for itself.

These accomplishments justified, for instance, that the investments we made in the reconstruction and rehabilitation of urban and rural roads were well deserved. The following road projects have been completed:
*Mgbemena Street with streetlight
*Mbanugo Street with streetlight
*Old Airport Road
*Nike Avenue and Akpabio Street, both in GRA
*CBN Road in Trans-Ekulu
*Umuona and Otas Streets in GRA
*Abakpa Bridge Slip Road
*Presidential Road up to Port Harcourt expressway with streetlight
*Akwata completed with slope stabilization nearing completion
*Zik Avenue and Agbani Road were dualized and completed with streetlight. And lots more.

The following inter-Local Government roads are also in various stages of completion:
*Ugwuogo Nike-Ekwegbe-Opi junction
*9th Mile-Nachi-Oji River-Ugwuoba
*Ugwuogo-Neke-Ikem
*Eke-Ebe-Egede-Affa-Akpakwume-Aku-Nkpologu
*Amaetiti-Achi-Inyi-Awlaw
*9th Mile-Iwollo-Olo-Umulokpa
*Nara-Isiogbo
*Ezi-Abalu-Agbudu-Afia Mmanya
*Ukehe-Aku-Nkpologu
*Amaechi-Amodu-Umueze
*Nsukka-Ibagwa-Aji-Ette
*Nguru-Ede Oballa-Eha Alumona
*Ogrute-Igogoro-Amachalla-Ugbaike-Obollo Afor Road
Government equally funded the procurement of five hundred units of single arm streetlights that had since been installed across the city of Enugu.

Our dream to bequeath a functional public service to the present and future generations can only find true expression if we, as a Government, make deliberate efforts to create a conducive working environment for our public servants. This explains why this Government, after due consultations with the organized labour and other relevant stakeholders, recently commenced the building of a modern new secretariat that will promote efficiency, enthusiasm and dedication to duty when completed. We will complete it on schedule.

Today, I stand bold before all of you to confirm that there are critical road projects being done in virtually all the seventeen Local Government Councils in the three senatorial districts of Enugu State. I hereby restate our pledge to do more.

In education, we invested heavily and shall continue to do so in order to equip our children with the requisite knowledge that they need to compete in the emerging economy. The free basic education policy which covers children in primary and post-primary schools up to JSS III has continued to yield good dividends. Government also procured and distributed three hundred buses to all the public and some missionary secondary schools in order to ease their transportation challenges. In addition, Government carried out massive renovation of schools, provided instructional materials and built numerous facilities at the School for the physically-challenged and other public secondary schools in the state.

Mr. Speaker, Honourable members, the Enugu Polo Park Mall remains a pride to all of us. Only recently, the Ferris-wheel and the Carrousel recreational facilities opened their doors to customers to complement other trading operations long commenced by some globally-acclaimed international retail outlets and other reputable indigenous companies.

To further boost the effectiveness and coverage of the Coal City Cab programme, Government procured and handed over two hundred and twenty taxis to our people in the third phase of the scheme, both to enhance intra-city movement and as a poverty reduction package. Today, our people are better for it.

The different farm yields from the Adani farms and the corresponding farming activities at the Heneke farms, clearly indicate that the Enugu Songhai Initiative is a massive venture that will soon bridge the food gap in our State and ultimately serve as a revenue earner in addition to the employment opportunities it has created since its inception.

Beyond this, our Administration has continued to spend huge sums of funds either as counterpart contributions or to enhance agricultural productivity and access the World Bank-assisted funds for Commercial Agriculture and FADAMA III projects respectively.

I must admit that our efforts in the waste and environmental management have left much to be desired this outgoing year. The good news, however, is that the three mechanized sweepers, one thousand and forty dumpsters and the ten compactors purchased by the Government are to be put to use before the remaining days of this year.

We have consciously continued to build on the gains of the Free Maternal and Child Healthcare programme which has drastically reduced the mortality and morbidity of the affected groups. We shall sustain this success story and there is no looking back! This is, of course, in addition to several health centres that were built and the procurement and distribution of hospital equipment and drugs.

The Enugu State Medical Emergency Response Team (ESMERT) which began full operations this year, has saved many lives from preventable deaths and greatly helped people involved in trauma and other life-threatening emergencies from road traffic accidents, fire incidents, collapsed buildings and other such accidents.

Mr. Speaker sir, Honourable members, the review of the performance of Year 2012 Budget will be incomplete if I do not pinpoint the relevance of the re-introduction of School Sports among the public post-primary institutions in Enugu State. Apart from sharpening the competitive edge of the students and enhancing their health, it will, in future, surely serve as a breeding ground for the discovery of raw but potential sports talents.

I am also glad to report that a total number of 114 rural communities have been connected to the national grid in the life of this administration, with tens of them accomplished in the outgoing year alone. Our target is to give electricity to the remaining 37 out of 472 communities in our State before we quit the stage, and this we must accomplish. Ditto for the provision of potable water where there has been a remarkable improvement in supplies to many rural communities and house connections in the cities, especially in the densely-populated areas of Uwani, Achara Layout and some parts of Zik Avenue, GRA, Independence Layout, among others.

In addition, this Administration spent huge amounts of money as its counterpart contributions in order to be able to access the World Bank-assisted funds for Community and Social Development Projects (CSDP) for the implementation of prioritized multi-sectoral micro-projects that cut across different sectors in selected communities.

In the housing sector, our administration completed three blocks of 108 two-bedroom flats and provision of infrastructural facilities at Maryland Estate, just as work has begun in the Enugu Workers Estate which is a housing scheme for the state civil servants facilitated by the Government. The on-going Enugu Cultural and Tourism Fiesta has become an annual event meant to promote the culture and tourism opportunities which exist in our State.

Mr. Speaker, Honourable members, I crave your indulgence, at this juncture, to present to you the 2013 draft budget through which we shall seek to consolidate on the gains of the past and sustain those ideals that promote strict budgetary implementation and clear-cut improvements over the previous ones.

THE YEAR 2013 BUDGET OF SUSTAINABILITY
In Year 2013, our focus will revolve around completing on-going projects and choosing those people-driven development programmes that are the priority needs of the various constituents in line with Government’s Four-Point Agenda and the Visit-Every-Community report. Consistent with this, we shall refine and refocus our policies and plans to address the core issues which will impact positively on the quality of life of our people. The hallmark of Year 2013 estimate will be strict budget discipline as we shall strive to put in place suitable machinery for effective implementation of the budget.

POLICY THRUST OF THE 2013 BUDGET
The Policy Thrust of the 2013 Budget includes:
(i) Consolidating on the gains of the year 2012 Budget
(ii) Completion of on-going projects
(iii) Increased involvement of the private sector in the development of the State.
(iv) Provision of social and economic infrastructure in the rural and urban areas.
(v) Diversification and intensification of the resource and revenue base of the State.
(vi) Effective collaboration with other tiers and arms of Government for effective service delivery.

THE YEAR 2013 BUDGET SIZE
Mr. Speaker Sir, Honourable members, I present to you our Year 2013 Draft Budget of eighty two billion, nine hundred and thirty one million, seven hundred and eighty thousand naira (N82,931,780,000). This is higher than the 2012 budget size of seventy six billion, four hundred and fifty nine million, seven hundred and thirty nine thousand, seven hundred and seventy six thousand naira (N76,459,739,776) by six billion, four hundred and seventy two million, forty thousand, two hundred and twenty two naira (N6,472,040,224) representing eight per cent increase.

The budget is made up of forty five billion, eight hundred and forty one million, seven hundred and forty one thousand, seven hundred and twenty three naira (N45,841,741,723) as Recurrent Expenditure, which is 55% of the budget size. Thirty seven billion, ninety million, thirty eight thousand, two hundred and seventy seven naira (N37,090,038,277) is for Capital Expenditure, representing 45% of the entire envelope.

RECURRENT REVENUE
The State Government expects a Recurrent Revenue of sixty one billion, three hundred and nine million, nine hundred and twenty two thousand naira (N61,309,922,000) in Year 2013. Government intends to realize this through aggressive internally-generated revenue which is estimated at N14.31billion and our share of Federal Revenue put at forty seven billion naira (N47bn), representing 76.66 per cent.

RECURRENT EXPENDITURE
The estimated Recurrent Expenditure is forty five billion, eight hundred and forty one million, seven hundred and forty one thousand, seven hundred and twenty three naira (N45,841,741,723). Out of this, twenty eight billion, six hundred and sixty nine million, one hundred and forty one thousand, seven hundred and forty one naira (N28,669,141,741) representing 47% has been devoted to personnel costs including Consolidated Revenue Fund charges.

A total sum of eleven billion, forty four million, five hundred and ninety nine thousand, nine hundred and eighty two naira (N11,044,599,982) which translates to 18% is for overhead costs whereas six billion, one hundred and twenty eight million naira (N6,128,000,000) which is 10% goes to subventions to parastatals and tertiary institutions.

CAPITAL EXPENDITURE
The sum of thirty seven billion, ninety million, thirty eight thousand, two hundred and seventy seven naira (N37,090,038,277) is appropriated for capital expenditure in Year 2013.

Permit me, Mr. Speaker and Honourable members, to give brief explanations on some of the sectoral allocations rather than dwell on the fuller details, especially since you have them in the comprehensive proposal before you.

WORKS AND INFRASTRUCTURE
Our goal is to sustain the achievements recorded in road construction and rehabilitation by completing all on-going urban and rural road projects while also awarding new ones as the need arises and as funds permit.

As I said earlier, construction is on-going on the new ultra-modern State Secretariat complex which aims to tackle the current accommodation challenges and also provide conducive working environment thereby engendering higher commitment and productivity from our public servants. Work will also begin on the new Governor’s office (Lion Building) in the first quarter of 2013.

Government will complete all the on-going urban roads in Enugu and Nsukka as well as the rural road projects including but certainly not limited to Nara-Isiogbo, Ugwuogo Nike-Opi junction, Amaechi-Amodu-Umueze, Ugwuogo-Neke-Ikem, Amaetiti-Achi-Inyi-Awlaw, 9th Mile-Iwollo-Umulokpa, 9th Mile-Nachi-Ugwuoba and Nguru-Ede Oballa-Eha Alumona.

Within the 2013 fiscal year, work will also continue and be completed on Eke-Ebe-Egede-Akpakume Nze-Nkpologu, Akpasha-Ozalla-Agbogugu-Ihe-Owelli-Awgu as well as Nsukka-Ibagwa-Ogrute-Aji-Ette and Nenwe-Oduma-Okpanku-Mpu-Ndeabor roads.

The underlisted are the new roads that Government has earmarked for execution in the coming year:
*Iheaka-Ibagwa-Itchi-Unadu-Alor Agu
*Agbani-Mbogodo-Ikuokpara
*Nenwe-Oduma-Mpu
*Umulokpa-Adaba-Ukpata-Uvuru-Nkpologu
*Adani-Adarice (Enugu Songhai Farm, Adani)
*Udi-Amokwe-Obeleagu Umana-Imezi Owa-Mgbagbu Owa
*Milken Hill-Ngwo
*Imilike-Ezimo Uno-Imilike Agu-Ogboduaba-Obollo Etiti-Obollo Afor
*Amechi Idodo-Owo-Ubahu-Amankanu, and
*Agbani-Ugbawka-Nara-Nkerefi.

To accomplish these set goals, the Ministry of Works and Infrastructure has received an allocation of N11.35 billion in the 2013 budget which represents 30.6% of the entire capital budget of the State.

AGRICULTURE
As the mainstay of our people and a major source of job and wealth creation, the importance of agriculture to our well-being as a State cannot be over-emphasized. That clearly explains why the Government has continued to invest heavily in material and human capital development in agriculture especially through the Enugu Songhai Initiative which promotes integrated modern agriculture and guarantees our much-desired food security, increased revenue generation and the employment of our growing youth population.

In this regard, the Ministry of Agriculture was allocated the sum of N1.09 billion in the 2013 budget. Emphasis will be on the procurement of agricultural inputs and machineries for the Heneke and Adani Farms as well as the development of the 17 green cities.

The State Agricultural Development Agency also received an allocation of N299.2 million to enable it prosecute its agricultural extension services to farmers. The sum of N254.95 million has been set aside for the State College of Agriculture and Agro-entrepreneurship, Iwollo to help in the provision of agricultural facilities and effective running of the school which is expected to produce the needed manpower for the State.

EDUCATION
The importance of education was so aptly captured by His Excellency, Governor Chime during our inauguration for our second term in office on May 29, 2011 when he said, and I quote: “We cannot secure the future of our State if we do not equip our children to compete in the knowledge economy by providing them with the best education that our resources can afford,” (unquote). The above underscores the upward review in Government’s investment in the education sub-sector in the 2013 budget.
Having already successfully conducted the 2011/2012 annual school census and employed thousands of tutorial and non-tutorial staff in both our primary and post-primary schools, it must be a thing of immense joy to us all to know that our free education for pupils from primary school to Junior Secondary School III has continued to make functional and qualitative education accessible to our children.

It is, therefore, not surprising that the education sub-sector has a total allocation of N4.47 billion in the 2013 budget. This covers allocations to the Ministry of Education, State Universal Education Board, the Post-Primary School Management Board, Enugu State University of Science and Technology (ESUT), Institute of Management and Technology (IMT), College of Education (Technical) and the Science & Vocational Schools Management Board.

We shall continue with the construction of new classroom blocks and the rehabilitation of existing ones in the primary, secondary and tertiary institutions in the State in our quest to create the right teaching and learning environment in the schools. Government will continue with the provision of other teaching aids including the computerization of our public secondary schools and the upgrade of thirty four schools to have boarding facilities.

Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, this Government has vowed that henceforth, when our children go to their respective schools, they shall sit on stable school desks and in proper classrooms and that they will be taught by qualified teachers who are employed to teach them. We will put in place an effective monitoring mechanism to ensure that these objectives are consistently achieved.

RURAL DEVELOPMENT
This administration, like I pointed out earlier, made substantial progress in this area in the outgoing year. Out of the total number of 472 communities in Enugu State, only 37 of them from eleven Local Government Areas have no electricity at all. We are poised to connect these 37 communities to the national grid by the end of next year.

The benefitting communities are as listed below:
Ado-agbalatu, Awgunta, Agunese Ugwueme, Nenwenta, Eziobu Ugwueme and Eziama Ogbaku from Awgu Local Government Area; Amofia Agu Affa and Amaukwu Affa (Udi Local Government Area); Amankanu, Obodo Uvuru, Eziama Amechi Idodo and Ohuani Amechi Idodo (Nkanu East).

Others include Agu Ukehe, Udueme and Ugwunaoda from Igbo-Etiti; Odega Ette, Umuadonu Owo, Ubere Ette and Ebi-Ega Ette (Igbo-Eze North); Akpugo Ezedike, Ezikolo, Nkpunato and Ukpata (Uzo-Uwani); Ihenyi Agaramaa from Isi-Uzo Local Goverment Area.

The rest benefitting communities are Obeagu Oduma, Amagu Oduma and Amokwe Oduma from Aninri; Umuaji Mgbagbuowa and Owha Ndiagu (Ezeagu) and Agu Orba in Udenu. From Nsukka Local Government Area are Utobolo, Anuka, Eha Azuabo, Ogbozalla Opi, Ibagwa Agu, Ezebunagu and Ogbagu Obukpa.

Consequently, the sum of N2.588 billion will be spent on the integrated rural development programme within the 2013 fiscal year by both the Rural Electrification Board and Ministry of Rural Development.

OTHERS
With a total vote of N3.58 billion for the health sub-sector, our administration will continue to make the healthcare delivery system one of its top priorities as enshrined in our Four-point Agenda. The success of the Free Maternal Child Healthcare programme gives us the encouragement to make commensurate investment. Work is on-going at the ultra-modern Enugu Diagnostic Centre and I want to reaffirm the commitment of this Government to its speedy completion so that our doctors will have access to the right facilities that will enable them to know what ailments afflict our people.

To sustain the successes recorded in the Free Maternal and Child Healthcare programme, the upgrade of our district hospitals and the employment, training and retraining of our health workers, the State Ministry of Health has an allocation of N3.44 billion while the ESUT Teaching Hospital, Parklane and the Enugu State Action Committee on AIDS (ENSACA) were allocated N134.5 million and N8.5 million respectively.

In addition to other interventions from water service providers, the State Government has budgeted N1.08 billion for urban and rural water supply within the period under review. We have begun to refine Government’s strategies to ensure that the Iyioku Water Scheme, the 9th Mile Crash Programme, the Nsukka Water Scheme, the rural water schemes and other reticulation efforts provide our people steady water supply wherever they live.

Out of the above sum, the State Water Corporation has an allocation of N645 million while the Rural Water and Sanitation Agency (RUWASSA) got N413.5 million respectively. The State Government has also made adequate provision for the payment of the State counterpart fund contribution for CSDP to enable the Agency complete all the on-going micro-projects in 120 communities in the State and also fund two hundred and fifty (250) micro-projects in one hundred and twenty (120) communities in the State during this fiscal year.

In the area of tourism, Government has finalized arrangements for the establishment of a zoological garden and an amusement park in addition to sustaining the Enugu Cultural and Tourism Fiesta as an annual event.

The School Sports Festival which re-emerged on the school calendar this year has come to stay. We have made adequate provisions that will make it grow from strength to strength, year to year. The Enugu State Traffic Management Authority will also begin operations as Government will procure and deploy more traffic-lights for more efficient traffic control on our roads.

At this point, I want to make it explicitly clear that as you will notice in the details of the budget proposals, we have made commensurate provisions for all the other Ministries, Departments and Agencies of Government to reflect their specific needs and empower them to accomplish their set goals.

CONCLUSION
Mr. Speaker Sir, Honourable members, this is the true picture of our dream for 2013. It may not have addressed all our aspirations and expectations but I strongly believe that it has touched on those priorities that will benefit the generality of our people. I have, therefore, come to place this budget proposal before you with optimism that you will, as our worthy partners in the governance of our dear State, give it accelerated consideration and passage so that we can begin to implement its provisions in earnest.

A cursory look at the flipside of the coin reveals that if we must sustain the tempo of our development initiatives, all of us must, in equal measure, manage and deploy our lean resources prudently and wisely. The time calls for such sacrifices and adjustments from us all.

Our Government has continued to receive overwhelming support and fervent prayers from our friends and citizens. And to all of you, we offer our gratitude. We thank you for always being there for us. We pledge, in return, our commitment to transparent and dedicated service as we invite all hands on deck to make that Enugu State of our collective dream.

The times may be harsh. The funds at our disposal may not match our aspirations. But with your support and with God’s guidance, we shall triumph and have every cause to celebrate at last.

My dear brothers and sisters, it is just few days to the yuletide. So, it gladdens me to wish all our people a merry Christmas in advance and a prosperous Year 2013 ahead.

Thank you and may God bless you and bless Enugu State.

SUNDAY CHIDI ONYEBUCHI
ACTING GOVERNOR, ENUGU STATE

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