I am quite honoured to be here, once again, to present to this Honourable House the 2014 Appropriation Bill. Today’s event is especially significant because as we approach the glorious twilight of our administration, this is the full budget that we will fully implement.
Today, our destination is in sight and as we take a long view at our 2015 transition, I am proud to say that we have done our best to uphold the terms of the social contract with our people and to also build for those generations whose faces we cannot yet see.
But we are not yet done. I remain committed to the work at hand till the final whistle sounds. This is not just a promise, it is our responsibility. Therefore, in our common pursuit of a better Enugu State for all, I want to reassure our people that better days lie ahead.
Mr. Speaker, I stand here today proud and privileged to have worked with this Honourable House these past six and a half years. You have been worthy partners in our collaborative efforts to give our State a new lease of life. I thank you for your landmark legislations anchored on controlled debate and for your outstanding service to our people.
I want to also thank you because even in my absence during the presentation of the 2013 Budget and way beyond that exercise, this House demonstrated uncommon acts of courage and showed faith in our system. It was more than a personal support to me. It was a show of true love for our State.
No matter the challenges, our ultimate target has always been to serve our people with dedication and care. It is true that there had been instances when occasional delays in remittances of federal allocations left some strains on our financial capacities to prosecute some policies and programmes of government.
However, I am pleased to report to this House and to our people that while this consequently led to the delay in the payment of salaries in many other states, this was not the case in Enugu. We paid our workers promptly and even lent a shoulder to our Local Government Councils to toe the same line.
Our 2014 Budget of Actualization will mark the completion of our on-going legacy projects. It also charts another development roadmap in line with the choices and aspirations of our people as outlined in our Four-point Agenda and the Visit-Every-Community (VEC) initiative.
Mr. Speaker, it is now incumbent on me to report to this House how the 2013 budget was implemented so that it shall guide us on the best approach to adopt in the next fiscal year.
REVIEW OF YEAR 2013 BUDGET
Mr. Speaker, I make bold to say that the 2013 budget was consistent with our development framework designed to impact positively on our people across the entire State.
From the onset, we made our intentions clear that this Government would give priority attention to constructing new roads and rehabilitating numerous others in various states of disrepair. Our reason was simple: it was meant to improve travel times, enhance connectivity with our rural communities and reduce road accidents and other vices associated with bad roads.
It is impossible to list all the urban and rural roads that were completed this year. Some of them include the following inter-Local Government roads:
· 9th Mile-Udi-Oji River-Ugwuoba-Anambra border
· 9th Mile-Oghe-Iwollo-Umulokpa
Some of the urban roads completed this year both in Enugu and Nsukka are:
· Adelabu, Obioma, FGN, Agbaja, Grant, Ibiam, Anyaegbunam, Awolowo, Obe, Anakweze, all in Uwani
· Ogidi, Dew Hurst, Carr, Churchill, Moore Avenue in Asata
· Agulu, Umudioka, Corporation Boulevard, Mc-Dan Chukwuani (Trans Ekulu)
· Nawfija, Issieke Street, Dan Ulasi Close and Issieke Close, in Independence Layout
· Bishop Onyeabor, Emole, Ubakuru, Emeka Okolie Drive (GRA)
· Ejindu, Owa, Eke, Mbanugo, Asata Mine Road in Coal Camp
· Umuaga, College Road, Imo River (Abakpa zone)
· Ebe Lane, Udoji, Milton Magai, Ani Street in Ogui New Layout
· Ozubulu Link, Ebony Paint Road, John Igwesi, Ezinifitte, Ozobu Street, Notre Dame in Awkananaw zone
· Winners Road, Nru-Orba Road, Tectonic and UNN-Odenigbo in Nsukka urban.
· The Old Airport Road was equally completed this outgoing year.
Numerous other urban and rural roads are in different stages of completion and will all be handed over in 2014. Specifically, the Nike-Ugwogo-Ekwegbe-Opi Road is due to be completed before the end of this year.
The result of the huge investments that Government consciously made to ensure security, boost nightlife and its corresponding night economy meant that four hundred and sixty four (464) single-arm and two hundred and seventy three (273) double-arm streetlights have so far been installed in the capital city. There are also dedicated generating sets to power these streetlights once there is an outage from the primary source.
The installed traffic lights, road markings, street signages and bus shelters are meant to promote orderliness on our roads and to aid drivers and commuters. The other day, someone sent me a text message to complain about what he termed the excesses of our Transport Marshals. First of all, I plead with our road users to obey the traffic lights because they were installed for your safety and convenience. I also want to reassure our people that while Government designs intensive training to improve their competences where deficiencies are glaring, those who violate the traffic rules will face the full weight of the law when apprehended.
To ensure safe neighbourhoods and security for lives and property across the State, this administration has always endorsed giving the law-enforcement agents the tools to combat crimes. Only recently, Government donated another set of one hundred security vehicles fitted with communication gadgets to the Nigerian Police for intra-city surveillance and inter-city monitoring. It is instructive that the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar disclosed during his one-day official visit that Enugu, from police records, has the lowest crime rate in the country and is, therefore, the safest State in Nigeria.
Mr. Speaker, Honourable members, I am glad to report that of the 472 communities in our State, only 37 are yet without electricity. Work is on-going on some of them already. These remaining communities will be connected to the national grid in the coming year. There is no going back on it.
Government’s interventions in the health sector have been comprehensive and effective. The Free Maternal Child Healthcare (FMCH) programme continues to reduce infant and maternal mortality. It has been so effective that Government recently purchased the Colliery Hospital in Enugu which it intends to upgrade and dedicate exclusively as a Mother and Child Hospital.
In addition, several health facilities have been built and/or renovated. The Enugu State Medical Emergency Response Team (ESMERT) has been a success story as it has saved many lives and greatly helped people involved in trauma and other life-threatening emergencies.
Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, today, Enugu State has its own Emergency Call Centre with short code 117 which has already been installed. This Emergency Response Call Number serves the dual purpose as an emergency centre which citizens can contact for swift responses during emergencies and one that also aids interactions between the citizens and the State Government.
While the latest batch of security vehicles donated to the Nigerian Police and the Enugu State Medical Emergency Response Team (ESMERT) ambulances have all been tracked and connected to the Emergency Response Call System with short code 117, Government is now in the process of employing and training the personnel who will man the centre.
This year, with the injection of one thousand and forty nine (1,049) waste bins, ten new high capacity compactors and three motorized sweepers, the state of cleanliness has greatly improved. Government is awaiting the delivery of additional one thousand, five hundred waste bins and other earth-moving equipment to complement our waste management efforts and restore sanity at the dumpsites.
The free basic education policy which covers children in primary and post-primary schools up to Junior Secondary School (JSS) III is another success story that we need to highlight. Available statistics show that between 2012 and the outgoing year, school enrolment rate in pre-primary and primary schools rose from 65% to 85%, thereby reducing drastically the number of out-of-school children.
Deserving students received scholarship awards from the State Government this year while two thousand (2,000) orphans and vulnerable children received educational empowerment in collaboration with some non-governmental organizations.
The evidence of the reforms in the education sub sector manifested in the results of the 2013 Senior Secondary Certificate Examinations where 50.10 per cent of the candidates from Enugu State passed with a minimum of five credits including English and Mathematics. It was 31.16 per cent in 2012.
Mr. Speaker, permit me to report that while Government is currently restructuring our approach to agriculture and reorganizing the Enugu Songhai Initiative to achieve the desired goal and improve farm yields, the Enugu San Carlos pineapple project is on steam.
On another happy note, I want to announce to this esteemed audience that we have secured the complete transfer and ownership of the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium from the Federal Government. Thus, our State is now better positioned to benefit from the direct management and usage of the facilities therein to meet with our Government’s overall sports vision. We have also made adequate provision in this budget to improve some facilities in the stadium including purchase of a 1,000KVA generator for the stadium as an alternative power supply.
The reactivation of school sports in our State has helped to sharpen the competitive edge of the participants while also serving as a breeding ground for the discovery of raw, young potential sports talents.
Today marks the opening ceremony of the annual Enugu Cultural and Tourism Fiesta which has put our State on the tourism map of the world as a destination of choice. With international passenger flights taking off and landing at the Akanu Ibiam International Airport since August this year, Enugu continues to live up to its status as the regional capital of Eastern Nigeria.
Our objective to bequeath a functional public service to the present and future generations informed Government’s bold decision to build a new modern secretariat complex for our public servants. I am satisfied with the pace and quality of work going on there. The secretariat which will be commissioned next year will not only create a conducive working environment for our public servants, it will also promote efficiency and dedication to duty.
We have maintained a keen interest and deep involvement in the Enugu Workers Estate. Today, Government has developed and allotted two hundred and sixty-eight (268) units of houses to civil servants of the State, as it has also met the draw-down conditions of the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria for the release of funds for the development of two hundred and seventy-three (273) units of houses at the Estate in Ibeagwa Nike.
In our quest to further expand Enugu, shore up development and create employment opportunities for our youths, Government is also collaborating with private investors in different areas. One of such is with reputable Chinese investors who are developing an Industrial Park on two thousand, six hundred and thirty two (2,632) hectares at Nchatancha. Work is equally progressing steadily at the Enugu Centenary City being developed by Private Estate International West Africa at Independence Layout, Phase Two.
Mr. Speaker, from the foregoing, it is self-evident that Enugu State is making visible progress on all fronts. Now is not the time to waver or change course. In order to sustain this progress, I present the 2014 Budget proposals to this Honourable House.
THE YEAR 2014 BUDGET
Prudence remains the guiding principle in the implementation of the 2014 budget. Government will also strive to leverage on our revenue sources, create an investor-friendly climate and curb revenue leakages through pay-direct system on all government transactions.
In Year 2014, our emphasis will be completing on-going projects whilst considering new ones that are vital to the development agenda of our State and in line with the Visit-Every-Community document.
Mr. Speaker, Honourable members of the House, in order to consolidate on the gains of the past six and half years, maintain effective service delivery to our people and lay a solid foundation for the next administration, I hereby present to you the Year 2014 Draft Budget of ninety three billion, two hundred and eighty seven million naira (N93,287,000,000).
This is higher than the 2013 budget size of eighty three billion, seven hundred and seventy three million, two hundred and three thousand, four hundred and eight naira (N83,773,203,408) by nine billion, five hundred and thirteen million, seven hundred and ninety six thousand, five hundred and ninety two naira (N9,513,796,592) representing eleven per cent (11%) increase.
The budget is made up of thirty nine billion, three hundred and forty two million, five hundred and forty nine thousand, one hundred and sixty three naira (N39, 342,549,163) as Recurrent Expenditure, which is 42% of the budget size whilst fifty three billion, nine hundred and forty four million, four hundred and fifty thousand, eight hundred and thirty seven naira (N53, 944,450,837) is for Capital Expenditure, representing 58% of the entire envelope.
Government also expects a Recurrent Revenue of fifty seven billion, four hundred and ninety million, one hundred and fourteen thousand naira (N57, 490,114,000). Government intends to realize this amount through internally-generated revenue which is estimated at nine billion, one hundred ninety million one hundred and fourteen thousand naira (N9,190,114,000) representing 16% and our share of Federal Revenue put at forty eight billion, three hundred million naira(N48,300,000,000) which is 84%.
Mr. Speaker, I crave your indulgence to make brief explanations on some of the sectoral allocations contained in the 2014 Budget.
WORKS AND INFRASTRUCTURE
I want to emphasize that our priority will be to complete on-going urban and rural roads, some of which we are doing in partnership with the affected Local Government Councils on a 70:30 ratio. Some of them include:
· Nguru-Ede Oballa-Eha Alumona
· Eke-Ebe-Egede-Akpakume Nze-Nkpologu
· Nsukka-Ogrute-Ette, among others.
We want to put it on record that the above-named roads will be completed and handed over in the coming year. Also, the dualization of the Enugu-Abakaliki Road, right from Abakpa junction and heading to the Airport with one bridge, an underpass and a bye-pass will be completed next month while the new dualized Zik Avenue Bridge will be completed and opened to traffic before Christmas this year.
Contracts have been awarded for Milliken Hill-Ngwo, Nkwo Inyi-Akpugoeze to Anambra border, Ikedimkpa-Amofiagu-Oghu and the reconstruction of New Market roundabout-Agu Abor interchange spur of Enugu-Onitsha expressway.
As funds permit, Government earmarks to execute the following new roads next year:
· Adani-Adarice (Enugu Songhai Farm, Adani)
· Udi-Amokwe-ObeleaguUmana-Mgbagbu Owa
· Imilike-Ezimo Uno-Ogboduaba-ObolloEtiti-ObolloAfor
· Amechi Idodo-Owo-Ubahu-Amankanu, and
Other priority urban roads to be executed include the dualization of Nike Lake road and the rehabilitation of Abakpa Nike Road and Ugwuaji-Awkananaw by Kenyatta.
The on-going construction of the new ultra-modern State Secretariat complex has reached an advanced stage. Work has also started on the new Governor’s office (Lion Building) and is progressing steadily. Government aims to complete and equip these buildings in the coming year. To accomplish these lofty goals, the sum of N15.623 billion was allocated to the Ministry of Works and Infrastructure in the 2014 budget.
Government will continue to invest heavily in material and human capital development in agriculture even as it restructures the Enugu Songhai Initiative (SEI) and sustains the momentum in the Enugu San Carlos Pineapple Programme. We will also pursue Public-Private Partnership (PPP) in agriculture as well as fund our participation in the several FADAMA and World Bank-assisted programmes.
In this regard, the Ministry of Agriculture was allocated the sum of N2.401 billion with a lot of emphasis on the sustenance of the San Carlos Pineapple programme and the completion of work at Heneke and Adani farms as well as the development of the 17 green cities in the 17 Local Government Councils.
The State Agricultural Development Agency also received an allocation of N1.231 billion to enable it prosecute its agricultural programmes especially World Bank-assisted programmes.
The sum of N225.55 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 saddled with the responsibility of producing the needed manpower for the State.
I pledged during my second term inauguration on May 29, 2011 that the only way we can secure the future of our State is to equip our children to compete in the knowledge economy by providing them with the best education that our resources can afford. As we reform the sector, rebuild infrastructure to create the right teaching and learning environment, ensure stricter supervision and sustain the free education policy, we will keep alive the dream to offer functional and qualitative education to our wards at different educational tiers.
From the above, it is, therefore, not surprising that the education sub-sector has a total allocation of N5.78 billion in the 2014 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), State Scholarship Board and the Science & Vocational Schools Management Board.
This administration, as I pointed out earlier, made substantial investment and a corresponding 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 before the end of 2014.
The benefitting communities include:
· Obeagu Oduma, Amagu Oduma and Amokwe Oduma in Aninri Local Government Area
· Ado-agbalatu, Awgunta, AguneseUgwueme, Nenwenta, Eziobu Ugwueme and Eziama Ogbaku (Awgu)
· Amofia Agu Affa and Amaukwu Affa in Udi LGA
· Amankanu, Obodo Uvuru, Eziama Amechi Idodo and Ohuani Amechi Idodo (Nkanu East).
· 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 in Uzo-Uwani.
· Ihenyi Agarama from Isi-Uzo Local Government Area.
· Umuaji Mgbagbu-owa and Awha Ndiagu (Ezeagu)
· Agu Orba in Udenu
· Utobolo, Anuka, Eha Azuabo, Ogbozalla Opi, Ibagwa Agu, Ezebunagu and Ogbagu Obukpa in Nsukka LGA.
Consequently, the sum of N4.476 billion will be spent on the integrated rural development programme within the 2014 fiscal year by both the Rural Electrification Board and Ministry of Rural Development.
With a total vote of N4.124 billion for the health sub-sector, our administration will continue to make the healthcare delivery system, one of its top priorities. The success of the Free Maternal Child Healthcare programme (FMCH) gives us the impetus to make commensurate investment in order to sustain its impact. I am happy to report that work had since resumed at the ultra-modern Enugu Diagnostic Centre and Government is committed to its completion in Year 2014. This is especially so because we recognize that when completed and put to use, the Diagnostic Centre will set new standards in healthcare delivery and engender medical tourism.
In specific terms, the State Ministry of Health has an allocation of N3.625 billion while the ESUT Teaching Hospital, Parklane got N481.5 million with money also set aside for the Enugu State Action Committee on HIV/AIDS (ENSACA).
Mr. Speaker, I am proud to say that the collaboration between the three arms of government in Enugu State has become a model in democratic harmony in our country. On the part of the Executive arm, we will strive to sustain this mutual respect. I give you my words that we shall continue to strengthen this bond not only in financial terms but in many other ways that will facilitate your critical jobs without compromising our respective independence.
Aside other interventions and empowerment packages set aside to help the poor and needy families, the State Government and the 17 Local Government Councils are partnering with the Bank of Industry (BOI) to provide soft loans to Small and Medium Enterprises in the State. This is to boost economic activities in the real sector of the economy and subsequently create job opportunities for our youths. In 2014, the sum of N465 million was allocated to the micro credit scheme.
Having recently restructured the running of the Enugu State Water Corporation in line with our delivery targets, we have set machinery in motion to modernize our water schemes, rehabilitate and expand the networks, all geared towards consistently giving potable water to our people wherever they live.
In addition to other interventions from water service providers, the State Government has budgeted N2.613 billion for urban and rural water supply within the period under review.
Out of the above sum, the State Water Corporation has an allocation of N1.871 billion while the Rural Water and Sanitation Agency (RUWASSA) got N707.5 million respectively. The sum of N35 million was allocated to the Ministry of Water Resources.
The State Government has also made adequate provision for the payment of the State Counterpart Fund Contribution in order to be able to access the World Bank-assisted funds for the Community and Social Development Projects (CSDP). This is 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 the 2014 fiscal year.
Tourism is an emerging sector with great potentials in our State. Different aspects of works towards providing the basic social amenities are currently being put in place by Government at the Udi Native Authority which hosts the proposed Enugu Theme Park. Similarly, whereas Government has engaged a consultant, other basic processes are being finalized for the establishment of a Zoological Garden at Attakwu community. The annual Culture and Tourism fiesta remains a rich addition to the avalanche of tourism events available in our State.
Mr. Speaker, Honourable members, this is not exhaustive of our 2014 Budget Proposal but as you will find in the details, we have made adequate provisions for all the other Ministries, Departments and Agencies of Government in line with their specific needs.
I want to say to this Honourable House and, indeed, the good people of Enugu State that we started this journey with clear goals. As we inch closer to the finishing line, our determination is not only to actualize those objectives but to sustain and surpass the standards we have set by our collective performances.
Our potentials are greater than the challenges we face. I appeal for sacrifices from us all in order to keep our dream of prosperity alive. I enlist the support of people and businesses in our State to promptly and regularly pay their taxes as our partners in progress.
As a Government, we will not also shy away from taking hard decisions in the interest of the larger community. In this regard, Government will not go back on its resolve to restore the Original Master Plan of Enugu. We have seen some illegal structures demolished for contravening our laws and regulations. I regret to say that more of such illegal structures will go down unless some corrective measures, where possible, are taken.
My appeal is that our people should seek and obtain all necessary approvals from the relevant Government agencies to avoid such painful losses.
I remain immensely grateful to this Honourable House and the entire people of Enugu State for your support and understanding. I thank you for your attention as I place this budget proposal before you, expectant as ever that you shall, as usual, give it expeditious consideration and passage.
Thank you and may God bless you and bless Enugu State. I wish all of you a Merry Christmas in advance and a prosperous New Year!
SULLIVAN IHEANACHO CHIME
GOVERNOR, ENUGU STATE