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Gov Orji Submits 2014 Budget, His Speech

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GOVERNMENT OF ABIA STATE 2014 BUDGET SPEECH, AS PRESENTED TO THE STATE HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY BY HIS EXCELLENCY, CHIEF T. A. ORJI (OCHENDO), GOVERNOR ABIA STATE, HOLDING AT THE CHAMBERS OF THE STATE HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY, UMUAHIA, ON THE 30TH DAY OF DECEMBER, 2013
Gov. Theodore Orji of Abia state in a shandshake with the Speaker, Abia state House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Sir Udeh Okochukwu after the presentation of the 2014 budget proposal to the Abia state house of assembly in umuahia
Gov. Theodore Orji of Abia state in a shandshake with the
Speaker, Abia state House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Sir Udeh Okochukwu
after the presentation of the 2014 budget proposal to the Abia state
house of assembly in umuahia
Gov. Theodore Orji of Abia state presenting the 2014 budget proposal to the Abia state house of assembly in umuahia.
Gov. Theodore Orji of Abia state presenting the 2014 budget
proposal to the Abia state house of assembly in umuahia.
I have the pleasure and honor to present to this distinguished Honorable House, the 2014 Budget of the State. This budget has been prepared in the context of the Medium Term Expenditure Framework, which looks at the projections for the year 2014 to 2016, using the year 2012 budget, as the base year for our journey to 2016.
When we signed in along with other States to commence the Cash Budgeting and Accounting system, we instantly established a continuous improvement process in our budget formulation exercise. The positive impacts will begin to be felt in our 2014 budget process.
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It is important that we make public, the efforts being made by this Administration towards the realization of our Development Goals and Objectives for the next fiscal year. It is no longer in doubt that the State is making giant strides to enable us emerge as one of the strongest economies in Nigeria, and this has been given credence through our numerous legacy projects that are on-going in every sector of our economy.
We are presenting this budget at this time of the year, because of our avowed efforts to ensuring that the 2014 budget is compliant to International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS). This achievement shows that we are serious in introducing a lasting legacy in our fiscal management process – in line with international best practices, and equally fulfilling a condition necessary for attracting foreign investors to the State.
The new budget has been designed for better policy formulation, fiscal planning, budget analysis, accountability, routine financial management, and international comparisons.
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The State Budget for 2014 focuses on continued acceleration of ‘building physical and human infrastructure for job creation and poverty eradication’. We expect to achieve these through scaling up of our expenditures in Health, Education, Agriculture, Water Resources, Environment, Housing, and Support for Women and Youth Empowerment Programmes.
Distinguished Honourable members of our State House of Assembly, with the features that I have highlighted here, it becomes obvious that the 2014 budget is about People and the speeding-up of the delivery of basic social and infrastructural services in our State.
The 2014 budget is also expected to positively transform our State in the areas we consider more critical and urgent, which include the followings:
·       Peace and Security
·       Infrastructural Development
·       Improved Health Care Delivery
·       Enhanced Internally Generated Revenue (IGR), and
·       Education
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Focus on these sectoral objectives will enhance the creation of new job opportunities for our youths, women, as well as boost commercial and investment activities in the State.
BUDGET ASSUMPTIONS:
–        FISCAL ENVIRONMENT
Today it is evident that we are recovering from the economic and social costs that accrued from the insecurity of our environment in past, as posed by kidnapping and other violent crimes in the State. Those conditions had left the State with an economic out-look that did not offer much optimism. We can now plan for the future as the anxiety that pervaded the entire State has been permanently put behind us by this Administration.
We will continue to invest in the security of our State and people to consolidate the gains we have so far achieved.
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Our State derives the bulk of its budget funding from Federal Government sources, but we are resolved not to continue along that trend that depends on the Federal Government’s economic posture –  in the running of our State economy. This is why we are restructuring and intensifying our Revenue Generation efforts, so that it begins to fund our budgets from 2014 and beyond. We have also introduced measures to reduce our dependence on statutory allocations for the funding of both recurrent and capital expenditures.
–        FISCAL CONTROL POLICY MEASURES
The Administration proposes to ensure full implementations of the 2014 budget through the following control measures:
·       International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS) will be fully implemented in the State through the adoption of the new Chart of Accounts and domestication of the human resources management into budget classification
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·       All Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) are henceforth expected to cite IPSAS Codes on the Vote of charge in all requests for release of funds.
·       Abia State Blue Print for Development Vision 20:20:20 and the MDGs shall continue to be our main focus for economic growth of our State.
·       Since 2014-2016 budgets are based on well calibrated range of estimates and assumptions, we would continue to be guided by the IPSAS demands of full disclosure in implementing the budget based on that.
Other underlying key assumptions for the budget are as follows:
·       All Capital projects are tied to specific programmes approved in the National Chart of Accounts.
·       The Annual estimated recurrent revenue would be N120.0 billion
·       The Annual estimated recurrent expenditure including debt services would be N62.0 billion
·       The annual estimated Capital Projects based on programmes would be N87.5 billion
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·     The grants from Donor-Agencies receivable during the year would be N29.6 billion.
2014 BUDGET: A GENERAL OVERVIEW
The 2014 Budget is predicated on Government’s resolve to ensure the adoption of a process which will lead to the social-economic well-being of the citizenry and strategically guide infrastructural development as a central objective of the State. We will focus on the theme: ‘Budget of Legacy Consolidation’, as we pursue the compelling needs of doing more and accelerating the pace of work in on-going projects in the various sectors of our economy.
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Against this background, the Budget gives impetus to our vision in the power sector, water supply and distribution, roads, health, reform of Government and governance, security, and education programmes. All these will be targeted at improving the quality of lives of our citizens and addressing the infrastructural inadequacies which this Administration inherited. The Budget equally supports our business people to operate efficiently, grow their businesses, create wealth and generate employment.
We are in a hurry to accelerate the development of our human capital, which is crucial in enabling us attain the objectives and targets of our developmental aspirations in the State’s vision 20:20:20 blue print. In pursuit of these aspirations, our goal is to translate the gains of the opportunities that emerge from the improvement of our social indicators and the quality of human capital in the State, to the advancement of all Abians in all fields of endeavors.
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Our strategy is to focus on the completion of all on-going legacy projects, advancing the new ones that are just coming on stream, especially those targeted at providing long term foundations and solutions to lingering infrastructural deficiencies.
2014: BUDGET OF LEGACY CONSOLIDATION
Mr Speaker, Distinguished Honourable Members, I hereby present the 2014 Budget, titled ‘Budget of Legacy Consolidation’. As already noted this budget was prepared within the context of Medium Expenditure Term Framework which outlines key initiatives and are expected to be achieved by key spending Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).                                                                                   
To this end, the budget has an estimated outlay of N149.6 billion. The crafting of the budget was guided by the harmonization of MDAs policy thrusts with actual appropriation to ensure that we have a Budget that is pr-poor, and meets the aspiration of the majority of Abians in 2014.
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BUDGET OBJECTIVES
The specific objective for 2014 is effective allocation of scarce resources among identified critical programmes and projects as established in our Blue Print for State Development, which include the followings:
1.   To complete all on-going legacy projects and adding a plethora of new projects in the critical areas of needs.
2.   To continue to expand our revenue base
3.   To integrate the structure of the State Chart of Account into Budgeting and Budgeting-Control mechanism.
4.   To provide carefully coded classifications that enhance greater transparency and proper Accounting in Public expenditure management.
5.   To produce a conducive environment for investors, and
6.   To reduce the level of our State Domestic Debt Profile.
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In our resolve to be a part of the Global Village, we therefore cannot remain isolated from changes that are occurring in the larger system. That is why we have adopted the reform process in line with international best practices that provides better and quality information in the management of modernized Government Accounts.
As a part of the progressive implementation of uniformity in the coding, accounting and reporting system in Nigeria, we have prepared a Budget that is complaint to the National Chart of Account. I hereby present to this Honourable House a Budget that consist the following sectors:
·       Administration
·       Economic
·       Law and Justice
·       Social
ADMINISTRATION:
Government has introduced various programmes and measures to promote good governance practices in the public and private sectors.                                                    
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We have evolved a service oriented Civil Service that is consistent with the provision of efficient services, and we will continue to encourage training, and retraining of our people to ensure a vibrant work force that is multi-skilled for efficient service delivery.                     
On the provision of befitting and conducive environments for the civil servants of our State, this Administration has almost completed the:
1.   Abia State new Workers’ Secretariat (Twin building)
2.   Has completed the construction of a Diagnostic Centre and Specialist Hospital Annex at Amachara, Umuahia South.
3.   Completed the new BCA Office Complex
4.   Building of Governor’s Lodge is on-going
5.   Completed the construction of High Court Complex , Umuahia
6.   Construction of Ultra Modern Laboratory and Dialysis Centre, Umuahia.
7.   Completed the ASEPA Head-Quarters Building
8.   Construction of new ASUBEB and JAC Office Complexes are on-going.
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The Joint Monitoring/Evaluation of Projects and Programmes by the State Planning Commission will be sustained and strengthened. Abia State is enjoying relative Peace and Security, and this is why we are not relenting in our support to the Police, the Security Agencies and the Armed Forces, so that they continue to render their invaluable contributions to the sustenance of security and public order in our State.
ECONOMIC:
–        Agriculture
During the fiscal year, our aim is to ensure increased agricultural output through:
i.                  Continuous introduction of improved technology
ii.              Sustain, attract Private Investors to participate in the sector. We have concluded a Partnership with Honeywell Group to participate in this Sector.
iii.           Increase value addition to commodities and the reduction of post harvest loss by 10%.
iv.            Increase poultry and fish production, including improved animal health and quality of meat for consumption by 10%.
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v.                Ensuring availability of farm inputs including improved seed/seedlings, drugs, and agro-chemicals.
vi.            Upgrading existing demonstration farms and replication of Liberation Farms in the 17 LGAs.
vii.         Sustenance of our Rubber and Palm Estates
viii.     Support and encouragement of our local farmers.
Mr Speaker, I will like to recall that this Administration has recorded modest achievements in the agricultural sector through the establishment of Abia Liberation Farms across the LGAs. We established a four hectare Plantain Plantation at Okeikpe, Opertional 5 hectare Cassava multiplication Plots at Lodu Ndume, procurement and distribution of agro inputs to Abia Farmers at subsidized rates and distributed N1 billion CBN loan facilities to support our farmers.
In 2014, we will pursue the objectives of consolidation and scaling up these achievements through the agricultural transformation agenda of our State. We shall vigorously pursue the eradication of extreme poverty and hunger in the State.                                                      
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The completion of the State Farmers’ Census and the analysis of reports to ensure evidence-based planning including value addition to commodity value chains – where the State has comparative advantages, shall remain our major focus.
WORKS AND TRANSPORT:
Government in 2014 Fiscal Year shall continue to provide good and motor-able road-network connectivity in every nook and cranny of the State, so as to sustain the already established mutual confidence between the Administration and our citizens. This will enable us achieve full inclusiveness, equity and balanced development of the State.                        
Based on our Government’s plan to recover not less than 15% of existing roads by 2014, rehabilitate and reconstruct major inter-local government roads through effective funding and using the Abia Road Mentainance Unit (ABROMA), and the Rural Road Mentainance Projects (RAMP) in the Ministry of Poverty Reduction that partners with the Federal Government, we expect to achieve a lot in 2014.
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In 2014, we expect to achieve the installation of a cost-effective central fire alarm (early fire alarm detection system), which was earlier approved for the State by our Government. It is expected that this system will cover the Modern Markets at Ubani Ibeku, New Industrial Market Ahia-Eke Umuahia, Ariara International Market, Aba, and other notable markets in the State.
In the area of transport, the State shall establish a standardized and functional equipment for testing stations in each of the 3 Senatorial Zones, procure additional Tow-Van/High Capacity Fire Engines for enhanced effectiveness in service delivery. We will equally ensure the construction, reconstruction and equipment of fire service stations at designated places in the State.
COMMERCE AND INDUSTRIES
Desirous of maximizing this sub sector’s contribution to the economy of the State, the Government has signed a memorandum of understanding with reputable investors – Greenfield, ABIIC and Pro-M for construction of modern shopping malls and industrial
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market in Aba, and a shopping complex in Umuahia at the former Gariki site. Efforts are on to upgrade the Abia Hotel Limited Umuahia to a 5 Star facility and this will boost the hospitality industry in the State and create employments.
The relocation of the Timber Market to Umuohu Azuake as Industrial Market, the development of Ohiya Nsukwe Umuogo Mechanic Cluster, and the new Market at Ubani Ibeku, have become functional, with our Government poised to ensuring the provision of social amenities to these clusters in 2014. Meanwhile all efforts are at top gear to ensure that the industrial growth and development of our State are sustained through PPP arrangements.
We have already commenced the take-off of industrial clusters at Ovom, and Umukalika all in Aba, and these will enhance private sector employment generation as the prime mover to the economy of our State. Honeywell Group has already shown interests in our limestone deposits at Arochukwu and Ohafia, with a view to harnessing these for industrial productions.
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LAW AND JUSTICE
Since the inception of this Administration, we have continued to tackle the limited access to justice caused by inadequate facilities and infrastructure, which also contributed to slow enforcement and prosecution process in our Courts. We are bent on ensuring speedy transformation and sustained development of the judicial arm of Government in the State. That is why we have built the magnificent High Court Complexes in Aba and Umuahia, and believe that these will go a long way in decongesting the Courts, as well as raising the status of Abia Judiciary.
In our avowed determination to achieve the objective of ensuring quick, quality and fair judicial services delivery to the public, most of the Courts in other districts and divisions are getting, and will be given the required attentions they deserve, as we continue to make efforts in the provision of reference materials to judges, magistrates and lawyers for proper adjudication of cases.
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SOCIAL:
–        EDUCATION
Realizing that education is the key to developing Abia State, the sector will continue to be a thriving and buoyant industry in the State. Our Government is poised to stamping-out every trace of illiteracy in the State, by ensuring continuous increased allocation of resources to the sector. We will continue to consolidate on the gains recorded through various policies implemented in the sub-sector. We will take specific steps to eliminate cultism, examination mal-practices, male school drop-out, and other vices that plague the sub-sector.
In 2014, more class room blocks will continue to be built and old ones renovated, scholarships and bursaries will be provided to assist our children. The free school bus will be sustained and subventions to Abia Polytechnics and College of Education, Technical , Arochukwu will be beefed up.                                                                                       
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The remaining schools belonging to voluntary agencies will be handed over to them by Government. Every LGA is also presently benefitting from the modern 34 class-room blocks being constructed by our Government.
–        HEALTH
Our Government is committed to ensuring quality health delivery to the citizenry and this is because we are already aware of the critical health concerns and targets in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Based on these, our Government will sustain its efforts in equipment procurement, renovation and upgrading of some of the Health Care Institutions through the on-going transformation of structures in our health sector.
In 2014, we will complete the construction of Abia State University Teaching Hospital Medical Complex Building in Aba, complete and equip the 100 bed hospitals in 9 LGAs. We will renovate the School of Nursing/Midwifery Aba, renovate Aba General Hospital, and the General Hospital/Leprosy Centre Uzuakoli.
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We will ensure access to appropriate and quality health care services to children at all levels. This Administration has also completed action on the process for commencement of Abia State Health Insurance Scheme. This scheme which ensures growth in the general well-being of our citizens is aimed at the improvement in the quality of lives of
 Abians when it takes off in 2014. By this time, additional Health Centres will be built, equipped and provided with medical personnel to man them in the service of citizens.                                                                                 
WOMEN AFFAIRS AND SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT
The Administration will not rest on its oars until we correct the misconception that the female gender should always be seen and not be heard. That is why in this fiscal year, we will continue to place high premium on women development issues which will enable us transform this vulnerable group by providing the required opportunities that come from that sub-sector.
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We have concluded arrangements to transform women, children, persons with disabilities and the elderly people in our midst, so that they can become productive citizens, through our various empowerment programmes that focus on the grass-roots, especially with the passage of the Child Rights Law.                          
This Administration has also shown great commitment to the welfare of children, indigents, elderly and all other people living with disabilities. During the fiscal year, we plan to further establish a State Rehabilitation Centre, construct a State Social/Children Home, including establishment of Rehabilitation Centres for People with Disabilities (PWDs).
YOUTH DEVELOPMENT:
The State Government through its various Youth Programmes is targeting the creation of strong dependable youths with high morals. Our major policy thrust is to empower the youths through the provision of sound education, and economic empowerment activities that cut across all sectors.                                                    
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The Youth Empowerment Programme of our Government has been a platform upon which many unemployed Abia Youths have been empowered to become self-reliant and managers of their own micro businesses.
During the fiscal year, the State Government plans to establish Youth Centres/Village Complexes at the Senatorial Zones, and create 5000 functional jobs through the youth development centers. We expect all completed and non functional youth Skill Acquisition Centres to be fully activated and more built in 2014.Meanwhile, we are making huge efforts to reduce the cases of drug addiction and abuse, minimize indulgence in unprotected sex, and increase the campaign against HIV/AID. Through these measures, we expect to build the youths as the sure hopes of tomorrow.
SPORTS:
The Administration has been saddled with the overall promotion of sports and sporting activities, because we believe it is a major contributor to youth engagement and employment in the State.                                                      
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During the 2014 fiscal year, our policy thrust will focus on identifying more budding athletes, so that we can nurture them to stardom through the provision of training and optimal development of sporting skills and modern equipments. We will sustain the gains made by Enyimba and Abia Worriors Football Clubs, and encourage our athletes to participate in international competitions.
HOUSING
In 2014 fiscal year, Government intends to complete the Housing projects in the State and initiate a number of new projects to consolidate and increase our legacy already established in that sub-sector.                                                 
Some of the projects which will be completed and commissioned in 2014 include, the new Secretariat for Abia Workers, construction of four (4) additional duplexes at the Commissioners’ Quarters, Umuahia; construction, rehabilitation and fencing of Military Quarters at ADP Premises; construction of Ultra Modern Government House Complexa and Office;
 and construction and provision of external facilities at the New International Conference Center, Ugurube Layout, Umuahia,
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Also ready for commissioning in 2014 will be the construction of E-Library, ASUBEB Office and JAC Offices at Ogurube Layout, Umuahia. The Housing Estate in Isieke is completed, while that of Amuba in partnership with Aso Savings is on-going and another 500 units of housing in partnership with Trademal at Ubani is also on-going. The housing estate at Ohobo where the Timber Market was relocated-out, is on going for middle class owners, while another for the low income owners at the same site, will soon commence.
ENVIRONMENT:
The Administration hopes to formulate policies and coordinate environmental protection and conservation of our natural resources for sustainable development. During the plan period, we will make efforts to develop and sustain rural and urban solid waste management system, and encourage community-based waste management.
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Our Government has reached the final stage of discussions with environmental management experts to produce a functional sustainable solid waste management master-plan for the State; establish a waste recycling plant and standard sanitary landfill inventrorization of all key environmental challenges in the State. Our goal is to establish an early warning mechanism for containing all forms of natural and man-made hazards.
CONCLUSIONS
Mr Speaker, Honourable members, Ladies and Gentlemen, for us to achieve the desired results in our 2014 budget, we must all resolve to pursue the realization of our collective security, unity and development of our State.                                                      
Let me sincerely express my appreciation and profound gratitude to members of this House for the cordial relationship that exist between the various arms of government in the State.
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I also thank the entire security Agencies for the maintenance of the relative peace in the State, just as I equally appreciate the efforts of our traditional and religious leaders whose untiring efforts have ensured that our people continue to live peacefully and harmoniously, and seeing all existing conflicts settled amicably among the populace.
While we solicit the support of all peace loving Abians in the on-going Abia Projects, I will continue to remind all of us, that our children in the future will not fail to remember us for braving all odds to lay a solid foundation for the development of this State, upon which they are sure to compete favorably with other Nigerians in our Nation.
Let us therefore maximize and sustain our collective efforts to deliver the new face of Abia, where opportunities exist for every citizen to develop their skills and talents, and where our natural and human endowments can be tapped to build a virile and secured economy for all Abians of today and for tomorrow.
Thank you and God bless you,
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