On Thursday November 10 2022, Anambra State governor, Professor Chukwuma Charles Soludo, CFR, presented the 2023 appropriation bill for the services of Anambra State government to the state House of Assembly for consideration and possible passage.
The Appropriation bill with a size of about 260 billion Naira compared to a revised 2022 budget of 170 billion Naira has a capital expenditure of 164.2 billion naira accounting for 62.2 percent with recurrent expenditure of 95 .5 billion naira accounting for 36 .8 percent. The 2023 draft estimate has a deficit of 13 billion Naira.
Presenting the bill to the state lawmakers , Governor Soludo as a renowned economist and prudent manager of both human and material resources, informed the house that although they approved for his administration to borrow the sum of 100 billion naira to part finance the revised 2022 budget, so far the government has not borrowed a kobo, saying that instead the government applied for 90 billion Naira out of the approved 100 billion Naira which he said will be rolled over as part of the2023 financing.
The 2023 Anambra State Appropriation bill presented by the Executive to the Lawmakers captured the priority needs of Ndi Anambra as about 91.8 billion Naira or 56 percent of the total capital expenditure is devoted to Roads, transportation, power and urban regeneration which the average citizen can feel, see or use and which have the highest development impact within the shortest possible time. Other sectors including Education, Health, Youths, Women and vulnerable groups have their capital votes more than doubled.
Professor Soludo as a good leader that knows the way, goes the way and shows the way told the state lawmakers during the budget presentation that he will soon come back to them with a draft legislation to engender collective action to addressing the systematic threat of gully erosion. As a true apostle and believer of democratic governance, Professor Soludo disclosed to soon present to the Anambra State House of Assembly for consideration, amendments to the Anambra State Independent Electoral Commission, ANSIEC Law 2007 as part of moves towards conducting credible local government elections. Also, in a revolutionary move which will further institute the local community as fourth tier of government and a partner in development, He promised that a draft community government bill will be presented as soon as possible as the 2023 budget provides for matching grants scheme to incentivize communities for enhanced service delivery.
The governor who stressed the important role prompt payment of tax and levies play in development, recalled that the government of the defunct Eastern Region built the cities of Onitsha, Enugu, Aba, Calabar, Porthacourt, Uyo and Umuahia with electricity and pipe borne water as well as Industrial corridors, University of Nigeria with three campuses with taxes collected from peasant farmers, regretting that easy rents from oil created a rentier culture and destroyed the incentives and institutions of taxation. The social contract between the citizenry and government where the citizens choose their leaders and surrender tax revenues to enable them provide public goods including security, infrastructure, social services among others as well as hold them accountable largely broke down and government officers became bosses while the citizens largely refuse or neglect to pay taxes because they do not trust the government.
The Governor called on Ndi Anambra to always pay their tax and levies promptly to enable the government serve them better as according to him many states in Nigeria depend on Tax and levies for development. He maintained that Ndi Anambra will definitely have value for their money as his administration has
already inaugurated over 220 kilometres of roads in different parts of the state for either construction or reconstruction in addition to putting solar street lights in Awka the state capital which is expected to be replicated in other cities across the state for enhanced development and aesthetics of the state.
Hopefully with the commencement of defence of the budget at the Anambra State House of Assembly by Ministries, Departments and Agencies, it is expected that the Appropriation bill which scaled first and second readings immediately after its presentation by Mr Governor will soon be passed to enable the governor continue with his people oriented programmes and policies aimed at improving the living standards of Ndi Anambra.
What the Soludo administration needs from Ndi Anambra is their continued support through payment of taxes nd approved levies, and daily prayers to enable him achieve the desired mission and vision in the state.
Written by ABUCHI NWOZOR