Anambra State Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget, Mr Mark Okoye, has said that the budget presented to the State Lawmakers last week was a deficit and a realistic one.
Mr Okoye said this during the break down of the State’s 2020 fiscal year budget of N137.1 billion.
He said his ministry painstakingly took measures to get it right this time by inviting all communities, relevant agencies, MDAs and stakeholders for their input through their charter of demand. Hence the expansion of the committee from 8-45 members.
Mark said that the funding of the budget would be predominantly based on the State’s Internally Generated Revenue, IGR input at N30 billion which translated to N2.5 billion per month, a decline by N6 billon over 2019.
Mr Okoye said the State government had presented a realistic budget to the lawmakers for the year 2020 since most funds would be sourced through IGR without relying much on federal allocations.
He stated that the IGR was projected at N30 billion, at N2.5bn monthly for 2020.
He explained that over 3000 companies are registered in Anambra and many are operating effectively, saying that the State would make efforts to ensure they pay taxes.
He also said the government has instituted mechanisms to checkmate loopholes in IGR generation.
He urged residents and indigenes of Anambra to pay their taxes, dues and levies to enable the government to meet up with the 2020 budget and provide basic human amenities and assured residents of better days ahead.
Okoye said the budget expenditure would be based on a number of expected receipts for the year.
“Based on crude oil price benchmark of US 55 dollars on average daily production of 1.9million against Federal production benchmark of 2.18million barrel per day and the projected annual collectable from the federation account receipt of N43.7 billion, this is against the 2019 budget figure of N40billiin.
“The State targets a revenue of N15.6 billion from Value Added Tax (VAT), a growth rate on the 2019 figure of N10.6billion,” he explained.
The Commissioner said that other capital receipts which included counterpart funds, aid, concessionary funding, and federal government refunds is projected at N30billion.
Moreover, 22.8 billion has been budgeted as personnel cost for coming year year.
The commissioner said that this is to accommodate increase in workers ’ wage that would accrue from the new minimum wage.
He assured that Anambra State would be among the first States to pay the new wage when FG resolves issues with Labour.
“The State would also employ new workers in 2020 to replace those who retired. This figure accommodates new and important hired hands into the civil service, such as the replacement of retired teachers, promotions and projected salary increment in line with new minimum wage.
“We allotted N16bn in domestic debt financing. This comprises single digit concessionary programme lending for interventions in agriculture, manufacturing and youth entrepreneurship.
“For the first time, the Governor, Chief Willie Obiano presented next year’s budget in September which was in compliance with the fiscal responsibility law of Anambra State,” he stated.
Anambra Cargo Airport
In the same vein, the State Commissioner for Works, Mr Ifejiofor explained the government budgeted N6bn for the Anambra cargo airport because the governor promised to complete it before he leaves office.
This is a new development against the initial agreement that a Chinese Company, Sinoking International would build it at no cost to the state through a build – operate – manage and transfer (BOMT) basis.
The Commissioner, stated that Anambra government made provision of N6 billion for the airport in the proposed 2020 budget because the governor needed to start doing something since he had already promised the people an airport since the Chinese contractors seem to be lagging behind.
“The governor is a man of his words, and since he had already promised the people a cargo airport, he did not want to go back on his words, so, he budgeted N6 billion for the project in the 2020 budget.
“There is a foreign partner, and there are sorting out their funding, as we wait for them, the government will be doing something, and when they eventually come, they will refund us our money.
“That airport is real. We have done the expression of interest, and it is now in the tending service and before Christmas, the contractors will be mobilized to site. What we are doing is not just an airport but international cargo airport because our people are predominantly business people and there was a feasibility study before that license was approved,” he said .
Principal Secretary to the Governor, Willie Nwokoye, said the budget was a deficit one with key assumptions that can erase the need to borrow.