The Commissioner for Finance in Abia, Dr Aham Uko, on Monday, presented a breakdown of the 2020 Appropriation Bill, totalling N136.6 billion, to the state House of Assembly for approval.
In a speech, Uko told the lawmakers that the state keyed into the State’s Fiscal Transparency, Accountability and Sustainable programme of the World Bank/Federal Government as well as the Open Government Partnership Initiative.
He said that they had ensured that the content of the budget clearly spoke to specific projects that had the capacity of contributing to the development agenda of the government.
He said that the bill, christened “Budget of Economic Repositioning”, was put together to address the aspirations and needs of the people.
He said that the N136.6 billion draft was made up of N66.8 billion, representing 48.9 per cent as recurrent expenditure, and N69.8 billion, representing 51.1 per cent, as capital expenditure.
According to him, the 2020 budget outlay is slightly less than N140.2 billion in 2019.
Uko said that the moderate decrease was occasioned by the government’s resolve to formulate a fairly more realistic budget consistent with historical revenue trajectory while working hard to improve revenue generation and expenditure management approach.
He said that the expected total Consolidated Revenue in the 2020 fiscal year stood at N106.9 billion, made up of inflows from Independent Revenue and the Statutory Allocation from the Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC).
The commissioner further said that the expected revenue from FAAC was N67.2 billion, representing 62.8 per cent of the aggregate expected revenue to the state.
He said that the budgetary allocations were linked to the Five Pillars Agenda of Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu’s administration, which included Health, Education, Commerce and Industry, Agriculture and Oil and Gas.
A further breakdown of the budget shows that the sum of N7.3 billion was earmarked for Health, N6.5 billion for Education, N4.4 billion for Commerce and Industry, N15 billion for Oil and Gas, while N975 million was for Agriculture.
Uko said: “We intend to reposition the state economically through strategic interventions in selected sectors.
“We also intend to pursue specific reforms that will accompany and strengthen these interventions and involve the citizenry a lot more in the implementation and monitoring of the budget process.”
The Speaker, Mr Chinedum Orji, said that the Seventh Assembly was committed to ensuring that the intention of the budget was achieved.
Orji charged the commissioner to aim at a baseline of 70 per cent implementation and to work toward a continued increase in the capital expenditure more than the recurrent one.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu presented the 2020 budget estimate to the house on November 18.