Tuesday, December 16, 2014 4:50 pm
Ahead of his leaving office on 29 May, 2015, Governor Sullivan Chime of Enugu State in the eastern part of Nigeria, has presented N96.735 billion to the state House of Assembly as budget proposal for consideration and approval.
Christened ‘Budget of Transition’, the figure is broken into a capital proposal of N54.9 billion and recurrent expenditure of N41.7 billion in the fiscal year.
The appropriation is three percent higher than the 2014 figure of N93.7 billion amounting to an increase of N2.98 billion.
A further breakdown of the figure shows that works and infrastructures got the highest allocation of N14.9 billion for the settlement of liabilities to contractors to complete on-going projects, especially in urban and rural roads rehabilitation.
“The new state secretariat and the Lion Building will be completed and furnished. Education has an allocation of N6.1 billion, health N4.9 billion, agriculture N4.3 billion and water resources N2.9 billion.
“The free maternal child care programme has saved lives and translated to the reduction of maternal mortality in our health facilities.
“No effort will be too much to provide affordable and improved healthcare services to our people and that is why we are making efforts to complete the state diagnostic center,” Chime said.
Reviewing the 2014 budget, Chime said that it was anchored on the government’s four-point agenda with the ‘Visit Every Community’ document as compiled from the needs of the 472 communities in the state.
The governor said his administration was committed to handing over completed projects to the in-coming administration as 332 kilometres of roads were embarked on with 295 completed in Enugu and Nsukka, a town within the state and that his administration built a heliport for the police to ensure adequate security of lives and property in the state while contract had been awarded to extend electricity to the remaining communities.
On health, the governor said the government spent more than N3 billion to rehabilitate 70 general hospitals and 150 other health facilities.
He said that more than 100 primary schools were rehabilitated while 5,682 secondary school teachers were recruited to ensure the sustenance of the free basic education level.
“We planted more than 250 hectares of land under the Enugu State–San Carlos pineapple project with a view to exporting the product next year while 2,641 hectares have been secured for the development of an industrial park in the state,” he said.
The governor said that as part of efforts to provide a solid foundation for the in-coming government, his administration had trained its workforce on information and communication technology to reduce the time and cost of doing business.
On the 2015 election, Chime called on the people to be guided by good conscience to select their leaders for the good of the state and urged the lawmakers to give the budget accelerated passage.
In his remarks, the Speaker of the assembly, Mr Eugene Odo, noted that Chime’s administration had substantially implemented budgets passed by the assembly in the past seven years.
He expressed the hope that the incoming administration would emulate the cordial relationship between the executive and the legislature.