• Tuesday, March 05, 2024
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Mbah foresees disruptive economic growth as N521.5bn budget becomes law

Mbah foresees disruptive economic growth as N521.5bn budget becomes law

Governor Peter Mbah of Enugu State says there will be disruptive economic growth, radical infrastructure development, and efficient service delivery in the state as he signed the N521.5 billion budget for 2024 into law.

The governor said the state’s budget, comprising N414.3 billion capital expenditure, representing 79 percent of the budget, and N107.2 billion recurrent expenditure, representing 21 percent, would rely heavily on internally generated revenue (IGR).

He, therefore, charged members of the executive arm of government with robust revenue mobilisation and service delivery.

At the budget signing, which was witnessed by members of the Enugu State House of Assembly, led by the Speaker, Uchenna Ugwu, as well as Commissioners and other top government functionaries at the Government House, Mbah commended the state’s legislature for its support across party lines.

The expeditious passage of the budget, according to him, was a product of executive-legislature collaboration during the making of the budget estimates. He listed the multiple gains expected from the 2024 budget.

“What this budget signing means to the people of Enugu is that we are going to be spending over N400 billion on capital projects in the next year. This is the first time in the history of the state that we are spending that size of funds on capital projects because we are spending 20 times more than what has been typically our capital expenditure outlay in Enugu State.

“We called this ‘Budget of Disruptive Economic Growth’ based on the size of our capital expenditure. It also means that we are going to have large economic activities in the state. You can imagine an economy that is typically used to doing N20 billion capital expenditure now going to witness over N400 billion. It is going to be monumental in the ways our people are lifted out of poverty and in the ways economic activities will blossom,” he said.

The government noted that the most important thing that would happen was the budget would ensure that the state addressed most of the gaps it has in its social services, citing the education sector where the signing of this bill into law means looking forward to 260 smart schools across the state.

“It also means that we are looking forward to 260 Type-2 primary healthcare centres across all our wards in the state. It means that we are going to have radical infrastructural development. We are going to build New Enugu City. We are going to have our roads paved. We are going to have feeder roads paved as well as the access roads to our farmlands,” he assured.

The governor disclosed that the state would be talking about scaling up production in the agriculture sector, pointing out that the state’s Special Agro Processing Zones will come to life just as the signing into law of this budget would ensure that the state grows agriculture so that it is not going to be just for food, but also for export.

The signing of the budget, the governor said, would also mean that a new sector would be introduced, the energy and minerals sector, which they hope to use to drive revenue, meaning that the state’s resources in that sector would be harnessed for the benefits of Ndi Enugu.

On funding of the budget, the governor said, “We are talking about less than 12 percent of our revenue size that we are going to borrow to execute this budget. That is enormous as we are expecting to mobilize over N300 billion from our domestic sources which has not happened before.

“What this means is that we are all going to work tirelessly to ensure that these revenues are realised. It also means that for us at the Executive Council, our meetings would largely be on our revenue performance,” he said.

The governor further explained that his administration was taking other critical steps, such as the governance and automation of government services to ensure efficient service delivery.

“We have gone to an advanced stage on the e-governance initiative. This is going to ensure that our citizens in Enugu are able to access government services without the need of actually going to the ministries or to the banks,” he stated.

Governor Mbah, however, appealed to the people of Enugu State to bear with the administration over some inconveniences that the transformation efforts might entail, saying efforts will be made to mitigate the pains occasioned by policies like the expansion of roads.