Anambra Government seeks stakeholders’ inputs into 2021 draft budget
person_pin Okey Onwuka
query_builder October 16, 2020 19:35:45

By Maureen Agbala/Angela Nwanodu  :

Awka, Oct. 16, 2020 (MOI) Anambra State Government through the Ministry of Economic Planning, Budget and Development Partners held a Stakeholders Consultative Forum to seek inputs into the 2021 draft budget.

The stakeholders include the Heads of various Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), State Budget Team, representatives from the Civil Society Organisations, Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), State Traders Association, Persons living with disability and Youth Associations.

Other partnership comprised not less than 300 development partners including World Bank, State and Local Government Reform (SLOGOR) Project and Department for International Development Partnership (DFID).

The rest are State Fiscal Transparency Accountability and Sustainability (STFAS) Programme, the Nigerian Governors’ Forum and other development partners joined the forum virtually via zoom.

 Mr Mark Okoye, Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget in his presentation on Medium Term Expenditure Framework covering the 2021-2023 and 2021 Draft Capital and Recurrent Budget Estimates said that the 2021 draft annual budget expenditure outlay.

``Other things being equal are estimated at N140.8 billion; increase in the budget size is N25.9 billion from the 2020 revised budget of N114.9 billion representing an 18.3 percent increase.

``Further breakdown shows a recurrent expenditure is estimated at N52 billion representing 37 per cent of the budget size.

``While the capital expenditure is estimated at N86.24 billion indicating 63 per cent of the budget size, thereby implying that significant funds will be channeled to capital projects in critical sectors of the economy.’’

Mr Okoye said that personnel cost was estimated at N18.0 billion in the 2021fiscal year compared with 2020 revised budgeted figure of N17.4 billion.

``This figure accommodates new and important hires into the Civil Service, such as the replacement of retired teachers, promotions and the projected salary increment in line with new minimum wage.

``Total overheads are estimated at N22.0 billion for the 2021 fiscal year. This figure accommodates provision of the subvention to new MDAs and other associated costs.

``Social benefits and contributions including (pension, gratuities and group life insurance are projected at N12.0 billion in 2021 compared to N10.4billion as revised in the 2020 budget,’’ said Mr Okoye.

``In contrast, total budget revenue for the fiscal year 2021 is estimated at 130 Billion broken into N46 billion from statutory allocation, N20 billion from Value Added Tax.

``While 36 Billion from Internally Generated Revenue, N0.68 Billion from Excess Crude/other Revenue, N10 billion from grants, N10 Billion from other capital receipt.’’

For debt financing, Okoye said the state provided N11 billion in domestic debt financing comprising, single digit concessionary programme lending for interventions in Agriculture, Manufacturing and Youth Entrepreneurship.

He drew special attention to draft 2021 capital expenditure of key MDAs affirming that N35 billion has been earmarked for works.

``As the 2021 budget will be the last full fiscal budget year it will implement, the state government is prioritising the completion of critical projects across numerous sectors of the economy.

``Then, N15.6 billion has been earmarked for the Anambra International Cargo Airport and N18 Billion for the completion of strategic roads and bridges,’’ he said.

Okoye emphasised that the state would focus at ensuring the improved fiscal sustainability; it intended to achieve this by increasing Internally Generated Revenue.

``Findings show that Anambra State is ranked 2nd on the 2020 Budget Fiscal Transparency Index Rankings.’’

He noted that the state was committed to diversifying the economy by prioritising investments in Health, Education, Agriculture, MSMEs, Youth Empowerment and Tourism that would help to cushion post COVID-19 pandemic hardships on people of the state.

State Project Coordinator of the European Union Rule of Law and Anti-Corruption (EU-ROLAC) Programmer, Ms Josephine Onoh, said that it was important for an increased capital expenditure allocation to the Law and Justice sector.

Director of Planning, Research and Statistics, Ministry of Economic Planning, Budget and Development of Partners, Mr Arthur Iweanya said that the forum formed part of the budget preparation process in the state budget calendar.

He affirmed that insights of the people drove the elicited Government’s decision in planning and budgeting for critical infrastructure, economic and social development.

Chairman, Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), Mr Chris Azor on behalf of the leadership commended the State Government for organising the forum.

He expressed appreciation for the public procurement law instituted by the State Government and hopes that the 2021 draft budget speaks to the needs of critical sectors. (MOI)