Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State on Thursday presented to the State House of Assembly, the 2023 budget size estimated at One Hundred and Sixty-Six Billion, Six Hundred and Two Million, Four Hundred and Sixteen Thousand, Seven hundred and Seventy Naira (NGN166,602,416,770.00).
Presenting the 2023 budget proposal tagged: “Budget of Consolidation and Transition”, Governor Ugwuanyi stated that the budget which will be implemented by his administration between January and May 2023 is intended to conclude all on-going projects as much as possible, consolidate his administration’s achievements in the past seven and half years, and transit the state into the capable hands of the inbound administration.
The Governor disclosed that the estimated budget size of N166,602,416,770.00 is 10.73 percent lower than the 2022 budget “because the target in 2023 is to conclude all on-going projects and consolidate on our achievements in the past seven and half years.”
He added that out of the total budget size, the sum of N81,903,799,370.00 representing 49% is for recurrent expenditure, while N84,698,617,400.00 representing 51% is for capital expenditure.
Governor Ugwuanyi explained that the 2023 budget is guided by the Medium-Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) 2023-2025 and Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP) and anchored on the National Macroeconomic assumptions, namely; National Inflation Rate of 17.16 percent, National Real GDP Growth of 3.75 percent, Oil Production Benchmark of 1.69 million barrels per day, Oil Price Benchmark of $70 per barrel, and Exchange Rate of N435.57 per US Dollar.
Hinting on the key deliverables of the 2023 budget, the governor stated that his administration’s fundamental intents include provision of security for life and property; construction, reconstruction and rehabilitation of urban roads; opening up of several rural areas through the construction of rural and earth roads as well as bridges to link up communities for movement of persons, agricultural products, goods and services; rehabilitation of Oji Water Scheme and other water facilities under the French Development Agency (AFD) support for the 3rd National Urban Water Sector Reform Project to upgrade water supply to Enugu Metropolis; construction, reconstruction and furnishing of classrooms for teaching and learning in basic education and provision of infrastructural facilities, science and hospital equipment for teaching and learning in the State University of Science and Applied Medical Sciences, SUMAS, Igbo-Eno.
Other key intents of his administration in the 2023 budget are infrastructural investments in the Judiciary to enhance the judicial environment for the dispensation of justice; expansion of the gains recorded in the Agro Processing Productivity Enhancement and Livelihood Improvement Support (APPEALS) Project in the pursuit of food security in the state; provision of agricultural inputs, assets, and wet market infrastructure for food production and enhanced food processing; completion, furnishing, equipping and operationalisation of newly built healthcare facilities including the State Infectious Disease Hospital, Amenity building at Enugu-Ezike General Hospital, Ogrute, additional Type 3 Primary Healthcare Centres in Uzo-Uwani, Awgu and Aninri LGAs, Cottage hospitals with isolation wings etc for enhanced healthcare delivery; sustainable municipal waste management; upgrade of power installations and extension of power to rural communities of the state, among others.
On 2022 budget performance, Governor Ugwuanyi revealed that notable accomplishments of his administration in the year under reference include establishment of the State University of Medical and Applied Sciences (SUMAS) Igbo-Eno, Enugu State with facilities put in place in readiness for the take-off of academic activities in the medical university; cumulative construction and reconstruction of about 1,000 classroom blocks, 11 water boreholes, provision of 68,875 sets of plastic locker/chair, among other educational facilities; sustained funding of foreign and local scholarships in favour of indigenes of the state such as the 22 students currently studying medical and information technology courses in University of Mewar, India, 200 students in different higher institutions of learning and 42 students at various secondary schools within the country; and secure of fully funded postgraduate scholarships for 40 Enugu State students to study in various parts of Europe, America, Australia and Asia through the Mentorship Masterclass of Enugu State Scholarship Scheme and Loans Board, valued at over three billion naira (N3,000,000,000.00) in addition to the one million naira each provided to the 40 students by Governor Ugwuanyi’s administration.
Other achievements, according to the governor, include upgrade of the Accident and Emergency building of ESUT Teaching Hospital, Parklane, Enugu to a two-storey building, furnished and put to use as well as procurement of equipment such as Laparoscopic machine, Cardiotocography & Ultrasound (CTG & USS) machines, Feto-maternal patient monitor, among others to enhance the capacity of the hospital in diagnosis and treatment of illnesses and antenatal care; on-going construction of three (3) additional Model Type III Primary Healthcare Centres in Adani, Oduma and Agbogugu in Uzo-Uwani, Aninri and Awgu LGAs respectively in addition to the seven of them recently built and equipped by the present administration to boost the delivery of primary healthcare services across the state; the construction, landscaping and equipping of Amenity facility at Enugu-Ezike General Hospital, Ogrute, Igbo-Eze North LGA , which is almost completed; construction and reconstruction of several roads such as 5km University of Nigeria Nsukka (New Gate) by Nru Junction – 9th Mile-Makurdi expressway, Agbani Road (from Police Detective College – Garki Flyover by Enugu Port Harcourt Expressway and the 2.35KM access road to Legacy Estate, among others.
The Governor stated that “efforts are underway to open up several rural areas through the construction of rural and earth roads to link up communities including Ugwuogo Nike – Agu Ukehe – Umunko road, Igbo Etiti LGA; Ozi Edem / Akpa Edem – Okpuje road, Lejja – Aku road with a spur to Amaobinna road, Ihe Ndiagu – Eha Alumona, Ikpa Market Road, Premier Junction (9th Mile – Markurdi Express way) road – Afor Market, Eha Alumona in Nsukka LGA, Amansiodo – Ihuonyia road in Ezeagu LGA, amongst others.”
According to him: “Other constructed, reconstructed and ongoing roads include: Prof. Ofili Ugwudioha Street, Independence Layout; Ugbaike, Enugu Ezike – Obollo Afor link road with smart solar street light; Eke Amala – Otukpo Old Road, Amadi – Agbougwu – Amajioke road, Umuokere- Igugu Road, Phase 1, Udenu LGA; Eke Like-Iheaka Junction-Amagu Uwani-Ekoi Iheaka-Ihunuowerre-Iheakpu awka road in Igbo-Eze South Local Government Area; road network in the Crystal Court Estate beside NTA premises, Independence Layout; access road and internal road network in the House of Assembly Layout behind ENHA, Independence Layout; IMT Boulevard, Phase II; asphaltic concrete road and drainage system on the road leading to Udenu LGA; Ibagwa Junction-Ibagwa-Igbo-eze South Local Government Headquarters roundabout.”
Others are “Justice Nwazota Crescent-Ilogu Close, with a spur to Works Layout GRA; Spot improvements of urban roads within the Enugu Metropolis; Emergency erosion control and protective works at Atavu Stream, Amaechi-Amodu-Umueze Road, Nkanu West LGA; Neke/Mbu-Ogbodu Abba/Obollo Road at Chainage 3+210 in Isiuzo LGA; Asata River, Lagos Street, Enugu North LGA; Agu Orba and Imiliki Etiti in Udenu LGA; Ogui River at Works Road, GRA; University Road, Nsukka; Works Road at Works Layout, GRA amongst others; Mission Junction-Owolloti – Ogoma Ring Road (Phase II), Iwollo Oghe, Ezeagu LGA amongst others; Swamp reclamation at Works Road layout, GRA, Enugu.”
On improvement in water resources, Governor Ugwuanyi said that the 9th Mile Crash Borehole programme rehabilitation works have been completed and electricity power supplied (solar power), adding that the “Crash Programme produces over 10,000,000litres (10,000 cubic meters) of water per day into our daily water supply to Enugu metropolis.”
He stated that his administration procured and installed new pumps at Oji Water Scheme that has resulted in the production of 30,000,000litres (30,000cubic meters) of water per day to Enugu Metropolis, adding that a contractor has been selected for the complete rehabilitation of Oji Water Scheme under the French Development Agency (AFD) support for the Third National Urban Water Sector Reform Project (3rd NUWSRP).
“The AFD re-organisation programme for the water sector of Enugu State under the Institutional and Organizational Technical Assistance (ITA & OTA) programmes including the CHANGE MANAGEMENT PROGRAMME FOR THE WATER CORPORATION has commenced,” he said, revealing further that the completion of the rehabilitation of boreholes at Nsukka has increased water supply by over 10,000,000litres (10,000 cubic metres) of water daily.
He further stated that “pipeline network extension works to Justina Eze Street, Oloto Street, Techtonics Road, Umudiaka Community, Umuoyo Community, Amukwa Community, Ezema Nru Road, Mkpuruikwere Community, St. Theresa’s Road, Chinedu Ugwu Street, Eziama/Edem Community have been completed,” pointing out that his administration rehabilitated 2 Nos. boreholes at Lejja (Ejuona and Akaibite Communities) in Nsukka LGA; constructed 2 Nos. Solar – Powered RSI Inverter Borehole at Obollo-Afor, Udenu LGA and provided Commercial Capacity Borehole at Mary Agro Farms Udi, Udi LGA, among others.
On security, Governor Ugwuanyi said that the Nigerian Army 82 Division Headquarters has set up a Military Base at Eha Amufu, Isi-Uzo LGA and Akpawfu, Nkanu East LGA, stating that the state government has deployed 20 high-performance motorcycles for use by the military to beef up internal security duties in Nkanu East, Nkanu West, Enugu South and Isi-Uzo LGAs.
The governor further disclosed that the provision of facilities at the Mopol 79 Squadron Ekwegbe, Igbo-Etiti LGA newly constructed by his administration has reached an advanced stage of completion, maintaining that “we have continued to provide modern communication equipment and required logistics for the maintenance of vehicles for the efficient functioning of the Nigerian Police, Enugu State Command and other security agencies.”
Speaking further on the 2022 budget achievements, Governor Ugwuanyi highlighted the laudable feats recorded in the areas of Judiciary, Agriculture, Enugu State Care Programme, Emergency Management, Tech Hubs and Youth Innovation Centres, Zik Centre, and his administration’s most consequential achievement, which is the listing of Enugu among the oil producing states in the country by the Federal Government through the Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission.
The governor explained that “the economic import of this development (oil producing status) is that Enugu State becomes entitled to an equitable share of 13% of oil revenue under the 13% derivation principle as enshrined in section 162, sub-section 2 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as amended. The huge economic benefits will soon kick in and is simply a game changer.”
“Mr. Speaker, we were able to record these modest achievements, and others not mentioned, in all facets of the state despite the surging inflation, unfavourable exchange rate, general insecurity in the country, incessant disruption of economic activities due to the indiscriminate sit-at-home orders in the South-East region occasioned by separatist agitations, the recent devastating flooding with its attendant destruction of farms, properties, loss of lives and livelihoods which left pain and misery in its wake. Regardless, we have continued to maintain a convivial atmosphere essential for progress.
“As we round off our 2nd and last Term in office by May 2023, it is our hope that the coming year will offer a healthier environment that allows us to consolidate our dear state on the part of progress and growth, advance and transit to the next administration. We are emboldened by our unshakable faith and trust in the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob and the awesome God of David,” he said.
Concluding the presentation, Governor Ugwuanyi expressed gratitude to the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Edward Ubosi and his colleagues for their cherished cooperation and support since the inception of his administration, stressing that the state assembly has been the bedrock of his government’s equilibrium.
In his remarks, the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Ubosi, on behalf of his colleagues, applauded Governor Ugwuanyi for entrenching peace and good governance in Enugu State as well as the manner the governor has managed the security of the state in the last seven and half years despite some challenges, stressing that Enugu remains one of the safest states in the country.
Rt. Hon. Ubosi commended the governor for the sacrifice and selfless efforts he made to ensure that Enugu joins the league of states enjoying oil producing status not minding the fact that “it is people that will come after you that will benefit it”.
The Speaker, therefore, assured Governor Ugwuanyi and the people of Enugu State of a thorough debating exercise and expeditious passage of the 2023 budget, stating that the members of the state House of Assembly will continue to work harmoniously with the governor to ensure that he fully actualises his lofty programmes and policies for the people of the State.