Politics & Policy

Enugu proposes bigger capital budget for 2020

Enugu State Government is proposing to spend 59 percent of her 2020 budget on capital projects, a significant departure from previous years when the State habitually reserved a larger chunk to fund running expenses of government.

Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi today presented a budget of N169.56billion to the Enugu State House of Assembly, a whopping 55 percent more than the N109.19billion that was approved for 2019.

For the 2020 fiscal year, the Governor says he will reserve N100.77billion (59.43%) for capital expenditure and N68.79billion (40.57%) for recurrent expenses.

By this estimate, the Governor has reversed the capital-recurrent ratio in the 2019 budget, where the House approved 59.9% (N65.71billion) for recurrent expenditure and 40.1% (N43.93billion) for capital expenses.

The big increase in capital proposals, the Governor said, will be used to fund social infrastructure, education, health, and employment promotion programmes.

Ugwuanyi expressed confidence that the money would become available as the state government creates a conducive environment for increased productivity through emphasis on management of governance issues, including sustenance of political stability, building strong and more efficient institutions, securing lives and property, providing critical infrastructure, and continuing to commit to fiscal discipline.

He also praised local efforts to generate revenue which he said have seen an 11 percent increase every year since 2015, to stand today at a record-setting N27billion.

The Governor predicated the performance of the budget on certain national economic indicators such as inflation rate at 10.8 percent, a real growth rate of 2.9 percent, national production of 2.18 million barrels of oil per day, sold at not less than $55 per barrel, and stability of foreign currency rate of exchange at N305 per US dollar.

Lawmakers listen keenly to the Budget speech

Among key social projects announced by the Governor are construction of an underpass and flyover at Nike Lake Road T-Junction, on-going construction of urban and rural roads, remodelling of Hotel Presidential, upgrade of facilities at the Nike Lake Hotel, completion of construction, landscaping, and furnishing of the International Conference Centre, and upgrade of Okpara Square with additional pavilions.

On education, he promised to resume the construction of Adada Campus of the Enugu State University of Science and Technology but was however silent on construction works that have already begun at both the Enugu State University of Education, Ihe and the ESUTH Teaching Hospital at Igboano.

Gov. Ugwuanyi listed three projects to be executed in the health sector, including “operationalisation of the Enugu State Diagnostic Centre,” implementation of Universal Health Coverage in the State and upgrading and revitalization of primary health care facilities across the state.

The government, he also said, plans to confront the challenge of growing youth unemployment by promoting small and medium scale industries in the 17 local council areas of the state and by continuing with policies and programmes that position the state as “a destination of choice for credible investors.”

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