Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State, on Tuesday, presented to the State House of Assembly, the 2022 Budget estimates of One Hundred and Eighty-Six Billion, Six Hundred and Thirty-Five Million, One Hundred and Thirty-Five Thousand, Seven Hundred and Seventy Naira (N186,635,135,770.00) for consideration and approval.
Presenting the budget proposal tagged: “Budget of Sustained Growth and Consolidation”, Gov. Ugwuanyi disclosed that it “is 9.9% higher than our 2021 budget”, adding that out of the total budget size, the sum of N71,477,449,812.00, representing 38% of the total budget is for Recurrent Expenditure while the sum of N115,157,685,770.00 is for Capital Expenditure, representing 62% of the budget size.
The governor explained that the projections for the 2022 Budget of the state were founded on the economic and fiscal updates of “National Inflation Rate of 13%; National Real GDP Growth of 4.2%; Oil Production Benchmark of 1.88 million barrels per day; Oil Price Benchmark of $57 per barrel and Exchange Rate of N410.15 per US Dollar”.
Gov. Ugwuanyi hinted that the key deliverables of the 2022 Capital Budget include completion of all ongoing projects; purchase of 10 tractors and other agricultural equipment to assist mechanized farming in the state; provision of agricultural inputs, infrastructure and upgrading of wet markets for production and enhanced food processing (NG-CARES); using the Agro-processing, Productivity Enhancement and Livelihood Improvement Support (APPEALS) for Capacity Building, Women/Youth Empowerment, and Development of Farmers' Aggregation and Processing Centres; purchase of Waste Disposal Compactor Trucks and dumpsters to enhance urban cleanliness; and launch of the 4th edition of Traders Empowerment scheme for 57 major urban and rural markets in Enugu State.
Other key deliverables of the 2022 budget, according to the governor, were the establishment of facility centers for industrial processing of value chain for palm oil, cassava and cashew nut in Enugu State; construction of Ibagwa – Itchi, Iheaka – Iheakpu-Awka Roads in Igbo Eze South Local Government Area; rehabilitation of Agbani Road-Police College-Gariki Flyover Road (By Port Harcourt Expressway); construction of Bridges/River crossings over Ogurugu River, Adada River and River Obinna in Uzo-Uwani LGA, Ike River in Aninri LGA, Ogbafun River, Agu Idume in Nkanu East LGA amongst others; rehabilitation of basic schools across the 17 LGAs of the State; construction of Type III Primary Healthcare facilities in Oji River, Awgu and Aninri LGAs; completion of ongoing key infrastructure for the take-off of College of Medicine and Teaching Hospital, Enugu State University of Science & Technology, Igbo Eno; and drilling, rehabilitation and reticulation of Water Boreholes in Communities across the State.
Gov. Ugwuanyi who revealed the desire of his administration to hit the ground running in the New Year, as it implements its last full year budget; added that the key deliverables of the 2022 budget proposal were also rehabilitation and upgrading of Recreational Parks (Eze, Onwudiwe and Coal Camp); upgrading and improvement of Enugu Urban Water Supply and Distribution System through the AFD-funded 3rd National Urban Water Sector Reform Project (3rd NUWSRP); construction of Court buildings to include three (3) High Court buildings in three (3) Judicial divisions - Udi, Orba and Amagunze, six (6) Magistrate Courts buildings in Amechi Idodo, Nike, Orba, Nara, Ozalla and Awhum, Enugu State; perimeter Fencing, Landscaping and Furnishing of thirty-four (34) Customary Courts already built across the State; bulk Purchase of Electricity Distribution Transformers (500KVA and 300KVA) to upgrade and replace the failed ones in the rural communities of the State; construction of Oji River Township Stadium, Oji River LGA, and establishment of additional Enugu State Technology Hub and Innovation Centre at 9th Mile, Udi LGA.
On 2021 budget performance, Gov. Ugwuanyi pointed out that the year started on a note of recovery as national and sub-national governments embarked on strategic economic engineering, through innovative economic policies, to reflate the Covid-beaten economy of the previous year.
He said that his administration embarked on deliberate measures to bring succour to Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, adding that: “Enugu State engaged fully in the preparatory activities for the Nigeria Covid-19 Action Recovery and Economic Stimulus (NG-CARES) Program for Results, an initiative of the Federal Government of Nigeria supported by World Bank to mitigate the economic disruption occasioned by the Covid-19 Pandemic by protecting the livelihoods and food security of the poor and vulnerable families while facilitating the recovery of local economic activities in all the participating States”.
The governor revealed that in spite of economic, security and public health challenges his administration maintained the payment of the N30,000.00 Minimum Wage, as at when due, since February 2020; made substantial progress in the construction of the first Enugu State Government’s Flyover which is progressively taking its pride of place at the T-Junction, Nike Lake Road - a 105 meters bridge section, with ramps measuring 590m in cumulative length and four (4) Service lanes which on completion will enhance traffic flow around Trans-Ekulu, Nike and Nike Lake Resort axis; continued massive construction of new roads and rehabilitation of existing ones in both urban and rural areas of the state, to ease the movement of persons and materials in keeping with the state government’s policy on roads.
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Other key achievements include the ongoing construction of 600-Seater Event Hall; Lawn Tennis Court; Security Personnel Quarters; and Remodeling of 2 No existing Duplexes; expansive Car Park and landscaping at the old Governor’s Lodge; and the ongoing construction of Nsukka Conference Centre in Nsukka LGA with facilities such as five units of Halls of various seating capacities ranging from 200 to 1,000, a Swimming Pool, Lawn Tennis Court, amongst other recreational facilities; construction of 194 units of Ultra-Modern Bus Shelters in Enugu Metropolis since December 2020 with 107 units of the facility already completed; completed the State Secretariat Annex at Nsukka and relocation of the Zonal Offices of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) that were hitherto operating in make-shift structures under one roof, to the new befitting structure.
The governor stated that all Permanent Secretaries, Directors, Deputy Directors, select Middle-Level Manpower across MDAs, State EXCO Secretariat Staff and New Employees, have engaged in training (ICT, Peer Learning, Knowledge & Experience Sharing, Interactive Sessions) to build the capacity required in a modern-day Civil Service.
“Notably, Three (3) Permanent Secretaries; Thirty-One (31) Directors; and Nineteen (19) Deputy Directors have undergone Four (4) Weeks Policy, Strategy and Leadership Course at National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPPS), Kuru, Jos, Plateau State (within three months - 6th September, 2021 to the 27th November 2021).
“All these are purposeful human capital investments aimed at building capacities of Civil Servants for enhanced service delivery. It is our sincere wish to bequeath Enugu State Civil Service that is well-equipped and well-motivated for the job at hand.
“We are yet to fully recover from the negative economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and have not rested on our oars in the battle for the containment of this contagion. Within the period under review, we have continued the following interventions: The ongoing construction of Amenity facility in Enugu Ezike General hospital, the completed seven (7) Model Type III Primary Healthcare facilities in Nkanu East, Igbo-Etiti, Igbo-Eze South, Isi-Uzo, Udenu, Ezeagu and Uzo-Uwani LGAs when put into use will boost the delivery of healthcare services in the State.
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“Within the period under view, we attained significant milestones in the development of ESUT College of Medicine and Teaching Hospital, Igbo Eno. The construction of Cottage Hospitals with Isolation Wards in Awgu, Orba, Enugu Ezike and Oji-River have been completed and these will enhance the delivery of secondary healthcare services within their environs. We have successfully installed 100 (One Hundred) units of 200 litres Solar Refrigerators and Freezers at various Health Centres across the State”.
“We are transposing our State Health Systems to provide primary healthcare through the Enugu State Agency for Universal Health Coverage. Under the Enugu State Universal Health Coverage Scheme (ESUHCS), we are targeting the enrolment of all Enugu State residents. This will also facilitate the provision of free healthcare to vulnerable persons in the State, among others”.
Gov. Ugwuanyi further stated that despite the slow recovery of the Nigerian economy from the challenges occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic and others, his administration has been able to maintain traction in other sectors such as education, security, tourism, human capital development, Judiciary, religion, agriculture, water supply, scholarship schemes, sports development, science and technology, state parliament and chieftaincy matters, among others.
Responding, the Speaker of the State House Assembly, Rt. Hon. Edward Ubosi thanked Gov. Ugwuanyi for presenting modest and realizable budget estimates, assuring him that the House will give it expeditious consideration and passage.
The Deputy Governor, Hon. Mrs Cecilia Ezeilo, member representing Enugu North/South Federal Constituency, Rt. Hon. Ofor Chukwuegbo, State Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Hon. Augustine Nnamani, members of the State Executive Council, Council Chairmen, the Royal Fathers led by the Chairman of the State Council of Traditional Rulers, HRH Igwe Amb. Lawrence Agubuzu, former State Chairmen of PDP, Chief Engr. Vita Abba and Chief Ikejeu Asogwa, and other top government officials witnessed the event.