Stephen Ukandu, Umuahia
Senior Special Adviser to Governor Alex Otti on Due Process, Dr Oluebube Chukwu, has described Abia’s N567.2 billion estimate for 2024 budget as a reflection of Otti’s commitment to infrastructural transformation and improved social welfare of the people.
Addressing newsmen in Umuahia, Dr Chukwu said that the budget, which allocated 80% for capital expenditure and 20% for recurrent expenditure was a departure from the old order.
The SA commended the Governor for allocating 20% of the budget to the critical education sector while Health followed with 15%, a development he said, was unprecedented in the history of the state.
The entire budget outlay, he continued, “reflects the present administration’s commitment to addressing pressing needs and fostering sustainable growth in the state.”
According to him, the budget is a display of fiscal prudence and visionary governance with the potential to usher in unprecedented development and prosperity for the people of Abia.
He noted that the proposed pay rise for civil servants in the state is a testament to Governor Otti’s recognition of the challenges posed by the current economic realities.
Chukwu emphasised that by making provisions for increased wages in the budget, the present administration has displayed a genuine commitment to the welfare, dedication of its workforce and their contribution to the state’s progress.
“I commend Governor Otti’s strategic foresight embedded in the “Budget of New Beginning.” The proposal, totaling a substantial N567,240,095,972 billion, reflects the government’s commitment to addressing the state’s pressing needs and fostering sustainable growth.
“One of the standout features of the budget is the commendable shift towards prioritising capital expenditure, with 84% of the allocation directed towards crucial infrastructure projects. This strategic reallocation, up from 53% in the previous fiscal year, demonstrates Governor Otti’s unwavering commitment to advancing the state’s economic landscape.
“The dedication of over 20% and 15% of the budget to education and health, respectively, underscores the government’s prioritisation of the social sector. This move aligns with the vision of Governor Otti’s administration in ensuring access to quality education and healthcare services for the citizens,” Chukwu affirmed.
The Due Process boss noted that Governor Otti’s transparency initiative which was highlighted by the creation of a monitoring system for citizens and stakeholders to track project implementation, is a commendable step towards ensuring accountability and inclusive governance.
Chukwu further added that the system would guarantee transparency, prudence and reinforce the government’s commitment to citizen participation in decision-making processes.
He said that the Governor’s assurance that all borrowings in the fiscal year will be strictly dedicated to capital development projects, particularly in roads, schools, and medical facilities, showcases a responsible approach to debt management.
“This commitment is crucial in ensuring that borrowed funds are invested in projects with direct and lasting impact on the state’s economy.
“Governor Otti’s budget presentation stands as a testament to his visionary leadership, prudent financial management, and unwavering commitment to the well-being of the people of Abia,” Chukwu stated.
He expressed optimism that the proposed budget would serve as a catalyst for transformative change that would propel Abia to greater heights of prosperity and development.