Abia Govt Poised to Commence 2024 Budget Implementation Effective January 1

As Gov Otti Signs His Maiden Appropriation Bill of N567.2bn into Law

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The Abia State government is now ready to hit the ground running in the implementation of its maiden fiscal policy for the 2024 fiscal year with effect from the first day of January.

This is because the state governor, Dr Alex Otti on Thursday, December 29, 2023 signed the 2024 Appropriation Bill of N567.2 Billion into law thereby setting the stage for its immediate implementation.

Otti had on December 12, 2023 presented the 2024 budget to the State House of Assembly, describing it as a new beginning for Abia. It was speedily passed into law 10 days later by the State legislature with virtually no amendment.

Here’s the Appropriation Bill for your assent, the Speaker of Abia State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon Emmanuel Emeruwa tells Gov Otti.

 

In his remarks before appending his signature to the fiscal policy document, Otti reiterated that Abia would witness a quantum leap in holistic development.

He said: “I want to say that this is a budget that would take Abia State out of underdevelopment to development. The journey of a thousand miles starts with one step.

“This is the first step, once we get things right, and we know we will get them right, the next few years will be uhuru for all our people, those living here and those who come from here and our friends”.

He noted that the budget ratio of 84 percent for capital expenditure and 16 percent for recurrent was carefully thought out as a pathway to accelerate the growth of Abia economy within a short time frame.

“That we devoted 84% of the budget to capital expenditure is not an error,” he said, adding that the details of the budget indicates that “every kobo we intend to borrow will go into infrastructure or mapped out to infrastructure”.

Gov Otti signing his maiden Appropriation Bill into law.

 

The 2024 budget has a deficit of 75 percent or N401,162,378,914 which the governor had told the legislators would be financed with “new borrowings” to the tune of N385,271,027,214. According to him, 50 percent of the new borrowings would be sourced externally while the other half would come within.

Otti said that “our discussions (with prospective creditors) are on and as we require the funding, we will get them”, indicating that he won’t have problem of funding the budget despite the huge deficit.

In fact, he sounded upbeat while signing the fiscal policy, saying that “the budget is expected to excite foreign and local investment, spur large scale and medium businesses, secure the state and prepare Abia for the next level of development”.

The governor commended the Speaker and members of Abia House Assembly for the great job they did resulting to the expeditious passage of the bill.

The House, Rt Hon. Emmanuel Emeruwa, had earlier affirmed that 84 percent and 16 percent ratio of allocation to capital and recurrent expenditure, respectively, was not altered.

He said that the budget would touch the lives of Abia people positively, adding that the aim of passing the budget before December 31, 2023 was to ensure that the 2024 Budget becomes operational from January 1, 2024.

 

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