By Anayo Okoli
UMUAHIA—Governor Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State has presented an appropriation bill of N140.93 billion to the State House of Assembly for consideration as the 2018 working budget of the State.Ikpeazu
Christened “Budget of Partnerships and Opportunities”, the 2018 estimates shows an 28.15 per cent increase over that of 2017 outlay of N111.72 billion.
A breakdown of the estimates shows it makes for a recurrent expenditure of N68.47 billion and a capital expenditure of N72.46 billion.
Presenting the appropriation bill to the lawmakers, Governor Ikpeazu said: “We are not expecting a dramatic improvement in the revenue accruing to the state. The face of the economy at the national level has not changed. The realities of the continuous dwindling of the revenue accruing to the country from the major revenue earner (oil) as well as other macroeconomic indices in Nigeria are very much there. All these are evidently going to impact negatively on the economic activities in the state and by extension the IGR.
“The estimated budget outlay is based on the expected revenue from the Federation Account and Value Added Tax, VAT, sources to be complemented by the projected cash inflow from Independent Revenues, Aids, Grants, Credits and other sources. Our funding gaps will be reduced from expected collaboration arrangements with Private Partnerships and Donor agreements.”
“We will consolidate on our strategy of Direct Bank Lodgment of Electronic Collection System through the Banks to capture and confirm all payments made to the State as it is paying off.
“Meanwhile, some agencies have been created and collection consultants engaged to ensure we maximise our revenue collection. Our revenue projection for the year 2018 from internal sources is N29.17 billion.”
“We are not unmindful of the fact that even though the Organization of Petrol Exporting Countries, OPEC quota for Nigeria was not tampered with, the security challenges persisting in the Niger Delta region are preventing Nigeria from meeting the OPEC’s output quota and invariably negatively affecting revenue accruing to her and by extension, FAAC allocations. Therefore, our projection is that N50.92 billion only will accrue to the State from Statutory Allocations of the Federation Account”.