Governor Theodore Orji on Tuesday presented a budget estimate of N102.4 billion for the 2015 fiscal year, about 12 per cent less than the N115.3 billion for last year.
The budget tagged ‘Valedictory Budget,’ is composed of recurrent expenditure of N62.20 billion and capital expenditure of N40.18 billion.
Presenting the budget before members of the state House of Assembly, Orji said this year’s budget was prepared based on the International Public Sector Accounting Standard (IPSAS) and structured along a medium term expenditure framework.
He said he was mindful of the fact that the 2015 budget was the last fiscal policy of his administration hence it was expected to take care of the completion of all ongoing legacy projects.
Orji said he has increased budgetary allocations to the critical areas such as health, education, poverty reduction and youth empowerment as well as peace and security.
He explained that the decrease in the 2015 budget outlay in comparison to the budget of the previous year was due to fall in crude oil price, which has adversely affected the revenue accruing to the state from federal allocation.
The Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Hon. Ude Oko Chukwu, lauded the government of Orji for the remarkable achievements the state had attained in all sectors, adding that the state “has done so well” in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and objectives to attract foreign investors.
He therefore urged the government “to endeavour to consolidate and improve on the gains so far achieved with a view to returning the state to the path of sustainable economic growth and development through structural and institutional reforms.”
The speaker promised that the fifth Abia legislature would perform its last constitutional duty on appropriation with greater zeal and collaborate in all efforts aimed at achieving the goals and objectives of thee 2015 fiscal policy.