2016 BUDGET SPEECH PRESENTED BY DR. OKEZIE IKPEAZU, GOVERNOR, ABIA STATE TO THE STATE HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY ON THURSDAY, DECEMBER 31 2015
MR. SPEAKER, HON. MEMBERS OF THIS DISTINGUISHED HOUSE, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN!
It is with great pleasure and honor that I present to this distinguished Honorable House the 2016 Budget of the State. This yearâ€™s budget, christened THE BUDGET OF RESTORATION THROUGH ENTERPRISE is anchored on the International Public Sector Accounting Standard (IPSAS). It is a Multi-Year Budget which has the structure of a Medium Term Expenditure Framework and looks at projections for years 2016 to 2018.
What this means is that the fiscal management of our administration would be strictly guided by the principle of international best practices where prudent utilization of resources remains the prevailing norm.
We will be harnessing the abundant human resources in the State to provide the platform which outlines the broad Policy direction upon which the budget is crafted with the aim of achieving outstanding results and outputs.
We are poised more than ever before, to continue to provide enduring, committed and supportive roles to Sustainable Development Goals which is a new programme that will drive a new development policy built on the gains of MDGs. These programmes/policies will enhance the following :
â€¢ Economic Development
â€¢ Environmental Sustainability
â€¢ Social inclusion
â€¢ Positive Governance
The Budget has been designed for better policy formulation, fiscal planning, budget analysis and accountability.
It has a modest nature which shows an indication that it will be realizable within the financial capacity of the State.
We crafted the budget to foster the acceleration of â€œBuilding Physical and Human Infrastructure through Enterprise for Job Creation and Poverty Eradication.â€
Honourable Members of the State House of Assembly, my dear people of Abia State, the 2016 budget is anchored on FIVE PILLARS which forms the critical areas that will ensure the much needed dividends of Democracy and sustainable development. These pillars include:
â€¢ Commerce and Industry, and
â€¢ Oil and Gas.
Focused and guided action on the Pillars by other Sectorial Enablers will be the catalyst for enhancement and creation of new job opportunities as well as increased commercial and investment activities in the State.
The 2016 fiscal environment of the State is one that will have an interplay of agricultural, mineral and manpower resources resulting in increased food production and raw material and wealth creation. With our enormous opportunities in the area of our human capital spread in the informal sector, we will capitalise on the provisions of adequate infrastructure and available goodwill to secure credit facilities, generate and beef up the much required investment enterprises.
FISCAL CONTROL POLICY MEASURES
Achievement and full implementation of the 2016 budget is proposed to be based on the following control measures:
â€¢ Sustaining the adoption of â€œInternational-Public-Sector-Accounting-Standardâ€ (IPSAS) and unification of the use of the State chart of accounts as the platform for budgeting and accounting processes.
â€¢ Abia State Blue print for Development Vision 20;20;20: and the Sustainable Development Goals(SDGs) shall be the main focus for economic growth of our State.
â€¢ This budget which is anchored on IPSAS will encourages proper reporting of Government business.
â€¢ Other underlying key assumptions for the budget are as follows:
â€¢ Steady and continuous efforts to reduce the cost of Governance.
â€¢ A strong belief that there would be Macroeconomic Stability in the country
â€¢ Expansion in the revenue net to increase the IGR.
â€¢ Plugging all sources of financial leakages.
â€¢ Creation of a more friendly business environment to attract local and foreign direct investment.
2016 BUDGET: A GENERAL OVERVIEW:
The 2016 Budget is basically designed to address the critical issues that underline the present Global aspiration to attain Sustainable Development Goals and Targets in the State. It is an annual plan of action for achieving the following:.
1. Growth aimed at improvement in the quality of life of Abians.
2. People as fundamental reason for growth, and
3. Achieving inclusiveness, equity and balanced development.
Our strategy is to maximize the endowments from the Five aforementioned Pillars through public private partnership (PPP) initiatives. By this, we will be developing and building a virile economy through strong enterprise support.
2016: BUDGET OF RESTORATION THROUGH ENTERPRISE
Mr. Speaker, Honorable Members, I hereby present the 2016 Budget titled â€œBUDGET OF RESTORATION THROUGH ENTERPRISEâ€.
The budget will be anchored on an all encompassing financial reporting framework which encourages the use of codes columns for governmental and business activities to reveal the true and actual position of Government finances.
The private sector will be expected to be more active in investing to create more jobs in the State, enhancing productivity and improving quality of life. In this vein, It is expected that government will serve as facilitator and promoter in the economy by providing incentives to promote specific industries.
The 2016 Budget provides a unified approach to managing all funds. It allows for forecasting future flow of all resources. By this, I am sure government entities will be enabled to determine whether resources are being used effectively and efficiently for Sustainable Growth and Development of the State.
To this end, the 2016 Budget has an estimated outlay of N96.7 billion. An outlay that shows 22.8% decrease over the 2015 Budget outlay of N127.5 billion.
The whole outcome is based on the resolve by this administration to build on the gains of previous Administrations. This will widen the window of support from the International Community. Accordingly, our Capital Expenditure is proposed to be N37.8B while our Recurrent Expenditure shall be N58.9B.
It is our avowed resolve to improve on our internally generated revenue efforts with a view to making the economy of the State more self- reliant. In doing this, we do not intend to compound the problem of the good people of Abia State with unnecessary Tax burden. We intend to generate more revenue internally this year at a level of more than 30% of what was the actual accrual in 2015.
The estimated total outlay of the 2016 budget is based on expected revenue from FAAC and VAT sources, complemented by the projections of the Stateâ€™s expected cash flow from Independent Revenues, Aids and Grants, Loans, and other sources.
During the Planned period, we propose to ensure that funding gaps will be reduced through robust activities under Public Private Partnership and Donor Agreements.
The specific objective of the 2016 Budget is predicated on realism of actual inflow of all revenues to the State and being driven by the Five aforementioned Pillars, with the following objectives:
â€¢ To optimize the human and natural resource potentials for achieving rapid and sustained economic growth.
â€¢ To translate economic growth into equitable social development that guarantees a dignified and meaningful existence for all citizens.
â€¢ To provide a market- friendly competitive business environment that supports a fast growing economy with adequate infrastructure and full mobilization of all economic sectors.
â€¢ To evolve a healthy and economically productive population that is growing at a sustainable pace, supported by a healthcare system that focuses on all and sustains a life expectancy of not less than 70 years.
â€¢ To introduce a modern and vibrant education system that meets international standards of quality education that is accessible and aligned to the changing needs of the society and demands of industries.
These objectives shall provide the platform which outlines the broad policy direction of our Administration; they will modulate the Policies that seek to ensure optimal and timely delivery of results while being guided by the principle of international best practices. During the fiscal year, our focus will be on prudent utilization of resources. To this end, the 2016 Budget will be implemented, using the following strategies:
1. The budget structure shall remain within the context of 3- Multi-Year/Medium Term Expenditure Framework accompanied by medium term sector strategies.
2. Correcting the inherent weaknesses in internally generated revenue mechanism through the strategy of Direct Bank Lodgment of Electronic Collection System and gradual shift towards the Treasury Single Account System (TSA) for effective tracking of government inflows.
3. Funding of 2016 budget will be based on actual and available revenue.
4. Reducing the level of state domestic debt.
5. Reduction of funding gaps through improved independent revenue sources e.g donor agencies and private partners
6. Facilitating the strategy of Public Private Partnership initiative in project implementation, and providing a conducive environment for investors/counterparts funds.
The 2016 Budget is compliant to the National Chart of Account.
I hereby present to this honorable House a Budget that consists of the following Sectors:
â€¢ Effective Administration
â€¢ Economic Development
â€¢ Law and Justice
â€¢ Social Development
As a service and development driven Government, we are providing strategic leadership direction to the Civil Service and Public Service to attain efficiency and effectiveness.
We propose to make the service efficient to the extent that Public Agencies, Units and Parastatals can effectively be responsive to the needs and the aspirations of the society regarding delivery of service.
To this end, our thrust in 2016 shall be to ensure the repositioning of the service to become a more efficient and result-oriented Institution with focus on value for money, performance and measurement.
We are working assiduously to restore the Core Values of Public Service for the emergence of suitable environment where Law, order and peaceful coexistence will prevail.
We are developing the Stateâ€™s Human Resources Management and Information System that will provide the required Integration of Human resources payroll, accounting, budgeting and auditing unified database for efficient fiscal management. By this, we shall track corruption and improve transparency in government accounts.
Mr. Speaker, Honourable members, Let me assure you and through you, the people of Abia State that these are solid and legitimate platforms for providing security and sense of direction that will create confidence in the Private sector in the delivery of effective Governance.
1. This Administration will continue to ensure that the identified Legitimate approaches to the promotion of rapid economic growth and development are encouraged through:
â€¢ Holistic review of Laws on revenue generation by Ministries Departments and Agencies to block all loopholes.
â€¢ Upward review of Laws to check low internally generated revenues to Government.
â€¢ Provision of proper legal framework to support rapid infrastructural development.
Government will continue to support and strengthen the State Planning Commission to coordinate the joint Monitoring/ Evaluation of Projects and Programmes to ensure value for money.
Ministries Departments and Agencies must identify the various Key Performance Indicators of their Capital Projects to fast track the various levels and aspects of Monitoring as being proposed.
Agriculture is expected to provide the lead in the growth for socio-economic development in the State.
With the available arable land and favourable climatic factors for the growth of numerous food and crops, agriculture has the potential that will drive our food sufficiency objective which meets the Sustainable Development Goal of bringing an end to hunger, achieve food security, improve nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture.
To achieve the above in 2016, this administration shall ensure:
â€¢ That we build on the already existing goodwill we are enjoying from stakeholders/private sector to increase capital acquisition and investment in the sector.
â€¢ Support private and public sector nursery operators and Farm Estates to raise mature seedlings.
â€¢ Replace old and unproductive semi-wide grove palms with improved high yielding Tenera Species across the State.
â€¢ Strengthen and Intensify the multiplication and distribution of Pro-Vitamin cassava through the ADP Women in Agriculture (WIA) unit, for provision of the highly nutritious cassava to families especially children and nursing mothers.
â€¢ Pursue and meet the critical target for the 2016 State local AETA Programme. This will enable us benefit from the poverty reduction, employment and wealth creation component of the programme.
â€¢ Sustain the on-going efforts being made in the sector to Increase Land cultivation in the State to about 45% of the total arable land including increase to value-addition to commodities.
Mr. Speaker. In 2016, under the renewable energy programme, we shall:
â€¢ Seek partnership with WAAP/NRCRI for the establishment of Biogas Technology and we shall ensure extension of itâ€™s benefits to all rural families.
â€¢ Increase per capital income of Abians.
â€¢ Increase the Number of registered cooperative societies by 25%.
This Administration shall vigorously pursue the massive agricultural development programe of the State, by making our farmers Contract Producers and introducing value chains in the crop, fishery, and livestock production. By this, we shall be addressing food security to Abians thereby eradicating extreme hunger.
WORKS AND TRANSPORT:
Government in the 2016 Fiscal Year proposes to ensure the provision of motorable roads that will criss-cross all nooks and crannies of the State for the overall socio economic empowerment of Abians. This is why we are embarking on construction, reconstruction and rehabilitation of State Roads and Bridges. Based on this, we will make effort to recover 60% of failed roads in the State by the end of 2018, to increase our paved Trunk roads from 20% to 60% or 300 kilometers.
There shall be provision of link roads to major economic zones for access and quick transportation of agricultural and other commodities at a reduced cost and haulage time. The multiplier effect of good roads cannot be over-emphasized.
As we are aware, transportation affects the totality of life and economic activities of the people, this is why our administration is not leaving any stone unturned towards creating the required atmosphere that will be suitable for attracting private investors to further develop and expand the sector.
We are optimistic that efforts being made to partner with the Federal Government to develop our Inland Water Ways will yield fruits within the medium term period. This means that the dredging of Azumini Blue River and the construction of Obuaku River Port Complex connecting them to the Atlantic Ocean will be realized for proper use of the Water Ways.
Abia State Governmentâ€™s laudable effort to provide our people a befitting Airport is a project that is moving the transport sector to an enviable height. When completed, the project has the capability of generating employment opportunities to our teeming youths.
It is our desire to ensure that the project would be realized during the planned period.
I therefore call upon all stakeholders especially the communities bordering the project to give us the maximum cooperation we require in the realization of the project.
COMMERCE AND INDUSTRIES
In line with this Administrationâ€™s avowed effort to place emphasis on building resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive sustainable industrialization and foster innovation, we shall ensure collaboration with private business operators to move the sector forward. In 2016, the government is going to create the enabling environment that will energize to industrial growth in the State. We will be focusing on the development of an industrial sector that is guided by local research and development strategy which seeks to promote science and technology-based small and medium scale enterprises.
Our technology incubation centers will focus on Food Processing, Industrial Chemicals, Oil and Gas, Leather and Garments.
The more we achieve these targets, the more viral and expanded our economy will become. This will create more jobs and increase IGR.
As we know, Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises are globally acknowledged as the engine house of any economy. This is why this sector is critical to the development of our State economy.
To this end, during the fiscal year, we shall be stressing on the need to resuscitate The Abia Fund for Small Scale Industries and Loan Scheme which will provide a revolving loan scheme to meet the capital need of the SMES.
We propose to achieve these laudable objectives through:
â€¢ Embarking on sustained industrial-promotion drive as well as ensure the conduct of Industrial feasibility studies in line with international best practices.
â€¢ Showcasing the rich industrial trade and investment potentials of Abia State through periodic hosting of trade fairs and exhibitions.
â€¢ Ensuring that Industries in the State operate within the confines of the regulatory framework as well as ensuring that agricultural produce are graded and marketed according to the Policy guidelines.
While, we are making efforts to up-grade the Abia Hotels to a 3-Star facility, Government is currently engaged in the continual development of markets at Umuohu Azueke Industrial Market, The Ohia Nsukwe Umuogo Industrial Cluster as well as the Ubani Ibeku Ultra-Modern International Market, Electronic/ Electrical Market at Osisioma and the Ovom and Umukalika Industrial Workshop Estates at Aba will be giving the desired attention.
LAW AND JUSTICE:
The Judiciary will continue to have a free hand in its operations, being an impartial arbiter in all disputes between all manners of people. Governmentâ€™s effort in the fiscal year will be directed towards the speedy administration of justice. We are aware that the Rule of Law depicts conduct of governance in the framework of the supremacy of the Law, equality of all citizens before the Law and equal protection before the Law.
Therefore, in 2016, our goal in the sector will be to Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels.
Against this background, we propose to continue the upgrading and the rehabilitation of Courts in the various Magisterial Divisions and Districts.
This will certainly assist us to strengthen Law and order and the administration of Justice in the State. By this, we will be reducing the existing high frequency of adjournment of cases in our Judicial and Justice system in the State.
Education is critical to human capacity development and every focused government all over the world strives to provide quality and equitable education to itâ€™s citizens. Ours will be all-inclusive where all shades of interest will be adequately taken care of. Towards this end, our Basic Education Programme shall encourage and support early childhood care and education. At the Primary School Education level, our program will focus on laying of sound foundation for scientific and reflective thinking including provision of citizenship education, whereas at the Junior Secondary Education level, we shall focus on providing training for self-reliance and meaningful living.
The Senior Secondary Education Programme shall lay emphasis on Science , Technology, and Vocational Education for children between the ages of 15-18, to enable them receive qualitative education to qualify for further studies or self-employment. This Administration therefore is committed to ensuring that Abians and indeed all Nigerians resident in the State acquire relevant skills and competencies that will make them useful to the society.
The resource mobilization for attaining the goals and objectives shall seek internal and external potentials for the required investments, endowments and enterprising ventures in the sector.
In 2016, Government will be committed to ensuring that entrepreneurship subjects/ trades are fully adopted in our School system in accordance with Federal Ministry of Education guidelines.
It is the intention of the present administration to provide health services that are accessible and affordable to majority of the people particularly the urban poor and rural dwellers. In 2016, we shall lay emphasis on ensuring healthy lives and promote well-being for all ages. One fundamental strategy we have adopted to deliver on the expectations of Abians is that we have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Federal Ministry of Health in conjunction with World Health Organization â€œ SAVE ONE MILLION LIVESâ€ of children under the age of 5 years and women of child-bearing age every year in Nigeria.
In our resolve to tackle the enormous health challenges in the State, Government in 2016 will strive to consolidate and ensure regular access to affordable drugs and vaccines, and will pursue the realization of increased access to Universal health care through mechanisms that provide free health services to vulnerable groups.
To this end we intend to:
âž¢ Provide adequate infrastructure and well maintained equipment through partnership with the private sector.
âž¢ Enhance the availability and management of health resources (financial, human, and infrastructural) by consolidating and expanding the various Health Institutions in the State.
âž¢ Strengthening the various health regulatory agencies and accelerating the implementation of National Health Insurance Scheme.
âž¢ Pursue the implementation of the health policies in the Abia State Strategic Health Development Plan.
âž¢ Emphasise on health education to assist Abians become more aware of their rights and obligations regarding health services as well as promoting disease prevention.
YOUTHS / WOMEN AND SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT:
In 2016, Government will be committed to the total overhaul and establishment of sound foundation for the uplifting of the status of the vulnerable group (women, the youth, children) and people living with disabilities.
This group constitutes more than 65% of our population. Issues affecting this group are critical as they encounter problems and require actionable measures for improving their welfare and development.
The Administration intends to tackle headlong, the critical issues of gender which demand strategic action aimed at:
â€¢ Growth and the improvement in the quality of the life of Abians.
â€¢ People as the fundamental reason for growth, and
â€¢ Achieving all-inclusiveness and equity.
â€¢ Repositioning and transforming the vulnerable women, children, Persons with Disability (PWDs), Destitute and Elderly people into productive citizens.
â€¢ We shall ensure that the required policy that will drive our vision in this sector is put in place. By this, we shall support and fund only realistic and realizable projects and activities in the sector.
â€¢ Reduce cases of Drug abuse, minimize indulgence in unprotected sex and increase the campaign against HIV/AIDs.
Furthermore, we will not rest on our oars until we realize the following Sustainable Development Goals and targets:
â€¢ Adopt and strengthen sound policies and enforceable legislation for the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls at all levels.
â€¢ End all forms of discrimination against women and girls everywhere in Abia State.
â€¢ Eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls in public and private spheres, including trafficking and sexual and other types of exploitation.
â€¢ Ensure increased access to credit/investment opportunities for women.
â€¢ Promote, support and encourage continuous job creation for youths through Education for Employment (E4E) Empowerment and Development.
â€¢ Continue to improve income per-capita of youths by 20% in 2016.
I have no doubt that as we collaborate with Development Partners, we will realize the needed impact, transformation and raise the welfare of the Children, Indigent, Elderly and all other People living with disabilities.
Sports has become one of the major key players in the social sub-sector which is the basis for harnessing the untapped talents in our teeming youths.
It provides the youth the opportunity of coming together irrespective of ethnic and geographical location and language in a given environment to acquire discipline, training, social skills and positive attitude. By this, we have nurtured many youths to become good citizens and leaders of tomorrow.
In Abia State, sports serves as a source of employment to many youths. In 2016, Government intends to sustain the gains we recorded in this sector. In the 2015 football season, our Enyimba Football Club won the Professional National League Title. Abia Warriors Football Club performed very well in the same League. Let me therefore call upon all Sports-loving Abians to join hands with me as we make this State second to none for attainment of self-reliance, economic empowerment and social development through Sports.
This administration is aware that the provision of affordable housing is the key avenue through which the impact of any government can be felt by the masses.
This underscores our over-riding objective to make houses available and affordable to all Abians. In 2016, this administration will intensify efforts to realize some critical housing projects while providing affordable and functional housing units at the on-going housing Estates at Amauba, Uzuakoli-Ubani, Ohobo Afara and St. Finbbarâ€™s.
We have proposed to ensure the completion of the following projects based on their potential to yield significant revenue to the State:
â€¢ Renovation of Abia State Governors Lodge, Enugu
â€¢ Renovation of Abia State Liaison Office and Lodge, Okota Lagos
â€¢ Remodeling of Abia State Liaison Office, Victoria Island Lagos
â€¢ Renovation of Abia State Liaison Office and Quarters in Abuja
â€¢ Remodeling of Uzuakoli T.T.C as Staff Development Centre and Proposed Federal Polytechnic.
â€¢ Construction of Abia State Cultural Centre.
â€¢ Renovation of Nsulu Games Village
â€¢ Construction of Block C, Abia State Civil Service Secretariat and completion of Civil Service Academy.
â€¢ Construction of Office Secretariat for Abia Vigilante Services at Isi-court and
â€¢ Amauba Housing Estate.
We have resolved to remove the problems being faced by Home -buyers and developers as we provide adequate laws for Mass Housing in the State. This will benefit low and middle class Abians in their bid to own their own houses.
This administration is set to ensure that the proper conditions which are required for promoting the application of best practices in Land use are put in place.
â€¢ By this, we will be meeting International standards for creating wholesome human settlements in Abia.
â€¢ Create and mark- out human and industrial settlements within the coverage of the master plans to achieve orderly, functional, efficient, economical and aesthetically pleasant layouts in our Housing Estates.
â€¢ We shall embark on more robust development-control activities to checkmate illegal developments and unauthorized change of use of properties in the State.
To ensure that we deliver on these very vital cross cutting issues, let me restate that this administration shall partner with interested Local and Foreign Agencies in realizing sustainable development for the enhancement of the socio- economic status of Abians.
Mr. Speaker, Honorable Members, this administration proposes to continue its efforts towards sustainable economic development through guaranteed environmental management.
We shall spare no effort towards mitigating environmental threats such as deforestation, excavation, illegal mining, bush burning, water and river pollution, indiscriminate solid and liquid waste disposal as well as through planned and guided action on the peopleâ€™s livelihood activities.
In 2016, Government shall ensure integrated development/reversal of environmental resources-loss, eliminate indiscriminate disposal of human waste, reduce problem of town sewage and its attendant health risks in order to protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystem, sustainably manage forests, combat gully erosion, halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss.
These objectives cannot be possible without concerted effort by all stakeholders. Let me reiterate that ASEPA will continue to sustain the program of street sweeping and timely evacuation of refuse from all nooks and crannies of the urban areas to dumpsites.
Furthermore, this administration is willing to cooperate or enter into partnership with interested environmental management experts in our bid to develop and produce a functional, sustainable solid waste management master-plan for the State.
Mr. Speaker, Honourable Members,Distinguished Ladies and gentlemen, as you are aware, this is the first budget to be presented by this Administration. Let me charge all those directly or indirectly responsible for the implementation of this budget to ensure strict compliance with its provisions.
Before I conclude this address, I wish to express my deep appreciation and gratitude to all the citizens and residents of the State and reiterate that the Policies, Programmes and Projects we have articulated in this budget have been carefully designed to move Abians to the next level.
The Honourable Commissioner for Finance, as is the practice, shall provide breakdowns of allocations to the different sectors of our economy and he has my instruction to work with the relevant Committees of the House to ensure full disclosure of all information required by the House of Assembly to thoroughly look at this budget.
I count on Mr. Speaker and Members of the House of Assemblyâ€™s usual prompt consideration of communications from my office in ensuring speedy passage of this budget so that we can get to work immediately.
Mr. Speaker, Honorable Members, Ladies and Gentlemen, I thank you all for your time and wish you all a Happy and prosperous 2016.
Thank you very much and May God bless yo