By Martin Nwoko 

The Governor of Imo State,Senator Hope Uzodinma yesterday at the chamber of Imo State House of Assembly presented the 2021  budget  tagged ‘budget of wealth creation’ at the tune of N346,169,972,085 (three hundred and forty – six billion, one hundred and sixty-nine million, nine hundred and seventy – two thousand, eighty – five naira) stressing that the budget is structured to reflect the policy objective of shared prosperity of its administration.The Governor reiterated that his shared prosperity government will be predicated on shared responsibility.

While delivering his welcome address, the Speaker of the house, Rt. Hon. Paul Emeziem stated that every responsible and proactive government, with the desire of moving the state to the next level, must see budget as a veritable instrument to leave a landmark on the sand of time. The Speaker made it clear that the state Legislature have not been submerged into the Executive as  been assumed by many stressing that the truth is that the house has observed and confirmed the ingenuity, capacity, transparency and high degree of preparedness of governor Hope Uzodinma to deliver and that the house will not hesitate to support him to achieve his goals. 

Speaking on the budget, the Governor  hinted that the level of poor infrastructure in the state left behind by previous administrations and given also the abject criminal neglect of the public sector workforce, it became clear to its government that the only way forward was to embark on massive infrastructural rehabilitation and reconstruction. He went on to reveal that he inherited a huge public debt profile of over two hundred million naira (N200M) which he said is the highest among the South Eastern states.Governor Hope Uzodinma reminded the state house of assembly that the 2020 budget was reversed in direct response to fiscal pressures from both internal and external sources which he said helped his administration to contain the public health challenges posed by Covid-19 pandemic.

The number one citizen equally used the opportunity to unveil some of the achievements his administration has recorded since he assumed office in January which includes roads construction and rehabilitation, reactivation of Adapalm, revival of the Statesman newspaper and Imo Broadcasting Services and many more as he outlined.

Reading the 2022 budget, the governor stated that the budget will be based on the Federal Government adoption of an Oil Price Benchmark of $40 (USD) per barrel, daily oil production estimate of 1.86 Million barrels per day and exchange Rate of 379 per Dollar for 2021. Also the budget will be based on the National Growth (GDP) of 3% in 2021, driven largely by Non- Oil output as economic diversification accelerates and the enabling business environment improves.

On the Revenue, the 2021 budget has total budgeted recurrent revenue of  N236,080,551,348 while the sum of N14, 120,082,285 is budgeted as personal cost which represents 16% of the total Recurrent Expenditure Budget.Governor explained further that the increase in Personal Cost is anticipated to accommodate the payment of the New Minimum Wage to workers thereby assuring Imo workers of his readiness to pay the new minimum wage. The Overhead Cost in the 2021 budget stood at N33, 723,644,910 representing 52% of the total Recurrent Expenditure Budget.

In his vote of thanks, the Deputy Speaker of the house of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Amara Iwuanyanwu thanked the governor for his efforts in developing the state.  Iwuanyanwu also used the opportunity to second the motion moved by Hon. Ekene Nnodumele member representing Orsu state Constituency for a vote of confidence to be passed on the governor. Also other honorable members took out time to commend the governor for his steadfastness in moving the state to the next level.