Raymond Ozoji, Awka
Ministries, departments, parastatals and agencies of the Anambra state government have been tasked to ensure that they come up with realistic budget implementation plans as they begin budget bilateral discussions from Monday next week at the state assembly.
The decision was reached after a thorough debate of the 2020 budget appropriations by the lawmakers at the weekend.
Chairman of finance and appropriations committee and member representing Anambra-east state constituency Hon.Obinna Chris Emeneka said the 2020 budget was realisable judging from the commitment of the state government to providing critical infrastructures in the state.
Emeneka also explained that most of the budgetary allocations tended towards consolidating on the gains of 2019 budget while accelerating infrastructural development.
He however pointed out that the lawmakers decided to be thorough in the implementation process of the 2020 budget appropriations because there was need to ascertain that the MDAs executed the budget appropriated to them to reflect the real purpose for which the funds were meant for.
According to him, “It takes someone who was part of the budget preparations to be part of the budget bilateral interactions and debate because we have so many questions for them which they must clarify so that they would work effectively.”
Emeneka said the lawmakers wouldn’t want a situation where heads of ministries, departments, parastatals and agencies of government would boycott budget defence and not defend questions posed on their respective organs, noting that it was mandatory for all the heads of MDAs to attend the budget bilateral interactions.
Also, the Deputy Majority Leader of the state assembly and member representing Orumba-North state constituency Hon. Emeka Aforka said the budget bilateral talks would afford various committees of the state assembly to scrutinize the implementation plans of the MDAs to ascertain the feasibility of the items and contents.
Aforka explained that it was the constitutional duty of the legislature to ensure that the money appropriated to MDAs was used judiciously stressing that the legislators have charged the MDAs to be prepared to do their jobs to enable the citizenry to get due dividends of democracy while commending the state governor for initiating new ideas into the 2020 budget estimate.
Although he observed that some communities were not captured in the budget, he explained further that the lawmakers took cognisance of such communities saying that they would all form part and parcel of the budget defence.
The Deputy Majority Leader also disclosed that the 7th state assembly was desirous to pass the 2020 budget into law by the end of October this year to enable the executive arm to commence actual implementation from January next year.