Anambra State Governor, Charles Soludo, has presented the state’s 2024 budget amounting to N410 billion at the Anambra State House of Assembly in Awka.
Dubbed “Changing Gears,” the budget allocates 77% (₦313.93 billion) to capital expenditure and 23% (₦96.2 billion) to recurrent expenses.
The governor said the budget is aimed at starting a transformation agenda and a new master plan that will transform the state into a livable and favourable place.
Governor Soludo however, said the size of the budget is relatively small in terms of dollars and other economic challenges, saying that they are determined to maximize value for the people of Anambra, prioritizing project financing and not borrowing to consume.
He said, “Suffice it to note that the size of the budget is indeed small — in real terms (purchasing power) or even in US dollars— when compared to some years ago.
“Prices of critical inputs, especially for infrastructure delivery, are galloping. But in spite of this, we are determined to maximize value for Ndi Anambra as we are currently doing. Recall that the 7th Assembly approved in 2022 for us to borrow N100bn for infrastructure. We didn’t do so in 2022.
“For the ongoing 2023 budget, it was assumed that we would borrow N90bn to fund the budget. Up until now, we have still not borrowed a kobo, and won’t borrow until the end of the year.”
He explained that the 2024 budget which has a deficit of N120bn will be funded by a facility from financial institutions adding that his administration will not borrow unless based on some criteria which includes the loan being a concessionary one and it must be deployed to projects that will pay back the loan in future.
“In the proposed 2024 budget, there is a deficit of N120bn expected to be funded through a facility from financial institutions.
“Be rest assured that we won’t borrow unless it satisfies two stringent criteria we have set: a) it must be a concessionary loan; and b) it must be deployed to projects that we can show how they would pay back the loan in the future.
“Even with an estimated 66 per conf budget performance for 2023, we insist on not borrowing unless it satisfies our set criteria.”
The governor revealed that his administration has projected a monthly Internally Generated Revenue of N4.2bn per month in 2024 which is a over a 100 percent from what the state generates now and called on residents of the state to endeavor to pay their yearly income tax to the state.
“Our Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) remains a fundamental challenge. In the 2023 budget, we expected a monthly revenue of N4bn.
“So far, we are averaging N2bn, and we are still projecting N4.2bn per month in 2024. This is a wake-up call to all residents of Anambra wherever they may live.
“We can’t build the envisioned livable and prosperous homeland with our saliva. With the abundant resources that God has blessed Ndi Anambra with, there is literally nothing that we collectively set our minds to that we cannot achieve for our homeland.
“We have the Plan and the organization to execute. But we need resources. If each of us pays just 5-10% of our annual income as tax to the State, the Anambra of our dream will be fast-tracked.”