The Abia House of Assembly on Tuesday approved Governor Alex Otti’s request for a Virement Warrant amounting to N22,263,269,900 billion for the services of the government.
The approval followed the consideration of a letter by the Governor presented by the Deputy Speaker, Rt.Hon Austin Okezie, at the plenary in Umuahia.
The Majority Leader, Hon. Uchenna Okoro Kalu, moved a motion asking the lawmakers to consider the request at its plenary.
Kalu who is equally member representing Arochukwu State Constituency said that the request was necessitated by the present administration’s desire to rebuild the State and improve the welfare of the citizens.
“This bill is a straight forward bill, it seeks to vire money from the expenditure subheads where they are not properly captured to the areas where they will be properly utilised and needed without actually increasing the budget.
“We are all aware that the present administration made some ministries when it came on board, so it is proper for the state to vire funds from some of the ministries to the areas where they are needed in order to ensure the optimal utilisation of the funds.
“I urge my honorable colleagues to support this bill to enable the present administration to continue to deliver democracy dividend to the people of Abia,” he said.
Ruling, the Deputy Speaker, who presided over the session, put the motion to vote and it was unanimously accepted by the lawmakers.
In another development, The Commissioner for Budget and Planning, Mr Kingsley Anosike presented the Abia Medium Term Economic Framework on the floor of the House.
Anosike described the Framework as a document that would serve as a roadmap for Abia government to achieve fiscal transparency and efficiency in the state.
He said:”The purpose of this document is to provide an indicative sector roadmap for the period covering 2024 to 2026 which constitutes the Mid-Term Budget Framework.
“The second is to provide a backwards looking summary of fiscal and economic trends that will affect the public expenditure in the future, and the future means the budget cycle covering 2024 to 2026.
“To set out medium term fiscal objectives and targets which will include revenue mobilisation, level of public expenditure, deficit financing and all these are public expenditure programmes.”
Anosike said that the government intends to strengthen its fiscal framework, control and enforce compliance with established spending limits in government transactions to achieve a sound budgeting system.
He said that the key target for the government from a fiscal perspective would be to create efficiency in personnel and overhead expenditure to allow greater resources for capital development.
According to him, the Ministry had proposed a budget sectored around increasing the internally generated revenue by a minimum of 17.5 per cent every year from 2024 to 2026.
Anosike further said that the priority of the government, with respect to sound budgeting, would be completion of ongoing capital development projects before commencement of new projects.
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