The Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) in Anambra, on Friday, commenced defense of the 2019 appropriation bill barely 24 hours it was presented to the state House of Assembly.
The state Governor, Mr. Willie Obiano, on Thursday, presented a budget proposal of N157 billion to the state assembly for the 2019 fiscal year.
The proposal tagged, “Budget for sustained economic growth and youth empowerment” earmarked N65.33 billion or 41.3 per cent for recurrent expenditure while N91.8 billion or 58.7 per cent was set aside for capital projects.
Declaring the defense open, Chief Obinna Emenaka, Chairman, House Committee on Finance and Appropriation, said the budget defense was a constitutional function of legislators, stressing that it must be taken seriously.
The lawmaker said that if the budget defense was well tailored and its implementation well followed, it would result into democratic dividend to the general citizens.
He charged state legislators heading various committees to leave their comfort zone and take the service as a very important role in the growth and development of Anambra state.
Emenaka urged all heads of MDAs to ensure that all relevant documents were presented to explain every useful detail for speedy passage of the budget for the government to work.
He said that the timely commencement of the budget defense was in fulfillment of the promise by the lawmakers to pass the budget before the Christmas recess.
Mr Ikechukwu Umeh, House Committee Chairman on Works, said he was satisfied at the level of preparedness of the Ministry of works and the good defense they put up, in their 2018 budget.
Umeh said that the 2018 budget usage was well defended and their request to increase the budget for 2019 from 19 billion to a more reasonable amount, would receive favorably considerations.
Mr Kingsley Irubah, member of the committee said that he was satisfied on the level of experience exhibited by ministry, and advised them to always have the good of the masses at back of their mind.
Mr C-Don Adinuba, Commissioner for Information and Public Enlightenment, who spoke on behalf of the Heads of the Ministries that had defended their budgets, commended the lawmakers for their commitment
He said that the legislators have painstakingly gone through the documents of various MDAs, and assured that the information organs of the state would continue to promote peace and unity in Anambra.
The Ministries that have defended their budget include Housing, Works, Economic Planning, Information and Public Enlightenment and Lands.
The budget defense is expected to end on Monday, December 10, and the passage would be Tuesday 11, December. (NAN)