EXPECTATIONS RIFE, AS IMO LAWMAKERS PASS 2023 APPROPRIATION BILL INTO LAW
Apparently enticed by the contents of the recently submitted appropriation bill by Governor Hope Uzodinma, the Imo State House of Assembly has passed the bill into Law.
The State Governor on Tuesday, December 20, 2022, presented the 2022 budget to the State Legislature for consideration and approval.
This was in accordance to the provisions of the 1999 Constitution as amended.
Tagged, “2023 budget of wealth expansion”, the governor presented an estimated budget of Four Hundred and Seventy Four Billion, Four Hundred and Sixty Six Million, Two Hundred and Seventy Six Thousand, Two Hundred and Sixty Seven Naira (₦474,466,276,267.00).
Earlier in the breakdown of the budget, Uzodimma disclosed that the budget would further touch the lives of every Imo household, adding that it is majorly targeted to satisfy Imo people, expand wealth as well as prosperity in tandem with the 3R mantra.
The Governor added that security of the State is paramount and non negotiable, hence the reason he donated 10 armoured personnel carriers, including the earlier 4 armoured vehicles procured.
“We come to serve Imo people in all sincerity and with the fear of God”.
Meanwhile, the House yesterday, December 21, 2022, during its plenary session took a holistic approach to the budget presented.
Expatiating on the benefits of the bill, the Majority Leader, Hon. Kanayo Onyemaechi explained that the budget was painstakingly written to accommodate the needs and yearnings of Ndi Imo.
He assured that Imolites will have every cause to smile by the time the contents of the bill and its derivable benefits start to manifest.
Hon Kanayo further reeled out some benefits thus, “It will help Government to establish Night landing facilities at Imo Airport; If we approve this Budget,the dredging of Oguta Lake will be possible; If Oguta Lake is dredged,more commercial and economic openings will be created; This Budget if passed will help Government to consolidate on its fight against insecurity; The ongoing construction of Owerri-Umuahia, Owerri-Okigwe Roads will be completed; Our health Sector will experience a great improvement; Education will have its fair share of improvement; Commerce and Tourism will continue to expand”.
On the same vein, Lawmakers commended the Governor for his love for humanity, describing the budget to have fully captured the minds of Imolites.
According to them, year 2023 would be a great year in the land of Imo, with Shared prosperity tenets at play.
In a related development, Imolites have raised concern on the budget.
While majority expressed sigh of relief with the hope that wealth will be duly in circulation for the masses, and insecurity challenges maximally managed, others were skeptical it would be fully implemented.
From the appropriation bill, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Health, Economic services received a greater allocation figure.
After a robust deliberation, the House of Assembly Bill number 110; A Bill for a Law to Appropriate the sum of #458,731,029,167 (Four Hundred and Fifty-Eight Billion, Seven Hundred and Thirty-One Million, Twenty Nine Thousand, One Hundred and Sixty-Seven Thousand Naira) to the services of the Government of Imo State of Nigeria for the year ending on Thirty-First day of December, Two Thousand and Twenty Three and for other related purposes. This excludes the Consolidated Revenue Fund Charges of #15,743,247,101 (Fifteen Billion, Seven Hundred and Forty-Three Million, Two Hundred and Forty-Seven Thousand, One Hundred and One Naira) only hence a total Budget of #474,466,276,267 (Four Hundred and Seventy Four Billion, Four Hundred and Sixty-Six Million, Two Hundred and Seventy-Six Thousand, Two Hundred and Sixty-Seven Naira)”, was passed into Law.
The Deputy Speaker, Rt. Hon. Amara Iwuanyanwu who presided over the plenary session urged the Clerk to prepare a clean copy of the passed Law and send to the Governor for his assent.
Some rundown of the budget:
The total Recurrent Revenue for 2023 budget is N150,450,189,428 while that of 2022 was N142,855,407,202.This represents 5.1% increase in revenue projection.
Recurrent Expenditure is N100,904,085,427.73 as against the sum of N96. 746,349,775 in 2022 approved budget.This shows 4.1%increase.
Capital Expenditure in the 2023 Budget is N373,562,190,839 compared to the sumofN284,416,597,902 in the 2022 approved budget,showing 23%increase.
SECTORAL CAPITAL EXPENDITURE,
The 2022 Approved Capital Expenditure for Economic sector was N142,034,052,933 while the amount for 2023 is N185,717,754,040 representing 23.5%increase.
SOCIAL SERVICES SECTOR:
The 2022 approved Capital Expenditure for social service sector was N55,757,500,000 but was slightly decreased to N35,566,149,294 in 2023 representing 36.2%decrease.
GENERAL ADMINISTRATION SERVICES SECTOR:
The 2022 Approved Capital Expenditure for General Administration Services Sector was N78,125,931,053. The provision for 2023 under General Admin Service Sector is N143,960,028,769 representing 45.7%increase.
The amount approved for Government Transfers in 2022 Approved Capital Budget was N8,499,113,916. The provision for 2023 Government transfers is N5,259,526,824 representing 38%decrease.
Law and Justice Sector-The sum of N3,058,731,912 was provided underthis sectorin 2023.
(v)In summary,the 2023 Capital Expenditure is N373,562,190,839 representing 78.7%of the total Budget size.
The 2023 Budget came to a total of N474,466,276,266.90(Four Hundred and Seventy-four Billion, Four Hundred and Sixty-six Million,Two Hundred and Seventy-six Thousand,Two Hundred and Sixty-six Naira,Ninety kobo).
IMO GOVERNOR PRAISES SELF FOR RECONSTRUCTING ASSEMBLY COMPLEX
The presentation of the 2023 budget to the Imo State House of Assembly has come and gone, but not without remarks, especially from the Governor, Senator Hope Uzodinma.
The governor while presenting the budget speech hit his predecessors for inability to reconstruct the Assembly complex.
In provision of section 121 of the Nigeria Constitution as amended, he tabled before the legislature the 2023 budget estimate on Tuesday at the floor of the House.
Having commended the Lawmakers for their continued support to the Executive Arm, governor Uzodinma mocked the past administrations for shying away from their duties.
He boasted that the current State Assembly complex with the State-of-the-art facilities was one of the achievements of his government within a short period of time.
Governor Uzodinma said, “Let me therefore use this August event of the presentation of the 2023 budget estimates to congratulate you on your new state of the art legislative Chambers and to welcome you back from your 10 year sojourn in exile. It is my prayer that never again shall you return to Egypt. Never again will you make laws for lmo people in excruciating discomfort. Welcome to the shared prosperity world where the dignity of the three arms of government; The Executive, The Legislature and The Judiciary, will never be compromised.
“Today, the difference is as clear as daylight in summer. The Hallowed Chambers in which we are all comfortably seated today is not only befitting for this Honourable house but indeed any legislative house anywhere in the world. Not only is it modern and beautiful, it also provides an expansive luscious ambiance that enhances legislative capacity. And this is one of the proud products of our shared prosperity administration in less than three years. This is something previous administrations could not do for nearly 10 years.”
“As you know, last year, I presented the 2022 budget to you in your “House of Exile”; in “Egypt”, so to say. At the previous event, all of us, myself, members of my government, and Honourable members, were struggling to find sitting spaces and some comfort, because your “House of Exile” was a sorry statement on what a Hallowed Chambers should be. The story was the same when I presented my first budget estimates for 2021 to this Honourable House.”
The Lawmakers in turns appraised him for the quality work done, even as they reassured him of their support.
“SPEAK OUT AGAINST ANY SEXUAL ASSAULT, GENDER-BASED VIOLENCE”, ONWUDIWE CHARGES PUBLIC
The ranking female Lawmaker representing Njaba State Constituency in the Imo State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Uju Onwudiwe has further raised her voice against acts inimical to social well-being.
Speaking with the House of Assembly Correspondents who called on her on Tuesday, December 20, 2022, the female Lawmaker charged members of the public to speak out in cases of rape, sexual assault, domestic violence, and other harmful traditional practices against the girl-child, women and the male folks.
Commending the Governor for assenting the Violence Against People’s Prohibition Act Law, VAPP, in Imo State, Hon. Onwudiwe also thumbed up for the First Lady, Mrs. Chioma Uzodimma for being a strong pillar of support for the said cause.
Onwudiwe maintained that for there to be an egalitarian society, the aforementioned vices have to be critically condemned and made to stop.
She reaffirmed her unrelenting moves in defending the cause for the freedom of the girl child, women and men who in one way or the other pass through untold hardship or discrimination.
Speaking on the establishment of the SAC Center in Imo State, she opined it would go a long way in taking adequate care of sexual related offence victims who may not have the wherewithal to withstand the challenges.
“Over the years, women are the most vulnerable, while the men who are main perpetrators go scot free. Parents, female gender as a matter of importance should continually speak up regardless of who is involved. A lot is happening nowadays. Fathers sleeping with their children.
Domestic violence is on the increase where both men and women are victims. It’s a curse for either a man or woman to raise hands on their spouses. Marriage is a sacred union. It can never be civil for any act of domestic violence. On harmful traditional practices, women are guilty of harming fellow women, even the Female Gender Mutilation act.
“All these efforts are for us to ensure that sexual discrimination is abolished.
As long as I’m concerned, both boys and girls have equal rights to the father’s property, although it doesn’t mean the female gender should disrespect the men. Men from the scripture are the head, and must be respected. There is no place in the bill where women were given excess power. In the bill, it’s equal right, but it doesn’t support disrespect as men are regarded as Christ’s representative on earth”.
She reiterated that no culprit will go unpunished, as the Law is a respecter of nobody.
Speaking on her legislative impacts, he submitted that all her bills and motions were people oriented which stands out any time, any day.
MY LEGISLATIVE FOOTPRINTS ARE INDELIBLE -EGWIM
If there is one Member of the 9th Imo State House of Assembly with undaunted people oriented motions and bills, Rt. Hon. Innocent Arthur Egwim, representing Ideato North State Constituency won’t be missing, as he has maintained of leaving legacies as a two time Lawmaker.
In a parley with the Assembly Correspondents, yesterday, Egwim took the Journalists to memory lane in elaborating on his achievements so far.
Among his bills which the Lawmaker said could have given a strong boost to the 9th House was the bill abrogating the Osu Caste system, Diala, Ume, and other related purposes.
He stated that although the bill came in the 8th House, he still picked it up for the purposes of defining terms, as well as how important it is for people to live harmoniously in the environment.
Egwim noted that Church Leaders, especially the Archbishop emeritus of Owerri, AJV Obinna who hammered on it severally.
On motions, he recalled how relevant the motions on Mkpuru-mmiri was which went its way in restoring sanity among youths.
Others were the multi-door Court motion, the Green Verge, ICT motions, to mention but a few.
While he eulogized governor Hope Uzodinma for taking cognisance of all the motions from the House, he beckoned that people be sensitized into respecting the Laws, rather than down playing on the purpose of such motion.
On his next political outing, the proactive Lawmaker added, “I am fully qualified to contest for any position. My people of Ideato Nation earnestly yearn for me. And only God’s will be done”.
IMO HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY PASSES LAW TO ESTABLISH IMO ELDERS COUNCIL
At plenary session of the Imo State House of Assembly, yesterday, the House passed a bill establishing the Imo State Council of Elders into Law.
Through a call for relaxation of Order 8, rule 35 and 36 of the Imo Assembly, Hon. Chigozie Nwaneri, member representing Oru East State Constituency presented the bill.
This was seconded by his Oru West counterpart, Hon. Dominic Ezerioha.
In his presentation, Hon. Nwaneri explained that the bill before the House was a simple one, geared towards giving the appointment of the Elders Council of the State a legal backing.
He revealed that the Elders Council will work closely with the Executive in many vital areas of administration.
The Elders Council, according to the Chief Whip’s presentation will work mainly in respective matters of the Local Governments, and when the need arises.
“With the recent security cases in our Localities, they will play an advisory role for a better advise and ways to solving vital cases.
He maintained that through the formation, they would relief the Executive of some burden.
It was stipulated that for persons that would be admitted into the Council of Elders, the person must attain at least, an age of 60years.
Contributing on the general principles, Hon Ezerioha hammered that members of the Imo State Council of Elders must be people of proven integrity.
Hon Ngozi Obiefule of Isu State Constituency described the bill as a notable one, especially as it has to do with recognising captains of industries who have excelled in their chosen careers. She affirmed that their great advise for the welfare of Imo State will go a long way.
Hon Uche Ogbuagu, member for Ikeduru Constituency said, the bill will instill discipline among youths, making them live up a straight forward life so as to attain that feat of being a member of the Elders Council. Having said that, Ogbuagu opined that even at 60years, people with dented character would not be allowed to join or be appointed as Council Members.
The Minority Leader, Hon Anyadike Nwosu affirmed the bill as a noble one. He pointed out that it will help in reshaping the character of people. “The Government has done well by taking cognisance of the many complaints on some people bordering on integrity.
After the duly Legislative exercise from First reading, Second reading to Committee of the Whole House, the bill was passed into Law, and the Clerk was tasked to make clean copies of the passed Law for onward transmission and Governor’s assent.
The plenary session was presided by the Deputy Speaker, Rt. Hon. Amara Chyna Iwuanyanwu, with all the Members in attendance.