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Ihedioha Presents Imo’s N179bn 2020 Budget

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Emeka Ihedioha

Governor Emeka Ihedioha of Imo State Wednesday presented a 2020 proposed budget to the State House of Assembly.

The budget dubbed, “Rebuild Imo-Budget One was estimated at N197,607, 272,328 (One Hundred And Ninety- Seven Billion, Six Hundred And Seven Million, Two Hundred And Seventy-Two Thousand, Three Hundred And Twenty-Eight Naira)

Reading the aggregates at the floor of the House, Governor Ihedioha said the 2020 budget hinges on six pronged agenda which includes; rebuilding Infrastructure, especially roads and smart electricity sub-sector, agriculture, health delivery – with focus on health insurance, primary healthcare and cleaner environment, human Capital development – especially technological advancement, technical education, women and Youth empowerment etc, Ease of Doing Business (EoDB), and Job/Wealth Creation, Youth Empowerment.

The Governor explained that the 2020 budget proposal, which encapsulates government’s political, economic and social development and strategies, therefore aims at giving the citizenry a sense of belonging. “The proposal is aimed at restoring confidence in Government and our people, rebuilding our dilapidated infrastructure and putting the State on a pedestal for sustainable economic development. This will focus on road infrastructure, improving on the ‘ease of doing business’ and social infrastructure – education, health services, water, sanitation and the like.

“The 2020 Budget is anchored on our manifesto, the TTC report as well as recommendations of the various Commissions of Enquiries that have turned in their findings. “At this point, I reiterate that our administration owes as a duty the prudent and judicious use of State resources, respect for rule of law, as well as ensuring accountability and transparency in all projects, programmes and activities” he added.

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Enumerating further, the Governor said given the very fact the Internally Generated Revenue IGR is the sine quo non to budget success, the 2020 Budget has a total budgeted recurrent revenue of N140,330,473,912, representing 71% of the budget.

On recurrent expenditure, he explained that very much unlike the 2019 budget that has N15,304,901,626 as personnel cost for Ministries, the proposed 2020 budget has N 8,949,496,411 as its personnel cost which represents a 41.5% reduction in Personnel Cost pointing out that the overhead cost in the proposed 2020 budget will relatively increase to N34,702,219,005 from the N17,112,658,110 that was approved in the 2019 budget. This, he said is also as a result of increase in government activities, restoration of full workers’ salaries, allowances and the observance of the principle of separation of power between the three arms of government.

He also attributed the increase to the restored autonomy of the Local Government Administration. However, he said, stringent measures will be taken to cut expenditures by Ministries, Department and Agencies (MDAs).

In summary, he noted that the Recurrent expenditure is N 91,377,822,129 . However, this figure includes the repayment to FGN on debts including bailouts funds and rescheduled service of bonds.

“Our capital expenditure is N106,229,450,200 which represents 53.8% of the proposed budget. This is a welcomed development in an era where many other administrations have well below 40% in capital expenditure. It goes without saying that capital expenditure drives development and growth.

The Consolidated Revenue Fund Charges (CRFC) will remain the same with the 2019 budget provision at N 16,303,247,101” he added

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Politics

BREAKING: PDP Wins Imo Supplementary Election

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PDP

The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has declared Jerry Alagbaoso of the Peoples Democratic Party the winner of the supplementary election held on Saturday in Orlu/Orsu/ Oru East Federal Constituency in Imo State.

The Returning Officer of the election, Emma Anakwuba, announced the results and returned the PDP candidate under tight security at INEC’s office in Owerri on Tuesday.

This declaration is coming three days after political thugs invaded INEC’s collation centre in collation, tore the election results, accusing the electoral umpire of compromising the exercise.

INEC had already collated results of 14 out of 18 polling units before the hoodlums struck.

The results of the remaining four polling units were collated at the INEC’s headquarters in Owerri on Tuesday and thereafter a winner was announced.

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The returning officer said that the PDP candidate polled 22,475 votes to emerge the winner.

According to Anakwuba, the All Progressives Congress candidate, Eddy Iheanacho got 20, 814 votes while All Progressives Grand Alliance got 5,099 votes.

He said, “That Jerry Alagbaoso of the PDP having scored the highest number of votes and satisfied the requirements of the law is returned elected.”

The winner, who was first elected into the house of representatives 2011 was reelected in 2015, was declared winner again in 2019.

An appeal court in Owerri partially canceled his victory in 2019 and ordered a supplementary election in 18 polling units in the federal constituency.

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Imo Lawmaker, Uche Ogbuagu Dumps PDP For APC

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Uche Ogbuagu, another member of the Imo State House of Assembly representing Ikeduru State Constituency, has joined the train of defections to the ruling All Progressives Congress.

In a letter to the Speaker, Ogbuagu, a member of the Peoples Democratic Party announced his decision to switch his party affiliation to the All Progressives Congress.

He said his decision was precipitated by the “unfair” treatment he got in PDP. He said his party switch was in the interest of his constituency.

Ogbuagu, South East’s pioneer tele-comedian, built his political reputation as a critic of former governor Rochas Okorocha.

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He is the owner of My Radio FM Owerri and Real FM Aba.

Last week, nine members of the PDP, APGA and Action Alliance joined the APC, following the Supreme Court ruling two weeks ago that ousted the PDP Governor Emeka Ihedioha.

On 15 January, the APC candidate, Hope Uzodinma in the 9 March election was sworn in, triggering the shifts in the House of Assembly.

More members of the House are expected to announce their departure to the APC, to give the party, a working majority.

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Don’t Declare Orji Kalu’s Seat Vacant — Opponent Begs NASS

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Orji Kalu

The APGA candidate for Abia North Senatorial seat in the 2019 general elections, Dr. David Bourdex, has appealed to the National Assembly not to declare vacant the seat occupied by Orji Uzor Kalu.

Bourdex, who is also a member of the Board of Trustees of the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA), made the appeal on Monday.

Justice Mohammed Idris of the Federal High Court sitting in Lagos on December 5, 2019, sentenced Orji Kalu to 12 years in jail for stealing N7.2bn from the coffers of Abia. The ex-governor was the Chief Whip of the Senate before his incarceration.

Some groups subsequently called on the Senate leadership to declare his seat vacant.

Rejecting the call, Bourdex said that the people of Abia North made their intentions clear by voting Orji Kalu, adding that demanding for his seat to be declared vacant amounted to desperation.

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“It is preposterous and presumptuous to make such a demand to declare his seat vacant.

“Granted that the wheel of justice grinds slowly and surely, those of us in politics should strive to follow the rule of law without doing anything to circumvent the process.

“We should stand for fairness; and patience is necessary to ensure that justice is done both for the state and citizens and society at large,” Bourdex said.

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