Awka, Dec. 28, 2023: Mrs Chiamaka Nnake, Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget, says the Anambra economy performed impressively in the outgoing year in spite of macroeconomic shocks.
Nnake, who spoke in Awka on Wednesday, said the implementation rate of the 2023 budget was up to 70 per cent.
She said the setbacks on the optimal implementation of the budget included no realisation of the 2023 target for Internally Generated Revenue and lack of competitiveness of the naira against the dollar.
According to her, a lot is still going with the coming of the dry season, so the budget is still running.
“The 2023 budget was predicated on a N4 billion monthly Internally Generated Revenue but we have only done an average of N2 billion per month, this already shows massive deficit.
“We also have the challenge of devaluation of the naira which affected the purchasing power, Anambra is not in isolation in Nigeria,
“However, we are able to do 66 per cent in the 2022 budget and we will definitely hit 70 per cent by the time the figures are out,” she said.
Nnake described the state’s economy in 2023 as ‘very eventful’ with lots of activities in various sectors and commended Gov. Chukwuma Soludo for his administrative prowess.
The Commissioner said the administration focused on infrastructure which was critical to building a livable and prosperous state, and that over 400 roads were flagged off across the state with some already completed and some still ongoing.
She said in Agriculture, more than one million palm and coconut seedlings were distributed in the outgoing year with the target of creating economically independent households in the next few years when the trees would have started fruiting.
Nnake said the government planned to recruit another 3,000 teachers into the public primary and secondary schools next year in addition to the 5,000 recruited in 2023.
She said the government had improved on the Ease of Doing Business with better road interconnectivity, a fruitful Memorandum of Understanding with EEDC which had ensured that parts of the state enjoyed about 20 hours power supply daily.
According to her, “we recruited 5,000 teachers at the beginning of this year and we are looking to recruit an additional 3,000 into the public school system with the aim of transforming our schools into smart schools.
“We have identified that our public primary and secondary schools are the weakest links in our education delivery system, so we are poised to provide free and quality education at that level.
“On entertainment and leisure, we have the Awka Fun City, right at the heart of Awka, which is an entertainment hub that can help residents and visitors to relax, the contract has been awarded and the project is progressing,” she said.
Nnake said Anambra economy was viable and conducive and that the state had an impressive number of development partners supporting its various programmes.
She said the partners were the United Nations Development Programme, World Health Organisation, Food and Agricultural Organisation, UNICEF, Save the Children, International Organisation for Migration and the International Labour Organisation, among others
“These bodies have renewed their commitment to work with us in 2024 because they are seeing positive outcomes and we hope that more will join next year.
“Anambra is safe, there are lots of traffic everywhere, that shows our people are coming back home. It is a testament to the efforts of the governor in the area of security, law and order.
“We are not where we want to be because Mr Governor is targeting a state completely free of crime and violence,” she said.