Commentary: Highlights Of The 2022 Anambra Budget Proposal

Commentary: Highlights Of The 2022 Anambra Budget Proposal

Governor Willie Obiano, on Thursday, October 14, 2021, presented the draft budget estimates for the 2022 Fiscal Year to the Anambra State House of Assembly. The budget size, titled, ‘‘Continuity, Sustainability and Development of a New Anambra’’, is one hundred and forty-one billion naira.

The recurrent expenditure is sixty point nine billion naira, that is, 43% of the total budget size, while the remaining 57%, which translates to N81.0bn is for capital expenditure. The proposed aggregate revenue and expenditure budgets for 2022 are ₦128.5bn and ₦141.9bn, respectively, resulting in ₦13.4bn fiscal deficit, which will be financed domestically.

The proposed 2022 Budget proposes an average daily production of 2.23 million barrels, an estimated benchmark crude oil price of fifty dollars per barrel, translating to a projected annual FAAC of N41.9bn as against the 2021 figure of N45.3bn. Value Added Tax revenue projection is pegged at N19.8bn annually, which is 18.8% increase from the 2021 figure of N15.5bn.

Internally Generated Revenue is projected at N3.35bn monthly and N40.36bn annually for 2022, compared to N3.04bn monthly and N36.6bn annually for 2021. Capital Receipts (including grants, other FAAC transfers, counterpart funds, aid and concessionary funding) are estimated at N23.38bn.

Personnel costs are estimated at N1.8bn monthly, which is about N21.67bn for the year, compared to N1.56bn monthly and N18.8bn for 2021. This shows that workers will smile more next year. Total Overheads are estimated at N1.98bn monthly and N23.78bn for 2022 as against N1.36 monthly and N16.4bn for 2021; while Social Benefits and Contributions, including Pensions, Gratuities, group life insurance and loan repayments are projected at N18.3bn for the fiscal year 2022 compared to N16.4bn for year 2021.

The 2022 proposed budget is in sync with the aspirations of the Anambra Vision 2070, a 50-year development plan that will guide development in the state to the year 2070. It is hoped that successive governments will rely on it for strategic directions of policy, programmes, and regulations, and may also serve as a veritable tool to evaluate future governments.

The 2021 budget performance of the state indicates that it pushed its Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) from a monthly figure of N2.1bn in 2019 to approximately N2.5bn in 2020, on the back of efforts at plugging revenue leakages and growing the taxpayers’ database.

Little wonder, then, that Anambra was listed as one of the top 3 states in the BudgIT 2021 Fiscal Performance Ranking, indicating that its fiscal fundamentals, compared to others in the country, were more prudently managed.  The report also listed Anambra, Rivers and Lagos, as the only three states that could meet their operating expenses obligations with a combination of its Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) and Value Added Tax (VAT).

Anambra is now at the verge of getting approval from the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) to kick-start commercial operations of the Anambra International Cargo and Passenger Airport Umueri from October 21, 2021. At 3.7 kilometers long and 60 meters wide with one kilometer racers each side, the Airport has the second longest runway in Nigeria, next to only Murtala Muhammad International Airport, Lagos.

Work is also in top gear at the International Convention Center, which can sit over 13,000 persons and at the same time, the Awka City Stadium project is at about 90% completion.

No doubt, Anambra has great regard for its youths, with over 70% of the appointees being youths. Significant funds have been earmarked as aggregate funding to Youth Entrepreneurship & Empowerment Programmes across all Ministries, Departments and Agencies in the State.

Part of the two billion naira in the budget for Commercial Agriculture Credit Scheme facility will be spent to fund micro entrepreneurs through cooperatives in the three senatorial districts, with the balance disbursed at single digit interest rate to Small and Medium Enterprises.

Consecutively, it is expected that the legislative process of the passage of the 2022 Appropriation Bill will be expedited to enable implementation from January 1, 2022 to sustain Anambra’s fiscal and economic landscapes.

WRITTEN BY OBIORA OBIABUNMO AND NONSO NDUMANYA

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