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EBONYI STATE 2019 BUDGET(GOVERNOR'S ADDRESS)

AN ADDRESS BY HIS EXCELLENCY, ENGR. DR. DAVID NWEZE UMAHI, FNSE, FNATE, EXECUTIVE GOVERNOR OF EBONYI STATE, ON THE OCCASION OF THE PRESENTATION OF THE 2019 BUDGET AND APPROPRIATION BILL OF EBONYI STATE GOVERNMENT TO THE EBONYI STATE HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY ON TUESDAYTHE 18TH DAY OF DECEMBER, 2018

Protocol


  1. In this season of yuletide, marking the celebration of the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ, may I extend very warm greetings and compliments of the Christmas season to the Rt. Honourable Speaker, Deputy Speaker, Principal Officers and Honourable Members of this Assembly.

  2. Without mincing words, I joyfully embrace the duty, honour and enormous privilege of standing in these hallowed chambers today to present to this Honourable House my administration’s fourth and final first tenure Budget Estimates and Appropriation Bill for the 2019 Fiscal Year. I do so with a deep sense of humility and gratitude to God Almighty who has singularly brought us this far.

  3. However, before I proceed, please permit me Mr Speaker, to pay a special tribute to this great Assembly. You have exhibited a mature sense of patriotism and good conscience in handling the legislative affairs of the Ebonyi State House of Assembly in particular and the affairs of the state generally. While other Assemblies may be bedeviled by endless rancour and acrimony, this House has been a picture of peace, of steady and people-oriented legislation. In this connection, and on behalf of the Executive branch of government, therefore, I want to salute you and commend you very highly for the partnership in the service of our people. I know that this very cordial relationship instead of ebbing will wax stronger and stronger in the months and years to come. The task of delivering democracy dividends is a joint effort and I know you stand ready to work with us on this Divine mission.

  4. Mr Speaker, Honourable Members of this great citadel of democracy and legislation, the outgoing year has been a phenomenal year for Ebonyi State and its patriotic citizens. Not only did we sustain the timely payment of our workers’ salaries, pensions and 40% of the accumulated gratuities, we have sustained our momentum in the infrastructural transformation of our beloved state even in the face of daunting financial challenges.

  5. As the end of the first tenure of our administration draws to a close, I can confidently declare that this is the year in which our great state took its rightful place as truly the Salt of the Nation, parading tangible, visible and demonstrable achievements across all sectors of our political economy.

  6. Despite all the daunting challenges, this is the year in which we buckled down, rolled up our sleeves and worked tirelessly for the great people of Ebonyi, and the tangible evidence of that tireless commitment to the future of Ebonyi State is overwhelming – a fact that has been acknowledged by all citizens who are beholden to the truth and are persuaded by nothing but concrete and material evidence. A fact that has been attested to by present and past leaders of our nation. A fact that has been attested to by former Governors and incumbent brother Governors. A fact that has ben attested to by fellow citizens, both at home and in the diaspora. A fact that has been attested to by no less a personality than the First Citizen himself - the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari, on the occasion when he stood on the soil of Ebonyi State as a direct witness to the historical transformation that has taken place, and is still taking place, in our beloved state.

  7. Mr Speaker, let me declare with utmost humility that after almost two decades following its creation, the Salt of the Nation has finally become tasteful, palatable and fit for purpose. And none of it has been by might, but by the special donation of grace, benevolence and mercy by our Great God without whom we are nothing. To Him we give all the glory for finding us worthy of the special blessing of leadership and wisdom at this truly critical and challenging juncture in the evolution of our history as a state and as a nation.

  8. It is true that we have those who have been blinded by the majestic work of God in this state; those who have become crippled by pettiness and envy, such that when they perceive light they insist that it is darkness; when they see a stallion they call it a donkey; when they touch velvet they swear that it is sandpaper. We have nothing but pity for them. We cannot and shall never descend into the swage with them.

  9. We are guided not by pieces of mediocre propaganda but by the lives we have touched positively; the widows that feed because God has enabled them through us; the youths that have prospects and future because God has enabled them through us; our ailing citizens that are able to leave the hospitals after treatment without facing the indignity of detention for debt owed because God has enabled them through us; our traders who are able to ply their trade all round the clock in the Capital City and rural areas because we have illuminated the metropolis and hinterlands; our rural dwellers that are able to farm because God has enabled them through us; and are able to evacuate their farm produce to profitable market places because we have built the roads & bridges and are building more; our struggling brothers and sisters engaged in street hawking and menial labour in faraway cities who have now chosen more noble occupations because God has enabled them through us; our workers who have received unprecedented benefits and care from our administration, ranging from timely payment of salaries to systematic liquidation 40% of more than two decades of arrears of pensions and gratuities – we have changed the story; we have changed the narrative. We have made a stupendous difference in the lives of our people. These categories of beneficiaries of God’s work through us are the witnesses to the beacon of truth which we have placed on a totem pole in Ebonyi State - and no amount of gossip or title-tattle can ever quench that light of hope.

  10. A BROAD PERSPECTIVE OF THE ECONOMIC CHALLENGES IN 2018
  11. Mr Speaker, Honourable Members, it is abundantly clear to all and sundry that the year 2018 witnessed a complex web of global economic and security challenges, with devastating negative impact on the prospects of a swift recovery from the economic downturn which gravely affected many nations, including Nigeria, as a result of enduring uncertainty in the international price of crude oil.

  12. Global instability occasioned by persistent incidence of terrorism, insurgencies, inter- and intra-national conflicts, sanctions, trade wars, unravelling of bilateral and unilateral agreements and a general wave of insecurity have continued to pose serious threats to global peace, socio-economic growth and sustainability. The debilitating impact has been felt at all strata of society, including sub-regions, nations and smaller components such as states and even Local Government Councils. The impact of globalisation and interdependency of nations mean that no region or sub-unit is immune from the consequences of negative global trends such the one I have just mentioned.

  13. While Nigeria grappled with the devastating impact of these global challenges, compounded by its own unique cases of insurgency, sectional agitations, persistent weakening of the naira against international benchmark currencies, its domestic economy dived in a downward spiral in virtually all major socio-economic indicators.

  14. Mr Speaker, Honourable Members, as the chaotic situation deepened, Nigeria, being obviously a crude oil dependent economy, became a predictable victim of dwindling revenue, as the slumping global price of crude oil only gained insignificant appreciation in 2018.

  15. Consequently, revenue inflows have remained below expectation and unpredictable; and this has resulted in a very slow and painful exit from the recession of 2016/2017.

  16. Unpredictability of revenue inflows resulted in serious distortions in government policies and plans, with unsavoury impact on economic growth and expansion strategies.

  17. For instance, Mr Speaker, following the slow recovery from the economic recession in the second quarter of 2017, the economy had initially gained a post-recession recovery in the third and second quarters of 2017 before it began a gradual decline in the first quarter of 2018 – when GDP fell to 1.95%, representing a quarter-on-quarter decline of 7.58%. While there was a positive indicator in inflation, which improved marginally from 17.24% in 2017 to 12.48% as at the third quarter of 2018, this marginal improvement is of little comfort when juxtaposed with the shrinkage in both the annual GDP growth rate and GDP per capita. The exchange rate regime that stood at N199.134 to $1 as at 31st March2015 weakened to N364 to $1 in December 2018 (in the parallel market, which has the gravest and most direct impact on Nigerians), thereby shattering the purchasing power of not just consumers but also business and government actors.

  18. As a consequence of this mixed economic scenario, tilting more to the negative than positive indicators, our well articulated plans and policies for inclusive growth and poverty reduction in Ebonyi State– the pillar planks of the 2018 Budget Estimates, could have been threatened and possibly derailed but for our prudent management and alertness to the fluctuations.

  19. Mr Speaker, even in the face of all these negative economic trends, we did not abandon our commitments to the people of Ebonyi. We refused to hide behind the convenient alibi of negative economic indices. Certainly not. Instead, we rolled out new strategies, became more creative and innovative in our approach to the management of scarce resources, even in the face of escalating and competing demands from multiple quarters for these limited resources.

  20. Our commitment to transform Ebonyi State from its low status when we came onboard remained undiminished by these economic challenges that buffeted our world, our nation and our state. Our principal mission and dream of:
    1. achieving self-reliance and robust economy through socio-economic diversification that will reduce reliance on federal allocations and encourage local content in our domestic economy and ultimately increase the income base through internally generated revenue;
    2. promoting public and private sectors expansion to stimulate economic growth, stability and sustainability and drive towards poverty alleviation, and self-sufficiency in food production through massive agricultural revolution that involve all Ebonyians;
    3. sustaining the development and rehabilitation of various categories of critical socio-economic infrastructure to aid the delivery of basic services and encourage investor patronage;
    4. investing inhuman capital development for the actualisation of the full potentials, generate employment and empower the youths and women by way of talent development and entrepreneurship training.

  21. Mr Speaker, Honourable Members, we have endeavoured to strengthen and sustain fiscal and monetary responsibility principles. Our practical approach in this direction has been to aggressively implement the critical elements of these responsibilities in line with the Federal Government’s drive to tame inflation among other socio-economic disabilities since assuming office in 2015.

  22. From this perspective, Mr Speaker, we have pursued our budget implementation with resilience and determination to ensure the attainment of our ambitious targets even in the face of severe scarcity of funds.

  23. Thus, in 2015, when our total budget outlay stood at N75.88 billion, we achieved an unprecedented 85.61% performance. In our 2016 Revised Budget of N99.007 billion, we achieved 58.90% performance. In the 2017 Budget, we achieved 65.2% performance. In our 2018 Budget Estimates of N208, 331,870,036 we achieved 45.20% performance as at the end of the last quarter. This apparently low percentage budget performance arises from the fact that we had made a budgetary provision of N50 billion from the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) for the construction of the Abakaliki Ring Road. If that figure were to be deducted, then the overall budget performance would significantly improve to 59.50%, which is a highly respectable figure in the circumstances.

  24. Mr Speaker, our commitment to the real and transformational development of the socio-economic sub-sectors in Ebonyi State is, at the risk of repeating myself, both historical and unquestionable.

  25. The year-on-year comparative analysis of the actual performance ratings under the socio-economic sub-sector Capital Expenditures in juxtaposition with the Recurrent Expenditure presents a picture that we ought to be very proud of.

  26. In 2015, we had a Recurrent Expenditure profile of N44.917 billion as against N82.636 billion Capital Expenditure in actual terms; in 2016 we had a Recurrent Expenditure profile of N35.255 billion as against Capital Expenditure of N55.436 billion in actual terms; In 2017, we had a Recurrent Expenditure of N21.802 billion as against Capital Expenditure of N40.889 billion in actual terms. In the current year of 2018, the Recurrent Expenditure is N43.327 billion against Capital Expenditure of N49.069 billion.

  27. Mr Speaker, you will agree with me that these analyses present very significant differentials and a positive testament to our prudence, our vision and our commitment to the infrastructural development of our beloved state.

  28. Summary of 2016 – 2019 Budget Estimates
    S/N Year Total Budget Estimates in N Billion Budget Components in N Billion Budget Acronym
    CapitalRecurrent
    1 2016 101.154
    62.39738.758
    Budget of Divine Actualisation
    2 2017 127.233
    87.06240.171
    Budget of Inclusive Growth and Poverty Reduction in Economic Recession
    3 2018 208.332
    160.00545.59
    Budget of Divine Manifestation
    4 2019 188.401
    146.84641.156
    Budget of Divine Fulfilment

  29. Mr Speaker, while the Budget of 2016 was designated as the Budget of Divine Actualisation, the one of 2017 was designated as the Budget of Inclusive Growth and Poverty Reduction in Economic Recession. The one of the outgoing year was designated the Budget of Divine Manifestation. Each one lived up to its designated promise of unfolding with Divine impetus and lifting our society to the summit that our Lord God had already designated. In the 2019 Budget of Divine Fulfilment, we believe that God’s divine guidance and direction will lead to a fulfilment of all the positive dreams, aspirations and projections which He inspired in us for the good of our people and for His eternal glory.

  30. We took proactive and people-oriented steps to cushion the effects of recession when we launched a comprehensive Economic Stimulus Package reflected in the various empowerment programmes we have pursued, especially in the area of agriculture, culminating in the disbursement of N3 billion through the EBSG Agro-based loan facility for civil and public servants in Ebonyi State. This is a revolving fund and in order to ensure its continuity, the proceeds from the agreed deductions from beneficiaries will be reinvested for the benefit of future interested applicants.

  31. 2018 Budget Performance: Capital Expenditure
  32. Mr Speaker, a total of N160.005 billion was budgeted for Capital Expenditure in 2018. Out of this provision, the sum of N49.068 was expended, indicating a Capital Expenditure proportion of 31%.

  33. The primary sectors in which these funds were expended are
    i) Administrative
    ii) Economic
    iii) Law & Justice
    iv) Regional
    v) Social

  34. Permit me Mr Speaker to use a few moments to take you through the sector by sector review of the performance of the major sectoral components in 2018:


Sectoral Performance Review & Prospects

In setting out the sectoral performance of each of the sectors enumerated below, and making projections into the central areas for attention in 2019, let me briefly mention some of the bold ambitions we are determined to pursue and bring to fruition starting from the first quarter of 2019: the construction of an airport in Ebonyi State; the construction of a new teaching hospital; the construction of a new stadium of international standards, the dualisation of the Abakaliki-Enugu Expressway and the dualisation of the Abakaliki-Afikpo Expressway. The comprehensive restructuring of our education system and creating more modern boarding schools will be integral to our 2019 programme of human capital development. Indeed, Mr Speaker, let me announce to this Honourable House and to the great people of Ebonyi that we have taken the practical steps of elevating human capital development to the topmost level of government structure by abolishing the Ministry of Economic Empowerment and Job Creation and in its place we have created the Ministry of Human Capital Development – with a ministerial chief executive that will be charged with the responsibility of unleashing the knowledge, skills, creativity, talents, inventiveness and enterprise of our people.

  1. Health
    In the health subsector, major land mark achievements were accomplished in 2018 and our projections into the coming year of 2019 are bold and ambitious:
    Achievements in 2018
    - Upgrading of the 13 General Hospitals (completion of hospital buildings, landscaping and perimeter fencing of hospital premises);
    - Construction of Ebonyi State College of Nursing and Midwifery, Uburu and commencement of academic activities with provisional accreditation by the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria;
    - Upgrading of 171 Primary Health Centres (provision of one hundred and ten 7.0KVA generators, establishment and operation of the Drug Revolving Scheme in the 171 PHCs, provision of 39 customised tricycle ambulances) to the 171 PHCs;
    -Upgrading of the School of Health Technology Ngbo, completion of abandoned building projects and securing accreditation of two departments;
    - Control of Lassa fever outbreak and cholera outbreak;
    - Training of 330 Health workers in Basic Emergency Obstetrics, Newborn Care (BEMONC) and use of modern family planning techniques (LARC).
    Projections for 2019
    - Launching of the Ebonyi State comprehensive social health insurance scheme with a takeoff sum of N800 million. With this level of cash injection, we are hopeful that this scheme will completely transform the healthcare delivery system in Ebonyi State;
    - Equipping and staffing of the 13 General Hospitals;
    - Continued upgrading of the 171 Primary Health Centre by working on the renovation of the hospital buildings, provision of water, landscaping and perimeter fencing of the premises of the 171 PHCs;
    - Establishment of central drug warehouse and three zonal drug centres;
    - Launching of the e-health and also establishing emergency health services.

  2. Works and Transport
    Mr Speaker, Honourable Members of this great Assembly, we christened this year’s budget the Budget of Divine Fulfilment precisely because God’s miraculous hand guided, directed, inspired and motivated our administration, all the branches of government and the wonderful men and women of this state to work in tandem and in synergy to bring about the fulfilment of God’s amazing grace and awesome promise to this beautiful land of ours. In the Works and Transport subsector, we recorded some impressive accomplishments that I will take a brief moment to enumerate below:
    (1) Achievements in 2018
    (a) Completed Projects
    The following projects were completed in 2018:
    (i) Construction of International Market 25-span flyover bridge
    (ii) Reconstruction of Abakaliki – Afikpo Road (14.5km)
    (iii) Construction of Ugwuachara-Water Reservoir Road (6.9km)
    (iv) Construction of Stephen Omege-Ogboloko-Watchman-Awkuzu-Igu-Nwojiji Road (8.41km)
    (v) Construction of Golf-Quarry-Enugu Expressway/Ezza Road-Emefor (7.09km)
    (vi) Construction of Ndiagu Layout Roads (6.6km)
    (vii) Rehabilitation of 14 streets within Abakaliki capital city (5.76km)
    (viii) Construction of Nkalagu-Ehamufu Road (15.5km)
    (ix) Construction of Kpirikpiri Junction-St. Patrick’s-Unity FM and Osborn La Palm-Otozi-Stephen Mgbabor Street (5.64km)
    (x) Reconstruction of Ezzamgbo-Effium section of Abakaliki Ring Road (20km)
    (xi) Construction of International flyover bridge ancillary works
    (xii) Construction of Presco Junction flyover bridge ancillary works
    (xiii) Construction of Margret Avenue in Uburu
    (xiv) Construction of Onicha-Isu-Obiozara Road (8.3km)
    (xv) Construction of drainage and earthworks on the road to the School of Nursing, Uburu (12km)
    (xvi) Construction of Uburu-Isu Road (12.3km)
    (xvii) Construction of 6-span Bridge across Ebonyi River at Ishinkwo
    (xviii) Construction of 2No 2-span bridges along Hilltop-Nwofe Road
    (b) Projects awarded
    The following projects were awarded in 2018:
    (i) Reconstruction of Internal Road at Nkwegu Cantonment, Abakaliki
    (ii) Construction of 6-span reinforced concrete bridge along Ogwor-Nzerem-Okue Road
    (iii) Construction of 4-span reinforced concrete bridge along Amangu-Uburu-Akaeze Road
    (iv) Construction of 2No 2-span reinforced concrete bridge at Ishieke-Odomoke Road
    (v) Reconstruction of Aforezunna, Anikpe and Ojebogene Streets (1.4km)
    (vi) Construction of Umuobo, Oboma, Ihenu Ring Road (7km)
    (vii) Construction/Extension of 3span, 2-span and 4No single span bridges along Nkalagu-Ehamufu Road
    (viii) Construction of 16-span President Muhammadu Buhari overhead bridge
    (ix) Construction of bypass tunnel with retaining wall from Aforezunna to Nkaliki Junction
    (x) Construction of concrete-lined drain at Abakaliki Fertilizer Blending Plant
    (xi) Construction of Road Safety Corp Road in Abakaliki
    (xii) Construction of 490m concrete lined drain and 2No box culverts at Industrial Cluster, Uburu
    (xiii) Construction of Abaomege Flyover bridge
    (xiv) Construction of Uburu-Akaeze Road (13.9km)
    (xv) Construction of Onuigboji Junction-Nwanoyo (5.8km)
    (xvi) Construction of a section of Umuoghara-Achiegu Road (1.6km)
    (xvii) Construction of GTC Agba-Agbaelu-Eguenu-Isu Road (10.3km)
    (xviii) Construction of Okoffia-Internal Roads (5km)
    (xix) Construction of Ntezi-Agba-Isu Road (15km)
    (xx) Construction of Sharon - Iboko Road (7.69km) at Abakaliki & Izzi LGA
    (xxi) Extension of the construction of Ishieke - Odomoke Road (5km)
    (xxii) Construction of Ukwuachi-Oshiegbe Road (11.2km) in Ezza North LGA
    (xxiii) Construction of Obujia-Nwanwu Road (9.8km)
    (xxiv) Construction of Ojum-Nwida Road (5km)
    (xxv) Dualisation of Mile 50-Ishieke Road (7.2km)
    (xxvi) Construction of Oferekpe-Ovuduechi-Oyege-Nduofutu Road in (9.3km)
    (xxvii) Dualisation of Amasiri Junction to Amuro Junction in Afikpo, Afikpo North LGA.
    (xxviii) Additional works on the construction of a section of Umuoghara-Achiagu Road Project in Ezza North LGA (5.82km)
    (2) Projections for 2019
    (a) Completion of all on-going projects
    All ongoing projects awarded by this administration which are nearing completion are as follows:
    (1) Rehabilitation of Amuru-Eke Market Roundabout-Ngodo-St. Mary-Amangbala with a spur to Idu Igarewey Road (5.5km)
    (2) Construction of Ogwor-Nzerem-Okue Road (11.2km)
    (3) Reconstruction of Onunwedu Junction-Elunwovu Roundabout (4.5km)
    (4) Construction of Abaomege-Ishinkwo-Ukawu-Ugwulangwu-Okposi Road (25.4km)
    (5) Reconstruction of Onueke-Ezzama-Oshiri Road (28.5km)
    (6) Construction of Amakporo-Isu Road (3.5km)
    (7) Reconstruction of a section of Obubara Junction - Oferekpe Road (2km)
    (8) Construction of Amenu, Enuegu, Urobo and Umuchima Eweze Road in Uburu
    (9) Construction of Obvuduechi-Oyege-Nduofutu Road (3.5km)
    (10) Filling and covering of Median and Walkway along Enugu-Abakaliki Expressway and other projects still ongoing.
    (b) Award of new projects
    The following new projects are expected to be awarded in 2019:
    (i) Construction of Abakaliki Ring Road
    (ii) Construction of 2-span bridge across Ebyia River off Udemezue Street
    (iii) Dualisation of Abakaliki-Afikpo Road
    (iv) Dualisation of Abakaliki-Enugu Road to Ebonyi Boundary
    (v) Construction of Uburu-Okpanku Road
    (vi) Construction of a Bridge across Oferekpe River
    (vii) Construction of a Bridge across Ndibe Beach River.

  3. Environment
    The Ministry of Environment has finally come of age, after a couple of years of innovating and putting a number of ideas into operation. This has led to tangible successes in the following areas:
    Achievements in 2018
    • Wastes Management:
    Waste management in the capital city has become comprehensively streamlined so that today the state is ranked as one of the cleanest cities in the country;
    • Beautification of the Capital City:
    The town is adorned with ornamental trees and flowers, garden lights and water fountains which give the entire city an outstanding aesthetic ambience;
    • Waste Recycling Plant:
    The 200 tons per day capacity Waste Recycling Plant is 100% completed and will be commissioned on the 19th of December, 2018. It will turn the waste and garbage generated in the state into wealth thereby providing worthwhile jobs for Ebonyians.
    • Flood and Erosion Control:
    Through payment of counterpart funds, much has been achieved in this sector through Ebonyi NEWMAP that is currently dredging Ebia, Iyiokwu, Iyiudele and Esu rivers; and Nguzu Edda erosion sites;
    • Raising of Nurseries of Tree Seedlings:
    The ministry has raised nurseries of tree seedlings for reforestation of degraded Forests Reserves in the state.
    Projections for 2019
    • Wastes Management:
    The capital city is fast growing and expanding and with this in mind the ministry plans to capture the new areas and streets in the environmental waste management with projected increment of 12% cost;
    • Beautification of the Capital City:
    Major streets like Ogoja Road, Ezza Road, Kpirikpiri/Mile 50 Road and Afikpo Road are some of the areas projected to be captured in the beautification plan in 2019.
    • Waste Recycling Plant:
    The plant is expected to be completed and functional in 2019. Equipment such as trucks and pay-loaders will be needed for the operations;
    • Flood and Erosion Control:
    The ongoing dredging of Ebia, Iyiokwu, Iyiudele and Esu rivers; and Nguzu Edda erosion site control will be completed Reforestation:
    The State Forest Reserves depleted by hoodlums will be reforested to save the eco system. The ministry therefore plans to plant up the affected forests with seedlings already raised up.

  4. Education
    Mr Speaker, Honourable Members, the education sector is the lynchpin of our progress and advancement as a society. We strongly believe that from the platform of sound and quality education, everything else becomes achievable. And that is why we have voted the sum ofN23.070 billion, representing 12% of the total budget estimatesto education. My administration will continue to aggressively pursue our counterpart funding formula with the Federal Government in order to sustain our present momentum of large-scale investment in this subsector. As I mentioned earlier, Mr Speaker, the comprehensive restructuring of our educational system and creating more modern boarding schools will be integral to our 2019 initiation of a programme of human capital development. In the course of the coming year, the responsible Commissioner will pay priority attention to the following areas:
    Meetings with team players in the Education Sector:
    a) Renovation of the remaining primary schools and of course junior and senior secondary schools across the state. We will proceed to equip them with furniture, books and essential facilities, as well create enabling environment for sporting activities to thrive
    b) We will select some primary and secondary schools and modernise them to a very high standard such that they will meet our expectations of modern institutions that will deliver the best quality education to our children
    c) We shall endeavour to provide more boarding facilities to the students and accommodation to teachers
    d) Training and retraining of teachers will be made a priority and they will be provided with incentives to motivate them to deepen their commitment to giving our children the very best within their capacities
    e) We shall work extremely hard to ensure that every child of school age is in school and all out-of-school children brought back to school
    f) We will encourage school feeding in order to improve the nutritional value of the food the pupils eat which will in turn lead to improvement in their health; the school agriculture programme will become irreversibly entrenched in our primary and secondary schools
    g) Where we have shortage of teachers, we will introduce the e-learning system especially in science subjects, English and Mathematics
    h) We are determined to handover more schools to the religious missions in a positive partnership programme
    i) We will strive for effective monitoring and supervision of both primary and secondary schools
    j) We will introduce and encourage Annual Compulsory Inter-house Competition in public and private schools. This is aimed at harnessing young talents in sports among the students.
    k) Seeking grants/donors from international agencies and organizations.
    l) Other areas of attention include:
    i. School Agriculture shows
    ii. Compulsory Reading Club
    iii. Sourcing support from NCC for provision of computer services to enhance information technology in schools.
    iv. Ensuring that quotas meant for Ebonyi State in Federal Schools in terms of employment and admissions are filled up with Ebonyians.
    v. Creation of Educational Platform: This will be created by the ministry, while all the education sectors, private and public schools are expected to create their own platform to enable the ministry follow up their activities.

  5. Women Affairs and Social Development
    The Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development within the period under review has made the following achievements:
    • Embarked on the fencing of 0.9km of the Ministry’s Land at Remand Home, Ugwuachara, for security of the inmates
    • Feeding, upkeep, medicare, rescue, rehabilitation, repatriation, referrals and justice for abused, raped, abandoned, battered, mutilated, trafficked, lost children and children in conflict with the law
    • Conducted election and inaugurated children’s parliament in the 13 LGAs as well as formation and supervision of 41 mother’s savings and loan club in 10 LGAs.
    • School sensitization, training of members of FGM/C school club members, FIDA and monitoring of 10 communities in Afikpo North and Ohaukwu LGAs.
    • Payment of medical bills for indigent and sick children, provision of mobility aids (wheel chairs) to 20 physically challenged persons, commemoration of children’s day celebration, settlement of 24 family disputes and installation of solar energy at the the Remand Home/Rehabilitation Centre, Uguwuachara. Total sum of Nine Hundred and Forty Three Thousand Naira (N943, 000) was realized as income accruing from registration of clubs, NGOs and Associations.
    2019 Projections:
    The ministry intends to:
    • Renovate and re-equip the ministry’s Remand Home/Children’s Home and Drop-in-centre.
    • Rescue, medicare, empowerment, repatriation, rehabilitation and reintegration of trafficked, lost and indigent sick children.
    • Development of Ebonyi State Action Plan on Women Peace and Security (UNSCR 1352).
    • Upkeep, feeding, medicare, justice, administration and legal aid provision for abused, raped, battered, ejected and neglected, abandoned children and children in conflict with the law.
    • International, National and State Observances/Commemoration of special day for Women, Children and Elderly as well as registration of IGR of Day Care Centres, Nursery, Crèches, Kindergarten, Motherless Babies Home and Orphanages.

  6. Power & Energy
    The Power and Energy subsector remains one of the priority areas of this administration and has recorded numerous achievements in the current year. Our drive towards clean energy through the deployment of solar power technology and biomass infrastructure has gained reasonable momentum and we are aiming to become dominant national players in this critical and potentially highly profitable area.
    Achievements in 2018
    (a) Streetlights
     Installation/maintenance of streetlights in major streets in the capital city including 3Nos flyover bridges.
     Installation of hybrid solar streetlights in various locations in the State including Afikpo Town, Government College Afikpo, Unwana Town, Ishieke, Redeemed and Anglican churches, Police Area Commands and Divisional Headquarters in the State
    (b) Solar Power Stations
     100KW solar power stations at Nnorom Street and 8Nos on-going at Ministry of Power and Energy, Ministry of Health, EBBC, College of Education Ikwo, School of Nursing, Uburu, Umunaga Uburu, Onicha General Hospital and School of Health Technology Ezzangbo.
    (c) Rural Electrification Projects
     Rural Electrification Projects in 5Nos Constituencies of the State, namely: Umu-ogudu Akpu Ngbo, Nkaliki, Ameka Ezza, Ettam Okpuitimo Ikwo, Amaigbo - Edda.
    Installation of transformers at various locations in the State including Amangwu-Edda, Anglican Bishop Court, Ndieguazu, Enyibichiri Ikwo, School of Nursing Uburu, Akaeze, Ivo Local Government Area, Umunaga Uburu, Rehabilitation of Nigercem (Nkalagu) to Afikpo 33KV line.
    (d) Special Projects
     Relocation of 1No transformer/3Nos high-tension lines at Akanu Ibiam Roundabout and installation of solar streetlights/rehabilitation of electrical lines at NYSC Orientation Camp, Macgregor Afikpo.
     Ongoing median light from Deaconess Margret Umahi International Market to EBSU main gate.
     Ongoing streetlights project in the premises of Ecumenical Centre/ Shopping Mall and the glass tunnel flyover bridge at Akanu Ibiam Roundabout.
    2019 jections/
     Expansion/ sustenance/ maintenance of the existing streetlights, including the procurement of more generators.
     Construction of traffic lights and modern water fountains in the state using solar power.
     Construction of more solar powered streetlights and completion of all biomass/solar power stations in the state.
     Construction of new/completion of all on-going rural electrification projects in the state.
     Rehabilitation of fire service stations in the state including construction of solar powered boreholes.

  7. Water Resources
    Mr Speaker, let me be the first to admit that this sector has challenged us beyond our most pessimistic expectations. The water reticulation infrastructure we inherited in the capital city of Abakaliki was laid in the 1940s by the British colonial administrators and has suffered irreparable degradation over the decades. In 2015, we buckled down to systematically delineate the city into manageable Zones upon which we embarked on the onerous task of excavating and replacing the dilapidated galvanised metal pipes with more modern PVCs made from synthetic thermoplastic materials. The challenges thrown up by both the Oferekpe and Ukawu water schemes were enormous and almost insurmountable. But through measured, diligent and holistic application of smart strategies, we are optimistic that the full reticulation of water pipelines in the city and rural locations will be achieved in a matter of months from now.
    A. Main Achievements in 2018:
    i. Completion of civil works on the low-lift section if the Ukawu Water Project. We have brought it to a state of readiness for the commencement of electromechanical works;
    ii. Construction of up to 40% of the civil work of the Ishiagu Water Project;
    iii. Construction of 323 hand pump water boreholes in 19 state constituencies, with 17 boreholes located in each of them;
    iv. Construction of motorized boreholes and overhead tanks in all the INEC offices in the 13 Local Government Councils in the state;
    v. Placed order for the purchase from Spain of vertical spindle pumps for the completion of Ukawu and Ivo Water Projects.
    B. Projections for 2019
    i. Completion of the ongoing Ukawu Water treatment Plant;
    ii. Completion of the rehabilitation works at Ezillo and Uburu Water Works;
    iii. Completion of the ongoing Ivo Water Project;
    iv. Completion of the ongoing water pipeline reticulation in the remaining zones in the capital city and its environs;
    v. We will finally attain our ultimate objective of making clean water more accessible to the people on a sustainable basis in the nearest future.

  8. Law and Justice
    Maintaining law and order, dispensing justice with dispatch and professionalism have been the main attributes of the Law and Justice sector since we came on board. The Ministry of Justice has been very active in crafting and perfecting a good number of Executive Bills that we have successfully presented to this Honourable House for consideration and passage into law.
    Achievements in 2018:
    • Laws, Agreements/MOUs prepared and vetted -107
    • Number of case files received/vetted -721/380
    • Number of persons discharged on legal opinions/Nolle - 82/9
    • Number of Information filed in the Ebonyi State High Court, Civil matters in various levels of courts in Nigeria - 250/216
    • Number of fiats issued to private legal practitioners - 53
    Projections for 2019:
    • Publication of Ebonyi State Law Report (Salt Report) of the landmark decisions/judgments of the State and Federal High Courts, National Industrial Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court of Nigeria.
    • Construction/provision of post houses, at least one per each of the three zones of the State i.e. at Ezzamgbo, Onueke and Ohaozara.
    • Production/Codification of the Laws of Ebonyi State by the Law Review & Reform Commission.
    • Domestication of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) in Ebonyi State to enhance timely dispensation of Justice.
    • Establishment of the Citizens’ Right Centre (CRC) to assist the less privilege access Justice in Court and Police.

  9. Lands, Housing and Survey
    Mr Speaker, the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Survey has seen a steady acceleration of constructions and general development since 2015 which culminated this year to perhaps the greatest inventory in the history of the ministry – the construction of an imposing ecumenical cathedral, world-class Shopping Mall and other edifices that I will mention shortly.
    2018 Achievements
    • Construction of Township Stadium guest House - 100% completed
    • Construction of New Government House Projects:
    • New Governor’s Lodge - 80% completed;
    • New Governor’s Office - 60% completed;
    • New Presidential Lodge - 70% completed;
    • Construction of Ecumenical Centre - 60% completed;
    • Construction of Ebonyi Shopping Mall - 45% completed;
    • Re-modeling of Margret Umahi International Market - 50% completed.
    2019 Projections
    • Construction of New International Stadium;
    • Completion of Accident and Emergency Complex;
    • Completion of Ebonyi Shopping Mall;
    • Completion of Ecumenical Centre;
    • Completion of New Prisons;
Economic Empowerment & Job Creation (to be henceforth known as Ministry of Human Capital Development) This ministry will continue to receive priority attention as the bulwark against poverty and deprivation in our society and as the engine room for the development of the talents, entrepreneurial spirit, skills and ingenuity of our people, particularly women and the youths. For the 2018 Fiscal Year and in 2019, the focus of the ministry can be summarised as follows:
2018 Achievements
 Tricycle Empowerment of 400 Ebonyians at the total cost of N263,200,000.00
 Agric empowerment of wives of security personnel at the total cost of N80,600,000.00
 Agric empowerment of 5008 Divine Mandate Pastors/CAN Blocks at the total cost of N500,800,000
Projections for 2019
• Batch C Women and Youths Empowerment of 903 Ebonyians at the total cost of N225,750,000.00
• Manpower Development of 45 Ebonyians on artisanship and crafts at the cost of N20,000,000
• Empowerment of 2000 Ebonyians hawking in major cities in Nigeria through Street-to-Skill Programme of EBSG at a total cost of N100, 000,000.
• Provision of Financial Assistance to 3,000 Ebonyians in form of monthly stipends across the state at the total cost of N20, 000,000.
• State Government Contribution for Community Micro Projects across the state at N200,000,000
Commerce and Industry
Review of the ministry’s performance in 2018:
The year 2018 was a very busy one for the Ministry of Commerce and Industry. The development of Industrial Parks across the state, the construction and remodeling of Margaret Umahi International Market and other facilities such as restaurants, conveniences, gate houses, Day Care Centres, Police Posts, etc are some of the areas of concentrated activities that engaged the ministry in the outing year.
1. Bank of Industry Loan & EBSG Partnership
A total of N4b was saved under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry. This came under the supplementary budget of 2018. The fund is being managed by the ministry and has disbursed about N3billion t civil servants.
Projections for 2019
i. Margaret Umahi International Market
A total sum of N3 billion has been proposed for allocation to continue construction and comprehensive remodeling of the Market. The demolition and rebuilding of more upstairs shops will be witnessed next year as some of the bungalow shops have been demolished and construction activities are going on at the market. There is need to include the facilities that have already been planned for the market, such facilities include fire service station, police station, schools, banks, Day Care Centres and conveniences. The location of the market along the Trans-Sahara Africa Highway will no doubt open up the state to investors. It will yield bountifully the needed internally generated revenue to the state. Early completion of the market will ensure easy movement of traders at Abakpa Market to the new International Market. The traders and apprentice traders will be able to expand their scope of trade and absorb the army of unemployed youths across the state who are desirous of trading but had no shops to ply their trade. Internally generated Revenue will increase as traders from neighbouring states would be coming to buy goods from there instead of travelling to Lagos, Onitsha or Aba.
ii. Industrial Parks
The sum of N1.5 billion will be allocated to the 3 industrial parks in the 3 senatorial zones of the state as follows:
(a) Ebonyi South Zone N500 million
(b) Ebonyi Central ZoneN500 million
(c) Ebonyi North ZoneN500 million
5. Justification:
Establishment of 3 Industrial Parks in the 3 Senatorial zones of the state no doubt will spark off unprecedented industrial revolution in the state. The Industrial Parks will reduce street trading by Ebonyi youths found in the major cities and state capitals in the country.
The Industrial Parks are designed to have 500KVA Biomass Plant to reduce dependence on EEDC and ensure sustainable power supply for rapid industrialization of the State. There will be network of internal roads within the parks to allow for easy movement of vehicles into the parks.
Each of the parks will have adequate water supply, which will be properly reticulated to all nooks and crannies of the parks. The parks will also have restaurants, police post, fire service station etc.
Early completion of the parks will create industrial hubs in each of the 3 Senatorial Zones to absorb the teaming unemployed youths who want to venture into business as well as engage army of artisans that are in dire need of space to operate their business.
Solid Minerals Development Communities
Achievements in 2018
 Community Related Interventions
Mediations of crises between host communities and investors
 Internally Generated Revenue
Enhanced revenue generation from registration of operators, payment of development levy, haulage fees and penalties.
 Community Development Agreement (CDA)
Signing of Community Development Agreement, (CDA) Between Ebonyi State Government and operators.
 Establishment of Mineral Industries
Formation of special purpose vehicles (SPVs), such as Ebonyi North Construction Company, Ebonyi City Cement Company as well as acquisition of mineral titles by the State
 Exploration
Geophysics and core drilling at Okpoto cement project site. Coal exploration in Afikpo through the process of Banka drilling and pitting from the study Rehabilitation of the Solid Minerals Buying Center in Ebonyi North Zone
Projections for 2019
 Revenue Generation
Targeted to generate the sum of One Billion, Sixty Three Million Naira (N1, 063,000,000.00) only, through Internally Generated Revenue (IGR)
 Exploration
Investigation of hydrocarbon on the four major commodities minerals of coal, limestone, lead, zinc, brine
Establishment of lead/zinc production factory in Uburu
Acquisition and renewal of Exploration Licenses and Mining Leases
A second lead factory will be laid in Uburu on 19th December, 2018.
 Domestication/Data Bank
Domestication of integrated automated interactive Solid Mineral portal operationally of Solid Mineral Buying Center which include administration’s block, warehouse, weighbridge, security house. Equipping of the Solid Mineral Buying Centre including the Laboratory Equipment, testing measurement and certification. Establishment/equipment of database for monitoring and documentation scheme
 Organisation of Mineral Industries
Funding of special purpose vehicles (SPVs), in other words, incorporating limited liability companies, e.g. Ebonyi North Construction Company, Ebonyi City Cement Company as well as acquisition of mineral titles by the State.
Culture and Tourism
The Ministry of Culture and Tourism has continued to blaze the trail, projecting and celebrating ourrich cultural heritage and the tourism potential of Ebonyi State both within and outside the shores of our own territory. We will continue to provide the resources and enabling environment for the subsector to thrive and attain its full potentials.
Achievements in 2018
1. Commencement of work at the Centenary City Recreation Park building, which is now at the completion stages
2. Effective participation in 2018 National Festival of Arts and Culture, recently organized in Port Harcourt, Rivers State which the State won five Gold Medals. Again, organized an impressive Cultural Fiesta tagged “Ebonyi Sun-splash” on 1st April, 2018
3. Successful documentation of all viable/important tourist sites in the state, which has attracted inspection visit of the Department of Domestic and Eco Tourism of the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture
4. Purchase and installation of 30KVA Generator in Akanu Ibiam International Conference Centre, Abakaliki.
5. Improvement in Revenue Generation via registration and renewals of hotels, restaurants, fast food centres etc.
2019 Projections
(1) Development of at least one tourist site in each senatorial zone of the state
(2) Rebuilding of former Unity Square now Children Recreational Park to give Ebonyi children an opportunity for socio-cultural interaction
(3) Renovation of Amusement, Jim Okonkwo & Fati-Lami Abubakar Parks and completion of the industrial kitchen in green park kpirikpiri
(4) The Ministry intends to organize an integrated Annual New Yam Festival in 2019
(5) We intend to organize Arts and Craft exhibition among secondary schools in the state, and construct a befitting archival complex.
Border Peace and Conflict Resolution
Achievements in 2018
Mr Speaker, from 1st January, 2018 till date, the ministry made remarkable achievements in the following areas:
 Resolving of about 10 land disputes including, land dispute between Aro people living in Edda Echara/Edda Echara indigenes, land dispute between Ihie and Ndiobasi Afikpo North/South LGAs, land dispute between Ojiegbe people of Onicha and Ogboji Aguotu, land dispute in Okaria village, land dispute between Okue and Ogwor Community, land dispute between Edomia and Urevenue villages etc.
 Resolution of Traditional Rulership tussle in some communities including Umunna, Okposiokwu, Ihie, Isu and Amaechi autonomous communities.
 Resolution of revenue sharing formula in some communities, including that of ICDU/ANO Executives vs Crushed Rock companies, Master Rock Aguachi village, Jin Ziang company and Ishimkpuma landlord Association, among others
 Resolution Town Union tussle in some communities, an instance is Amaofia D.U., Amaozanu D.U., Mgbabor Achara Executives, Abaomege D.U, Onuebonyi Youth Executive and several others.
 Peace sensitization:The ministry embarked on sensitizing the general public on the need to embrace peace in the state The sensitization which was carried out in the 13 Local Government Areas yielded positive results as most communities are now resolving their differences through dialogue and mediation instead of resorting to violence.
Projection for 2019
In 2019, the ministry is poised to accomplish the following:
 Peaceful resolution of all conflicts that may erupt in various communities in Ebonyi State
 Resolution of all outstanding age-long disputes in the state, notable among which are: Ekoli vs Nguzu land dispute, Libolo vs Ogwuma land dispute, Ngbo vs Nkalaha land dispute, Abaomege/Ishinkwo land dispute
 Organizing seminars/workshops on peaceful resolution of conflicts for Traditional Rulers/Town Union Executives in the state.
 Delineation of boundaries of the 13 local government areas
 Assist the office of the Deputy Governor in maintaining peace in interstate boundaries.
Finance and Economic Development
Mr Speaker, Honourable members, the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development is central to the drive for revenue and structured dispensation of government funds, planning our economic development strategies and dealing with our financial partners. In 2018 we accomplished the following:
1. Uploaded 2018 budget online and published 2015 and 2016 annual financial accounts of the state. The 2017 accounts will be published before the end of the year
2. Introduced e-revenue and salary automation in the state and the payment of salaries on or before the 15th of every month were maintained
3. Existing government dormant accounts with credit balances amounting to about N1 billion were discovered and recovered within the year
4. Ensuring that contractors’ certificates are paid timely and that funds voted for a particular project is strictly applied for the purpose; overhead releases are paid on monthly basis and regular too. That has given a boost to Ministries, Departments and Agencies in carrying out their activities
5. The 2018 quarterly budget performance for both capital and recurrent as well as the quarterly Debt Management Office (DMO) report for 1st and 3rd quarters (September 2018) were reported.
Projections for 2019
1. The Ministry intends to publish the 2018 annual financial accounts and upload the 2019 accounts online
2. We intend to automate the accounting system in the ministry, to enhance revenue generation, payment of approvals and salaries, to ease accounting documentation and reporting
3. Procurement of 250KVA Gen-set, 1No. Toyota Bus, office equipment, furniture and fire extinguishers for the ministry.
4. Relocation of the entire ministry to Centenary City.
5. Training of ministry’s staff (Accounting officers/planning officers) for better performance.
Sports and Youth Development
Mr Speaker, the Ministry of Sports and Youth Development has witnessed a dramatic change in the last three and a half years. The development of the sporting talents and enthusiasm of our young people has received an unprecedented attention from this administration. The reconstruction of the Pa Ngele Oruta Stadium, complete with a modern VIP Section, floodlights and electronic LED billboards have lifted the ministry to a different level altogether.
A. Achievements in 2018
i. successfully organised the David Umahi Tertiary Institution Games (DUMTIGA);
ii. successfully organised the paramilitary games, together with a marathon race;
iii. Public and Private Schools sports competition;
iv. Divine Mandate Super Cup Competition;
v. Beautification, mural art and painting of government establishment perimeter fences in and around the Abakaliki capital city.
2019 Projections
a. construction of a mega stadium of international standards at Nnorom Street, Abakaliki;
b. formation of state-wide male and female football teams;
c. organise a broad-based inter-party seminars on anti-cultism, electoral malpractices and anti-violence;
d. construct a befitting office complex at Pa Ngele Oruta Township Stadium to house both the Ministry of Sports and Youth Development and the Sports Council;
e. Procurement of additional 550KVA generator for the Pa Ngele Oruta Township Stadium.
Local Government, Chieftaincy Matters and Rural Development
Mr Speaker, in setting out the achievements in the current year and in making the projections for the 2019 Fiscal Year, it is important to point out that the state government’s role in respect of this ministry is strictly supervisory and advisory rather than directive or executive.
2018 Achievements
 Constant and timely payment of Staff Salaries and Allowances of the local Government system (civil servants, teachers and pensioners)
 Donation of SUV jeeps to all traditional rulers in Ebonyi State
 Procurement and Distribution of 18 Nos Prado Jeeps to 13 Local Government chairmen and some principal officers of the state
 Empowerment of all political office holders in the Local Government to embark on farming to the tune of seven hundred and twenty-two million Naira (772,000,000) only to cover 2,779 Hectares of farm land)
 Payment of 40% of gratuity to verified Pensioners of Local Government System and UBEB teachers of Ebonyi state to the tune of one Billion, Two Hundred Thousand Naira (1,200,000,000.00) only.
2019 jections
 Completion of ALGON House
 Ten Million Grants to each of the 140 Autonomous communities in the state.
 Construction a Befitting place and guesthouse for Traditional Rulers in the State.
 Procurement for 64 SUV jeeps for coordinators of the 64 Development Centres of Ebonyi State.
 Earth work for 5 kilometre roads and concrete base for 1 kilometre road in the 13 Local Government Areas of Ebonyi State.
Agriculture
Mr Speaker, our commitment to the diversification of the economy of Ebonyi State is serious and unrelenting. The agricultural subsector represents one of the many multi-pronged sectoral approaches to achieving this central objective. In the 3 cycles of wet season farming from 2016 to date, our administration has poured a total of about N11 billion primarily into rice cultivation and tangentially into cassava and poultry farming, as well as the construction, procurement and installation of fertilizer blending plants and rice parboiling equipment. This figure includes the N3 billion EBSG Agro-based loan facility for civil and public servants. We will sustain this tempo in 2019.
Achievements in 2018
• Profiling of 15,636 farmers for rice and cassava production
• Distribution of 11,849 of Faro 44 rice seeds to famers
• Distribution of 417,000 bundles of improved cassava stems to farmers
• Disbursement of N124 million to farmers for their farm maintenance
• Completion of the installation of rice parboiling component of the three Rice Mills.
2020 jections
• Rehabilitation and upgrading of veterinary school and investigation
• Centre, Ezzangbo and Rehabilitation of veterinary clinic at Onueke and Afikpo
• Construction of cassava starch Flour plants House.
• Completion of the installation of the three cassava processing equipment.
• Massive Land Development for agricultural purposes
• Enforcement of the use of weight and measures in the sale of agricultural produce across the state.
Information and State Orientation
Mr Speaker, the Ministry of Information and State Orientation, alongside its departmental off-shoot, Information and Communication Technology, will continue to play a critical and leading role in the propagation and dissemination of the vast achievements we have recorded, projecting our proposals and policies to both domestic and international audiences. Having already completed the procurement and installation of a number of electronic billboards (LEDs), it is the aspiration of our administration to procure a modern printing press, which will play a central role in our ambition to modernise the Government Printing Press processes. As you know, Mr Speaker, the Ebonyi Broadcasting Corporation (EBBC) accomplished the feat of live broadcast and transmission to within and outside Ebonyi State for the very first time in our history, joining the premier league of broadcasting houses that have conquered the frontiers of instant live transmission through linkage to satellite. We will pursue the necessary, even though costly task of providing further training to the staff of the corporation and prepare them adequately for the advent of digital broadcasting. Specific attention will be paid to the following areas:
a) settlement of our accounts with the Nigerian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC);
b) migration of the Ebonyi Broadcasting Corporation from analogue broadcasting and transmission to the digital platform of DSTV Satellite transmission;
c) training and re-training of the workforce;
d) expansion of the LED area of coverage in the state;
e) establishment of a modern printing press;
f) establishment of a research, strategy and archive unit;
g) expansion of our data storage and retrieval capacity which today stands at over 3 terabytes – this is unprecedented, particularly against the backdrop of zero data storage as at 29th of May, 2015.
The 2019 Budget Highlights:
A) Recurrent Revenue:
The expected sources of Revenue for 2019 Fiscal Year is as presented in the table below:
Recurrent Revenue 2019 Budget Estimates N Billion % of Overall Income
Balance of unutilized fund brought forward (opening balance) 22,441,811,972.35 11.91%
Statutory Allocation from Federal Government 99,760,101,895.60 53%
Internally Generated Revenue 10,000,000,000.00 5.3%
Funds from Other Sources 6,000,000,000.00 3.18%
Loan (Internal and External) 50,200,000,000.00 26.66%
Total 188,401,913,868


In the above revenue sources, the inflow from Federation Account amounts to N99.760 billion or 53% of our State’s 2019 Budget Estimates.
Other sources include: N22, 441,811,972.35 unutilized fund provisions that will be carried forward as the opening book balance for the financial year; N50.2 billion loan and N10 billion from Internally Generated Revenue (IGR).
The State Government intends to increase its tax revenue in the 2019 Fiscal Year by aggressively diversifying into numerous untapped tax revenue sources.
This has become imperative consequent upon the Federal Government’s central policy of de-emphasising oil revenue and the impending austerity measures aimed at cutting the cost of public sector governance. The revenue sources to be strategized include landed property documentation, fines and fees, collections from quarries, mining, agriculture and income tax, among others.
Expenditure:
For the 2019 Fiscal Year, the Expenditure ratio between Recurrent Expenditure and the Capital Expenditure is 22.1% to 77.9%. The Recurrent Expenditure will gulp N41.556 billion (including inbuilt Contingency Fund of N3 billion that will be mainly expended in unforeseen areas of recurrent needs), while the Capital Expenditure will gulp N146.846 billion inclusive of Contingency provision of N3 billion for capital projects.

Summary of the Expenditure Portfolio is as set out below:
Expenditure 2018 Actual Expenditure N Billion % 2019 Budget Estimate N Billion %
Recurrent Expenditure 43.234 46.8 41.556 22.1
Capital Expenditure 49.068 53.2 146.846 77.9


In the Recurrent Expenditure column, the sum of N15.443 billion is proposed for Personnel Cost while the sum of N16.114 billion is for Overhead Cost; Contingency is N3 billion while N4.320 is for Grants to Higher Institutions and their contributions.

Summary of the Recurrent Expenditure profile is set out below:
S/N DETAILS 2018 N Billion 2019 N Billion
1 Personnel Cost 16,695,446,132.98 15,442,614,349.01
2 Overhead Cost 19,492,177,970.75 16,113,629,519.29
3 Grants and Self Contributions 6,400,000,000.00 6,600,000,000
4 Contingency Fund (Recurrent) 3,000,000,000.00 3,000,000,000
TOTAL 45,587,624,103.73 41,156,243,868.30

The provision for Overhead Cost in 2019 decreased by 13% compared to 2018 Fiscal Year. The decrease of N2.5 billion in real terms is a natural adjustment for a matured administration that is into its fourth year and has therefore eliminated the immediate recurring needs of a new administration.
Within the N3 billion that makes up Recurrent Contingency Fund, we made a provision of N814, 350,000 for the Judiciary for the purposes of salaries and overheads.
B) Capital Expenditure:
The Capital Expenditure for this year is projected to be N146.846 billion, which includes the Contingency Fund provided for Capital Projects.
This amount is 11% less than the 2018 provision. The reduction is as a result of the economic realities of our revenue sources.

Below is the sectoral distribution of the fund in the Capital Projects:
S/N SECTOR 2018 2019
1 Administration 22,867,669,050.00 12,910,535,000.00
2 Economic 124,064,488,333.79 89,968,705,000.00
3 Law and Justice 376,864,500.00 456,920,000.00
4 Regional 137,320,000.00 581,160,000.00
5 Social 12,558,638,000.00 39,918,350,000.00
6 Contingency Provision for S/NO 1-5 5,000,000,000 3,000,000,000
Total 165,004,979,883.79 146,845,670,000.00

The Economic Sector has a provision of N89, 968,705,000, thus taking the largest-chunk of the Capital provision. This is justified on the basis of Government’s serious commitment to the construction of flyovers, rehabilitation of urban roads, construction of rural roads, water reticulation in our urban centres, among other commitments.
Within the Economic Sub-sector, Works and Transport has the highest allocation of N53.050 billion followed by Lands, Survey and Housing with the sum of N6, 421,000,000 and the sum of N33, 507,705,000.00 is shared amongst other sub-sectors.

Social Sector
The Social Sector takes the second largest allocation with the total sum of N39, 918,350,000 within this context; the Education Sub-sector has a provision of N23.070 billion while the Health Sub-sector is allocated N13, 617,590,000. Other sub-sectors within the Social Sector have N11, 949,760,000 shared amongst them.

Conclusion
Mr Speaker, Honourable Members, the 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and now 2019 budgets have defined the character, the impetus, the philosophy and vision of our administration. In character we have been resilient, our impetus has been relentless, our philosophy has been pragmatic and our vision has been focused like a laser beam on the single target of positively changing the Ebonyi story in a profound way and with a national impact. Without these solid attributes, we would never have accomplished the unprecedented feats that we have attained in Ebonyi State.
While I can boldly declare that we have done a great amount, I equally have the humility to insist that there is still a greater amount to be done. The definitive statement on how far we have travelled in this extraordinary journey of transforming our dear state will be made when we present our last budget in 2022, through the omnipotent power of the Mighty God of Israel and David.
In keeping with our promise of making Abakaliki the best state capital in the country, we are on course and we are almost there – three and a half years is far too short to build a city, but we have taken giant strides towards realising our ambition.
Today, in keeping our promise of making Ebonyi State the number one economy through agricultural revolution, we have a positive story to tell. Ebonyi Rice has become synonymous with supreme quality in purity, wholesomeness, affordability and nutritiousness. We have kept faith with our promise of inspiring Ebonyians to rediscover the natural gift that God has bestowed on us in the area of agriculture. Today, Ebonyians are paying about N5, 000 for a bushel of rice – reduction of more than 60% from the 2016 levels. And yet we still have plenty more to do in this area.
Today, in fulfilment of our promise of securing the life and property of our citizens, we have made giant progress in the resolution of internal conflicts, the crown of which is the final settlement of the Ezillo-Ezza Ezillo crisis that had for several years seemed so intractable. We still have a lot more to do, especially in persuading our neighbouring states, particularly Cross River and Benue States to accept our hands of friendly relationship and to join us in bringing lasting peace to our borders and unleash the developmental potential in those areas.
As far as the area of infrastructure is concerned, permit me Mr Speaker to be a little bit effusive because the subject matter warrants it. What we have done in Ebonyi State in the last three and a half years stands as a resounding testimonial to the immense miracle of God at work. When in March 2016 we received a total of N1.455 billion as our allocation for the month of February of that year, it appeared that the dark tunnel had catastrophically collapsed on our head. There was a sense of paralysis, but God’s perfect glory continued to hover over the horizon, pointing to the luminous light ahead. There is no mount of words that I can deploy here that will be sufficient to fully distil the narrative of infrastructural development in Ebonyi State. Suffice it for me to say that the dust of the nation has been buried and a sparkling piece of polished silver has risen in its place. The darkest corner of the nation has become the luminous city on the hill.
I can go on and on, Mr Speaker, but Ebonyians know the truth. Nigerians know the truth. The world knows the truth. The truth is that we have changed the Ebonyi narrative. The truth is that the old language of insult and abuse has changed to a language of praise and commendation. That is the truth. We have only done three and half years, and we still have four and a half more years to go by the grace and undefeatable hands of our God.
In 2018, we have had the Auditor-General of the state and the Commissioner for Project Monitoring and Evaluation dedicated to the monitoring the expenditure and performance of all funds and MDAs.
In 2019 we are going to intensify our financial monitoring strategies. It is for this crucial reason that I intend to create a new Ministry of Planning, Budgeting, Research and Monitoring. Accordingly, may I humbly request this Honourable House to dissolve the Ebonyi State Planning Commission, as the new ministry will assume the Commission’s extant duties and responsibilities and much more. This will enhance our determination to ensure even greater levels of prudence, transparency and accountability in the expenditure of our meagre resources.
Mr Speaker, Principal Officers, Honourable Members of the House, with total humility and immense gratitude to our God, may I stand on our faith in God to present to you our 2019 Budget Estimates, tagged the Budget of Divine Fulfilment.

God bless you all and thank you for your kind attention.

Engr (Dr) David Nweze Umahi, FNSE, FNATE
Governor of Ebonyi State