The administration of Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State, through the State Ministry of Budget and Planning, on Wednesday, held a One Day Citizens’ Engagement on the 2022 Budget, at Nike Lake Resort, Enugu.
The event, according to the Commissioner for Budget and Planning, Dr. David O. Ugwunta, was in line with Gov. Ugwuanyi’s commitment to openness in governance and all inclusive budgeting process as well as a requirement of the State’s Fiscal, Transparency, Accountability and Sustainability (SFTAS) programme.
Addressing participants at the event, Gov. Ugwuanyi represented by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Prof. Simon Uchenna Ortuanya, reiterated his commitment to the underlining principles of transparency, accountability, fiscal discipline, inclusiveness and partnership in governance.
Gov. Ugwuanyi maintained that his administration from inception signed up to the open government partnership which transcends into openness, inclusiveness and transparency in the state’s budgetary procedure.
Stressing the need for citizens’ engagement in the preparation of the 2022 budget, the governor stated that the exercise provides a veritable platform for citizens of the state to make inputs on developmental projects they want the government to execute in the next fiscal year.
Gov. Ugwuanyi pointed out that his administration has put an end to the era where the people were presented with a catalogue of budgets that were never executed, adding that the state government has always taken practical steps in identifying people-oriented projects that are achievable in line with Section 14 sub-section 2 of the Nigerian Constitution.
He emphasized the premium the state government places on the welfare of residents and security of lives and property, urging citizens at the event to maximize the opportunity and make inputs that would help in the development of the state.
In his address, the Commissioner for Budget and Planning, Dr. Ugwunta commended Gov. Ugwuanyi for his transparency and accountability in governance, maintaining that “the essence of the citizens’ engagement was to carry the citizens who are the sole beneficiaries of all the government projects along in all the activities of the government”.
Dr. Ugwunta added that “in preparation for the 2022 budget, it is expedient to elicit inputs from the citizens of what they want the government to do in the next fiscal year and beyond”.
He noted that despite the dwindling revenue witnessed in the 3rd Quarter of 2021; the state government has remained committed to appropriate utilization of available resources towards human capital and infrastructural development of the state.
Some of the participants at the event were Commissioner for Finance, Mrs. Adaonah Kene-Uyanwune and members of the State Executive Council (EXCO); members of the State Council of Traditional Rulers led by HRH Igwe Amb. Lawrence Agubuzu; Civil Society Organizations led by Barr. Cromwell; Chairman, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Enugu State Chapter; Rev. Emmanuel Edeh; President-General of Town Unions, Sir Paully Eze; Women Group led by Mrs. Vera Ezeugwu; Chairman, Lead Network Africa; Mr. Chukwuma Ephraim Okenwa; Chairman, National Union of Journalists, Enugu State Chapter, Mr. Rex Arum; former State Accountant General and Special Adviser to the Governor on Financial Matters; Dr. Sir Pascal Okolie, and Permanent Secretaries.
Others include delegations from the National Youth Council of Enugu State Students; Nigerian Youth Parliament, National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS); National Youth Council of Nigeria led by Hon. Barth Okoh; Enugu State Female Comrades; National Youth Assembly of Nigeria; Heroine Foundation; Amaka Chinwuba Foundation, and Connected Development, etc.
Below are the inputs made by the participants during the Citizens’ Engagement:
- I appreciate the Governor Ugwuanyi for his good works on both State and Federal Government roads, however pleads that the Governor looks into the Eha Amufu amd Ikem link roads. Also, community policing should be intensified in the State. (Igwe Sir, Engr. Sam Ogbodo, Chairman Isiuzo Traditional Rulers Council 07031319748)
- I plead with the government to see to the construction of access roads in various communities across the state more especially in Aninri such as Ndeaboh, Nenwe road and Ndeaboh Oduma road that will enable the farmers to transport food produce to the cities. Also, all the roads with their earth work and drainages constructed across the State through RAMP should be asphalted. (HRH Igwe Edwin I. Onuoha Eze Akuatuegwu1, Echara II of Agboechara Kingdom Ancient Ndeaboh town, Aninri-08103406002)
- I suggest that the employment of our youths should be given a top most priority. Secondly, I plead with the present administration to address the issue surrounding completion of water borehole project executed with the sum of 10million naira Enugu State Grant Fund before the end of this administration (HRH Igwe Ambrose Eke, Eze diora nma 1 of Nkpunato Igbo-Eze North LGA 08068571250).
- I suggest that at least 16.6% of the total capital budget be given to agriculture so as to curb food scarcity and hunger in the nation at large.
(HRH Dr Amb. Eze CNN Nwajagude Eze Ukwu of Akpugoeze Clan Oji River 08068562751)
- The plead with the government to revamp moribund factories like: Sunrise Flour Mill, Niger Gas, Niger Steel, Ohabedum & Son. The government should encourage plantation of Palm trees in every LGA as a way to revamp some of these moribund companies such as AVOP at Nnachi. Secondly, they should look into the cultivation of cassava fast yielding species to provide enough food and raw material for export. (HRH Igwe Amb. Ralph Okolo)
- I plead with the State government to look into Ida Road which has a link to Ajuona Obukpa, Owere Obukpa, Obige Obukpa and Ogbagu Obukpa. This same road also leads to Ibagwa-Ani, Alor Uno and Okparigbo communities. (HRH Igwe Barr. R.S.N Ezeh, Igwe Obigwe 08039513428)
- Ojjor Uzo-Uwani LGA is a town that has boundary with Kogi state. This Community has been cut off in everything. I plead with the State Governor to award the 1km road for the community. (HRH Emma Umunna)
- The Government should visit and revive AVOP, Steel industries, Eastern Plastic now sold to Innoson, Cashew industries and Presidential Hotel. Also, the road from Abakpa Housing to Thinkers Corner and Abakpa to Emene from Ifo village roads should be visited. (Bishop Dr A. Joseph CAN, Enugu State Director)
- His Excellency on inception was committed to transforming rural communities into semi-urban areas; and through the Ministry of Rural Development made Town Union Community President Generals as forth Tiers of government to achieve this agenda. Some of these community leaders due to the nature of their communities has no co-creation opportunities to partner government in rural development but need government assistance. I am of the opinion that year 2022 budget estimate should increase funding of rural development agencies like Rural Electrification Board, CSDP and Community Developmental Project to enable this administration achieve the Rural Development Agenda which will in turn reduce crimes and increase economic values. (Ifeoma A. Ogbu 08038807709)
- I suggest that good Christians should be included in the Enugu State Welfare Committee. (Elder Hon. Anigbo S.B.N. Director, CAN)
- I Commend His Excellency for the good work he is doing in Enugu State. However I suggest that he looks into creating more viable and accessible skill acquisition centres possibly in all the 17 LGA in the state because those in some LGA far from the city are not accessing the available ones. (Mrs Esther Aroh 08037179695)
- I pray the State government to construct a link bridge between Ukpata community and Mbanano Development Center and Oghu in Udi LGA to facilitate movement of internally grown farm produce to the urban areas. Secondly, the government should please asphalt the road connecting Umulokpa town, Adaba town, Ukpata town and Uvuvu town. This road has been earth worked by RAMP but is recently being threatened by erosion (Hon. Eugene Okechukwu, PG Adaba Community 08037013911)
- Government should create a Youth Intervention Fund that can be likened to SURE-P where laudable ideas can be empowered with fund to address the issue of unemployment and in turn curb social vices. (Amb. Gab. Uchenna Odi, Speaker National Youth Assembly of Nigeria, Enugu State 08035458046)
- I request that the State government should assist the completion of Adada Dam Project and the reconstruction of the bridge destroyed by the over flown Dam in 2019 linking Uzo-Uwani to Igboetiti LGA. Secondly, the government should please see to the completion of the road linking Udi, Igbo-Etiti and Uzo-Uwani LGA which was initiated by the former administration starting from Eke. (Celestine O. Ozor, PG Akpugo-Ezedike 08038871210).
- The high cost of goods in the market is really hitting negatively on the poor masses and I suggest the State government should start subsidizing some goods if the prices cannot be controlled. (Uchendu Rufus Uchechukwu, Imezi Owa Ezeagu LGA 08033372467)
- Considering economic crunch, loss of jobs, unemployment and substance abuse; cases of gender based violence continues to increase by the day and would entail that the State government gives it a large concentration. (Onyinye Mamah- Executive Director Heroine Foundation)
- In line with the State budgeting, the government should look into entrepreneurship and public private partnership. (Ani Judith Chiamaka, Enugu State Female Comrade 08137804077).
- I appeal to the State government to put more fund into the Cashew Industry in Akam Oghe, Ezeagu LGA (Ejiofor Chidiebere, Ezeagu Coordinator Enugu State Female Comrade 09039510079)
- The Ohuani Amagunze, Isienu Amagunze and Local Government Council Headquarters that His Excellency promised us during the flag off of the Odengene 4.5km road intervention and was budgeted for in the 2019/2020 year has not been executed. I plead that the government should look into it. Thanks. (Uche Damian Obisi, PG Ohuani Amagunze Town Union)
- As a citizen, my major concern is that the 2022 budget should start looking beyond FAAC to harnessing potentials of IGR. Agriculture being projected to get one of the longest share (if not) 14.85% of the total budget should include economically viable projects that can bring returns as IGR. Considering the recent agitation of some States that they are discontinuing remittance to Federal purse; if Enugu state is left to generate and survive, can we cope without FAAC hence the need for aggressive IGR pursuit.
Lots of losses being recorded, most of the IGR sources are not being captured, that is why rents from public buildings of the government can be so low in previous budgets. The status of these buildings should be assessed. There should be stoppage of lumping sources of IGR in the budget as this has consistently hidden most of the genuine sources (Research from previous analysis: Okonkwo, Ebere Sonia, CSO/OGP 0803311266).
- On the issue of reactivation of moribund companies in the State, the Government should facilitate a round table discussion of all stakeholders in each and every company so that lingering issues can be resolved. (Sir, Victor Udah, PG Agbada Inyi Oji River 08033430614)
- I suggest that all the RAMP roads especially the ones at Igbo Etiti, Ohodo through Ozalla to Aku should be asphalted before a new one is embarked upon. (Sir, T.U Ezeozah, PG Igbo-Etiti 08036664795)
- I plead with our loving Governor to remember the Edem-Nrobo-Abbi road which has been graded but yet to be asphalted. (Dr. Goodness Nwabueze, President Enugu Female Comrades)
- The government should budget reasonable sum of money for youths who have undergone entrepreneurial training to start up a business. This will reduce unemployment. Also, the government should construct more flyovers in the state to help reduce the heavy traffic in the state. (Ogbuagu Esther, Nigerian Youth Parliament 07065406260)
- Rehabilitation of 9th Mile-Eke-Akama-Oghe-Aguobu- Umumba-Ndiagu-Ebenebe road will usher in commercial growth in Enugu state. Also, completion of the N10million community priority projects should be speeded up. (Ejike Moses O, PG coordinator Ezeagu 08033349901)
- I advocate for improved allocation for youth-focused programmes of the State government such as the state Tech Hub SME Agency, Enugu State Scholarship Board. (Ikenna Ugwu, Connected Development 08065353686)
- Due to the ravaging effects of the deadly hard drug destroying our youths today, I plead with the State government to establish a rehabilitation center in all the Senatorial Zones so that the victims can be taken there. Also, for the past eight years my community does not have a traditional ruler and we are finding it hard to elect one. How can my community access the N10million community development fund being given to communities? (Hon. Eugene O Agubuchie, PG Adaba Community 08037013911)
- I suggest that the government should use the year 2022 budget to address roads in the rural areas. Some communities find it difficult to move from their communities to another during rainy season. My community Anuka in Nsukka LGA since the beginning of this administration nothing has been done for them. (HRH Igwe M.C Utazi, Enyioha of Anuka 08039481313)
- I am concerned about rural roads particularly in Nkanu East- Amagunze- Amechi Idodo road which has been appearing in the budget but little has been done. Also the government should endeavor to do something about the remaining N5million rural development fund to communities. Thanks. (HRH Igwe H.A Edeani, Ohani, Amechi Idodo, Chairman Council of Traditional Rulers, Nkanu East 08033888702)
- Ejiona Obukpa, Owere Obukpa. Obige Obukpa, Ogbagu Obukpa, Okpaligbo Ogu and Ibagwaani link road is a rural road that links the above six communities and the rural road has been appearing in annual budgets of the state. I plead the Governor to kindly do something about the road. (Barr. Paully Eze, State PG of Town Unions 08061180422)
- I suggest directing our youths to form Agricultural clusters in all the 17 LGA, this will reduce unemployment. (HRH Igwe E. Anichebe, Akokwu, Umana Isigwu Ezeagu LGA 08113196887)
- Attention should be given to the quality of roads constructed. I suggest that no road should have a lifespan below 50 years at least 20years so we do not waste resources reconstructing roads every now and then. Secondly, government should declare a state of emergency on agriculture. I suggest every LGA in the state should have at least two tractors and other machinery to enhance government involvement in Agriculture. (Cyril Onyekachi Ogbu, Deputy Speaker, NYAN 08164297682)
- I thank His Excellency, Hon. Dr. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi for the construction of Likke Iheaka Uluno road (HRH Igwe C.C Nnamani JP 08030941262).
- I plead with the Governor to construct Ndeabor-Oduma road (HRH Igwe David Njoku Diji of Ezinezi Oduma 08033128978)
- Micro/cottage industries across the 17 LGA should be established to keep women and youths employed. (Nwada Oluchi Claire Chinwuba, Nigerian Youth Parliament/ Pan African Women Forum for Grassroot Development 08067395811)
- I suggest provision of portable water to Agbani road and Achara Layout environs. (Ekedigwe Ndidi, Ada Di Iche Women Group 08065835609)
- Many of our retired workers have not received their gratuities and pension, I plead this should be captured in the 2022 budget. (08169156461)
- The inter-street roads in Enugu East needs urgent government intervention. Also, Ikem-Ihe-Amufu road is no longer motorable. (Odoh, Izuchuwu Emmanuel, NYAN 08165710418)
- Allocation of 0.82% of the budget to Youth and Sports is low, increment on this should be done because the problem confronting Enugu state and Nigeria at large lies on the youths. (Hon. Edenta Chidi, Chairman Umuawalagu Youth, Nara Unateze).
- I humbly request the completion of Akpakwume-Nze- Aku road and the payment of the 5million balance for community projects. (Chief Celestine Aninkwo, PG Akpakwume Town Union 08038354153)
- We appreciate His Excellency for the earth work done so far on Eha-Alumona-Eha-Ndiagu road. (Prof. Charles Ugwuanyi, PG Eha-Uno 08038728592).