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By NBF News
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EBONYI State Governor, Martin Elechi has presented a budget of N60.1 billion to the state House of Assembly for consideration and appropriation in 2011.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the figure is 21 per cent lower than the 2010 budget of N76.2 billion which had a high loan portfolio of N22.2 billion, including a Bond Facility of N20 billion.

Elechi said the budget, christened: “Budget of Reality,'' would appropriate 40 per cent for Recurrent Expenditure, 50 per cent for Capital Expenditure and 10 per cent as Stabilisation Fund.

“In breaking down the Recurrent Expenditure, N10 billion will be for Personal Cost, N7 billion as Overhead Cost and N7.billion as Statutory Charges, which decreased by 32 per cent when compared with that of 2010 financial year.

“For the Capital Expenditure, the Economic sector has the largest chunk of N12 billion with agriculture leading the pack with N2 billion.

“Education leads in the Social sector with N3 billion while N4.2 billion would be for ongoing Water Resources and Supply Schemes under Environmental and Regional Development,' he said.

The governor said in spite of the unfavourable systemic shock which the national economy suffered in 2010, the major revenue base of the state in 2011 fiscal year would still be its share from the Federation Account.

“This is estimated at N27.3 billion or 45 per cent of the total revenue as other sources of funding the budget include unutilised proceeds from the bond, which is brought forward into the new financial year and accounts for 16 per cent  (N9.3 billion).

“The recurrent surplus also transferred from the recurrent revenue into the capital receipts of the year 2011, amounts to 12 per cent (N8 billion), of the expected total revenue as Value Added Tax (VAT) and grants, accounts for N12 billion,' he said.

Elechi, however, noted that although the Internally-Generated Revenue of the state did not yield as much as was generally expected, 2011 might be better due to digitalisation and modernisation of landed property documentation in the state.

“It is expected that with the innovation, coupled with the plugging of leakages in overall public administration, the IGR will hit 15 per cent (N9 billion),' he said.

He said the government would check incidences of budget derailment in 2010, caused by communal crises in several parts of the state, non-professionalism in the civil service and strikes by key players in the education sector.

Mr. Augustine Nwankwagu, speaker of the House of Assembly, said the budget would receive accelerated consideration, and called on the governor to inaugurate its Service Commission, train and re-train its staff towards smooth implementation of the budget.