Port Harcourt — The Institute of Chartered Economists of Nigeria, ICEN, has commended Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, on his N531 billion budget for the year 2020, recently passed into law, referred to as ‘a budget of sustainable pathway.’
South-South Coordinator of ICEN, Mr Friday Udoh, said Governor Wike, in allocating 70.48percent of the budget for capital expenditure, demonstrated conscious disposition to boost infrastructure in the state.
Udoh explained that the budget will aid the state’s economy to create an enabling environment for investment and improved welfare and empowerment, in the backdrop of the country’s economic expansion at the slowest pace since exit from recession in 2017.
According to him, “Infrastructure investment is vital to growth in the state, but making a lasting impact will depend not on how much, but the support for the administration good intention.
“As usual, we followed the presentation with keen interest following the strategic importance the River State economy has in South-South Nigeria.
“First, we note the tremendous gains in economic management in the last four years of the administration, correspondingly the improved socio-economic landscape corresponds to drastic reduction in crime among other challenging issues.
“A remarkable achievements, judged by any standard, especially if we take into account the past economic history of Rivers State. We commend the government for these significant achievements to the same degree this came as a breather for the citizens, investors and development.”
The Economist disclosed that employment remains the greatest challenge facing Nigeria today, adding that efforts of the governor to earmarked 70.48per cent for capital expenditure deserve commendation.
“As we have pointed out time and again, employment creation will not happen automatically. It requires deliberate policies to create job opportunities for millions of Nigerians who are searching for decent employment.
“The assent to the budget amounting to N531billion for the 2020 fiscal year will transform River’s State infrastructure. By this milestone, an increase in investment of this magnitude as well as in many countries, with large infrastructure gaps or needs will significantly push economic growth.
“Equally, allocating a 37.1percent and 36percent to social and economic development meant that he has given due attention to peace, by dealing with the critical impediments to growth in the socio-economic sectors.”
Udoh called on the government to bring all social partners into the policy space so that, the priorities which have the potential to yield positive economic impact on the state and Nigeria at large, is sustainably implemented.
“We pledge our support to the proactive approach of the governor in repositioning the economy at achieving a sustainable socio-economy system for the well being of its larger population.”