Gov. Martin Elechi of Ebonyi has advocated for more manpower to be injected in the nation’s agricultural and security sectors, as he assented the state’s N104.37 billion 2013 Budget.
Elechi, during the signing of the 2013 budget into law in Abakaliki yesterday, after its passage by the Ebonyi House of Assembly on Jan. 21, urged more youths to take to farming.
The News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, reports that the budget, was tagged “Ebonyi State Appropriation and Related Matters Law 2013”.
The state’s 2013 budget was the highest since Ebonyi was created in 1996 and the budget represents an 18.96 per cent increase of the N86.98 billion 2012 budget.
Elechi said that the injection of more of the nation’s human capital in the agricultural and security sectors would result in rapid economic growth.
“We need to produce more food in the country to meet the needs of the citizens while we also need adequate security to attract foreign investment into the country,” he said.
The governor said that unemployment in the country was a major bane to Nigeria’s economic transformation.
“The available manpower in the country does not have enough job placements as the available job opportunities do not have the qualified manpower to fill them.
“Critics think that the Ebonyi Government deliberately placed embargo on unemployment, but the reality is there for all to see.
“That is why our capital expenditure is greater than our recurrent expenditure; as provision of adequate infrastructure generates revenue more than an over- bloated civil service,” he said.
He commended the state’s legislators for “the diligence and expeditious passage of the bill”, noting that assenting of the budget would enhance the cordial relationship between both arms of government.
“We will ensure the full implementation of the budget,” the governor said.
Mr Chukwuma Nwazunku, the Speaker of the Assembly, said that the budget, if judiciously implemented, would make the state attain greater heights.
“We will not toy with our oversight functions. We will contribute our own quota to ensuring that the budget was fully implemented.
“The spirit and letters of the 2013 budget of this state must be honoured in its entire ramification,” he said.