Ihiala State Constituency II was fully represented during plenary at the Anambra State House of Assembly on Friday, July 15, 2022, as the Deputy Speaker and Honourable member representing the Constituency, Rt. Hon. Dr. Pascal Arinze Agbodike joined his honourable colleagues to adopt the 2022 Revised Budget and Appropriation Bill as a working tool for the State.
The adoption was made during the State Assembly’s House Committee of the Whole, in line with the report and recommendations of the House Committee on Finance and Appropriation, which was presented on the floor of the house by its Chairman, Hon. Obinna Emeneka. Having gone through its third reading, the House passed the bill into law; an act that gives the 2022 Revised Budget the full legal right and backing before the laws of the land to serve as an authentic working document for the government and people of Anambra State. The 2022 Revised Budget and Appropriation Bill were presented to the State’s Assembly by Mr Governor, Prof. Charles Chukwuma Soludo at an earlier date.
As already mentioned, Ihiala, Constituency II added its voice as this all-important decision was taken through its representative, the Most Distinguished, Rt. Hon. Dr. Paschal Agbodike, whose voice reverberated lucidly through the hallowed chambers, as he laid bare the minds of his constituents as evidenced in the video attached.
His submission regarding the loan request made by the governor was in tandem with the standard practice in any sane society. And I completely agree with Dr. Agbodike who seconded the motion earlier raised by the majority leader, Hon Gee Nnamdi Okafor that one week – that is Thursday next week – should be enough time for the House Committee on Public Account headed by Hon. Somto Udeze, member representing Ogbaru II State Constituency, to work on Mr. Governor’s loan application and report back to the house for an overall view, assessment, considerations and possible approvals, since “the loan is needed to fund the budget,” as Mr DS emphasized.
Speaking further, Dr. Agbodike advised his colleagues in the 7th State Assembly saying, “Whatever we are doing, let it be in line with the progress and development we are seeking in this state.” He raised a serious concern when he queried his colleagues, “If the budget is passed, how do we fund it without the loan?” Mr Deputy Speaker indicated that the reasons for the loan and why Anambra needs it are well and fully enunciated in the application. He, therefore, called on them to grant the application the urgency it deserves to allow it to complement the budget when approved.
I agree with the submission of the Deputy Speaker. I am, therefore, of the view that following Mr. Governor’s repeated statement that the state’s treasury is in red, it has become essential that he is granted permission to secure the loan which will enable him to fulfil his campaign promises to Ndi Anambra. Surely, the executive needs money to run the State and to bequeath modern infrastructure to the people; and where the State does not have enough funds, the wise counsel will be to grant the governor the authority to secure money (loan) through any legitimate means available, so long as the terms and conditions for securing the loan are reasonably good.
I have no worry, doubt or even fear that any loan given to Mr. Governor will not be fully utilized for the benefit of Ndi Anambra. There is no question about Mr. Governor’s love for the State and Ndi Anambra. His financial prudence echoed by his impeccable services at the helm of affairs in the Central Bank of Nigeria and in other high responsibilities easily bear him out.
I therefore support Dr. Agbodike’s position that the House should speedily give assent to the governor’s request for the good of Anambra; otherwise, in the words of Rt. Hon. Dr. Paschal Arinzechukwu Agbodike, “what purpose will the approved budget now serve without a corresponding finance stream to execute it?”