The 2024 budget proposal presented by Governor Dr. Peter Mbah of Enugu State is gaining widespread praise from various quarters, including labor unions, civil society groups, and economic experts. Consensus among critics is that the budget is not only pro-masses but also holds the potential to profoundly transform the state’s fortunes.
Governor Mbah laid out the N521.5 billion 2024 Appropriation Bill at the Enugu State House of Assembly on Tuesday, christening it the “Budget of Disruptive Economic Growth.” Notably, the budget comprises N414.3 billion for Capital Expenditure, constituting a substantial 79% of the total, and N107.2 billion for Recurrent Expenditure, representing the remaining 21%.
In terms of sectorial allocation, the economic sector and infrastructure take the lead with N207.8 billion and N182.9 billion, respectively, in Capital Expenditure. Importantly, the education sector secured a significant share, receiving 73.6% of the social sector provision and 33% of the overall budget.
Commending the governor’s unwavering commitment to education, Comrade Theophilus Odo, Chairman of the Enugu State Wing of the NUT, expressed gratitude on behalf of the entire teaching community. Odo highlighted the unprecedented attention given to the education sector, indicating a positive impact on children, teachers, and society as a whole.
Economist Chibuzo Aniekwe emphasized the budget’s emphasis on inclusive growth, praising its allocation of 78-79% to Capital Expenditure. Aniekwe pointed out the strategic reduction in Recurrent Costs, signifying a shift toward technology-intensive delivery methods that align with the administration’s overarching vision. The economist predicted that the budget’s focus on infrastructure, particularly in education and health services, would stimulate economic justice and reduce inflation through efficient resource utilization.
Peter Ugwu, Director of Communications and Public Enlightenment at The Centre for Humanity, lauded the substantial allocations to the social sector and the economy. Recognizing the government’s people-oriented approach, Ugwu emphasized the organization’s commitment to monitoring implementation and ensuring accountability once the budget is passed into law.