Early Budget Passage’ll ensure Execution of Capital
Projects that will benefit Nigerians in 2020, says Agba, Minister of State
Budget, National Planning
The Minister of
State, Budget and National Planning, Clement Agba is excited at the early
passage of the 2020 national budget by the National Assembly and its timely
assent to it by the President, Muhammadu Buhari. Counting the gains of the
early passage of the budget, Agba is optimistic that by this development, a lot
of capital projects would be carried out that would benefit Nigerians. Fielding
questions from journalists in the sideline of a civic reception in his honour
by the Afemai Patriotic Development Association (APDA) at Agenebode,
headquarters of Etsako East Local Government Area of Edo State, on his
appointment as a member of the Federal Executive Council, NEC, Agba said
“we have not had it so good in the last few years than now. In the past,
there were delays of passage of budgets by the National Assembly which in turn
reduced the level of implementation. “For instance, if the 2019 budget
could attain about 57 percent implementation after so much delay for about six
months, I am hopeful that since that of 2020 was passed and signed in record
time we should be talking about nothing less than 80 percent implementation.
And should that happen, it means that a lot of capital projects would be
carried out that will benefit Nigerians.”
Agba explained that
because of the early passage of the budget by the National Assembly and its
signing by the President in record time, the budget for next year would attain
a higher percentage of implementation more than the 2019.
On the reception in his honour by the Afemai Patriot Association, the Minister said the Afenmai land which comprises the Akoko Edos, Etsakos and Owans, is peopled by the best brains and leaders that have over the years, demonstrated selflessness and commitment to national development. Agba, a former commissioner for environment in the immediate past administration of Adams Oshiomhole, said the nation cannot wish away in a hurry the contributions of the Momohs, the Agbazika Innihs, the Mike Akhigbes, the Pa Imoudus, the Obaros and numerous others to national development. The Minister noted with pride that “Afenmai people produced the first female senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the Distinguished Senator Franca Afegbua, and the first Nigerian Ambassador to the United Nations”.
While thanking the president for appointing him into his “Next Level” cabinet of the All Progressives Party (APC)-led administration, the first by an Afenmai person since 1999, Agba stated that working closely with the President in the past few months had given him the opportunity to have a better insight into the unseen, unnoticed and unadvertised humane disposition and passion for a Nigeria that “works for all of us especially the privileged people.”
Interim President of APDA, Kennedy Izuagbe called on the Minister to
collaborate with the Edo State government to harness the abundant mineral
resources in Afemai land to develop the area. Izuagbe thanked Buhari for
appointing one of their own as Minister whom he said is the first since the
Fourth Republic. Noting that the people of Afemai are blessed with abundant
natural resources yet the area is highly marginalized, Izuagbe stressed that
with adequate synergy with the state government, much development could be
brought to the community.
“We implore you to collaborate with the Edo State government for optimal and strategic engagement on the huge natural resources deposited in both land and sea on Afemai land for the immediate benefits of the Afemai community/people. Afemai land is the most blessed part of our dear Edo State but yet the least developed. So many of the federal, state and community roads are impassable and have made commerce and social life of our people miserable. Knowing your pedigree, we believe that this your appointment will kindle and trigger all that is required to address these yawning developmental gaps in our affairs as a people”, he said.