Early Budget Passage’ll ensure Execution of CapitalProjects that will benefit Nigerians in 2020, says Agba, Minister of StateBudget, National Planning
The Minister ofState, Budget and National Planning, Clement Agba is excited at the earlypassage of the 2020 national budget by the National Assembly and its timelyassent to it by the President, Muhammadu Buhari. Counting the gains of theearly passage of the budget, Agba is optimistic that by this development, a lotof capital projects would be carried out that would benefit Nigerians. Fieldingquestions from journalists in the sideline of a civic reception in his honourby the Afemai Patriotic Development Association (APDA) at Agenebode,headquarters of Etsako East Local Government Area of Edo State, on hisappointment 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 turnreduced the level of implementation. “For instance, if the 2019 budgetcould attain about 57 percent implementation after so much delay for about sixmonths, I am hopeful that since that of 2020 was passed and signed in recordtime we should be talking about nothing less than 80 percent implementation.And should that happen, it means that a lot of capital projects would becarried out that will benefit Nigerians.”
Agba explained thatbecause of the early passage of the budget by the National Assembly and itssigning by the President in record time, the budget for next year would attaina 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.”
Speaking earlier,Interim President of APDA, Kennedy Izuagbe called on the Minister tocollaborate with the Edo State government to harness the abundant mineralresources in Afemai land to develop the area. Izuagbe thanked Buhari forappointing one of their own as Minister whom he said is the first since theFourth Republic. Noting that the people of Afemai are blessed with abundantnatural resources yet the area is highly marginalized, Izuagbe stressed thatwith adequate synergy with the state government, much development could bebrought 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.