A former Commissioner for Finance and Economic Planning in Abia State, Dr Philips Nto has described the state’s 2024 budget as realistic ,saying the components have the potential of activating businesses to boost the economy.

He said contrary to fears by some people that the projected borrowing in the budget will impoverish the state, Dr Nto disagreed, arguing that since the lion share of the budget was allocated to capital expenditure, it would definitely stimulate the economy.

The state Governor, Dr Alex Otti recently presented a budget estimate of N567.2b with 84 percent for capital expenditure while 16 percent is for recurrent expenditure. The lower percentage allocated to recurrent expenditure will obviously reduce government spending on consumption and frivolity.

The Government said it hopes to finance the deficit of 401b through borrowing both externally and locally.

But Dr Nto noted that borrowing on its own was not a bad idea in so far as it is channelled to productive and not consumptive ventures.

The former Commissioner said although he was essentially against borrowing, the fact that Gov Alex Otti wants to plough 80 percent of the budget into capital expenditure was a welcome development.

Said he ” if the amount is deployed to critical infrastructure like roads, urban renewable and sundry income generating activities, the tendency of recouping the money through taxes would be there’

According to Dr Philips Nto, who is the immediate past Provost of Abia State College of Education, Technical, Arochukwu, a faithful implementation of the capital budget will yield the desired objective set out by the government.

He was emphatic that any investment made in Aba, the commercial hub of the state will yield the expected economic dividend especially creation of jobs

According to him” ,honestly I see the budget as having the potential of reviving the economy of the state if well implemented. So I ask the people to give the administration the benefit of the doubt”.


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