Deputy Speaker Explains Early Passage of 2013 Budget Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon Emeka Ihedioha stated at the weekend that the House facilitated the passage of the 2013 budget before the end of the year to ensure that budget implementation commences early in the New Year for enhanced fiscal results. Last Thursday’s passage of the budget was the first time since democracy was restored in 1999 that National Assembly would endorse Appropriation Bill for President’s assent before the end of the year. Budget passage usually spilled over to the first quarter of another year. Hon Ihedioha who spoke at his Aboh Mbaise/Ngor Okpala Federal Constituency briefing held at Mbutu in Imo state at the weekend noted that the House pursued early passage of the budget to guarantee that the executive would not have excuses towards ensuring early and comprehensive implementation of the budget. He stated that early and complete implementation of the budget would not only engender development but also economic growth and wealth creation. According to him, when contractors are not mobilized for project execution the tendency is for them to sack workers which impacts adversely on the labour market. He disclosed that he ensured that in the 2013 budget there was enhanced federal government presence in Imo state. He noted that he facilitated the inclusion of some strategic infrastructural development projects in Imo in the budget. Among the projects, according to him, was the construction of Owerri-Elele Road that links Imo to oil-rich South-South. Although he listed many projects he has used his office to attract to Imo state and Aboh Mbaise/ Ngor Okpala Federal Constituency which he is representing, he noted his pursuit towards facilitating more development-based projects. He promised to organize more skills acquisition programmes in the state to ensuring the reduction of the growing rate of unemployment and boosting of wealth creation in the state. The Deputy Speaker has so far organized two of such programmes in which over 1200 women and youths in the state, cutting across the 27 local councils were trained in various skills and also mobilized to start-up.