Victor Ogunje in Ado Ekiti
Governor of Ekiti State, Mr. Ayodele Fayose, on Tuesday presented a N98, 611, 545, 040.22 billion budget estimates before the state House of Assembly for passage.
At the plenary presided over by the Speaker, Hon. Kola Oluwawole, Fayose said the appropriation bill tagged: ‘Budget of Accomplishment’ consists of N66, 442, 426,169.81 billion recurrent and N32,169, 118, 870.85 billion capital expenditure.
Fayose, who dressed in a flowing ‘agbada’ attire, which he jokingly called ‘presidential look’, said the 2017 budgetary provision of N93.09 billion had a performance of 60 per cent as at October.
The governor clarified that his appearing in the attire was a confirmation that “I am going to be the next president of this country. The Doubting Thomas may not believe me, but surely I will get there because it is the will of God for me.”
He said the budget estimate would be financed through federal allocation, internally generated revenue, Value Added Tax, Paris club refunds and other sundry sources.
He said the budget proposal, when passed into law, would help to complete the flyover in Ado Ekiti, the Oja Oba market and other landmark projects initiated by his government.
Fayose said the 2017 presentation was more of a valedictory session for him owing to the fact that it remains the last budget he will present before the expiration of his tenure on October 15, 2018.
He, however, presented his deputy, Prof Kolapo Olusola, before the lawmakers and the monarchs that were seated, begging that “you must support him for the governorship in the spirit of continuity and sustainability of the government policies.”
The governor added that the budget accorded high priority to stomach infrastructure, payment of salaries and improve on the state internally generated revenue.
“We are also committed to quality education, because Ekiti State came first in 2016 and 2017 in NECO and we have to sustain this. That is why I want to give the state a man they can trust like me, a man that can be prudent in spending and sustain good taste, because my deputy himself is a professor of Building Technology.
“Let me assure you, the Oja Oba will be inaugurated by July, which is just a few days before election and the flyover will be delivered by May 2018.
“We are going to block leakages and ensure that salaries are paid.
Just like I have said, I am not going to leave the state and still be indebted to workers, that I can assure Ekiti people,” he said.
The Speaker assured the governor that the appropriation bill will be given
expeditious passage so that the state can kick-start its projects as early as possible next year.
Oluwawole said: “The country has learnt a lesson from the ongoing recession that it is wrong to put one’s eggs in one basket. The economy is dependent solely on oil at the expense of solid minerals and agriculture.
“We know the resources of this state is limited but the lawmakers will
not shy away from its oversight functions. We will support the governor to ensure prudent management of the lean resources available.”