Ogun assembly passes budget with N38m reduction
Mohammed Aminu in Sokoto, Sheriff Balogun in Abeokuta, Hammed Shittu in Ilorin and Ademola Babalola in Ibadan
Sokoto State Governor, Alhaji Aminu Tambuwal, his counterparts in Oyo State, Governor Abiola Ajimobi and Kwara State, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed, yesterday presented the 2017 budget proposals to their respective Houses of Assembly for consideration.
While Tambuwal budgeted N204,288,364,741 billion for 2017 fiscal year, Ajimobi presented N207 billion, while Ahmed estimated N135,064,529,461 for the same year.
In Sokoto State, of the N204,288,364,741 billion estimate, 69 per cent was dedicated to capital projects, while 31 per cent has been dedicated to recurrent expenditure.
Presenting the budget before lawmakers, Tambuwal said for the second year running, education got the highest sectoral allocation of N38,426,266,193, representing 27.3 per cent of the budget’s N204,288,364,741 total outlay.
The governor stated that the policy thrust of the budget is to ensure sustainable economic development through substantial investment in critical sectors like education, agriculture, healthcare delivery, exploration of mineral resources, investment in renewable energy and infrastructure.
“We will prioritise effective resource management and seek intervention in areas with high potentials to create job opportunities, generate income and improve revenue generation,” the governor said.
He noted that though the financial state of affairs in the country is facing huge challenges, the state’s 2017 budget would address key policy issues which include promotion of peaceful coexistence and protection of lives and properties.
Allocation to other sectors show that ministry of works and transport got N16.2 billion; ministries of water resources and environment got N10.7 billion, the health sector got N7.7 billion while ministry of housing, lands and survey got N8.2 billion.
Others include ministry rural and community development (N5.6 billion), ministry of solid minerals and natural resources development (N1.7 billion) while the sum of four billion Naira was set aside for ministry of commerce, industries and tourism.
He called on the lawmakers to do a diligent job in handling the budget document.
Tambuwal said his administration, as shown since it came to power, would prioritise meeting the aspirations of the people of the state.
In Oyo State, Ajimobi, who laid the document before the state House of Assembly, christened it as ‘Budget of self reliance.’
He said it would be geared towards maximising positive socio-economic impact of the state fiscal operations on the populace.
According to him, in the 2017 fiscal year, the government would strive to enhance the revenue base of the state by expanding the tax net, blocking all financial loopholes, redirecting and refocusing governance within all ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) and by institutionalising prudence in all spheres of administration.
The governor also noted that because of the danger of relying on federal allocation, the 2017 budget would be internally generated revenue (IGR) driven.
Analysing the breakdown of the budget proposal, Ajimobi said the recurrent expenditure would gulp N126.87bn, representing 61.09 per cent of the budget while around N80bn would be spent on capital expenditure, which would include completion of all on-going projects and some new ones. This represents 38.91 per cent of the budget proposal. The governor said around N20bn would be spent on overhead cost while provisions of statutory obligations would gulp around N50bn.
Ajimobi added that around N56bn would be spent on salaries and promotion arrears.
The governor said, “In the face of the challenges in the outgoing year, arising from almost complete reliance on Federal Allocation which has grave consequence, as Federal Statutory Allocation itself is dependent on extraneous factors, this budget has been designed to be Internally Generated Revenue driven. In the Informal sector, the board is targeting 20 per cent of the population which is presently pegged at six million individuals with presumptive tax rate of N3000 per annum. The restructured Board of Internal Revenue is poised for enhanced performance. Nonetheless, this proposed budget has been as realistic as is practicable to ensure a productive performance in the budget tenure.
The governor said in the education sector, efforts would be made in 2017 to complete all on-going projects, such as construction and furnishing of classrooms and model schools across the geo-political zones of the state.
Meanwhile, Ogun State House of Assembly has passed the sum of N221,090, 844,017 as the 2017 Appropriation Bill for the state with a reduction of about N38million from the initial N221,129,344,017 presented to it over a month ago by Governor Ibikunle Amosun.
The passage of the Bill followed the presentation of the report of the House Committee on Finance and Appropriation led by Hon. Akanbi Bankole, who thereafter moved the motion for its adoption, seconded by Hon. Olayiwola Ojodu and supported by the whole House.
The bill was thereafter read clause- by- clause before the members by the Speaker of the Assembly, Hon. Suraju Ishola Adekunbi, while the motion for the third reading was moved by the Majority Leader Adeyinka Mafe and seconded by Hon. Mojeed Soyebo, after which the Clerk of the House, Lanre Bisiriyu, did the third reading.
The bill was passed with slight adjustments in some agencies which led to an increment of N107.500million in the fund initially allocated for salaries which moved from N62.728billion to N62.836billion.
The capital expenditure was reduced by about N146million, moving from N118.305billion down to N118.159billion; while the expected revenue was slashed from N114.343billion to N114.305billion, giving N38.5million reduction.
The House of Assembly also moved the state College of Health Technology, Ilese from Health Sector to Education, just as it equally moved the state Traffic Compliance and Enforcement Agency from the security sector to transport. Adekunbi, who later directed that the clean copy of the bill be sent to the governor for his assent, commended his colleague lawmakers and the entire members of staff for their support and steadfastness in ensuring the passage of the bill.