Yinka Kolawole in Osogbo
Infrastructure development and education got a big chunk of allocation as Osun State Governor, Gboyega Oyetola, Thursday presented his 2019 fiscal plan to the House of Assembly.
The overall N152.7 billion ‘Budget of Hope’ is lower than the N179.2billion budgeted for the outgoing year.
The governor said he would build on the giant strides of former Governor Rauf Aregbesola.
Oyetola also prioritised agriculture, healthcare and provision of water in the rural area.
The governor told lawmakers to the admiration of those present that “the era of payment of modulated salaries and allowances and other benefits has become a thing of the past. Workers and pensioners are now collecting their full salaries.”
The state is expecting an Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) of N36 billion at “a minimum of N3billion monthly out of the projected total revenue of N150billion. The rest will come from other sources, including the Federation Account, grants, aids, investment and others.”
The fiscal plan is heavy on the side of capital projects which got N91.5billion –65 per cent of estimated expenditure.
Education was allocated N10.4 billion or 11.36 per cent of the planned spending.
On the sector, Oyetola said: “We shall review the school curriculum to achieve value reorientation and create a sense of belonging in our youths. Consequently, History shall be re-introduced in our secondary schools while Civic Education shall be expanded to incorporate the Omoluabi ethos.
“Focused attention shall also be given to technical and vocational education to inculcate relevant skills for the youths to make them job creators rather than job seekers.
“Our administration remains irrevocably committed to the joint ownership and co-funding of the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomoso and the College of Health Sciences, Osogbo, with the Oyo State Government.”
On healthcare, emphasis will be on Health insurance “to provide effective, quality and affordable services to all and sundry.”
The Health Insurance is a contributory scheme in which the government will pay three per cent while the worker will contribute 1.5 per cent.
There is also a plan to revitalise and equip 332 Primary Health Care (PHC) centres-one in each ward -and 57 secondary health care centres across the three senatorial districts, he added.
The governor said the Ede water scheme would be rehabilitated to enhance supply of portable water to at least 12 local government areas.
He added that the Ilesa water project, whose work restarted with the commitment of President Muhammadu Buhari, is to get full attention.
The governor also pledged to give utmost attention to agriculture to generate jobs for the youths and empower farmers who constitute 70 per cent of the population.
Partnerships with the federal government, development partners and agencies are expected to give the needed boost to the sector.
Oyetola said: “Given the committed leadership this administration is bringing to the table and the unwavering following we have been getting from the citizenry, the state is poised to set the pace in economic independence.
“We shall put strategy in place to further promote food security, employment and create wealth by investing heavily in agriculture, mining, infrastructure, commerce and industry, education and technology.”
The state House of Assembly Speaker, Najeem Salaam, promised a speedy consideration of the proposal as requested by the governor as soon as the assembly resumes from recess on January 14, 2019.