Lalong Signs 2020 Budget into Law

Simon Lalong

Seriki Adinoyi in Jos

Plateau State Governor, Mr. Simon Lalong, has signed 2020 appropriation bill of N177,340,521,177.00 into law.

Addressing his audience, the governor said he was determined to ensure effective implementation of the budget, assuring that there would be an improved Internally Generated Revenue (IGR), which he described as a recipe for the implementation of the budget.

He said: “With this budget approved and signed into law, I am directing the Ministry of Finance, Budget and Planning and indeed all ministries, departments and agencies to ensure effective implementation of the 2020 Budget.

“At this point, I will like to stress our efforts to meeting our revenue targets especially the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) which is crucial to funding the 2020 budget.

“Apart from setting new targets for the state Internal Revenue Service, government has approved the appointment of a reputable revenue expert to facilitate the maximisation of internally generated revenue accruable to the state. We hope to generate more money through this engagement.

“This and more we must do if we are to implement the 2020 Budget and address the deficit which hovers in the region of over Thirty Two Billion Naira. Like I stated while laying the budget on the floor of the state House of Assembly, funds will be sourced locally and internationally to close this deficit gap as the need arises.”

The governor also said a Project Monitoring and Result Delivery Unit (PMRDU) has also been mandated to ensure diligent tracking of projects and programme implementation by all the MDAs.

The budget christened ‘Budget of Rescue and Infrastructural Consolidation’ was fashioned in line with the implementation of the administration’s three-pillar policy of peace, security and good governance; infrastructural development; and sustainable economic rebirth.

While commenting on the partnership, mutual understanding and collaboration between the legislature and the executive that enhanced the speedy passage of the budget, Lalong said “there were regular discussions that took place between senior officials of the executive and the legislature to ensure that we are on the same page.”

He added that “by this singular act of giving the budget accelerated attention, the members of Plateau State House of Assembly have given the people of the state a New Year gift as we shall begin the year with a brand new budget.”

“As far as the 2020 budget is concerned, myself and the Rt. Hon. Speaker had something in common, which is the fact that this is the first budget passage he is presiding over, while for me, this is equally my first budget since being re-elected into office for a second term.

“So it is obvious that both of us are very eager to make history of bequeathing lasting legacies for the people of our beloved state as we work in collaboration to deliver on our campaign promises,” the governor said.

The budget showed an increase of N4,744,204,197.00, representing 2.67 per cent over the executive’s proposal that was submitted to the Assembly. The larger part of the budget adjustment was on capital expenditure and within the annual budget growth.

“We are also determined to continue to enhance our capacity and track record of prudence, accountability and transparency in expending public funds.

I have since approved the membership of the Liquidity Management Committee to ensure prudent management of and allocation of scarce resources to key government programmes and projects in line with the Strategic Development Plan of this administration,” he added.