Kwara State Governor, Alhaji AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, has described the 2020 Appropriation Bill as a budget designed to rebuild the state in a manner that would uplift people from poverty and address infrastructural deficit.
AbdulRazaq made this description thursday when he assented to the appropriation bill. He commended the House of Assembly for subjecting the budget proposal to a thorough scrutiny before it was passed.
According to a press statement that was issued thursday by the Chief Press Secretary to the State’s Governor, Mr. Rafiu Ajakaye, the governor recalled how he told some members of the executive that the lawmakers were empowered to make input into the budget as the direct representatives of the people.
The legislators made an upward review of the capital expenditure from 53 per cent to 55 per cent of the budget and reduced the recurrent expenditure from 47 per cent to 44 per cent of the budget. The adjustments increased the budget by N476 million in favour of capital expenditure.
“This is not a rubber stamp budget. I know what is in it and I agree with it in totality. I know there are changes but I agree with it because as representatives of the people, you’re closer to the people and can make input into the budget. It’s all for the good of our people,” AbdulRazaq said.
Apart from the budget, which he said would drive socioeconomic and infrastructural growth of the state; the governor also noted that provisions were deliberately made to lift as many people as possible out of extreme poverty.
These provisions included the passage of the Social Investment Programme Bill, whose provisions were reflected in the 2020 budget “for the benefit of the poorest of the poor in our society.
“It is a programme that will help the poorest of the poor and increase our GDP. We also intend to commence the school feeding programme this year. So many other programmes and projects have been captured in the budget to benefit the people. This is indeed a budget for the people of Kwara State,” AbdulRazaq said.
The Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Hon. Salihu Danladi Yakubu, said the budget was thoroughly scrutinised by the lawmakers before it was passed.
“Members of the State Executive Council and other top government officials who spoke during the budget defence could testify to the fact that the 2020 budget was thoroughly scrutinised.
“It is a budget of reformation and reconstruction because there are critical sectors which were adequately provided for like water, health, education, agriculture, and works with very substantial capital votes. It is a budget of hope.”
Yakubu said the legislators would carry out adequate oversight functions to ensure proper implementation of the budget.
Top government officials that witnessed the signing of the budget include State’s Deputy Governor, Mr. Kayode Alabi; principal officers and members of the House of Assembly; Head of Service, Modupe Oluwole; Chief of Staff, Mr. Aminu Logun; Commissioner for Finance and Planning, Olasumbo Florence; Clerk of the House, Halimah Kperogi and the Acting Accountant General of the State, Dr. Kayode Waheed.