Abiodun Presents N339bn Budget, Priotises Capital Projects, Employment

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Dapo-Abiodun

By Kayode Fasua

Ogun State governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, on Wednesday, presented a budget proposal of N339billion for the 2021 fiscal year to the Ogun State House of Assembly, for approval.

The financial estimate, which is the second full-year budget to be presented by the governor, has a shortfall of N110.974bn differential, from his 2020 proposal of N449.974 billion.

Abiodun tagged the latest Appropriation Bill “Budget of Recovery and Sustainability”, as it highlighted the key sectors and budgetary allocations “for a rapid development of the state”.

“The investment focus of this government is to gradually reduce the identified infrastructure gap as well as provide fiscal stimulus to lift demand and help the state in its economic recovery process”, he said.

The governor noted that in achieving this, the State Medium Term Sector Strategy (MTSS) approach based on a modified zero-based budgeting framework was put in place to provide “a profiled budget stating the various expenditure headings and cost allocated over the three years”

The MTSS, he said, “includes the approved programmes upon which expected level of completion over the period is monitored…in allocating envelopes to different sectors and MDAs”.

He also noted that priority had been given to the completion of existing projects.

He identified them as projects with revenue potential, projects that are consistent with the priorities articulated in the State Economic Development Strategy, and projects that can enhance employment generation.

Abiodun stressed that the budget was equally meant to address the COVID-19 pandemic, the #EndSARS protests, the general feeling of disenchantment in the polity, the socio-economic yearnings of the Ogun State people for good governance, and the stringent calls in all societal spheres for a more representative democracy.

The budget comprised a recurrent expenditure of N162bn (48 per cent of the total budget) and a capital expenditure of N177 billion (52 per cent), “as dictated by best practices to drive our developmental objectives.”

Other hghlights of the budget include: Infrastructure, N61bn; Social welfare and wellbeing:N93bn (includes Health, Housing, Environment, Physical Planning, Women Affairs, etc); Education, N58bn; Youth empowerment, N6bn; Agriculture, N15bn and Enablers, N106bn.

Abiodun said the state would also set aside N12 billion for Stabilisation Fund and N10billion for Public Debt Charges.

The governor said the Ogun State Internal Revenue Service (OGIRS) would generate an estimated N75 billion, while other IGR from Ministries, Department and Agencies (MDAs) would fetch the state an estimated N44billion; totaling N119billion.

He added that statutory allocation would provide estimates of N59 billion while capital receipt was estimated at N142 billion (i.e. Internal and External loans including Grants and Aid).

“Since oil revenue has continued to reduce thus affecting statutory allocation, the 2021 internally generated revenue of the state, projected at N119billion, will complement the projected statutory allocation of the proposed budget.”

He also noted that the 2021 Appropriation Bill had been modified to include budgeted revenues, “no matter how small”, for each MDA, to focus on internal revenue generation.

The governor reiterated his administration’s commitment to a legacy of hope, financial stability, and fiscal prudence, as he promised a drastic reduction in the discriminatory impact of poverty, by strengthening all regulatory and institutional frameworks that are crucial to the preservation of the state’s rich cultural, financial, and historical heritage.

“We have resolved to keep exploring Public-Private Partnership strategies in the provision of infrastructure, social services, and the conversion of our challenges to opportunities within the context,” he stated.