Ahmed presents valedictory budget

Ahmed
Abdulfatah Ahmed

GOVERNOR Abdulfatah Ahmed of Kwara State has presented the 2019 budget appropriations bill of N157 billion to the State House of Assembly, with a marginal increase of N1 billion higher than the 2018 budget.

Presenting the appropriations bill with the Theme “Budget of consolidation and Prosperity” on the floor of the state House of Assembly on Thursday, Ahmed said the 2019 draft budget was designed to focus on the successful completion of the ongoing projects across the State.

The governor said that the effort would enable the government to consolidate on the gains of the past years in the provision of social amenities.

Ahmed, who noted that the overall performance of the 2018 budget was 60.5 per cent, said that the 2019 budget is premised on improved internally generated revenue through land administration for sustainable economic growth and development.

“The 2019 draft Budget is designed to focus on the successful completion of on-going projects and the effective implementation of programmes and projects which have direct bearing the people’s wellbeing. This direction will enable the Government to consolidate the gains of the past years in the provision of social amenities for our people firmly.

“Furthermore, the 2019 Budget will only be partially implemented by this administration. Therefore, it is imperative that we put our revenue and expenditure on a sound footing to guarantee that the incoming administration takes off effectively.

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“Accordingly, 2019 Budget is premised on improved internally generated revenue through land administration for sustainable economic growth and development. Our focus on increasing revenue is not to impose new taxes or levies, but rather to expand the tax as well as plug all revenue loopholes for efficiency and good governance.

“The economic and fiscal environment in which the 2019 budget will be implemented will not be significantly different from that of the 2018 budget due to a generally uncertain economic environment with a predicted effect on unstable revenue profile.

“The 2018 Budget was principally designed to build a vibrant and robust economy and ensure that the citizens of Kwara State are prosperous. As of September 2018, the overall budget performance was 60.5 per cent. The Capital expenditure recorded 41.4 per cent while recurrent expenditure was 79.4 per cent.”

Out of the total budget size, the sum of N77.720 billion or 49 per cent is for recurrent expenditure while the sum of N79.784 billion or 51 per cent is for capital expenditure. In terms of revenue sources, Ahmed said his administration projects that the state will get N49.940 billion or 31.7 per cent from the Federation Account, N11.387 billion from Value Added Tax, N24.41 billion as the State’s share of expected revenue refunds due to the state from the Federal Government and N33.970 billion as internally generated income.

In terms of expenditure, the state plans to spend 77.720 billion as recurrent expenditure which will include N14.546billion on personnel, N46.978 billion on overhead and N7.62 billion on debt servicing.

Other lines of expenditure include General Public Services (N35.612b), Public Order and Safety (N3.330 billion), Economic Affairs, (N54. 560 billion), Environmental Protection (N1.235 billion), Housing and Community Amenities (N3.485 billion), Health (n27. 534 billion), Recreation, Culture and Religion (N3.333bilion), Education (N28. 250 billion) and Social Protection (N250 m).

He said further: “In the outgoing fiscal year, the state government recorded significant achievement in the construction, rehabilitation and maintenance of rural and urban roads. A total of sixteen road projects covering a total distance of 111.51 kilometres are at various stages of completion.

“Besides, the State government is intervening in some identified strategic federal roads of great importance to the state, to boost the socio-economic activities of the areas when completed. These roads include Kishi-Kaiama, Geri-Alimi Diamond underpass and the dualization of Kulende-UITH Oke-Ose Road.

“A total of N3.764 billion was expended on various capital projects of the sub-sector as at 30th September 2018. Also, a significant level of construction work has been recorded at the three new Satellite campuses of Kwara State University at Osi, Ilesha-Baruba and Post Graduate School, Ilorin. A total sum of N2.180 billion had been released to the project contractors.”

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