On Tuesday, November 30, 2021, Ogun State governor, Prince DapoAbiodun, presented the 2022 appropriation bill to the Ogun State House of Assembly. During the presentation, Governor Abiodun expressed regret that implementation of the first full budget of his administration was disrupted with the outbreak of COVID-19. “Amongst other drawbacks, the pandemic constrained our revenue earning capacity thus forcing us to eventually review downwards the budget size in July, 2020,” he said.
The governor, however, struck an optimistic tone when he told the house that his administration remained committed to recovering from the shock of COVID-19. He assured that the state’s economy was getting back to pre-pandemic level and steadily recovering to its flourishing glory. “Therefore, the main task in Year 2022 is to increase our pace of the implementation of our development plan as already designed and encapsulated in our Administration’s ‘Building Our Future Together’ agenda,” said Abiodun to the state assembly.
Despite the disruption caused by the outbreak of COVID-19, the N338.6 billon 2021 ‘Budget of Recovery and Sustainability’ showed significant improvement from the previous year. For instance, Ogun state’s Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) target for the fiscal year had an 80 per cent success as at September 30. This means that out of the state’s IGR budget size of N121, 806,876,775.63 this year, a sum of N73, 064,877,599.72 was generated as at the third quarter; as against 44 per cent proportionate performance recorded in during the same time in 2020. Analysts attribute this to budget credibility and fiscal responsibility, as well as the digitalisation of payment processes, introduction of central billing system, efficient and effective regulatory frameworks, among others.
The result of this improved performance has been increased investment in infrastructure, social welfare, education, youth empowerment, public service, health and security.
It is on that positive and resilient note of the 2021 budget performance that the 2022 appropriation bill was received with heightened hope and expectation, especially as the economy continues to recover from the pandemic.
With dwindling oil revenue, continued economic impact of COVID-19 and political timeline, the priorities of Prince Abiodun are evident in the proposed budget. When passed and assented to, the 2022 Budget of Restoration will accord priority attention to completion of existing projects; implementation of projects with revenue potential and those consistent with priorities articulated in the State Economic Development Strategy; and projects that can enhance employment generation.
The 2022 proposed budget is estimated at N350.74 billion, just around N12 billion higher than the 2021 budget. A breakdown of the total funding of the bill shows that Ogun State Internal Revenue Service (OGIRS) is estimated to generate N56.30 billion, while other Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) are estimated to generate N96.87 billion, totaling N153.17 billion. Statutory allocation (i.e. FAAC and VAT) is pegged at N73.01 billion, while capital receipt is estimated at N124.56 billion (i.e. Internal and External loans, including grants and aids etc).
Although personnel cost, estimated at N75 billion in salaries allowances and debt servicing, takes the largest portion under recurrent expenditure, Prince Abiodun explained that his administration was committed to the welfare of its workers and meeting its debt service obligations, specifically to attract capital investment into the state economy.
On the other hand, general capital expenditure totals N170 billion, as against the N160 budgeted for same in the 2021 budget. Infrastructure, with an estimated budget of N77,775 billion and 22 per cent of the total budget, is the highest key capital expenditure. Education has the second-highest estimate of N56,071 billion and 16 per cent of the total estimated budget.
The Ogun 2022 Appropriation Bill is testament to GovDapoAbiodun’s continued commitment of resources to completing and funding key infrastructural facilities capable of unlocking the socio-economic potentials of the state.
Just like the ‘Budget to Build Our Future Together’ of 2020 and the ‘Budget of Recovery and Sustainability’ of 2021, the 2022 proposed Budget of Restoration is a carefully articulated financial plan which will require managers of public funds in Ogun State to be innovative. With increased public expectations, stakeholders, including members of the Ogun House of Assembly where the bill is being scrutinised, have a responsibility of devising fresh thinking and new approaches to fulfilling government policies and programmes.
Prince DapoAbiodun’s investment, development and empowerment priorities, strategically embedded in his administration’s ISEYA mantra, depend on the 2022 proposed budget than any other. Apart from being Yoruba for ‘Time to roll up the sleeves’, ISEYA is also Abiodun’s acronym for his administration’s developmental blueprint, which is: I – Infrastructure; S – Social Development and Wellbeing; E – Education; Y – Youth Development, and; A – Agriculture and Food Security.
In 2019, the governor laid down a vision “to give Ogun State focused and qualitative governance and to create the enabling environment for a public private sector partnership, which is fundamental to the creation of an enduring economic development and individual prosperity of the people of Ogun”. That vision is coded in the “Building Our Future Together” agenda.
If the first two full budgets of the Abiodun administration are signposts to his credibility and competence, the third full budget will definitely be an appraisal of the administration’s performance; whether the future of Ogun people is being built together with the instrumentation of ISEYA.
The 2022 proposed budget is the legacy budget of Prince DapoAbiodun, and he understand its import.
- Somorin is the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor of Ogun State
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