Akeredolu presents N177bn 2020 budget

Ondo State Governor, Mr Rotimi Akeredolu, has presented the budget proposal of N177.9 billion for 2020 to the Ondo State House of Assembly, which was tagged “Budget of Growth.”

The 2020 budget which was transmitted to the State House of Assembly for scrunity by the Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget, Emmanuel Igbasan, who represented the governor.

The budget which was about N16billion lower than the 2019 fiscal year which was N193.903 billion. This according to the governor was designed to accommodate only realistic goals of the administration.

The governor said the cut in proposed budget became imperative because of the financial constraints which were responsible for the inability of the state government to implement the 2019 budget to the targeted point.

He noted that at the end of the Third Quarter of 2019, revenue from all sources was put at N91.706 billion as against the N145.427 billion expected to have been made at the period, while the revenue performance was rated 63.06 per cent, which is a shortfall of about N53.721 billion.

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Akeredolu said his administration had been able to change its focus to human capital development, economic revolution, infrastructural expansion, institutional reforms, social welfare enhancement culture and tourism and environmental sustainability.

In the budget, Education took the largest chunk of the proposed budget, while the administration is looking at using Agriculture to empower the people of the state in the implementation of its human capacity building.

According to him, many of the ongoing agricultural programmes in the state would be expanded to accommodate more people.

The 2020 proposed budget was said to have been prepared on the projections of 2020 to 2022 Medium-Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) as required by Fiscal Responsibility Law passed by the state House of Assembly.

However, the administration is looking at growing the Internal Generated Revenue, which is currently put at N1.3 billion, to N3 billion leveraging on technology and blocking leakages to cover the recurrent expenditure.

A total sum of N82 billion has been budgeted for recurrent expenditure and a sum of N74 billion for capital expenditure. Over N10 billion was also voted for debt services and N11billion for statutory transfer.

“In January this year, this Honourable House passed the 2019 budget of N193.903 billion into Law. On the expenditure side, N10.369 billion, representing 5.3% was budgeted for Debt Service; N9.568 billion, representing 4.9% was Statutory Transfers to OSOPADEC and the 10% share of Independent Revenue to Joint Account and Allocation Committee (JAAC) of Local Governments in the State.

“Also the sums of N83.852 billion and N90.113 billion, representing 43.2% and 46.5% were for Recurrent Expenditure and Capital Development respectively. As at the end of the Third Quarter in 2019, revenue from all sources stood at N91.706 billion as against the sum of N145.427 billion that should have been recorded at that period. This gave a revenue performance of 63.06% and a shortfall in the absolute figure of about N53.721 billion,” he said.

The governor informed that the present administration had taken significant steps to attract investors to the state and assured that other frontiers would be opened up for the growth of the state.

He said “In our determination to achieve the revolution in Ondo State, we have now established an industrial park, called Ondo Linyi Industrial Park, situated at Ore. The park is an offshoot of Linyi Municipal Government of Shandong in China where we signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). As we speak, a Paper MiII, a Textile Company, an Ethanol Plant, a Medium-Density Fibre Board, a High-Density Fibre Board, Plywood Factories and a host of other agricultural products based companies have commenced production.

According to him, the 2020 budget was the third major proposal to be prepared by his administration, adding that it would lay emphasis on consolidation and building on the feats achieved in 2019.

The governor said that the 2020 budget would focus mainly on human capital development, quality health care delivery, most especially to the people at the grassroots, and agriculture.

He lauded the lawmakers for their support and the mutual understanding between the legislature and the executive in the last three years of his administration.

Speaking after the presentation, the Speaker, Bamidele Oleyelogun, commended the efforts of the governor in reviving and evolving a brand new state for all citizens.

He sought the assistance of the governor to assist the building a new assembly complex or renovating the existing chamber as many members could not sit in their offices due to the dilapidated condition of the complex.

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