Akeredolu signs 2018 Appropriation Bill
Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State, on Tuesday, signed the N181.424 billion 2018 appropriation bill and the other bill into law, with an assurance to concentrate more on capital expenditure to abridge the huge infrastructural deficit in the State.
The governor while signing the bills lamented the huge concentration of budgets on recurrent expenditures, describing the situation as worrisome, considering the state of development in the state.
Akeredolu, who also signed two other bills which include the Contributory Health Insurance Scheme and Social Welfare Bill into law, said the bills will ensure that every resident of Ondo State has access to good health care services.
He said ” the bill will ensure that all residents of Ondo State have financial protection, physical access to quality and affordable health care services.
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” It will also Protect families from the financial hardship posed by huge medical bills, Regulate the rise in the cost of healthcare services
“It will ensure that the poor and vulnerable shall be guaranteed the basic minimum package as defined under the National Health Act. ”
Akeredolu said the bill will bring the equitable distribution of health care costs across different income groups and maintain a high standard of healthcare delivery services within the Health Sector.
Akeredolu said the decision was to ensure that governance was spread to the majority of the people who are not employed by the government.
A total budget of N181.424 was signed into law by the governor who assured that the 2018 budget will advance the course of development in the state.
In the budget, capital expenditure for the 2018 fiscal year stands at N80.929 Billion which is 46% of the total Budget.
According to the governor, debt service will take an estimated sum of N13.600 Billion which is 7.5%. Statutory Transfers to OSOPADEC and Local Governments is N8.307 Billion which represents 4.6%.
“The sum of N78.588 Billion which represents 43.3% is set aside for recurrent expenditure. Put simply, this amount will be expended on salaries, allowances and grants. This is still very much on the high side considering the state of our development ”
The governor said further, “We intend to concentrate more on capital expenditure to abridge the huge infrastructural deficit in our State. Consequently, the capital expenditure for the 2018 fiscal year stands at N80.929 Billion or 46% of the total Budget.
“There is a remarkable leap in projection considering our aspiration for real development. this is the only realistic means of bringing governance to the majority of our people who are not employed by the Government.”
The governor said the state government will expand the state’s tax base while its government would continue to educate the people of the state on the importance of paying tax to the state.
“We shall expand our tax base to capture virtually everyone in the state. We will continue to educate our citizens on the significance of paying tax to the state.”
All those who own businesses must pay taxes commensurate with their concerns. Every adult within the tax bracket must be ready to pay tax in one form or the other.
“This is the only way out of the current socio-economic problems confronting the State.”
Speaking during the budget signing, the Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Rt. Hon Bamidele Oleyelogun said the adjustment in the budget was due to the error of omission which was detected from some ministries, departments and agencies.
He said the adjustment was done to accommodate the fund meant for the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) and the fund allocated for the conduct of Local Government election in the state.
He assured the people of the state that the budget would take the state to the next level and expressed hope that the present administration in the state would bring the desired change for the people of the state.