2020 Budget: Ortom presents N189.4 Billion Budget to Benue Assembly


…N7.075 billion as supplementary budget
By Titus Atondu, Makurdi
Benue State Governor Samuel Ortom on Tuesday presented a budget of N189 Billion to the Benue state House  of Assembly for approval for the 2020 fiscal year.
The Governor who had presented the sum of N199 Billion as budgetfor the year 2019 also presented a supplementary appropriation bill of N7.075 billion only for their passage into laws, revealed that the N7 billion is Pay As You Earn, (PAYE) returns collected from Federal Government Agencies operating in the state.
Earlier, the Speaker, Mr  Titus Ubah who assured that committees of the Assembly will swing into action immediately to enable them conclude work on the 2020 budget estimate on time.
The Speaker also directed all Heads of Ministries, Departments and Agencies, (MDAs) to appear before the state Assembly committees to defend their budget estimates promptly saying the budget will be committed to the House Committee on Rules and Business for approptiate consideration.
Presenting the 2020 budget estimates christened “Budget of Advancement, Growth and Development”.Ortom said the draft 2020 budget is premised on an exchange rate of N305 to the dollar with crude oil production estimate of 2.18 million barrels per day and the crude oil price estimate of $55 per barrel.
“On that basis, we have proposed the sum revenue of N189,483,511,025 only” Ortom stressed.
He said the State Government will fund the budget through various sources including its share of disbursements from the Federation Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC) which takes the lead with a proposed N42,760,945,940 only.
He explained that the sum of N114.5 billion was for recurrent expenditure while the sum of 74.9 billion is for Capital Expenditure.
Ortom noted that the state have achieved relative peace and can now focus on pursuing its growth and development with vigour.
According to him, the policy thrust of the draft 2020 Budget of Advancement, Growth and Development is to ensure adequate provision for implementation of programmes that can reflate the state economy and accelerate growth, as well as completion of on-going projects and the consistent payment of personnel emoluments.
He said as agriculture continues to be the mainstay of economic life for the Benue people, his administration has provided funding to develop the value chain so that it creates more employment opportunities for the youth.
“We are increasing our investment in agricultural production and marketing through the Rural Access and Agricultural Marketing Programme (RAAMP) being implemented in partnership with the African Development Bank.
“We have also adopted and adapted the National Livestock Transformation Programme (NLTP) to realise our huge potential in this important sub-sector.
He said deliberate policies are being introduced in the 2020 budget to speed up development at the grassroots, invluding the launch of the District Economic Expansion and Development Strategy (DEEDS) to ensure greater impact at the grassroots level and accelerate progress towards the sustainable development goals (SDGs).
He appreciated the Speaker and Members as well as Benue people for their cooperation towards his administration and called for an effective synergy of the executive, legislative and judicial arms to be able to attract the desired development to the state.
“I know electioneering campaigns will be commencing soon at the local government level towards electing local government councils in the state. I am seriously counting on you to coordinate and ensure a hitch free local government polls devoid of rancour and acrimony.
“Benue state is the only state we have therefore let us put our hands together to develop it,” the Governor stated.