Abiodun presents N339bn budget to Ogun assembly

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By Bankole Taiwo, Abeokuta

Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun on Tuesday, presented a budget proposal of N339 billion for the 2021 fiscal year to the Ogun State House of Assembly (OGHA) for approval.

The budget, which is the second full year budget to be presented by the Governor, is N110.974 billion lesser than the initial 2020 proposal of N449.974 billion which was later reviewed downward to N281bn due to the adverse effects of COVID-19 pandemic on the economy.

Breakdown of the expected N339bn budget indicated that N119bn is to come in from Internally Generated Revenues, N59bn from statutory allocation while the balance of  N142 bn is to be financed with internal and external loans as well as grants and aids.

The Governor said the 2021 Appropriation Bill is tagged “Budget of Recovery and Sustainability”, as it highlights the key sectors and budgetary allocations for rapid development of the State.

“The investment focus of this government is to gradually reduce the identified infrastructure gap as well as provide fiscal stimulus to lift demand and help the State in its economic recovery process,’ Abiodun said.

He noted that in achieving this, the State Medium Term Sector Strategy (MTSS) approach, based on a modified zero-based budgeting framework, was in place to provide “a profiled budget stating the various expenditure headings and cost allocated over the three years.”

Governor Abiodun stressed that the 2021 budget is meant to address the COVID-19 pandemic, the #EndSARS protests, the general feeling of disenchantment in the polity, the socio-economic yearnings of the people of Ogun for good governance, as well as the stringent calls in all societal spheres for a more representative democracy that speaks to the issues of economic growth, consistent progress and equitable quality of life.

The budget, the Governor added, comprises a recurrent expenditure of N162 billion (48 per cent of the total budget) and a Capital expenditure of N177 billion (52 per cent) as dictated by best practices to drive his administration’s developmental objectives

Highlights of the budget include Infrastructure, N61 billion; Social welfare and wellbeing, N93 billion (includes Health, Housing, Environment, Physical Planning, Women Affairs, etc); Education, N58 billion; Youth empowerment, N6 billion; Agriculture, N15 billion and Enablers N10 6 billion.

Abiodun said the State will also set aside N12 billion for a Stabilisation Fund and N10 billion for Public Debt Charges.

The Governor said the Ogun State Internal Revenue Service (OGIRS) will generate an estimated N75 billion and other IGR, while Ministries, Department and Agencies (MDAs) will generate an estimated N44 billion, totalling N119 billion.

He added that statutory allocation will provide estimates of N59 billion while capital receipt, internal and external loans, including grants and aid, is estimated at N142 billion.

The Governor stated that since oil revenue has continued to reduce thus affecting statutory allocation, 2021 internally generated revenue of the State projected at N119billion will complement the projected statutory allocation of the proposed budget, noting that “the 2021 Appropriation Bill has been modified to include budgeted revenues, no matter how small, for each MDA, to focus on internal revenue generation.”

Governor Abiodun reiterated his administration’s firm commitment to a legacy of hope, financial stability, and fiscal prudence, as he promised a drastic reduction in the discriminatory impact of poverty by strengthening all regulatory and institutional frameworks that are crucial to the preservation of the State’s rich cultural, financial, and historical heritage.

“We have resolved to keep exploring Public-Private Partnership strategies in the provision of infrastructure, social services, and the conversion of our challenges to opportunities within the context,” the Governor said.

Abiodun recalled that in the last one year his government had constructed about 100 roads, renovated over 20 health centres across the 20 local governments, rehabilitated over 500 schools, provided palliatives and support to over 400,000 households during COVID-19 lockdown among others.