IN a bid to enable excellent service delivery in this part of the country, the Ondo State Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, coined the REDEEMED agenda as a paradigm to drive the development of the state. The REDEEMED agenda is aimed at engendering inclusivity in his administration, as well as curb waste, a bane plaguing many societies in the country, as they march towards development.
FURTHERMORE, the REDEEMED agenda set to cater for the vulnerable, as a means to change their narratives and trajectories at a time of economic depression. It is heart warming that the REDEEMED agenda served as the basis of the 2023 budget proposals presented by the administration to the State House of Assembly earlier in the month.
TAGGED the BUDGET OF SHARED PROSPERITY, the document earmarked a total of N272,735,638 for the 2023 fiscal year, higher than that of 2022 fiscal year at N199,282,437,000.Just like other budgets of shared prosperity in other parts of the world, the capital expenditure at N143.5 billion outstripped the recurrent expenditure at N129.7 billion. In addition, the budget of prosperity provided for projects and programmes carefully selected to cut across critical areas of infrastructure and environment, education, health, social safety -net, security, and industrialization.
THE HOPE commends the state government over the budget of prosperity, and for allowing the agenda form the bedrock of programmes providing succor for millions of residents of the state. With a large chunk of the budget earmarked for capital projects, the government puts itself in a good position to strengthen the achievements recorded last year of providing schools with 16,874 sets of pupils’ and Teachers’ furniture, thereby improving the educational sector.
THROUGH the capital expenditure set aside for roads, and the sustenance of water schemes in proposed areas, the administration will empower the youths and improve infrastructural facilities to extend peace by contributing to the security outfits and deepening the much-cherished education sector. Also, the administration will be able to improve the security situation, by strengthening the Amotekun and other security agencies in their areas of need.
DEFINITELY , the capital expenditure in the proposed budget will be strong enough to deepen past initiatives such as the empowering of over 9,068 youths through ONDEA last year, as well as sustaining the water supply schemes in Araromi Obu, Oke-Igbo, Oba-Akoko, Idoani, Okitipupa and Ilutitun.
OBVIOUSLY, the state government recognised the importance of agriculture, which accounted for the distribution of one million seedlings to cocoa farmers in the last budget to change their narratives. To further change the narratives of other sectors, the last budget completed the Ode-Erinje transmission line and the Omotoso-Epe-Ajah 330 KV D/C, along with the Osogbo-Benin 330KV D/C, moves that boosted the electricity supply in these parts of the state.Adding to boosting electricity supply, the last budget provided for free maternal health care through the Abiyamo/Solayo scheme for over 40,000 pregnant women and children, a development to change the trajectories of hundreds of thousands of people.
WITH the new budget proposals, the trajectories of hundreds of thousands of people will face further transformation, as the proposals aim at deepening free health care schemes, providing electricity supply in pertinent areas, and strengthening the agriculture sector. The Hope endorses the provisions in the proposed budget, noting that they will enable great achievements in the state’s march towards development, through the focus on the various thematic areas of the administration’s REDEEMED agenda.
HOWEVER , the state government must not rest on its oars, over the progress recorded in the last budget, as it should aim at extending the achievements by vigorously implementing the new budget proposals to the letter, when passed into a law by the state assembly.
WHILE we commend the House of Assembly for its speedy passage of the 2022 Revised Appropriation Bill in a response to the exigencies of enabling security in the state, the house should repeat the same passion and timely efforts towards passing the budget proposals given it by the administration.
WE enjoin members of the House of Assembly to look into inputs the administration might have missed in its engagement with the teeming residents of the state during the town hall meetings with various stakeholders at the preparatory state of the budget The budget can only be meaningful to the common man when it meets their yearnings and aspirations .
THE residents of the state should continue to show confidence, cooperation, and unflinching belief and support for the administration when it begins to implement the budget after its passage by the house. Success would crown the budget if residents of the state, government officials, the legislators and other stakeholders perform their role with the aim of doing justice to the BUDGET OF SHARED PROSPERITY.