Aiyedatiwa presents N384.5b 2024 budget to Ondo Assembly
By Josephine Oguntoyinbo
& Adedotun Ajayi
Ondo State Acting Governor, Lucky Aiyedatiwa has presented a budget proposal of N384,533 billion for the 2024 fiscal year to the State House of Assembly.
The budget tagged, “Budget of Economic Resilience” was presented to the lawmakers during plenary presided over by the Speaker, Olamide Oladiji at the Assembly Complex, Akure.
The sum of N172,518,140,353 billion is for recurrent expenditure, while N212,014,859,647 billion Is for capital expenditure.
The 2024 budget proposal is higher than that of 2023 which was N272.736 billion.
The breakdown of the budget showed that Administration of justice got N16,389,110,486.12 billion, representing 4.3 per cent of the budget.
Also, Agricultural sector received N31,816,008,874.01 billion amounting to 8.3 per cent of the budget, while Education got N47,729,164,261.85 billion, put at 12.4 per cent, and Environment and Sewage Management had N8,551,879,882.87 billion, 2.2 per cent.
Equally, General Administration received N32,574,349,199.07, representing 8.5 per cent, Health sector got N29,809,134,375.97 billion, (7.8 per cent), Information N2,228,802,993.29 ( 0.6 per cent), Infrastructural Development, N95,482,176,340.36 ( 24.8 per cent), Legislative Administration received N6,472,161,659.19 billion (1.7 per cent), Public Finance, N82,413,990,850.80 billion (21.4 per cent), Regional Development, N12,646,995,272.10 billion (3.3 per cent), Community Development got N14,465,344,834.76 billion ( 3.8 per cent), while Trade and Industry received N3,953,880,969.61 billion (1.0 per cent.
Aiyedatiwa expressed profound gratitude to the Almighty for the opportunity to address the House, highlighting that the presentation stands as the penultimate budgetary discourse of the administration before its expected exit in February 2025.
”l acknowledge the invaluable support of the Honourable Members towards the administration, coupled with their unwavering prayers during this challenging period, especially for Governor Akeredolu. I express gratitude to the people of Ondo State for their overwhelming support and prayers for the Governor’s recovery, hoping for a complete healing in due time.
“In the light of the economic challenges triggered by the Federal Government’s removal of fuel subsidy, l recognize the resilience and understanding exhibited by the citizens.
“I hereby assure the good people of Ondo State of continued efforts by the administration to alleviate the hardships through various measures such as providing food items, cash transfers, salary adjustments, pension and gratuity payments, and agricultural support, aimed to cushion the impact on the populace.
Aiyedatiwa reaffirmed the administration’s steadfast commitment, dating back to its inception in 2017, to elevate the State through robust infrastructural and human capital development initiatives.
The Acting Governor emphasized on the administration’s monumental infrastructural achievements, including roads construction, federal road rehabilitation, flyover projects, water and sanitation schemes, borehole rehabilitation, and agreements for water supply scheme rehabilitation through international collaborations.
He emphasized the shift towards agricultural prominence, aiming to bridge the gap in palm oil supply and boost agricultural productivity. Initiatives such as the Red Gold Project, cocoa seedling distribution, livestock productivity enhancement, and the RAAMP collaboration for rural road construction underscored the administration’s commitment to rural and agricultural development.
While stressing that the imperative of recaliberating fiscal priorities in line with the prevailing global economic realities, Aiyedatiwa highlighted the need to focus on economic growth drivers to stabilize and boost the economy amidst the removal of fuel subsidies and fluctuating exchange rates.
“In anticipation of an imminent wage increase, the budget proposed a surge in Personnel Estimates and plans for ongoing palliative measures to alleviate the impact of fuel subsidy removal.
“Also to address climate change, in confronting its effects, pointing to increased rainfall intensity that led to widespread flooding in various Local Government areas in the preceding year.
“In aligning with national and international accounting standards, classified government functions into 12 sectors in fostering transparency and adherence to best practices in governance.”
Aiyedatiwa assured that the budget addresses these concerns by prudently increasing Personnel Estimates to accommodate imminent wage adjustments while outlining plans for implementing measures to alleviate the impact of fuel subsidy removal on the populace.
“This budget, aligned with economic realities, aims to revitalize and sustain the state’s economy amidst evolving financial landscapes.”
Aiyedatiwa emphasized government’s commitment to proactively address the escalating impact of climate change in the upcoming year. “Notably, this year witnessed a discernible rise in both the duration and intensity of rainfall, resulting in substantial run-offs and flooding across various Local Government Areas.”
Aiyedatiwa’s statement underscores the urgency to tackle these environmental challenges and implement strategic measures to mitigate the effects of such occurrences in the state.
The acting governor said that Infrastructural Development sector has the highest budget proposal because it is the sector that will stimulate the economy in the next fiscal year.
He highlighted during the budget presentation the adoption of the National Charts of Accounts (NCOA) subscribed to by Ondo State, aligning with the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF) and international best practices.
He reiterated on behalf of Mr. Governor that “we are very determined and shall remain undaunted and focused in our effort to deliver the dividends of democracy to our people and to make Ondo State a reference point for developmental strides in Nigeria.”
In his speech, the Speaker, Olamide Oladiji commended the Acting governor for the timely presentation of the budget, explaining that the event was in tandem with the 1999 constitution as amended.
While noting that the proposal is for the overall interest of the people of the state, he noted that the fiscal document will be given legislative attention and passed into law on time.
Meanwhile, the budget has been committed to the House Committee on Finance and Appropriation for proper scrutiny after scaling through the first and second reading.
The Speaker therefore charged the Committee to do justice to the bill and submit it at the stipulated time.
Budget defense of MDA’s begins today, Friday, December 22, 2023.