By Josephine Oguntoyinbo & Adekola Afolabi
Ondo State Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, CON has presented a budget proposal of N272.736 Billion for the 2023 fiscal year, tagged: “Budget of Shared Prosperity,” to the State House of Assembly.
Akeredolu presented the budget to the lawmakers during plenary sitting presided over by the Speaker of the House, Bamidele Oleyelogun, at the newly commissioned reconstructed House of Assembly Complex, Igbatoro road, Akure.
It will be recalled that the House of Assembly complex was renovated by Governor Akeredolu since it was built in 1979 by late Pa Adekunle Ajasin led administration.
Governor Akeredolu said N143.5 billion was budgeted for capital expenditure and N129.1 billion for recurrent expenditure.
The 2023 budget proposal is higher than that of the total projected Budget outlay for 2022 Fiscal year which was N199,282,437 billion.
Akeredolu disclosed that the 2023 budget has been prepared on the basis of the inputs garnered during the Town Hall meetings with various stakeholders across the state and it is tailored towards achieving the REDEEMED agenda of his administration which is also in tandem with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
According to the Governor, the projects and programmes carefully selected therein cut across the critical areas of infrastructure and environment, education, health, social safety -net, security, industrialisation, among others.
Akeredolu revealed that with the resources available to the State Government, his administration has continued to pursue its developmental agenda in areas of priority, adding government has been able to record modest achievements across board in various thematic areas of the REDEEMED agenda.
The Governor listed some of the achievements to include construction of more than 450km of roads across state; construction of over 238 blocks of classrooms; provision of 16, 874 sets of pupil’s furniture and 3,394 Teacher’s furniture; strengthening of Amotekun and other security Agencies in the State through provision of operational vehicles and equipment; empowerment of over 9,068 Youths through ONDEA; rehabilitation of water supply schemes in AraromiObu, Oke-Igbo, Oba-Akoko, Idoani, Okitipupa and Ilutitun.
Others are distribution of over One Million Cocoa seedlings to Cocoa farmers; completion of Ode-Erinje Transmission line, Omotosho-EpeAjah 330KV D/C Transmission line and Osogbo-Benin 330KV D/C line; regular payment of salaries to State Workers; provision of free maternal health care (Abiyamo/Solayo Scheme) for over 40,000 pregnant women and children; and empowering of 48,761 under the ONDO-CARES Programme.
He used the occasion to commend the Speaker and other members of the House for their passion and timely effort in considering the 2023-2025 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and the Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP) as well as the passage of the 2022 Revised Appropriation Bill in response to the exigencies of deepening security, infrastructural development and to cater for the vulnerable, all in a bid to change the narratives and trajectories of the growth and development.
Akeredolu equally thanked the people of the State for their unflinching belief, confidence, co-operation and support for his Administration, especially the extant development blueprint, christened the REDEEMED agenda.
The Governor informed the Lawmakers that in fulfilling the aims and objectives of the 2023 budget proposal, his administration will pursue policy stance that will entrench efficient spending, curb waste, engender inclusivity, and enable excellent service delivery.
” Notwithstanding the present climate of uncertainty, we are steadfast in our resolve to put the economy on the sustainable path to realize its full growth potential. By the grace of the Almighty God, we shall leave no stone unturned as we continue to build a strong, vibrant and resilient economy, powered by good governance and people-centered programmes”, he added.
He lauded the Speaker and his team for the atmosphere of peace and unity that exists between the Legislature and Executive which has facilitated the significant milestones so far attained by the present administration in the state.
Also present at the budget presentation are the deputy governor, Lucky Aiyedatiwa, members of the State Executive Council led by the Secretary to the State Government, Princess Oladunni Odu, state chairman of the APC, Ade Adetimehin, and several other top government functionaries.
In his speech, the Speaker of the House, Bamidele Oleyelogun affirmed that the presentation is in tandem with the provision of the Constitution of the Federal Republic or Nigeria 1999 (as Amended) that makes it statutory for every Government to present its yearly Appropriation Bill before the legislative Arm of government for Legislative
Consideration and ratification.
He noted.that the content of every budget no doubt, has great impact on the life of everybody in the society.
‘lt is a reflection on the journey so far in our conscious effort to collectively work for the upliftment of the welfare of our people in terms of ensuring that developmental projects cut across all segments of the State and are people oriented. As an arm of government, it is another opportunity to examine the fundamental linkages between our past, as a people, present concerns as well as the vision, hopes and aspirations for the future of our State.
“I want to specially appreciate Mr. Governor for the total overhauling, renovation and commissioning of our Legislative Chamber equipped with the State of the earth materials and gadgets.
The ninth (9th) Assembly is particularly proud of you and we are assuring you of our unalloyed loyalty, commitment and dedication to work”, he stressed.
The Speaker specially commended the Governor for the undiluted attention his administration accorded to every sector of the economy In the State, adding that it generally acknowledged that the people have indeed witnessed rapid State of infrastructural development within the last few years, even in the face of very limited resources
In an interview shortly after the budget presentation,the State Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget, Mr Emmanuel Igbasan noted that recently the released multi dimensional poverty indicator by the Nigeria bureau of statistics shows that the State was ranked among the list of poor people, which is a direct innovative ,efficient of good governance and vision of the present administration in economic enablers and drive in the society .
To this end,he confirmed that the economic sector takes the largest chunk of the year 2023 budget in order to further give quality of life to the people , stressing that the budget centered on the people.
Also, the Chairman House Committee on Finance and appropriation, Akinrogunde Akintomide assured that this fiscal document will be given the desired Legislative attention as expected.