BEING THE SPEECH DELIVERED BY THE GOVERNOR OF ONDO STATE, ARAKUNRIN OLUWAROTIMI ODUNAYO AKEREDOLU, SAN, ON PRESENTATION OF THE 2019 BUDGET TO THE STATE HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY ON MONDAY, 31ST DECEMBER, 2018.PROTOCOLS
May I seek your indulgence to express my profound gratitude to God Almighty for the unquantifiable grace, liberally extended to me, to be in a position to stand before the representatives of the people of Ondo State in this hallowed chamber to perform a very important task this morning. I present to you today the year 2019 Budget proposal, the second in the series to be prepared by this Administration since assumption of office on 24th February, 2017.
I must also not fail to show appreciation to the leadership and members of this Honourable Assembly for the sustained cooperation and support in almost two years, from the commencement of our Administration. I have no doubt that you will all agree with me that we pass through a most trying period at present. We have had to make far-reaching sacrifices and deny ourselves certain entitlements and benefits in order to move the State forward. This sense of mission and unity of purpose are what we need to engender long term economic development, social harmony, political stability and general well-being of our people.
Mr Speaker, I do not take lightly the significance of this moment and the opportunity providence has availed us to determine, annually, how the precious assets of our people should be allocated for economic growth and human development. We recognise that while current resources are grossly insufficient to meet every need and demand of our people, there are no limitations on our collective potentials. We wish, fervently, and hope that the sacrifices of today will serve as the seed planted on a fertile soil which will achieve sustainable result that will put our State on an irreversible path of sustainable development.
Distinguished Honourable members, may I reiterate here that while our vision, since securing the trust of our people to serve, remains unchanged. Our strategies for attaining this vision are constantly reviewed in the face of changes at the international and local levels, for greater efficiency and optimal results. We have, therefore, as we have always done, consulted widely with agencies of government and other stakeholders in arriving at the proposal being placed before this Honourable House today. This proposal is designed to provide the roadmap for rapid economic growth, maintain strict fiscal discipline, create wealth and empowerment, encourage self-reliance and develop a knowledge-based economy. It also contains guidelines to enhance our competitiveness in areas where we are strong, comparatively, and facilitate the overall development of our State, foster an efficient and dedicated Civil Service, support social enterprise, promote investment and articulate the strategies for the equitable distribution of the benefits of the anticipated economic growth to the common man, whose conditions of living require significant improvement. We are totally and irrevocably committed to all these aspirations and we will do everything within our authority as a government to actualise them.
NATIONAL ECONOMIC OVERVIEW
Mr Speaker, Honourable Members, the implementation of Government programmes and projects demands effective Public Finance Management culture, imbued with transparency and accountability measures, geared towards achieving strategic outcomes. The Nigeria economy, which is the largest in sub-Saharan Africa, is still recovering from the effect of the economic recession witnessed in 2016.
Through the implementation of a decent list of pro-market actions in 2018, driven by the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) of the Federal Government, the chill of recession has given way to a new spring of hope as leading indicators have turned positive. Though the uncertainties and price fluctuation of oil in the International Market still poses a threat and challenge for robust economic trajectory, the well though-out diversification and ERGP focus will assist in mitigating unfavourable outcomes.
STATE ECONOMIC OVERVIEW
On assumption of office on February 24, 2017, I met an Ondo State beset with severe financial challenges. Federal Transfers from the Federation Account had dipped drastically, the State was burdened with a huge debt profile, and the deficit threatened our capacity to deliver on our development objectives as well as the Government’s ability to meet statutory obligations to workers and contractors.
It is with great pride and joy that I announce with palpable glee, Mr Speaker, that we have consistently, through prudent management of the very lean resources, paid our workers on a monthly basis, as well as offset six of the seven-month salary and pension arrears inherited from the immediate past Administration. We remain hopeful and confident that, with discipline, prudent management of public finances, strategic planning and the can-do spirit of our people, we shall overcome all challenges and our economy will become stronger, better and more resilient.
REVIEW OF 2018 BUDGET PERFORMANCE
Mr Speaker, you will recall that 2018 Budget was anchored on the 5-point Agenda Programme of change of this Administration (JMPPR) encapsulated in the Strategic Development and Policy Implementation document, otherwise known as Blue Print to Progress. Also, as a precursor to the budget was the 2018-2020 Medium-Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) prepared in 2017. The MTEF was the first of its kind in the history of Ondo State and it, therefore, made 2018 budget a document that signalled the major departure from a single-year budgetary framework to a multi-year budgetary Framework. Having overcome in the third quarter of 2017 the recession that began in 2016, occasioned by the drastic drop in the price of crude oil which, consequently, reduced the revenue accruing to the State from Federation Account, we started 2018 on a positive note and with high promises.
Mr Speaker, Honourable Members, a budget of N181.425 billion was approved by this Honourable House for the various programmes and projects of government in early 2018. The N181.425 billion was divided into N73.812 billion for Recurrent Expenditure and N80.929 billion for Capital Expenditure; while N13.600 billion and N8.308 billion were allocated for Debt Payment (Principal) and Statutory Transfers, respectively. Later in the course of the year, a re-ordering of the budget was carried out and funds were re-allocated to critical projects that were already on-going in the State without change in the budget size. On the revenue side, the total receipts from all sources as at the end of the 3rd quarter was N75.975 billion representing 55.8% performance. Though the figure was N60.159 billion less than N136.134 billion expected in the period, it was appreciably higher than the figure recorded during the same period in 2017. The Independent Revenue generated at the end of the third quarter recorded N11.371 billion or 61.9% of the N18.359 projected for the period.
Mr. Speaker, with less than expected revenue, we have laid the foundation for the change we promised through the 2018 budget and in line with our strategic plan (JMPPR). We have deliberately targeted our intention towards the five cardinal programmes as discussed hereafter.
Job Creation Through Agriculture, Entrepreneurship and
Mr. Speaker, in line with our promise to create massive jobs for our teaming youths, over 1,000 thousand youths were already trained on various aspects of agricultural production value chain as Agro-preneurs. 100 of these youths are already engaged and working on State owned farms. In addition, we facilitated the training of 5000 youths on the same agricultural value chain by the National Directorate of Employment. The beneficiaries have just been given their certificates and further programmes to assist them in establishing their projects will commence in January 2019. The multiplier effect of 5000 cottage production businesses in the State cannot be quantified.
Massive Infrastructure Development and Maintenance
On the infrastructure side Mr. Speaker, we have used the 2018 fiscal year to jump start the several years of neglect on our road infrastructure. It may interest you to know that we have not confined ourselves only to State roads, but have extended this necessary intervention to Federal Roads within the State. For example, the failed portions of the deplorable Owo-Ikare Road are being attended to. As we speak, Mr. Speaker, we are working, currently, on fifty seven roads across the three senatorial districts of the State, including the Ore Intersection fly-over promised last year. As at date, about 50km of these roads have been completed up to asphalt overlay while the others are in varying stages of completion. For example, the first phase, (i.e. A-Division to NEPA Roundabout portion), of the A-Division to Ijoka Road dual carriage way will be completed before the end of the first quarter of 2019. Also, the 7km Akure-Idanre alternative route will soon be completed. We have intervened on several fronts to ameliorate the suffering of our people. Some of the completed/on-going interventions include:
Construction of Ore Intersection Fly over bridge;
‘A’ Division – Ijoka Dual Carriage Road;
Construction of Oke Alabojuto in Ikare;
Construction of Gaga Community Road, Akure;
Rehabilitation of Owo-Ikare Road;
Construction of Ajagba – Sabomi Road;
Construction of 2.76km Idanre Township Road;
Construction of Iwalewa – Alafiatayo – Hospital Road;
Completion of dual carriage way of Owo Township Road;
Construction of Bye Pass, Igbokoda Road, (12.7km); and
In sum, the total project cost of these initiatives is over N60 billion out of which more than N10 billion has been paid.
As part of our effort to salvage the perennial power outage in the Southern Senatorial District of the State, we are deploying stand-alone solar power solutions in 33 Communities of the Zone. As we speak, Aboto, Ebute-Ipare and Igbobini have been powered while another Community will also be energised in the next few weeks. It may also interest you to know that Ode-Aye has been reconnected to the national grid after about a decade of darkness and other towns will soon be reconnected in Southern Senatorial District.
Promotion of Functional Education and Technological Growth
Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Mr Femi Agagu
Distinguished Honourable members, the unimaginable state of deterioration in which we met our school infrastructure on assumption of office, was sobering. Virtually all public primary schools not designated as Mega-primary school, were in varying degrees of decay occasioned by utter neglect. In the last one year, we have collaborated with UBEC and awarded 598 projects in more than 501 primary schools across the three senatorial districts of the State. The projects, most of which are already completed, were spread to cover all Local Governments of the State. In addition, over 151 school Projects were also provided through the FGN/ODSG Conditional Grant Scheme.
Provision of Accessible and Qualitative Health Care and Social Service Delivery
On assumption of office, we met two (2) Mother and Child Hospitals, dedicated to cater for maternal and infant health challenges in the State. However, the two (2) institutions are located in the Central Senatorial Zone. In furtherance of our avowed commitment to equity and fairness, we have upgraded five (5) other health facilities to the Status of Mother and Child Hospitals in Ikare and Owo in the Northern Zone, as well as Ore, Okitipupa and Igbokoda, in the Southern Zone, to cater for our people in the other two (2) Senatorial Zones of the State. To address the dearth of Tertiary Health facility in the State, we have established the Teaching Hospital of the Ondo State University of Medical Sciences, Ondo, to fast track medical interventions in the health sector of the State.
Rural Development and Community Extension Service
In order to tackle the persistent challenge of very poor roads to convey farm produce to the market encountered by our farmers, a Memorandum of Understanding has been signed with the World Bank to open up our rural access roads through the Rural Access Agricultural and Marketing Project (RAAMP). To pilot this project, Molege Road in Ose Local Government has been completed. We are expecting the World Bank to come and inspect the road and give approval for the commencement of work in other similar roads across the State. Also, in a bid to reduce the level of poverty in the State, a sum of N550 million was distributed to the Small and Medium Scale Business Owners to revitalize their businesses and make them employers of labour.
Mr Speaker, I am pleased to inform you that our Administration has continued to motivate its workforce without relenting by paying six months out of the seven (7) month salary arrears owed the Civil Servants at all levels, by the last Government in the State. We have also ensured that pensions and gratuities of our Senior Citizens are paid as and when due, in accordance with the fiscal realities, across the State. We are committed, deeply, and ready to offset the remaining one (1) month salary arrear early in the next fiscal year.
AN OVERVIEW OF 2019 BUDGET
2019 Budget has been prepared based on the projections of the 2019-2021 Medium-Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF). MTEF is a three-year planning document that shows the aggregate resources envelope available to our government and how the resources are allocated to meet the developmental agenda of the Government. As a reminder, Mr. Speaker, MTEF is one of the statutory provisions of the Ondo State Fiscal Responsibility Law (FRL) which this Honourable House passed in 2017. The Law makes it mandatory that every yearly budget must be prepared on the basis of the next three years projections of MTEF. Consequently, 2019 Budget is an offshoot of the 2019-2021 MTEF.
Mr Speaker, we have used the 2018 Fiscal year to lay the foundation of the economic trajectory designed for the State. Most of the programmes and projects will crystalize in the 2019 Fiscal year. For example, both RAAMP and the NEWMAP projects will be fully effective in 2019. In the same vein, most of the major MOUs orchestrated through ONDIPA, inclusive of the Deep Sea Port are expected to fully blossom in 2019. It is in view of this that the 2019 Budget has been aptly tagged “the Budget of Rapid Progress”.
OBJECTIVES AND POLICY THRUSTS OF 2019 ESTIMATES
The 2019 Budget is the second major budget to be prepared by this Administration, and so, our emphasis will be to consolidate and build on the feats achieved in 2018. To this end, our objectives for the 2019 budget are:
(i) Completion of on-going programmes/projects;
(ii) Rapid economic development and transformation;
(iii) Sustained expansion of the fiscal space and rejig the economy through strategic wealth creation for the productive sector (Youths, Artisans, Women, etc);
(iv) Innovative and integrated approach to drive government revenue through technology to increase actual Independent Revenue by at least 50%;
(v) Improvement in the State’s fiscal performance to enable the State increase its draw-down on Federal Government and international performance-based grants;
(vi) Reduction in reliance on Federal Transfers through diversification of the State’s economy;
(vii) Inclusive growth based on Intelligent Development approach;
(viii) Sustained investment in infrastructural facilities and resuscitation of ailing/moribund industries in the State;
(ix) Accelerated rural development;
(x) Promotion of functional education and technological growth;
(xi) Robust human Capital Investment Initiatives and Social Security Services.
- In order for us to achieve the foregoing objectives, highlighted below are some of the strategies we are going to adopt.
(i) Constitution of Economic Advisory Team and Efficiency Unit for the State;
(ii) Compliance with global best practices in Fiscal Allocation and Management;
(iii) Development of ICT to drive Independent Revenue (IR), empower and create wealth for our productive sectors;
(iv) Sustained engagement of revenue consultants to help drive independent revenue generation;
(v) Leverage on donor partners support and diaspora monetary inflow;
(vi) Provision of social security services for the elderly and others;
(vii) Deliberate investments in agro enterprises, provisions of farm inputs and supply of improved seedlings to farmers to boost food production and generate employment for our youths; and
(viii) Continuous opening up of rural feeder roads to enhance hitch free conveyance of farm produce to the market;
(ix) Rigorous pursuit of efforts at Industrialising the State.
Mr. Speaker, you will recall I informed this honourable House here last year that we had engaged some revenue consultants to complement the existing efforts in revenue generation and to overcome the challenges posed by inadequate revenue. I am happy to inform you that the effort has been yielding a positive result ranging from appreciable blockade of some revenue leakages to increase our revenue base, a situation which has led to the State generating an average monthly IR of N1.263 billion as against N905m monthly average recorded in 2017.
Yes, we are not there yet, but with the combined efforts of the consultants and the vibrant autonomous Board of Internal Revenue, as well as the various financial reforms being carried out by this Administration, we shall achieve the desired result in no distant time. Despite the improvement recorded in IR, revenue from Federation Account still contributes the larger part of total revenue accruing to the State. The same scenario will still play out in 2019 fiscal year. In the light of this, our revenue projections are based on some macro-economic assumptions as contained in the 2019-2021 MTEF of both Ondo State and Federal Government. These assumptions are: –
GDP Growth (%) – 2.30
Crude Oil Benchmark price per barrel – $55
Average production (million barrel/day) – 1.60
Inflation Rate (%) – 9.98
Exchange Rate (N to US$) – 305
2019 REVENUE PROJECTION
Commissioner for Finance, Mr Wale Akinterinwa
In view of the above assumptions and parameters, the table below shows the breakdown of revenue projection for year 2019 totalling N196.379 billion.
S/NITEMESTIMATES (N’B)1.Statutory Allocation45.5492.Independent Revenue25.0003.Value Added Tax (VAT)12.0194.Roll Over Fund8.5495.Mineral Derivation17.6716.Exchange Gain0.8407.Refund from FGN on roads4.3008.Forex Account Stabilisation/Excess Bank Charge2.3169.Credit from Development Partners16.32810.Grants13.65011.Bonds/Loans34.20212.Tax Refund9.600TOTAL190.023
Mr. Speaker, in 2011, this Honourable House approved that the sum of N50.000 billion bond be sourced from the Capital Market. Out of this amount, only N27.000 billion was accessed in 2012 as the first tranche. In view of the time lag to go for the balance, we have decided to approach the Capital Market for a new N30.000 billion bond to ensure we are able to fund the huge infrastructural needs already accommodated in the 2019 budget as demanded by the people.
Mr Speaker, Honourable Members, 2019 Expenditure Estimates are deliberately structured to focus on the developmental agenda of this Administration as encapsulated in the Strategic Development and Policy Implementation document known as Blueprint to Progress. To this end, a reasonable fund, though not enough to cater for all our capital needs, has been allocated for capital development in 2019. However, in view of the growing cost of governance, occasioned by our unwavering commitment to the payment of salary and pension, recurrent expenditure cannot be reduced beyond a certain level.
Mr Speaker, Honourable members, the 2019 estimates has been appropriately tagged ‘Budget of Rapid Progress’, reflecting our resolve to work assiduously to deliver on our electoral promises to the good people of Ondo State, by fast-tracking the completion of all on-going projects and commence new developmental strides. We, therefore, propose a Budget Size of N190.023 billion, which represents an increase of 4.74%, compared with the 2018 Budget.
As promised during the 2018 budget presentation, we are gradually increasing the percentage of Capital allocation, as depicted in the expenditure allocation table presented below:
- Debt Repayment (Principal) = 10.369 5.5
- Statutory Transfers:
(i) OSOPADEC – 7.068 3.8
(ii) 10% contribution to JAAC – 2.500 1.3
Sub-Total = 9.568 5.0
- Recurrent Expenditure N’B %
(i) Personnel Costs – 36.232 19.0
(ii) Overhead Costs – 4.100 2.2
(iii) Special Programme – 16.158 8.5
(iv) Grants to Parastatals & Tertiary
Institution – 7.400 3.9
(v) Grants & Loans – 0.130 0.1
(vi) Consolidated Revenue Fund Charges – 18.159 9.6
Sub-Total = 82.179 43.2
- Capital Expenditure: = 87.906 46.3
Total Expenditure = 190.023 100
The Sectoral breakdown of the 2018 budget is as follows:
Sector Amount N’B %
Economic 92.462 48.70
Social 58.407 30.70
Law & Justice 3.252 1.70
Regional 7.069 3.70
Administration 28.833 15.20
TOTAL = 190.023 100
A total of N82.179 billion or 43.2% has been budgeted for Recurrent Expenditure in the next fiscal year, as against the 48.87% recorded in the current fiscal year. This is our deliberate decision to cut down the cost of governance in favour of capital development.
Mr. Speaker, without any iota of doubt, this Administration has taken noticeable and significant steps to attract investors to the State. Among such steps was the Economic Summit tagged ‘Develop Ondo 2018’ that was held in November this year. This was done to bring together captains of industries, financial institutions, donor partners, (UNICEF, UNDP etc), some of our accomplished sons and daughters in the diaspora, among others, to highlight areas where the State has comparative advantages for their possible intervention and also take the advantage presented by the ubiquity of our indigenes in diaspora to attract investments to our State. In the hope that the Summit will begin to bring result as from the next fiscal year, coupled with a number of Memoranda of Understanding that the State has signed with many of these investors, there is an upward leap in the proposed capital allocation in 2019 estimates to the tune of N87.906 billion.
Once again, we have placed great emphasis on Capital Projects as we build momentum into the second year of this Administration. In order to accelerate the development of our State, we must continue to develop infrastructure that supports industry, improve road connectivity within our agricultural areas as well as between our agricultural base and urban markets. In addition, we also need to invest in skills, especially for our youths and farmers to help support inclusive growth. Indeed, in our avowed desire to make our State a model in the fourth Industrial revolution, we have decided to construct information super highway to enhance knowledge based economy by providing fast, cheap and reliable connectivity through rapid broad band penetration.
Distinguished Honourable Members, in line with international best practises, government functions have been classified on sectoral basis for better understanding. Therefore, the breakdown of 2019 expenditure estimates on sectoral basis is as follows:
S/N SUB-SECTOR RECURRENT CAPITAL TRANSFERS DEBT SERVICING TOTAL BUDGET ALLOCATION % CAPITAL ALLOCATION % TOTAL ALLOCATION 1 Administration of Justice Total 2,556,116,819.40 696,000,000.00 – – 3,252,116,819.40 0.79%1.71% 2 Agricultural Development Total 1,617,516,924.62 8,163,355,000.00 – – 9,780,871,924.62 9.29%5.15% 3 Education Total 25,347,012,981.18 9,494,352,058.54 – – 34,841,365,039.72 10.80%18.34% 4 Environment and Sewage Management Total 473,726,450.44 2,170,000,000.00 – – 2,643,726,450.44 2.47%1.39% 5 General Administration Total 7,407,625,586.72 12,713,951,467.32 – – 20,121,577,054.04 14.46%10.59% 6 Health Total 8,627,911,054.79 6,380,600,000.00 – – 15,008,511,054.79 7.26%7.90% 7 Information Total 985,978,665.73 592,000,000.00 – – 1,577,978,665.73 0.67%0.83% 8 Infrastructural Development Total 2,854,825,933.18 32,874,605,020.00 – – 35,729,430,953.18 37.40%18.80% 9 Legislative Administration Total 1,953,971,147.68 415,000,000.00 – – 2,368,971,147.68 0.47%1.25% 10 Public Finance Total 27,883,648,834.43 10,774,206,567.00 – 10,369,293,247.58 49,027,148,649.01 12.26%25.80% 11 Regional Development Total – – 9,568,537,435.40 – 9,568,537,435.40 0.00%5.04% 12 Social and Community Devt Total 1,853,554,586.67 1,482,000,000.00 – – 3,335,554,586.67 1.69%1.76% 13 Trade and Industry Total 617,270,219.32 2,150,000,000.00 – – 2,767,270,219.32 2.45%1.46% GRAND TOTAL 82,179,159,204.16 87,906,070,112.86 9,568,537,435.40 10,369,293,247.58 190,023,060,000.00 100.00%100.00%
A review of the outgoing year confirmed our commitment to deepen the culture of inclusive governance towards ensuring optimal allocation of our meagre resources. This is with a view to meeting the prioritized needs of our people. Emphasis will be placed more on agriculture because of the veritable advantage it possesses to generate employment, most especially, for our teeming youths and its emerging value chain framework which has the potential to promote food sufficiency, reduce the rate of rural–urban migration and above all, enhance social security.
Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, Mr Taofiq Abdulsalam
On assumption of office in 2017, this Administration met a high profile infrastructure deficit. Our primary and secondary school buildings were dilapidated. Many of the Schools had no roofs, a deplorable situation which made our pupils to learn under trees. I am happy to report to you that the story has greatly changed. In furtherance of our effort to resuscitate our school infrastructure, over seven billion Naira (N7 billion) has been committed to the renovation of more than 500 Primary Schools in the State in 2018. In the next fiscal year, another sum of N3billion has also been budgeted to continue renovation work in other primary schools in the State. In addition to this, work in six secondary schools, two in each Senatorial district, which could not be carried out in the current year because of paucity of fund, will be done in the next fiscal year. In fulfilment of this Administration’s mission to provide durable, reliable and accessible roads for her people, a number of projects carried out in the current year are on varying degrees of completion. In the next fiscal year, we are going to complete the on-going ones while new ones will be awarded. These include:
Construction of Okitipupa/Igbokoda Bye pass Road;
Araromi Seaside/Lekki Road;
Completion of fly over/Bridge at Ore intersection;
Completion of Ijoka to Idanre road;
Dualization of Carriageway from Oba Adesida (‘A’ Division), Oba Osupa/Hospital Road – Oluwatuyi – Ijoka road;
Dualisation of Emure Junction – AUD from Ministry of Works to Iyere Junction road; and
Dualisation of Ikare township road (Phase II);
Dualization of Oda Road will commence in 2019.
All of these will be actualised in 2019, barring unforeseen contingencies.
Mr Speaker, Sir, it is my joy to announce that the long awaited Bitumen exploitation in the State will come on stream in 2019. The feasibility study and preliminary work to begin the exploitation has been completed and starting from 2019, Ondo State, and Nigeria at large, will begin to reap the opportunities it offers in terms of turning the entire Southern Senatorial district of the State to an economic hub.
Mr Speaker, Honourable members, Ondo State possesses the longest untapped coast line in Nigeria. It is around 180 km long with natural depth of 14m – 18m allowing for the construction of a Deep Seaport capable of handling large class of container vessels. At the inception of this Administration a year ago, we immediately set machinery in motion to start work on the Deep Seaport in Ondo State. I am glad to let you know that feasibility studies report has been concluded. We are on the verge of securing credible investors to commence the project in 2019. In addition to that, in order to leverage on the proximity of the Araromi Seaside in Ilaje LGA to Lagos, the State Government, in collaboration with NDDC and OSOPADEC, has awarded the construction of the road linking Araromi seaside, in Ilaje LGA, to Lekki, Lagos making travelling from that axis to Lagos possible in less than 30 minutes. This will expand the economic potentials of the State as we will, as a State, be able to leverage on the nearness to Lagos, to attract several high profile businesses to Ondo State along that axis.
EASE OF DOING BUSINESS
Distinguished Honourable members, from the very beginning, successive administrations have developed various blueprints aimed at industrialising the State with little or no success. This is not unconnected with the strenuous process of formalising business/project establishment in the State. In the current year, we have completely overhauled our business processes and streamline the conditions for doing business in Ondo State. This has started to attract Foreign Direct Investment to the State. As we speak, Mr Speaker, Six Industries have taken off at the Ore Industrial hub, including plywood production, Textile Mill and Cassava to Ethanol. We have also given several incentives to potential investors to attract them to the State. This is going to open up a floodgate of companies in the State. We expect at least 500 new industries in the State in the next three years, with at least 100 starting in 2019.
The State has determined, with determination, to use technology to drive governance in the State with the State Integrated Financial Management Information System (SIFMIS) Project which became operative in October this year. This will be built upon in the next fiscal year to improve revenue generation, budgeting system and financial reporting in the State. As it stands, the 2019 Budget, as soon as it is passed into Law, will be operated end-to-end on SIFMIS, meaning that tracking of transactions will be easier and seamless. Also, the capacity of our public servants is going to be enhanced in the next fiscal year through regular trainings.
Finally, I am grateful to the good people of Ondo State for their understanding and appreciation of the genuine intention of this Administration to uplift the State politically, socially and economically. Let me also use this medium to appreciate all, particularly our market men and women, who have cooperated in the payment of taxes. You have demonstrated to us your readiness to contribute, directly and/or indirectly, to the State’s economic growth. On the other hand, I appeal to tax defaulters to perform their civic responsibilities and join hands with others to contribute to Government efforts at advancing the development of the State with its attendant socio-economic benefits.
May I use this auspicious moment to send a strong note of warning to all those who still harbour delusion on the possibility of continuing with the obnoxious and clearly injurious practices which militate against progress. As we are ever ready to reward excellence and dedication to service, we shall not fail to sanction, swiftly and firmly, any errant attitudes which stand against decency and progress.
Mr Speaker, this Budget, placed before you today, displays our determination to confront our socio-economic problems in our unique way. It urges us to stand tall and take charge of our lives. It encourages us to look behind the present clouds of economic difficulties to see the silver lining in the skies.
Mr Speaker, distinguished members of this Honourable House, it is, therefore, with great pleasure that I present the 2019 Budget proposal, christened ‘BUDGET OF RAPID PROGRESS’, for your consideration.
I, therefore, appeal for accelerated consideration and eventual passage of the Budget to ensure a timely take off of implementation.
As this year winds down, let us rekindle our hope in the power of positive change that will transform our story, laden with precarious narratives, to glory.
I wish you all a prosperous 2019.
I thank you all for your patience.
ARAKUNRIN OLUWAROTIMI ODUNAYO AKEREDOLU, SAN
GOVERNOR, ONDO STATE
31, DECEMBER, 2018