By Adekola Afolabi
Barring any hitch, the 2019 Ondo State budget in which N190billion has been estimated will be passed into law this week, The Hope investigation has revealed.
As part of efforts to ensure quick passage of the budget, the House of Assembly Committee on Finance and Appropriation under the chairmanship of Mr. Sunday Olajide, had last week, organised a three-day budget defence for all the MDAs with a view to scrutinising the budget proposal.
The marathon three-day defence which started on Tuesday, was rounded off on Thursday, however, the committee asked some MDAs to reappear before it and clarify some grey areas in their budget proposal.
Speaking with The Hope yesterday, the Chairman of the committee, Sunday Olajide said the committee members were seriously working on the budget report to ensure its speedy passage this week.
According to him, all necessary work would be concluded and the budget passed before this week runs out.
Olajide, at the end of the three-day budget defence, affirmed that the committee was not just going to give frivolous figures based on sentiments to MDAs, but would only work on what was practicable and realistic while also considering the interest of the state.
“We will make sure that whatever we are doing is in line with the philosophy of the government. Don’t forget that we have medium term expenditure framework and fiscal strategy guiding medium term planning for budget, that is, we have multiple year’s budget in the MTEF fiscal strategy paper.
“So, we want to make sure that whatever we are doing is in line with the philosophy and the vision of the current government. So, we will make sure that we are not just awarding figures according to individual desire, no, but base on real, fact and availability of resources.
“We don’t want to just allocate figures so that the budget would just be bogus, no, we want a situation whereby if our budget is going to be N100bn the performance would be high. So, we are trying to be as realistic as possible”, the chairman stressed.
He, however, disclosed that some figures may be reviewed even though he did not say what the figures would come to until the report is ready.
The chairman said by the time the budget was passed into law it would be beneficial to everybody in the state.
He commended the state governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, for his quick intervention in every aspect of the state’s economy, noting that the state is now getting better in all ramifications.
Olajide explained that the budget proposal, among other many developmental projects also contained a lot of counterpart funding, such that would attract other developmental partners that would further develop the state in areas of road infrastructure, health, education and many other sectors of the economy.