By Adekola Afolabi
The Ondo State House of Assembly yesterday passed the State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (OSOPADEC) 2018 Appropriation Bill into law.
The budget total is nine billion, twenty-six million, nine hundred and two thousand, three hundred and eighteen naira, eighty-six kobo (N9, 026, 902, 318.86).
The passage followed the House’s unanimous consideration and approval of the report of the Joint Committee on Finance and Appropriation as well as OSOPADEC at the plenary sitting presided over by the Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Bamidele Oleyelogun.
Majority Leader of the Assembly, Hon. Olugbenga Araoyinbo moved a motion for the passage of the budget and this was seconded by Hon. Olamide George.
Out of the total sum, seven billion, seven hundred and fifty-four million, five hundred and sixty-six, thousand, seven hundred and twenty-four naira, fifty-three kobo (N7, 754, 566, 724. 53) is voted for capital expenditure for the services of the Ondo State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (OSOPADEC) for the year ending, December 31,2018, while the remaining one billion, two hundred and seventy-two million, three hundred and thirty-five thousand, five hundred and ninety-four naira, thirty-three kobo (N1, 272, 335, 594. 33) is for recurrent expenditure.
While submitting the committees’ report on the floor of the House, the Chairman, House Committee on Finance and Appropriation, Hon. Sunday Olajide, among other things, said the Joint Committee observed that the budget was aimed at bringing more succour to the generality of the citizens of the state, especially in the riverine area.
The committee, among other things, recommended that all ongoing projects that are near completion should be given the much needed attention with a view to completing them soonest.
It equally advised the management of OSOPADEC to embark on more aggressive internally generated revenue drive as provided for in the relevant laws.
The plenary sitting was the first after the lawmakers resumed from two months working recess.
The House also committed to the Joint Committee on Finance and Appropriation and Public Accounts for proper scrutiny, a bill for a law to make provision for the administration and collection of revenue due to the government of Ondo State and local government councils in the state to establish the relevant administrative structure and for matters and purposes connected thereto.
Other bills which passed through the first reading on the floor of the House yesterday included, a bill for a law to establish the University of Medical Sciences Teaching Hospital, Ondo, Ondo State, 2018, and a bill for a law to amend the Ondo State University of Medical Sciences Law 2014.
Earlier during the budget defence by the commission at the Assembly complex, Hon. Olajide called on the OSOPADEC to ensure timely preparation of budget for prompt passage.
The Chairman, House Committee on Finance and Appropriation noted that such timely preparation would enable the House give required attention to the budget due to its sensitivity.
On his part, one of the committees’ members, Hon. Mukaila Musa advised the commission to divert supposed social provisions in the budget to the development of institutions of higher learning in the state.
Hon. Musa maintained that such a step would alleviate the suffering of students and their parents.
Also, the Chairman, OSOPADEC, Hon. Gbenga Edema promised that the commission would make judicious use of the budget provisions and improve on its activities in the institutions of higher learnings across the state.
Meanwhile, the House has adjourned plenary sitting till Tuesday, October 23, 2018.