Governor Godwin Obaseki has presented a budget of 150 billion appropriation bill to the State House of Assembly to fast track economic and social transformation of the state.
Governor Obaseki, who christened the 2017 budget as “Budget of Consolidation and Prosperity” said it was wrapped around the six key policy areas. “Mr Speaker, we have proposed a budget size of N150,011,831,079 Billion which is a nominal 29% increase over 2016 budget estimates made up of N74,900,297,917 as Recurrent Expenditure and N75,111,533,162 as Capital Expenditure. “The revenue estimates are based on a $42.0 benchmark for crude oil and average daily production of 1.9mil barrels per day and expectations of improved performance of Internally Generated Revenue.
“Hence we will maintain a balance of capital to recurrent expenditure (50%: 50%) in line with our plan to spend our way out of recession The governor, said “this Budget would have a deficit of N25 Billion for 2017 which is within the acceptable threshold. “The deficit will be funded mainly by external borrowing from the third tranche of the World Bank budget support facility.
He named the six key policy areas of the 2017 budget to include Economic Revolution, Healthcare services, Infrastructure development, Institutional Reforms, Environmental sustainabilty, social welfare enhancement and Culture and tourism. Governor Obaseki, while reviewing the 2016 budget, noted that “the crises we face today are not insurmountable, with focussed planning, discipline and faith in God, we can “develop a modern and progressive Edo State, where every citizen is empowered with opportunity to live life in its fullness”.
“I am honoured to present to you today christened “Consolidation and prosperity”. According to him, “the policy directions of this budget are largely informed by my interactions with Edo people during my campaign which was validated in a strategy dialogue comprising political, religious and traditional leaders, professionals, civil society, women and youth groups.
“The policy bedrock of the 2017 budget rests on Economic Revolution, Infrastructural Expansion, Institutional Reform, Social Welfare Enhancement, Culture & Tourism and Environmental Sustainability. “These are the pillars which – if pursued with uncommon focus, will help us build a new society, create new jobs, new opportunities and wealth – and usher in a new era of prosperity for all. The Governor, in his review of the budget proposal, sets aside N7.5billion for investment;N22.2billion for economic sector; N22.3billion for infrastructure, development and upgrade; N3.2 billion for pension scheme; N6.05billion for outstanding grauitities and pension and N6.6 billion to rebuild infrastructure of institutions in 2017.
Governor Obaseki said “this Budget of Consolidation and prosperity clearly outlines our first priorities and serves as our compass to the future we seek. He said “building this new society for Edo State will depend on the timely implementation of reforms to further boost business climate, attract private investment, improve our social welfare and foster needed development.
“Therefore, the timely passage of this budget is crucial,’’ saying that “Edo State must become the standard bearer of progress in Nigeria. “We must lead the nation in social and economic progress. We will be unrelenting in our pursuit of a cleaner, greener and digital Edo.
“In this task, our government will shun all acts of corruption. We shall hold all accountable and will aggressively ensure justice is meted to offenders.’’ Obaseki, in his presentation assured the honourable members saying that “I remain confident that we would continue to enjoy a harmonious working relationship in the interest of our dear State and to the glory of God, our Maker”.