NIGERIA: Ajimobi presents N152bn budget

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GOVERNOR  Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State has presented a N152 billion budget for the 2013 fiscal year to the State House of Assembly for approval.

The budget, which was tagged “Budget of Transformation,” was presented to the 32-member legislative arm yesterday.

According to him, the budget was aimed at restoring, transforming and repositioning the state to its former pace-setter status.

The breakdown of the budget showed that  N82.97 billion was allocated for recurrent expenditure while the capital expenditure would gulp N69.15bn representing 45.1 per cent of the budget.

According to the governor, the larger portion was allocated to the economic and social services sectors.

Ajimobi said: “We consider this strategy as the best antidote to the problem of poverty among our people.”

He also said that the public-private-partnership framework would be intensified towards the provision of public goods and services.

The governor explained that the strategy for achieving these would depend greatly on aggressive internal revenue generation, IGR, through more effective and efficient tax administration as well as extension of tax net to those hitherto outside the net.

He said: “We will come back to this House shortly to request for necessary legislative muscle, not only on taxation, but also on other sundry regulatory issues that are due for review or to be proposed.”

Governor Ajimobi recalled the enormous challenges which confronted his administration on assumption of office in May 2011, noting, however, that solid foundation had been successfully laid for the restoration of the state to its pace-setter status.

According to the  governor, his administration had been able to make significant improvements in good governance and strategic alliances with both local and international development communities, peace and security, health services, wealth creation and economic empowerment, environment and habitat, as well as education, infrastructure, staff development and welfare.

He also said that extensive work had been done to clean up the state capital and beautify the cities, even as he expressed happiness at the cooperation of the people of the state with his government, saying “ as we move traders from the streets, under the bridges and high tension wires, we have commenced construction of neighbourhood markets with modern facilities where our traders and their clients can buy and sell with relative comfort.”

In their remarks, some members of the House, cutting across all the political parties, commended the government for its positive impacts in the last 19 months in the lives of the people of the state.

Speaking, the Speaker of the Assembly, Mrs. Monsurat Sunmonu commended the governor for his visionary leadership and for the various developments he had so far executed since he came on board.

Chairman, House Committee on Appropriation, Hon. Olusegun Olaleye, compared the governor’s pro-poor policies to that of President Julius Nyerere.

Kolade Olagunju, an Accord Party legislator representing Akinyele I Constituency, praised the governor for his infrastructure and urban renewal efforts in the state, stating that when the governor began the renewal drive, it was painful to the people, but now, the state had begun to see the positive effects of the government’s massive renewal efforts.

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