Friday, December 30, 2016 12:48 am
Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State today presented N207, 671,495,300:00 as the 2017 budget tagged “Budget of Self Reliance”, to the state House of Assembly stressing that the budget has been designed to be Internally Generated Revenue driven.
Ajimobi further assured that in the Informal sector, the state is targeting 20 percent of the population which is presently pegged at six million individuals with presumptive tax rate of N3000 per annum.
Economic sector, Social Services Sector, Law and Justice Sector, and General Administrative Sector were allocated N46.618b representing 57.70 percent, N25.646b representing 31.74 percent, N0.880b representing 1.09 percent and N7.654b representing 9.47 percent respectively.
“The aggregate percentage of 89.44 percent of the total budget allocated to the economic and social sub-sector underscores the State Government’s determination to continue to pursue a people-centered, empowerment-focused agenda. “We consider this as the best antidote to the problem of poverty amongst our people. In line with Fiscal Sustainability principle, personnel expenditure has been rationalized to be 26.7 percent of the total budgeted expenditure. As a fall-out of the Pension Perform Act, 2014 (as amended) the State is set to embrace the Contributory Pension Scheme”, he added.
Assuring that efforts would be made to complete all on-going projects like schools and roads, Ajimobi said N25, 502,262,021.10 have been voted for the on-going road projects, construction of new roads as well as expansion and rehabilitation of some township and intercity roads.
“The Government is keenly interested in rehabilitation/restoration of most existing Public Buildings to prevent further deterioration and the construction of new ones in the year 2017. The sum of N532, 676,590.00 has thus been proposed for the various public building projects in the coming year. Provision has also been made for the resuscitation of skill acquisition centres (block making, carpentry/furniture and welding workshop of the Ministry of Works and Transport at Eleyele) for the training of our teeming youths across the State. This, when operational, will also serve as a source of revenue for the State Government”, he disclosed.
Lamenting the crisis that confronted the nation’s economy which plunged the citizens into serious hardship, Ajimobi lauded his “Agric-Oyo” programme implemented in 2016 which he claimed raised the level of food production in the State by 27.5 percent and GSP by 1.5 percent.
He added, “The Ministry will also kick start in the 2017 fiscal year, the process of creating 1,000,000 jobs across all local governments through the implementation of another laudable programme tagged ‘Anchor Borrowers’ programme. It is our expectation that in the immediate future, Oyo State would become the Food Basket of South Western Nigeria and ultimately West Africa”.
On education, he said that during 2016, in a bid to address poor performance, the recommendations of the report of the committee led by the Vice Chancellor of Ladoke Akintola University, LAUTECH, Professor Adeniyi Gbadegesin have been approved and gazetted. The recommendations include: abolition of automatic promotion, restructuring of all agencies in the education sector for optimal performance and higher productivity, classification and categorization of schools, periodic verification of personnel, students and infrastructure, equitable redistribution of subject teachers, capacity building for quality assurance, implementation of Education Trust Fund, retention by schools of the N1000 levy per student per term, promotion of technical and vocational education, improvement of ICT education, enforcement of registration and regulation of private schools, resuscitation of Co-curricular activities and establishment of School Governing Board, SGB, as community participatory model for the management of schools.
On physical infrastructure, Ajimobi boasted that his administration has successfully constructed and rehabilitated many roads during his first term in Office saying a lot more that have been added in 2016 are at various stages of execution.
“In furtherance of the infrastructural development policy of this Government, the underlisted roads have also been awarded for construction/rehabilitation in the outgoing fiscal year, dualization of Idi-Ape-Bashorun-Akobo Ojurin-Odogbo barrack, dualization of Agodi gate-Alakia New Airport, dualization of Saki Township road and Rehabilitation of Eleyele-Ologuneru-Ido-Eruwa road and expansion of Oke-Adu Bus Stop, Idi-Ape, Iwo Road”, he added.
Under commerce and industrialisation, the governor disclosed that his government has kick started an industrial revolution through the establishment of the Polaris-Pace Setter Free Trade Zone comprising a N2bn investment in a 1000 hectares of land on the Lagos Ibadan expressway with expected 175 factories in the zone. The free zone is expected to achieve employment generation, wealth creation, production of goods and services, generation of income for the State and creation of export hub for the West African subregion.
“Additional initiatives of the industrialization of the State include, new Inland Dry Port with APM Terminal, 400 hectare Transformation Industrial Park, ginnery for processing cotton and remodeling of Agbowo Shopping Complex into a world class shopping mall”, he added.
On finance, he said, “In spite of the negative financial head winds and dwindling revenue to the State, we have introduced innovative and proactive measures to continue to address our fiscal obligations. Consequently, the following measures have been adopted: dedication of 100 percent of FAAC receipt and FSP inflows to payment of salaries, emphasis on cash generating projects in the 2017 budget, key into FSP bailout and infrastructure support facilities from FG, 50 percent reduction in costs and overheads, aggressive and renewed IGR drive, establishment of Efficiency Unit and performance Linked Disbursement in 2017 fiscal year”.
Governor Ajimobi also reiterated his commitment to the election of local government in 2017 saying, “The election into our Local Governments and the newly created Local Council Development Areas will hold in 2017. This is intended to bring governance to the door steps of the people and to speed up development at the grassroots. So, the content and structure of this proposal has captured our vision towards achieving this and the continuation of our developmental strides, in the next fiscal year. I wish to reiterate and remind us, that February 2017 is around the corner when we shall all have the opportunity to elect our leaders at the grassroots level. The leaders that are expected to emerge are those that will be able to key into and consolidate our developmental agenda. I, therefore, solicit your support for the successful conduct of the elections”.
Remarking, Speaker Micheal Adeyemo said the 8th Assembly has enjoyed great support from the present administration as expected, calling for the urgent need to review the rates and taxes in the state to ensure that the government realizes its vision of funding the budget through IGR.
In his own words, Hon. Oyebamiji Joshua, an Accord Party member, representing Akinyele 1 described the governor as a courageous person, adding “despite not being in the same party with you, I commend the governor for his vision. Only those with vision will have mission. This budget proposal has shown that despite the low revenue, the governor is ready to ensure that Oyo is setting the pace again”
The Minority Leader of the house, Hon. Joshua Olagunju Ojo representing Oriire State constituency commended the governor for providing adequate security for the people, for his infrastructural development insight as well as creation of Local Council Development Areas to bring government closer to the people.