By Stephen Gbadamosi
Oyo State governor, Engineer ‘Seyi Makinde, on Tuesday, presented a budget proposal of N434.221,765,938 billion to the state House of Assembly, entitling it ‘Budget of Economic Recovery.’
Governor Makinde, in his budget presentation speech at the plenary of the Assembly, said the proposal represented the action plan of the roadmap to sustainable development.
He explained that the government, under Omituntun 2.0, earmarked a total sum of N222.337 billion for capital expenditure, while the sum of N221.804,445 billion was for recurrent expenditure.
These figures, according to Makinde, reflected a slight difference of 2.4 per cent increase in capital expenditure, as against recurrent expenditure.
The governor called on the Assembly to give the budget accelerated hearing and passage for the benefit of the people of Oyo State.
In the breakdown of the budget as he explained, of the four main targets, education took the larger share of the budget allocation with N90.6 billion, 20 per cent of the total budget, while N74.3 billion was budgeted for infrastructure, taking 17.11 per cent of the 2024 appropriation.
Also in the breakdown, the health sector took N40.9 billion representing about 9.44 per cent with the agricultural sector getting N15 billion, which is 3.65 per cent of the total budget.
Governor Makinde said N72 billion had been projected as the state’s Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) for the year, promising the commitment of his administration to surpass the 70 per cent 2023 budget performance.
He disclosed that the budget was an opportunity for the administration to show responsiveness to current economic reality, following the removal of fuel subsidy.
The governor insisted that his administration would not increase tax, but would expand the tax net for the state.
“I am happy to come before you today to present the 2024 Appropriation Bill. This year’s presentation is special in two significant ways. First, this is the first full budget presentation since our re-election into office in March 2023.
“This budget presents an opportunity for us to show how we are matching our promises as stated in our roadmap for sustainable development 2023-2027 with definite action plans.
“Second, this budget is a chance for our administration to show our responsiveness to the current economic head winds. You will agree that the effects of the removal of fuel subsidy and dollar-Naira currency by the federal government have brought hardship to our people. Therefore, this budget proposal will cover specific projects, policies, and actions that, when implemented, will cushion the impact of the economic issues that we are currently faced with.
“It is against this backdrop that we have tagged this budget ‘Oyo State Budget of Economic Recovery’. It is my honor to present a total budget of N434,221,765,938.79 billion. The total capital expenditure is N222,337,320,199.85 billion, while the total recurrent expenditure is N211,884,445,738.94 billion.
“What you will immediately notice is that we have been able to, once again, achieve a budget where capital expenditure is about 2.4 per cent higher than the recurrent expenditure. We believe that the growth of our economy is dependent on the fiscal decisions we take regarding our capital expenditure. Therefore, we are focusing on projects that will yield positive results for our economy in our areas of comparative advantage,” he said.
Speaking about the economic recovery target of his administration, Makinde added that; “Mr. Speaker and the Honourable members of the 10th Assembly, you will note the same marginal increase of about N4 billion in the allocation to agriculture. You will recall that we have initiated an input distribution package for our smallholder farmers under the SAfER initiative.
“We also work with the World Bank to provide input for our smallholder farmers under the Oyo State Cares programme. We plan to build on various interventions we have introduced to help them.
“At the same time, we will, in the next few months, be completing work on the Fashola Agribusiness Industrial hub. I am happy to report that the work done has further revealed the economic benefits of locating projects around our areas of comparative advantage. Because of this project, the Oyo Zone has been opened up for more business as this axis now hosts large and medium-scale agribusinesses. The Oyo-Iseyin road construction, which was commissioned in September 2023, is also driving businesses to this zone.”
Speaker of the House, Right Honourable Adebo Ogundoyin, who said it was mandatory for all the commissioners in the governor’s cabinet ought to appear before the House to defend their estimates, promised that members would give the budget accelerated scrutiny.
The event was also attended by the state deputy governor, Mr. Bayo Lawal; former deputy governor and National Deputy Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Ambassador Taofeek Arapaja; former deputy governor, Engr. Hamid Gbadamosi; Chief Judge of Oyo State, Mrs. Iyabo Yerima; Secretary to the State Government, Prof. Olanike Adeyemo, the Chief of Staff, Otunba Segun Ogunwuyi, Head of Service, Mrs Olubunmi Oni and commissioners.
Also in attendance were members of the State Elders’ Council and State Advisory Council, Dr. Saka Balogun; Elder Wole Oyelese; Senator Monsurat Sunmonu, Hon. Babatunde Oduyoye and traditional rulers.