…As Sanwo-Olu presents N1.17trn Budget 2020***
The government of Oyo State on Thursday launched the inclusive budget initiative where views are being collated from residents and indigenes of the three senatorial districts ahead of the 2020 budget.
The initiative, which Governor Seyi Makinde said would enhance the open governance agenda of his government will encompass a hybrid of bottom-up and top-bottom approaches to development, the governor stated.
A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr. Taiwo Adisa indicated that the initiative was launched through the Town Hall Meetings being put together by the Oyo State Ministry of Budget and Economic Planning, headed by Barrister Adeniyi Farinto.
Governor Makinde stated that the programme would help produce an all-inclusive budget following the extensive consultations.
According to him, the stakeholders’ meeting was organised by the Government “in its bid to prepare a budget that would be most suited to the people’s needs and the overall development of the State.”
He said: “Over the years, there has been a debate over which is the best approach to governance: A top-bottom approach, which relies on leadership setting the goals and then breaking it down for implementation or the bottom-top approach where the citizens play a role in determining what the goals should be. We have opted for a hybrid of both.
“Before we came into office on May 29, on our campaign trail, we listened to you and so were able to come up with what I have often referred to as a four-point agenda that will reposition Oyo State for greater stability in economic growth powered by Agriculture, Security, Education and Healthcare.
“We remain focused on those areas as we are convinced that these will serve as a fulcrum of prosperity for the people of Oyo State. However, we still need your inputs.”
The Governor further disclosed that his government was also preparing a 20-year State Strategic Development Plan in addition to hearing the ideas of how the 2020 budget should be handled, saying the contributions of the stakeholders at the event would go a long way in making the plans more people-centered.
“When we reviewed the 2019 budget downwards, it was not out of the need to spite to anyone. It was because we discovered that we have not been living within our means.
“Borrowing money is not necessarily a bad thing. If it is for capital projects that will yield returns, it is acceptable. Borrowing money to pay salaries is not advisable.
“So, as we discuss ways to spend what we have, we should also remember that we have to use what we have to generate more funds and increase our Internally-Generated Revenue (IGR).
“It is my hope that this engagement will improve the performance of the budget and sustain the developmental objectives of this administration.
“I want to further assure you that your feedback and views will be given due consideration,” the Governor stated.
Earlier, the Commissioner for Budget and Economic Planning, Mr. Adeniyi Farinto, said the programme was a further attestation to the all-inclusive nature of governance under the present administration in Oyo State and its resolve to move the people from poverty to prosperity.
Farinto posited that a stakeholders’ meeting of such nature was a the genuine platform where all opinions would not only be explored but would be critically examined for the growth and development of any State.
He stressed that having a people-oriented budget had always been the priority of the Makinde administration, noting that government that was run with the understanding and inputs of the people was a practical expression of transparency and good governance.
The commissioner charged community leaders and other representatives present at the event to come up with strategic programmes and articulate initiatives as well as suggestions that would take the State to her pacesetting mode.
He asserted that the stakeholders’ contributions were critical in the initiation, formulation, and execution of people-oriented budgets, assuring that the people’s inputs would count in the development of programmes and projects in the State.
Economic Adviser to Governor Makinde, Dr. Adetunji Babatunde, who also delivered an address, justified the decision to opt for open governance, adding the government would easily get the priorities right.
According to him, a government that adopts the inclusive budgeting the approach would not be building roads where the people’s priority was a hospital or a police station.
In the meantime, Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State on Friday presented the year 2020 proposed Budget of N1.168 trillion to the State House of Assembly.
Sanwo-Olu said the proposed budget had been christened: “The Budget of Awakening to a Greater Lagos”, and would give priority to the completion of ongoing projects.
He said that the budget would be funded by a projected total revenue of N1.071 trillion, and a deficit amounting to N97.53 billion.
According to him, the budget size is higher than the 2019 budget by 34 per cent.
“The capital expenditure amounts to N723.75 billion while the recurrent expenditure is N444.81 billion, giving a 62:38 capital to recurrent ratio.
“This, in our view, is strong for development. We have placed an increased focus on wealth creation, where we will take deliberate steps in courting a partnership between our people and various development institutions.
“In line with this, we have provided N11.8 billion as counterpart funds in preparation for various social impact schemes.
“In addition, we have made provisions for N7.1 billion this year, to provide for industrial hubs, parks, graduate internship programmes and virtual markets for artisans.
“This is in support for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, which are the engines for both economic and employment growth,” he said.
The governor said that it was equally proposed that N167.81 billion of the Recurrent Expenditure should be applied towards personnel costs and other staff-related expenses.
He said that this represented 22.02 per cent of the proposed total revenue, which was within the acceptable wage policy of 25 per cent of total revenue, and included a provision for the new minimum wage.
According to him, the budget deficit of N97.53 billion will be financed by both internal and external loans.
“Since revenue generation is the spine of any budget, this budget supports investment in our revenue generating agencies.
“This budget seeks to aggressively invest in and develop our education, health and other physical infrastructure sectors.
“Although our capital spending on works and infrastructure was just N31 billion as at September 2019, as against the 2019 budget proposal of N78 billion, it is our intention to spend N115 billion in 2020.
“Education will see a significantly increased capital budgetary allocation of N48 billion, an increase of 60 per cent over the 2019 provision of N30 billion.
“We must improve the standard and relevance of our education outcomes to our industries,” he said.
Sanwo-Olu said that his administration would work together with local governments to strengthen early child education and teachers training/administration, while leveraging technology.
He said that similarly, in healthcare, government had provided for a capital expenditure of N33 billion, compared to the 2019 budget proposal of N21 billion.
Sanwo-Olu said that his administration would ensure that the primary healthcare institutions remained active and attractive to the primary healthcare needs of the people.
“Lagos belongs to us all; we will continue therefore to drive partnerships with the private sector in promoting health services within our institutions.
“Given the perennial challenges of flooding in the metropolis, we have tripled the capital budget provision to tackle this from N3 billion in 2019 to N9 billion in 2020,” he said.
Responding, the Speaker, Lagos State House of Assembly, Mr Mudashiru Obasa, promised early passage of the 2020 budget presented by the governor.
Obasa said the intention of the House was to make the budget a special New Year gift to the people of “this great state’’.
The speaker said the house would work diligently for the early passage of the budget so that developmental work can start in earnest in the state.
“Ladies and gentlemen, we have all listened with rapt attention to how the wealth of our state will be utilised for our common good in Y2020 with the budget size of N1,168 trillion themed: Budget of Reawakening to a Greater Lagos.
“The responsibility is now on the members of this House to do the needful; and I assure you that we will meticulously perform our constitutional duty,” he said.
Obasa commended the governor for being astute, courageous, insightful, forthright, thorough and determined.
He noted that the governor had really displayed, during his few months in office, nothing that SanwoOlu is capable to maintain a track record of resourceful consistency in the state.
Obasa said: “Mr Governor, your actions so far have shown the zeal, desire and passion in you to get things done, to fix what has been left undone and to move the state forward.
“Hence, we believe that the content of the budget will serve this purpose in making life worthy of living for our people in Lagos State.
“As is evident, the Y2020 Appropriation Bill is significant in that it is the first budget proposal to be presented by Mr Governor.
“This will give him the opportunity to encapsulate his vision and mission for us all as the budget will lay the foundation for this.
“For this singular reason, we are all hopeful and expectant that this coming year will witness more of democracy dividends for betterment of Lagos and Lagosians.’’
Additional reports from Newsbreak