By Dipo Olowookere
Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State has presented a N146 billion budget for the 2018 fiscal year to the Edo State House of Assembly.
The 2018 appropriation bill is a 15 percent nominal increase over the 2017 budget and is made up of N66.8 billion for recurrent spending and N79.9 billion for capital expenditure.
Christened ‘the Budget of Growth’, Mr Obaseki said the proposal will consolidate on the infrastructural and socio-economic gains of the outgoing year 2017.
He promised that the 2018 budget will build on the recovery witnessed in 2017, emphasising that, “We intend to revitalise the state economy by increasing capital spending, hence, we envisage a capital/recurrent expenditure ratio of (54%:46%) which highlights our vision to grow, with cash receipts capped at N120,099,830,443.52 to be sourced from statutory allocation, IGR and grants.”
According to him, the revenue estimates for the budget are based on a $45 bench mark for crude oil and average daily production of 2.3 million barrels per day as well as an increase in Internally Generated Revenue (IGR), as a result of reforms in revenue collection.
He informed the state lawmakers that the priority areas in the proposed 2018 capital expenditure framework are social and physical infrastructure for which we have earmarked N51 billion.
Mr Obaseki noted that his administration will “take advantage of the dry season to reconstruct several bad roads and construct new ones across the state to boost socio-economic activities.”
He said, “We have already commenced the procurement process for the roads through advertisements in major national newspapers.”
The Governor promised that a larger part of the 2018 budget will be devoted to the development of physical and social infrastructure across the state to improve the standard of living of Edo people.
“Our government will consolidate on the gains we have made in wooing investors to the state. Alaghodaro Investment Summit was a huge success and I must thank you Mr Speaker and Honourable members for your support for the laudable initiative.
“We have been bombarded by enquiries from all over the world after the investment summit as investors have come to accept that Edo is indeed ready for business. This budget is expected to drive growth and progress in all sectors of the state,” he said at the presentation.
Mr Obaseki commended the Speaker and members of the Edo State House of Assembly for their unprecedented support through their timely responses to requests for legislations and other forms of support to the executive arm of government and sought for more cooperation.
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