Ondo Assembly Receives 2018 Budget worth N171b
By Dipo Olowookere
On Friday, the Ondo State House of Assembly received the 2018 budget proposal of N171 billion presented by Governor Rotimi Akeredolu for approval.
The Governor, during the presentation, informed the parliament that the budget was designed to achieve stability, fiscal re-prioritisation and consolidation to create the base for sustainable growth and development.
Christened ‘Budget of Progress,’ the appropriation bill has N81.521 billion allotted for recurrent expenditure and N68.096 for capital spending.
Mr Akeredolu listed the objectives of the budget as intensifying efforts on independent revenue initiatives, massive infrastructure development, wealth creation through empowerment of youths, artisans, farmers and market women.
Other objectives are to enhance the community development through improved collaboration with communities, among others on the revenue projection for the 2018.
He noted that his administration was mindful of the challenges posed by inadequate revenue to accomplish the budget’s objectives.
He said it reflected the collective aspiration of the people of the state, after having consulted widely to incorporate the input of all stakeholders.
According to him, his administration will pursue activities targeted at encouraging productivity and creation of real opportunity for the people in the next fiscal year.
He therefore, asked the state Assembly to give the budget realistic scrutiny before approval.
“The 2018 budget is designed to achieve stability, fiscal re-prioritisation and consolidation to create the base for sustainable growth and development.
“It is focused on reversing the growth of debt, unsustainable deficits and the burden of interest payments which is almost unsustainable.
“The 2018 budget estimates will focus on rebuilding the state’s economy through prioritised investment on infrastructure and agriculture-related activities.”
“The expected increase in the contribution of independent revenue to total revenue cannot be achieved in a day and as such would be gradual.
“Hence, revenue inflow from the Federation Account will still contribute to the larger portion of the total collectible revenue for the state,” he said.
Responding, Speaker of the House, Mr David Oleyelogun, described the budget as life-touching document.
He assured Mr Akeredolu that the House would give expeditious and necessary approval to the budget.