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Kogi state governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, on Thursday presented the 2018 appropriation bill of N147.8 billion before the house of assembly for consideration and approval.

The budget christened “budget of sustainable growth” had N83.99billion as capital expenditure and N63.8 billion earmarked for recurrent expenditure.

The 2018 budget is lower than that of 2017 with about N44.4 billion, which was N147.72 billion.

The governor, who noted that the 2018 budget was prepared in line with global best practices, outlined key initiatives and deliverables expected from key spending ministries, departments and agencies.

Sectoral allocation of the estimates showed that administration gulped N44.9b, economic N59.27b, law and justice N5.7b and social N37.8b.

The governor said the fiscal strategy of government was anchored on the ongoing Public Financial Management Reform (PFMR) directed at improving the efficiency and effectiveness of spending.

Bello said, “Our lofty aspirations have found expression in the 2018 Budget. The specific fiscal objective is effective allocation of scarce resources to identified critical programmes and projects”

He said the areas of target of the budget include: “To improve the quality of education at all levels and make it accessible to citizens to produce articulate and skilled manpower necessary for the economic transformation of the State.

“To improve access to healthcare leading to improvement in efficiency of the healthcare delivery system. To ensure food security and generate a high proportion of the GDP from agriculture.”

Reviewing the 2017 members, the governor noted that the capital project performance was 14.48 percent, while recurrent expenditure had a performance of 54.26 percent.

According to him, the low performance recorded in 2017 was a reminder that the socio-economic adversities in the country as inherited by President Muhammadu Buhari were more real and more generalised than could be imagined.

“This has inevitably diminished the funds available for project execution. In spite of this, we have, through prudent management of resources, achieved a reasonable measure of success in the implementation of capital projects”.

The speaker of the assembly, Rt Hon Matthew Kolawole, said the house would ensure speedy passage of the bill to fast-track the development of the state.

He also said members would focus more and improve their oversight functions to ensure that money appropriated are judiciously spent on the items they were meant.

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