Gov. Oluwarotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State on Friday presented a budget proposal of N159 billion for the 2021 fiscal year to the state House of Assembly.
The budget, tagged ‘Budget of Hope’, is slightly higher than the 2020 budget, which was initially N187 billion before it was reviewed downward to N151 billion in September, because of the economic realities caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Represented by Mr Emmanuel Igbasan, the state Commissioner for Budget and Planning, Akeredolu stated that recurrent expenditure was N103. 022 billion, while the capital expenditure estimates amounted to N56.267 billion.
The governor disclosed that the projected spending was made up of expectations of N34.413 billion from Statutory Allocation, N11.584 billion from Mineral Derivation, N12.926 billion from Value Added Tax, N28.581 billion from Internal Revenue, N12.501 billion from Grants, N42.072 billion from other capital receipts and N18.719 billion.
Giving a breakdown of the capital expenditure estimates on sectoral basis, the governor said the Economic sector would account for N32,448,473,194.07 or 57.15 per cent of the budget, while the Social sector will gulp 28.85 per cent of the budget equivalent to N16,379,604.348.52.
The Administration Sector accounts N6,727,054,724.80 billion or 11.85 per cent of the budget, followed by the Law and Justice Sector at N1,219,000,000.00 billion or 2.15 per cent of the budget.
According to him, the financial projection is predicated on some of the assumptions contained in the 2021-2023 Medium Term Expenditure Framework document of the State, and the major objective of the 2021 estimates remained the consolidation of the modest gains of the last three and half years.
The governor noted that the current economic reality had necessitated that the government must consciously and pragmatically rearrange its fiscal priorities to target the growth drivers of its economy, as such it had structured its priorities in the most practical terms to generate the highest mileage from every naira spent.
He, however, lamented that the government was not in a position to reduce its recurrent commitment because of personnel related costs.
“We cannot reduce recurrent expenditure beyond certain level because of personal costs, taking cognizance of newly recruited medical personnel and the almost concluded primary school teachers recruitment in the state,” he said.
Reacting to the budget, Mr Bamidele Oloyelogun, the Speaker of the assembly, thanked the governor for successfully transmitting the budget and for the attention given to sectors in the state.
Oloyelogun described the governor as a hallmark of good leadership that was committed to the development of the state, pledging that the assembly would do justice to the content of the budget.