by Usman Alabi
The newly elected governor of Edo state, Godwin Obaseki on Monday presented a budget of N150bn to the State House of Assembly for the 2017 fiscal year.
The budget tagged “Budget of consolidation and prosperity” was 29 per cent higher than the N111.5bn estimate presented by his predecessor, Adams Oshiomole, in 2015.
The budget has a recurrent expenditure of N74,900,297,917 while N75,111,533,162 was earmarked for capital expenditure.
According to the governor, the budget would have a deficit of N25bn for 2017, which would be funded mainly by external borrowing from the third tranche of the World Bank budget support facility. The budget according to the governor would focus on six key policy areas which include economic revolution, infrastructure development, institutional reforms, environmental sustainability, social welfare enhancement and culture and tourism.
The governor said his administration proposed to spend N22.3n on infrastructure development and upgrade, and N22.2bn on the economic sector. On the welfare of workers in the state, the governor said the state is determined to resolve the lingering pension issues in the state, even with the commencement of the contributory pension scheme in January, 2017. The sum of N3,179,872,873bn has been proposed for the scheme. An additional N6,034,480,729bn has been provided to pay for outstanding gratuities and pension.
“We have proposed a capital investment of N6.6bn to rebuild the infrastructure of our institutions in 2017”.
The governor further disclosed that N17.3bn has been proposed for social welfare enhancement to ensure that government fulfilled its obligation in the provision of public health care, education, sports development, youth engagement and cater for vulnerable groups.
Tell us what you think about this budget given the fact that this is the first by the Governor Godwin Obaseki