by Usman Alabi
Ondo has a population of 4,515,660. Its 2019 budget is N193.903 billion. Capital expenditure is N90.113billion while the recurrent expenditure is N83.852 billion.
Ondo has her budget published on its website, & also has a citizen guide to understanding the budget, which is commendable compared to states like Osun, Oyo & even Lagos who are not apostles of open budget system, and have continuously kept their budget a well guarded secret.
Ondo has a statutory allocation of N65,219852,788.70, her IGR as at Q3 (2018) is N14, 461, 904,636.60. Ondo is reliant on IGR to survive except if the government could come up with creative ideas for capital generation which is not impossible. Ondo’s foreign Debt is $79,854,005.14, while her domestic debt (2018) is N49,123,506,028.25.
Ondo’s 2019 budget has a deficit of N51.287 billion, which means that the state would be borrowing more to finance the 2019 budget while servicing the previous loans. Ondo is reputed to be producing the 12% of the country’s oil and gas, but it is far from having an industrial economy. The state is largely an agro economy with little or no industrial capacity, most production at this level are at the primary stage.
The state government still remains the singular highest employer of labour. Largest bitumen deposit in Nigeria, largest producer of cocoa in the country, with great tourism potential. The state has been unable to take advantage of all these to create solid industrial capacity.
To finance the 2019 budget, Ondo would be getting a long term loan of N46, 327,742,334.00. Ondo would need to concentrate more on getting the confidence of the private sector by creating an enabling environment and giving them reasons why they should invest in the state. Most of the states in Nigeria need to understand that government is more into regulation & creating enabling environment, it does not necessarily have the capacity to be fully involved in the economy, hence the need to develop an industrial environment for private sector involvement.